10 reasons why it’s important to know how your favourite cheap products are sourced
Consumers are increasingly taking more steps to choose products that are cheaper and within their budgets. In the long term, this means that consumers have more money in their pockets to spend on other items and services, which has an overall positive impact on local and national economies.
However, not all cheap products come without a cost. With the vast majority of cheap products originating from China, its economy is projected to become the largest economy in the world in the 21st century, even surpassing that of the United States.
There are some considerations that everyone should know about their favourite cheap products, as these may generally not be immediately obvious to most consumers.
You are what you eat
Certain cheap foods might contain additives that make them less pricey. While in most cases these are other types of food stuffs as well, there have been cases where harmful substances have also been added to cheap foods.
Cheap products means cheap packaging
It seems quite obvious that business producing cheap products will not waste money on good quality packaging. This is especially worrying for food packaging, as cheap plastic can leach cancerous chemicals into your food or drinks.
Is cheap good for your health?
While the issue of cheap food has already been mentioned above, what about the contents of cheap cosmetics? These are generally produced with harmful substances such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, and can lead to a wide range of skin conditions and health issues.
Safety first on the road
If you happen to be buying new parts for your car, it is important to know where they come from. While it is true that these can be quite expensive, it is worth investing in good tyres rather than going for the cheaper ones which could be potentially dangerous.
Consider the environmental impact
Cheaper products are generally produced with cost cutting and questionable methods. In fact, the cheap clothes industry is by far considered to be the second dirtiest one in the world after the oil industry due to the amount of pollution it produces.
Save the rainforest!
A particularly harmful product is palm oil, which is the most commonly produced vegetable oil in the world with plantations covering over 27 million hectares across the planet. This is mainly a result of palm oil being used in a wide range of cheap products commonly found in supermarkets, including biscuits, margarine, baby food, soaps, detergents, and other cosmetics.
Human right violations
Every consumer should know where their goods come from, and at what cost. A 2014 study conducted by an NGO found that around 30% of workers in Malaysia’s electronics industry were forced labour.
Placing trust in an unknown brand
When buying some technological products such as electronics and white goods, it is easy to see why most consumers would rather go for an item that costs almost half that of a well-known brand. But there are many risk associated with this, such as not being able to claim a refund or repairs when the product malfunctions.
Italian Leather not made in Italy?
Consumers are increasingly on the hunt for a bargain, especially when it comes to luxury goods. It is always advised to check labels before making a purchase – you would be surprised to realise that your Genuine Italian leather belt or purse was manufactured outside of Italy.
You might be probably purchasing a counterfeit
Consumers that do not make a careful assessment of the origin of their cheap products might end up buying something that is a counterfeit. It is cheaper than the genuine item simply because the brand is being illegally used by the counterfeiter, who doesn’t possess the necessary licences or skills to manufacture a product by a legitimate brand.