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Me, My Stuff, and WHY WE ARE DOING THIS

This spring, the sixth graders learned all about where our stuff, and specifically our shoes, comes from. In our classes, we learned that there are many ways to be an engaged consumer. The purpose of this website is to help you understand how you can be an engaged consumer, too.

It’s important to be an engaged consumer when you are shopping, because it’s good to know what is going on in the world around you. It can even feel exciting to realize how connected you are to the world and the people who make the things we buy. The ways in which our stuff connects us to people and places around the world is called globalization, and globalization isn’t going away any time soon. Globalization also helps to explain why companies outsource, or send their companies overseas. By doing this, they can obtain cheaper labor and resources, then sell their products for lower prices. This is why so many of our products are now made in Asia, and not in the United States.

During our expedition, we conducted a survey to ask people in our community which factors were most important to them when they were buying shoes. When we analyzed our data, it showed that “Quality and Comfort,” “Price and Look,” and “Style” were the most important factors. The least important factors that people thought about were a “Company's Working Conditions” and “Where It’s Made.”  This showed us that we should inform the community more about a company's working conditions and where shoes are made. This is why we made this website: before you buy your next pair of shoes, this website will make it easy for you to find out more about how the workers live and whether or not they are being treated fairly and safely.

Written by: Alexandra Felton and Benjamin Wolf-Wagner