Amid the fuss about the Olympics uniforms being made in a Chinese factory, here's a new take from Joel Cervelloni corporate environmental sustainability expert at PA Consulting Group.
To him, it's proof that U.S. consumers' purchasing decisions are powerful.
That's a little wry. He means that we've demanded low prices above all else, so that's what we get.
"If you’re outraged that the US Olympic uniforms were made in a Chinese factory, take a close look at the clothes in your closet—see anything made in China? Most likely, you do," he said in an email that went to reporters and others.
"Would your purchasing decisions be different if you knew your clothes were made abroad? How about if you knew the clothes were made from recycled materials, or shipped to you using hybrid vehicles? Transparency into the environmental impact of consumer products is increasing. How will you use that information?
"If our purchasing decisions result in something as ludicrous as making US Olympic uniforms in China, then imagine their impact in other areas, like eradicating poor environmental stewardship. Corporate America is incredibly good at meeting our demands. Therefore, the responsibility is on us to be careful about what we demand."
So if you, like a few others I could mention, would like to see the uniforms burned, perhaps, as a protest during the games, you can take a few of your own clothes outside to burn them. (Or, okay, donate them so you don't waste the resource.)
Then replace them with U.S. made items.