A website to learn about product supply chains
Knowing whether the "made in Italy" t-shirt you just bought, was really made in Italy has never been more difficult. We all know it, tracking down the entire supply chain of a product in this global economy is a real challenge, however not everybody seems to be afraid of it. The MIT Media Lab has created Sourcemap, a spinoff to make things a bit easier.
Consumers who want to learn about how the things they buy impact people and the environment can check out the open directory of supply chains and environmental footprints. While the map allows consumers to understand where their products really come from in order to choose the most ethical things, companies can communicate transparently with their customers, telling the story of the products and increasing visibility into their supply chain.
Although this new tool could really help us be more conscious about our choices, Sourcemap, like any other open platform, still has some big limits: some data are extremely generic and there is no way to verify the information entered in the directory.
However Sourcemap is building a network for supply chain management that could be very useful for consumers, especially if it developed a feature that allowed companies and individuals to confirm their identities, in order to verify the data they insert in the directory.