Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The Future of Handmade Toys
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend...we sure did! The 10K went great and I was very pleased with my time...and Lovebug's birthday went perfectly! I'll share details, pics, and all of that later this week once I download and go through the ridiculous amount of photos that were taken :)...
I wanted to pop in today though and bring your attention to this in regard to handmade toys. Many of you probably already have heard about it, but it's called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). It does ALOT of good like banning lead and phthalates, and requires certification and thirty-party testing on all toys. Which sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Except for all of the WAHMs, WAHDs, and artisans that lovingly handmake beautiful toys within their homes and sell on sites like Etsy...Their toys would be "illegal" unless they send out their toys for third-party testing which apparently costs quite alot per toy! It also affects textiles and clothing for children as well!!!!
Nearly all of the clothes, shoes, slings, toys, etc. etc. we buy for Lovebug are from artisans off of Etsy using natural, organic, and recycled materials...are these wonderful sellers no longer going to provide us with all of these beautiful handmade products??!!! I'm VERY concerned...
There is alot of info at the Handmade Toy Alliance, and then some posts here, here, here, and a page of links on the Etsy forum page...and then some good info at National Bankruptcy Day. This law goes in affect after February 9th and it's already passed and been signed...but people are calling their Congresspeople, calling and emailing CPSC officials found here, and signing petitions here, amongst other things to have the bill altered. This also is affecting brands like German-based Selecta (love them), whom says they are no longer going to be distributing toys to the U.S. because of the new high testing costs!
I love this paragraph from Z Recommends:
If the first major consumer legislation to pass Congress in decades pushes the safest toys out of the market, leaving only those companies that have cared the least about chemical safety and thus are in the most robust financial position to undertake new expenses, we will all be poorer for it.
and this one as far as what should be done:
We believe the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Congress should immediately issue more detailed and targeted guidelines and clarifications which protect reputable natural toy companies as well as offering intelligent ways for small, independent manufacturers to continue producing and selling their products.
Obviously, we want the toys and clothing we buy for Lovebug to be as safe as possible! However, we ALSO want to support small artisans/companies making natural/organic/recycled products before we support large ones! I am just so confused as far as what needs to be done. It really seems that small companies are going to suffer with all of this even though the biggest offenders are typically the large ones.
We just bought a set of these beautiful wooden keys for Lovebug's birthday and they are adorable!! The seller, Mamaroots, was so wonderful and customized them for Lovebug, used non-toxic watercolors, and then sealed them with beeswax. Have the keys been tested by a third party to ensure all of that?? No. There is a trust that is out there within the community of Etsy...which I know, isn't always justified, because I'm sure there are sellers NOT using safe materials and NOT being honest about the materials used in their products...BUT that is why you convo with the seller, you read their feedback, you research, and you make sure you're comfortable before ordering from someone.
I just don't know...I'm really at a loss here. I am going to sign a petition for sure...but as far as the answer to all of this, I just don't have one...
What are your thoughts?? Any new info anybody has or had you even heard of this before now? How much do you think this will actually affect you? I'd love to hear from everybody...