My friend and fellow artisan, Laurie at Old School Acres, brought this to my attention today. How it’s flown under the radar for so many months, I do not know. But I am disheartened and concerned more than I can say — not only for small artisan shops like The Baby Gardner, but especially for the indie artists themselves who’s livelihood comes from their talent and their craft. The impact this measure could have on the industry as a whole is unbearable to imagine.
Sounds pretty somber, I know. I could never describe the circumstances as succinctly as Liz and Kristen from CoolMomPicks.com, so here’s the scoop in their own words…
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 past reviewees are 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.
- 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?
It almost sounds like a terrible hoax, an email chain gone too far. Wish it was. What I hope it is for all of us, is a call to action. Have you emailed your congress person today?
[This post by Business is Personal is the most thought-provoking article I've read on the issue. Check out his list of 'reasons to care.' Wow.]