Why is Norwex microfiber made in China?
This is one of the most common FAQ's I get about Norwex as a company. It is troublesome to many to see "Made in China" on Norwex's tags. But, here is why you should, in fact, be proud of that label on our products.
When Norwex came to Canada in 1999, all of the microfiber was produced by our parent company in Norway. Within a couple of years, the Norwegian plant was not able to keep up production and a new plant was needed. They searched around and found that as it turns out, you can get a Ph.D. in textile engineering in China - so they are, in many instances, far advanced in this technology.
When Norwex opened the plant in China, we were soon able to double the amount of of microfiber in an Envirocloth to 2.9 million meters - which was really quite a feat! In 2007, they were able to figure out how to get the micro-silver based agent embedded within the fiber in a way that it will not wash out, which no one has yet been able to reproduce in a textile.
Note that the plant in China is a *Norwex plant* and it is run and overseen by staff from Norway. Norwex does not manufacture, purchase from, or deal with any companies that are not fair trade or that exploit workers. As a matter of fact, before Debbie Bolton (CEO of Norwex North America) agrees to purchase from any company, she hires translators and pays an unannounced visit to the plant. She personally goes on the floors where the workers are and asks them questions and has conversations with them via the translator. If they are not happy working for their company and with their compensation, she will not purchase from them. She assures that our plant in China, overseen by Norwegian Norwex staff that live in China, is one of the cleanest, most high-tech manufacturing plants she has ever seen. I know China has a pretty sketchy background for very many things and for very many reasons, but I can assure you, any product that we carry is not made cheaply, nor are they made by children or exploited workers. This goes for all products, even those which Norwex does not manufacture.
The workers in the plant in China are hired by Norwex itself, and the plant is owned solely by Norwex. The workers are paid fair wages, have reasonable work days and real weekends, have benefits, and work in a clean, healthy facility. The standards they are held to are the same as they would be if the plant were in Canada or the US. Norwex's plant in China is the model by which all companies ought to run a Chinese manufacturing plant. So, you can feel good that by purchasing Norwex products, you are supporting Fair Trade and helping to improve the ideals of Chinese manufacturing plant working conditions!