Update on the conflict free-laptop search

So I’m incredibly frustrated.

I have received emails back. After several hours on the phone, getting hung up on and redirected, I am sent some information by email. I have talked to the people whose job it is to secure ethical purchasing (or at least market it) and they are the ones sending the information; so I am hopeful that I will receive answers. I am at this point with several companies.

What they send however, is the same old stock line. I already had most of this information (if not all of it). It is available publicly on their websites, and was already thoroughly researched and looked into– but didn’t answer my questions. In fact, most of my time in this struggle has been spent reading through websites, news, etc. trying to find out the details before I bother calling so that I can ask specific questions once I find who I need to talk to. Digging into sourcing is difficult!

The same stock lines. They don’t seem really willing to give out any more information. I’m sure it must have to clear some board room or get approval first.  Heaven forbid they just tell me the truth (though more than likely, they probably have NO idea what this is themselves). I cannot, in good faith, purchase any of these products at this point. Their claims to me are not enough. Their promise of change in the future is not enough. They might still support human rights abuse. They might still support war. It’s hard to tell the truth.

I’m glad that many advertise themselves as ethical and feel like they are making a real effort to change. Some perhaps are. But most I would suspect, are not. They spew out these fancy claims of responsibility and have NO idea what’s really going on in their own product line. They are taking miniscule steps, and sometimes not even that.

This mess of being disconnected happened over time.  It will take time to fix it, it just won’t happen overnight. I realise this. But with no real regulations in place yet to enforce the “rules” against human rights abuses- don’t expect much to really happen. Some companies may really strive to make change, but many others will do the bare minimum to make themselves more marketable and continue to abuse because it is easier to just do nothing. Where does the abuse stop?

I don’t think there is anyone out there (aside from maybe a few people with some severe mental issues) who would willingly want to commit these abuses with their purchases. But we are often left with little choice, or are led to believe marketing propaganda or ethical claims. So why does this continue to happen?

Admitting you are part of the evil is the first step. This does take courage.  Auditing your suppliers is the next. Taking action to stop the abuses and use non-abusing suppliers is the next step. Incorporating a strategic business policy that will prevent human rights abuses as much as humanly possible– this should be legislated.

I am in the process of making up more detailed questions to send back to the companies, about their continuing abuses and how they are planning to stop it in the future. Hopefully I will get more than the same old stock line this time. Hopefully I will get one step closer to the truth.

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