Hi Sean, thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I don’t have any confirmation that Sunny Co used an overseas manufacturer. This is just my speculation based on other business models I’ve seen.
While you’re right that worker exploitation is rampant overseas, it’s also very possible to source your product from an ethical supplier. In fact, Alibaba has helped lift many Chinese workers out of poverty. In these cases, buying from them is actually a huge benefit for the poor and the only thing being “exploited” is the strength of the dollar vs. that of foreign currencies.
Finally, whichever method they chose, there was hardly any “comfort” involved for Sunny Co. They had to figure out how to fulfill 50,000 orders (there’s no way they were dropshipping all of those from overseas).