I'm a huge fan of mom and pop businesses. Like my favorite bowmaker, Karyn, who runs Little Pink Ladybug. But she's closing her business as of February 10, 2009. Not because she WANTS to, but because she HAS to. Likewise, many sellers on my favorite addiction, Etsy, will have to shut down. I love to get second-hand clothes at great deals, but I won't be able to anymore, from garage sales or consignment stores. And do you love going to the handmade crafts sections at fairs and such? Well, no more buying childrens products there, or selling them yourselves.
New Product Safety Legislation Needs Clarifications Now
Urge Your Members of Congress to Help Now
In August 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) (PL 110-787) was passed by Congress to strengthen product safety laws to ensure only safe and compliant products are sold to our nation's children. While well-intentioned, this legislation imposes several new and burdensome requirements that increase costs at a time of economic upheaval but that do not offer any improvement in the safety of children's clothing or footwear.
Urge your members of Congress today to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop a pragmatic approach to the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Strengthening our product safety system is an important goal, but this can only be achieved if there are predictable and commonsense regulations that address safety risks.
In "mom" words:
Congress passed an act called the CPSIA - its intent is to keep lead and phthalates out of childrens' products. Which is obviously great. HOWEVER, this act means that everyone who sells products intended for children will have to test each and every one of their products for lead/phthalates. If someone knits baby booties, they'll have to test each yarn they use, and each dye lot of that yarn. Each test costs upwards of $1k. In other words, as of 2/10/09, most small businesses dealing with childrens' products are going to be forced to close up shop.It's not just toys - it's clothing, cloth diapers, cribs, strollers, slings - EVERYTHING meant for children under 12. And it's not just businesses, large or small - consignment stores cannot sell untested/uncertified clothing. **You yourself cannot sell untested/uncertified clothing on eBay, message boards, or even in a garage sale.
Please, please, please take the small amount of time that it will take to email your Representatives and Senators to let them know of this huge problem. Whether you create things by hand yourself, or enjoy being able to buy something beautiful and support a fellow mom or dad. Even if you haven't ever bought something handmade, chances are you know or knew someone that this will affect.
Places to find out more information and to sign petitions/email your Reps:
Etsy's Open Letter
CapWiz - they'll email your Reps for you, with your info
Handmade Toy Alliance
National Bankruptcy Day - they have a petition to sign in the colum on the right, as well as updates.