This is reposted from Cool Mom Picks, a blog dedicated to helping cool moms pick cool things. As a cool mom and a lover of cool things, it only makes sense that I would be a reader. The following is something important for all lovers of handmade items--especially toys.
So many of you have written to us out of concern regarding the new Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, that we created this page as a source of information, resources and breaking news.
If you want to help spread the word, you can post this button on your blog or website. It's our hope that together, we can encourage Congress to amend the act so that we can both keep our children safe and protect the handmade toys and clothing that we love so much.
Adorable handmade bear image courtesy of Bumblebird--a true artist worth saving! And design by Laurie Smithwick of LEAP Design.
We're all for strengthening the safety standards of mass-produced toys, clothes, and accessories made in China, and banning toxins like phthalates and lead. But this year, congress passed the ill-conceived Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, a law 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. The very same ones that we often feature here and in our yearly special edition gift guides.
With this act going into effect February 10 2009 so many people we love will be affected: 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 goods. Not without investing tens of thousands of dollars into third-party testing and labeling, just to prove that toys that never had a single toxic chemical in them still don't have a single toxic chemical in them.
How to Get Involved -- it only takes 5 minutes of your time!
-Find your congress personand 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.
-Send an email directly to the CPSC or contact chairperson Nancy Nord at 301-504-7923
-Vote for amending the law on Change.org, digg style: With enough votes it will be presented to President Obama in January!
-Place the Save Handmade! button on your blog or website to help spread the word to everyone you know who cares about protecting the little guy and preserving beautiful items made with love for our children.
-The Handmade Toy Alliance (check out their proposed changes, a lot of which make a whole lot of sense)
-CPSIA Facebook Group
-CPSIA information group on ning
-Z Recommends: Five steps you can take to save natural toys (excellent reading)
-Handcrafivist Channel on youtube with updated news stories and videos
-The Smart Mama
-Etsy business forums (including this specific thread on local media coverage
-Twitter: Search using the #CPSIA hashtag
-Endangered Whimsy - a blog gallery of handmade products endangered by the CPSIA. Feel free to submit yours.
-Video: Handmade Portraits
-Excellent letter from Rick Woldenberg, Chairman of Learning Resources, to CPSC on improvements to the act. Also see the You Tube videos in which he addresses the CPSC panel in November. Well worth a watch. (1 of 3)
Press, related posts and late-breaking news
Fantastic response from Senator Majority Leader Patrick Leahy (D-VT): I am hopeful that the CPSC will take the needs of small, American manufacturers into consideration as they continue to develop new testing policies. In the next session of Congress, I will continue to work towards a solution that both ensures the safety of our children and allows small businesses in Vermont to stay competitive. (Other Senators, take note!)
Celebrity Baby Blog - with great sample letter to Congress
WSMV 4 Nashville news segment (inspired in part by our post, yay!)
Digital Journal article: "New child product safety law threatens all US homecraft businesses" (with great mentions about how reselling items on Ebay and Craig's List will also be illegal)
Boston Herald: "Small toy stores fear new US regulations" (Promising quote: according to Brin Frazier, spokesman for Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce... “Manufacturers and distributors already selling safe toys that comply with the new standards should not have to incur prohibitive costs for compliance.”)
Activism alert: Etsy artists band together and send handmade toys to Congressman Rush
Patriot Ledger Editorial: "New law to put thousands of out work"
Boing Boing: "Consumer safety rule could drive crafters out of business"
Mothering.com: "Good intentions lead to catastrophic results for the natural toy industry"
Wall Street Journal: "Vendors urge relaxed lead safety rule" (despite the misleading headline)
DaddyTypes: "Is CPSC's new lead regulation going to wipe out the baby non-industrial complex next February?"
Eco Child's Play: "New consumer safety laws will make handmade, natural toys illegal"
Mom-101: "In support of work-at-home moms and other reasons to defeat the CPSIA act"
ETSY open letter on CPSIA
Startup Nation: Will CPSIA affect you? Have some news for us or want more info?
Contact Liz and Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org with SAVE HANDMADE in the subject.
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