In college during the 1960's, I began learning about Chinese history, philosophy and culture. I studied the I Ching, Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, Confucious, Taoism and Buddhism. After finishing college, these interests continued. So when Jimmy Carter and Deng Xiaoping opened the door to US-China business in 1979, I jumped at the chance and started an import-export company called Jade Mountain.
I began learning Chinese and started importing and developing appropriate technology tools and a variety of products in China. During the years since, the importing ebbed and flowed - sometimes bringing in many products, sometimes very few. I also worked on many philanthropic projects in Tibet and other western China provinces. You can see a more complete history on the Sustainable Village History & Vision web page.
In 2007, I got more serious again about this kind of business. China was developing at an incredible pace, tens of millions of people were moving out of poverty; but, the environmental and social impact was often catastrophic. I felt that helping to make even a small shift in China was equivalent in planetary terms to a huge shift in America.
As an example of how quickly China changed, see the pictures below. I took the picture on the left in 1980. 25 years later, things looked a little different!
For most of 2007 and 2008 I either lived in China or stayed busy planning a return trip. I visited factories, companies, and trade shows in over 20 cities.
The world-wide economic crisis that hit during the fall of 2008 created some very difficult conditions; but I also felt, some intriguing business opportunities. In the US, large businesses needed to take less risks and make smaller orders. Medium sized businesses needed to become more competitive and find ways to decrease their costs. Chinese companies needed to find new ways to keep orders flowing and their factories open.
I felt these conditions created a need for a new kind of service, a logistics resource that could represent both import and export companies in a way that would allow importers to place smaller orders without losing their buying power or the large order shipping discounts. I started working on finding ways to do this and Green China Direct was born.
As much as possible, I would like to avoid working with competing companies. I'm finding just one good client per product category and distribution area. This approach feels a little like setting up an adoption agency. I'm looking for good "product parents" for each company I've made friends with in China. More than half the products listed on this website already have "good homes." Depending on the situation, we can set your company up directly, refer you to a distributor if you have a store, or to a dealer if you want to buy something for yourself.
Please send questions, suggestions, and inspirations.
I hope we can find a good way to work together!
Are popular priorities like job creation, pollution prevention, climate change, and localization at odds with doing business with China?