Many of us have been distressed at the number of incidents of unsafe items for sale in our stores, and we have been particularly concerned regarding toys for our children. I personally was delighted to see Congress take rapid action to improve the safety of products in America.
But there are serious issues with the new bill, and they will impact handmade indie artisans in such as way that they will have to close their shops. I stumbled upon a post by Liz and Kristen from CoolMomPicks.com, and here is their explanation of the issue -
Of course we’re all for strengthening the safety standards of mass-produced toys made in China, and banning toxins like phthalates and lead. But this year, the CPSC passed the ill-conceived Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act which goes into effect in two months and will absolutely decimate the small toy manufacturers, independent artisans, and crafters who have already earned the public trust.
They will all go out of business. Period.
Moms who sew beautiful handmade waldorf dolls out of home, artists who have spent decades hand-carving trucks and cars out of natural woods, that guy at the craft show who sold you the cute handmade puzzle–even larger US companies who employ local workers and have not once had any sort of safety issue will no longer be able to sell their toys. Not without investing tens of thousands of dollars into third-party testing and labeling, just to prove that toys that never had a single chemical in them still don’t have a single chemical in them.
In other words, handmade toys will now be illegal.
So many of our handmade artisans are simply pleading for your help. Here’s what you can do:
Find your congress person and senators and write a letter like the sample here, particularly if they serve on the consumer protection subcommittee.
Send a letter directly to the CPSC.
Join the Handmade Toy Alliance and check out their proposed changes to the act which make a whole lot of sense.
Vote for amending the law on Change.org, digg style: With enough votes it will be presented to President Obama in January!
Spread the word to everyone you know who cares about helping the little guy, particular in today’s economy.
Thanks mamas. We know we can help make a difference and preserve this important cottage industry, keep good honest people in business, and protect the playthings we all love best of all.
Liz and Kristen and the whole CMP staff
Edited to add: It would seem this act impacts not just toys, but all children’s products including clothing, hair accessories, shoes - pretty much everything we feature on CoolMomPicks.com. Please please, if you do one thing today, shoot off an email or two, will you?
Have you emailed your representative yet?