Checking out Sourcemap may make you a little sick to your stomach but I still recommend you take a look.
Sourcemap was created by the MIT Media Lab in order to let people know where products come from, what they are made of, and how they can impact people and our environment. It is a crowdsourced directory of supply chains and environmental footprints, covering industries ranging from food products to clothing to diamonds. I encourage you to explore the site but to give you an example of the kind of information you can find out, I looked up the findings for a typical running shoe.
Typical Running Shoe
When you look at an athletic shoe, think oil. Some shoes contain cotton, leather, and/or trace amounts of natural rubber. But what you lace up before pounding the pavement is probably an assortment of industrial chemicals, derived from hydrocarbons. This map was produced as part of an ongoing series in Conservation magazine. In each issue, we create or feature a different Sourcemap and explore the supply chains of everyday stuff.
You may be surprised to find out that some products which seem as though they would have a large supply chain actually do rather well, and other ones you thought would be small actually encompass tens of points around the world to manufacture. Check out Sourcemap and learn more about where your favorite products come from.
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