Know what you're ordering - the topic of the day is product safety

Affordability attracts you to shop - know the risks

Product safety affects us all, but we may take it for granted because we are used to strict laws and standards regulating what can be sold in Finland.

However, the situation becomes more complicated when purchases are made outside of Europe from countries where supervision is much weaker. For example, the popularity of online purchases from China is increasing, which worries many different parties, because there may be serious deficiencies in product safety and working conditions.

At this point, someone might think that products made in China are sold here too, doesn't it matter where they were bought?

However, this is not the case, because the online purchases made by the consumer from China are not subject to the same kind of supervision as, for example, purchases by an importing company. If the product you ordered from outside the EU is not what you expected, or causes problems later, you cannot claim compensation within Finland, but you are responsible.

This is a big challenge, because it often involves issues affecting health and well-being.

Yle MOT: Toxic chemicals in the products of online store Shein

Yle MOT recently published a story about the Chinese fast fashion giant Shein, which has been in the headlines before, e.g. because of a revealing document about harsh working conditions. An investigation commissioned by Yle MOT revealed that the products ordered from Shein contained various substances harmful to health.

  • According to the product description, the children's bag and Raincoat ordered for the study were made of safe PU-coated material, but they turned out to be made of PVC plastic and contained phthalates harmful to reproductive health.
  • Studies have found PFAS compounds in women's jackets, which may affect the immune system and even cause cancer in large quantities. According to Yle's story, PFAS compounds have been found to accumulate in the body and environment and break down very slowly.
  • Even the bracelet that arrived in the order was not what it was supposed to be, because it contained the heavy metal nickel, even though the material was stated to be zinc.

Surprises in the package

If you order products from a long distance in search of cheapness, you clearly cannot know exactly what you will get when placing the order. And this does not only apply to whether the product looks like what you ordered or not.

Yle MOT says that Shein has withdrawn products from sale as a result of the investigation, but the online store giant still has a huge selection of products whose safety remains a question mark.

In addition to product safety, Shein has previously been caught plagiarizing products from small businesses. And although Shein was now at the center of Yle's story, there are also many other similar stores.

In Finland, the importer and the manufacturer are responsible

Cheap goods attract you to shop, but it is important to be aware of what you are buying. A safe, durable product is always a better choice for both yourself and the environment.

When you buy your product from a Finnish operator, the operator is responsible for the safety of the product and the accuracy of the product information. Whether it is just the importer or the manufacturer itself, the precise regulations of Finland and the EU are behind the operation.

At Kaarnavilla, every product is Finnish, i.e. made in Finland. Part of the manufacturing material of the products has been imported from elsewhere, but the manufacturers are responsible when using the material of the product, that the materials of the products are what they should be.

We work hard to make the product lifecycle model as transparent as possible, but of course there is still work to be done. Even now, however, we can promise that every single finished Kaarnavilla product is finished in Finland.

Read Yle's article here:

Link to the MOT document:

You can read more about the topic on the TUKES website:

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