By Regi Partamian
Dec 03, 2018 Leave a comment
Thoughts on Work Ethics and Division of Labor During a Period of Shopping Mania


Something we take pride in is that our jewelry pieces are designed and made in our workshop in Laval, Quebec. MAVA consists of a small team of skillful and hardworking jewellers, designers and photographers who work together to provide a work of novelty to the world.


During these times of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the winter holidays, it’s only normal that we want to find the best deals around. We work hard for our money, so it’s hard to just spend it away. We scurry to the next store that offers an amazing sale or we skim through our emails that have been bombarded with promising newsletters and discount codes.


Something that’s been pricking in the back of my mind is the labor force that is behind the immense shopping spree that unfolds during these times. Whether it’s the worker that is at the end of the production line or the person delivering gifts and goodies to people’s doorsteps, how are they dealing with all of this?


Once in a while on the news there are headlines of big companies such as Apple or Nike who are accused of bad labour practices and mistreatment of their employees. They do some minor tweaks here and there, either implementing somewhat better working standards or relocating to more obscure export processing zones, these areas that are exempt from national tariffs and laws, and voilà, case dismissed.


I learned a term in my geography studies that remains etched in my mind; the ‘stretching of social relations’. Simply put, the line that exists between producer and buyer becomes more and more distant in the complex division of labour, which in turn brings about an emotional disconnection. The appreciation and the humane transaction that should normally exist amongst people is forgotten.


Yes, it is the way the world turns. It is what drives companies to be competitive and to generate commodities at low costs. We were even pondering over the idea of relocating our workshop to places that would probably help chop our prices in half. This could risk chopping the quality of our jewelry as well. We are not saying that every relocation is a bad move, or that skilled workers can’t be found elsewhere. Speaking from experience, we can tell that the logistics becomes more problematic when supervising more employees in different localities, and this can bring about a lower quality products and customer dissatisfaction.


Times are changing. The world is becoming more aware of labour malpractices. And our goal here at MAVA is to thin out this ‘stretching of social relations’ and to interact with buyers more. We want to provide handcrafted jewelry to a clientele that not only seeks a unique piece of jewelry, but also a humane exchange with artists. We don’t want our clients to feel like they have been cheated into buying cheap trinkets, but instead we want to confide in them that what they have invested in will eventually become a family heirloom in their home, a valued piece of art to be passed on to future generations.



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