The battle continues to save homemade, but the scope of the war is larger than I had realized.
In response to the discovery of harmful levels of lead and phthalates in mass-produced toys, Congress has passed the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, which goes into effect on February 10th. This act requires mandatory third-party testing for specific sarety standards and (permanent) labelling of compliance.
The cost of this well-intentioned act, when put into practice, would put a lot of small companies out of business, companies who have never had any safety issues with their products.
The Act also applies to jewelry, blankets, clothing- pretty much anything that could be construed as marketing to children.
Stop to consider how many jobs that will impact, in an economy already returning record levels of unemployment.
The Act will shut down entire sectors of Etsy– creative entrepeuners being punished, in effect, for the sins of big business.
It would take down those individuals who sell their wares at craft fairs, as well.
And, as Trent at the Simple Dollar points out, this will mean that children’s clothing will no longer be available for purchase at secondhand stores; causing consignment shops like Once Upon a Child to fold, and ultimately directing all used children’s clothing to landfills.
I would assume that this would make it technically illegal to sell your used children’s goods at yard sales, as well.
Save homemade! Save secondhand!
Think about it… if this Act holds as it stands, the only products we will have available next christmas to buy for our children will be the mass-produced crap sold at Toys R Us, Walmart (Walmart and McDonalds, the only two companies who gained on the Dow last year, do not forget), and Target.
Save choice, save creativity, save individuality, save the entrepeneurial spirit on which the American Dream is based.
Join the fight to save handmade!
- Cool Mom Picks has compiled a comprehensive action guide.
- Join the Help Save Homemade Toys group on Facebook.
- Please help to spread the word!