Monday, December 15, 2008

Help Save Handmade Products

The following is from an e-mail I received by my friend Angie from Made by Angie. She's a fellow WAHM who will be affected if the law below is passed. Many of us will go out of business if this law is passed. Please take a moment to read her e-mail and help us stop this law before it's passed. And if you need a stylish diaper case make sure you check out her website. She has many adorable fabrics to choose from:)

Thank you in advance for helping out!
Jennifer


*CORRECTION* Law is already passed. I put that it wasn't, sorry about that.

In 2007, we were shocked to learn that so many of the toys our children were (are) exposed to were tainted with lead and phthalates. Large toy manufacturers outsourcing to China and other developing countries sold numerous products within the US that simply put, made kids sick.

Rightfully reacting to this mess, the US Congress cracked down on the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August 2008. Essentially, this law requires mandatory safety testing for all toys and products g eared towards children ages 12 and under.

In theory, we as parents and consumers should be thrilled with this action. However, the law lacks specifics and without modification, the reality is that thousands of small businesses who produce handmade toys and children's products will be forced to close our doors because the testing procedures are prohibitively expensive. Does this really make sense for the cloth diaper business using 100% organic cotton materials? Or the craft fair artisan that sold you a hand chisled wooden train set? Or the adorable personalized hand appliqued birthday t-shirt you just ordered from etsy.com?

On February 10, 2009 (coined "National Bankruptcy Day")-- this law will go into effect, forcing us to provide certification of thousands of dollars spent on third-party testing. Testing for chemicals that don't exist to begin with in the materials we use. Now more than ever, with our economy hanging on by a thread we need these small businesses who provide innovative, unique and SAFE products and help to keep our handmade in the USA industry thriving.

Here's what you can do to help.

1. Start by forwarding this information to everyone you know. Parents of young children are not the only ones touched by this legislation. There is a "forward" button at the bottom of this email.

2. Vote for amending the law on Change.org. With enough votes it will be presented to President Obama in January!

3. Find your congress person and senators and write a letter like the sample here. Particularly if they serve on the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection or the House Committee on Small Business.
4. Send an email directly to the CPSC or contact chairperson Nancy Nord at 301-504-7923.

5. Sign this petition, to be submitted to the CPSC.

6. Check out these additional resources: Facebook -Help Save Handmade Toys from the CPSIA and Handmade Toy Alliance

Thank you for reading!

6 comments:

Judy said...

Does this law apply only to toy makers, or do manufacturers of baby clothing have to do testing as well?

Made By Angie said...

Jennifer,
Thank you so much for posting this - we need all the help we can get. One correction, the law has already passed (George W signed it in August). Anything that happens before it goes into effect in Feb 09 will be either a modification or amendment.
Judy, the law does not only apply to toy makers - although it was written as a result of the lead content in toys manufactured in China in '07 - it applies to manufacturers, large and small (large may be in a better position to pay for testing) who have products geared toward children 12 and under. Yes, clothing applies.

Little Piddles said...

Thanks Angie for catching that error. I made a correction note under what I wrote. I have a lot fo peopel passing this along. Thank you again for allowing me to use your info you sent me.

ratzerfratzer said...

Thank you for posting this article. As a small business owner/designer/manufacturer, I feel I'm continuously beating my head against a wall. The cost of manufacturing, advertising, materials, etc is too high in the US, but my volume doesn't warrant going overseas. I finally hit on a product that is selling well in a major retailer, Target, and now I have received three certification requirements in 1 week. I don't even know where to start...but I'm sure it's going to cost money. Very disappointing. The plight of the small business owner in the US is greatly misunderstood and under serviced by government.

Little Piddles said...

Ratzerfratzer-
I just went on Target's website and see the brushes. That is fantastic that you got them to carry your line! Research testing. Some say it costs a lot and some say not so much. Hopefully it's on the not so much side so you can keep selling them like crazy! Best of luck!

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