Two recent cases have made me look introspectively and say what does ethics mean? I can’t clearly define ethics because it seems reactions come from experience and some sort of in-the-moment thought. But everyone (should) have their own line where they say “this is wrong”.
Case#1 Was a hammock being made for export to the USA. Needless to say, quality needed to be superior or we would have problems with this order and the possibility of losing the client. So there we were, in the factory checking the final product box by box. The material, the shipping marks and color schemes were all correct but the small hammock bags were terrible. With every box of ten we opened, approximately 20% were not sewn properly. And shipment was scheduled for a week later….
Now my first thought was how could so many be wrong and no one say anything? Then I remembered half way through inspection the workers joking with me and asking, “Why are you checking so strictly? Of course we did a good job”.
Apparently our idea of a “good job” is different.
Maybe they didn’t think being quiet about problems was ethically wrong, but it could have led to a disaster.
Case#2 A cooler for export to Western Europe. I’ll stay vague here intentionally because this case is representative of something I’d like to see improved. Client “John” comes to us and says, I like item “x” on your website and I would like to make the exact same thing with a famous company “Nike” logo…. Well, that’s copyright infringement & it’s illegal. But in addition to those, if you built a brand would you want someone to compromise it? I think most who’ve put the time into building a brand would say no.
We’re in business to make profit but ethics have to play a part.