Last year, ABC program, Four Corners, did an expose on apple iphones (see report here – link http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/03/02/4187424.htm). They found shocking workplace conditions not just in the iphone assembly plant, but further down the line where the iphone materials are sourced.
When we buy an item like an iphone, how can we as consumers possibly know if we are buying something that has been made off the back of slave labour? Well, the way the business models operate in making these types of products at this point in time, we just can’t know.
One organisation has been doing a deep investigation into the major electronics brands, and has found ominous results. Baptist World Aid (BWA) conducts an annual survey on fashion and electronics manufacturers, looking at conditions for workers all the way through the supply chain. They grade all brands A-F based on their responses to a long list of factors. Unfortunately in the report released in February of this year (2016) not one brand received an A grade, and the average was a C-. You can see how your favourite brands stacked up in the diagram below:
And you can read the full report here: (embed document BWA Electronics Industry)
You can make a difference by being informed about what really happens in the manufacture of your electronics products and petitioning your brand directly. We as consumers need to start asking for more from our producers – focus on profit AS WELL as the impact at the source of the materials that go into making it.