I recently read a fantastic article in New York Times, Looking into the Eyes of ‘Made in China.
The article uncovers the mystery behind the anonymous people who produce our imported goods. The photographer, Lucas Schifres, created a series of typological portraits looking at the workers inside six Chinese factories, which resulted in “Faces of Made in China.”
While browsing through the portraits, I was struck by how much the images resonated with me. Their eyes tell a story of hard work. Their smiles speak to the pride in what they produce. But why was I so moved by portraits of people I had never met?
“Looking at a human face mobilizes more brain cells than looking at anything else, “ said Lucas Schifres.
This got me thinking about people’s growing desire to know where their products come from and who makes them. The days of knowing your dressmaker and milkman may be over, but it is clear that as consumers, we crave a personal connection to the people that make our goods.
I turn to the local food movement as an example, where communities are choosing to reclaim responsibility for the food they put in their bodies. After years of relying upon the convenience of the industrialized food system, people are increasingly concerned with the health risks behind what they consume and a desire to know who grew their food.
Whether you are buying a tomato or a scarf, Anchal believes that consumers should feel good about what they are buying. When you purchase an Anchal product, you not only know where it comes from, you can see the artisans name stitched on that product and you can feel good that it is assisting a woman into economic empowerment.
In the future, maybe not every single thing you purchase will have a face to it, but I do belief that socially and environmentally conscience products will soon be mainstream, to the point it becomes hard to find products that don’t give back. Or at least I can dream…