Thursday, January 8, 2009

Help Save Handmade

I can not believe I haven't blogged about this yet. It is everywhere. I have emailed my Senators about it, called my family, and tonight when Jeremy was writing an email to our family and friends, I realized I haven't blogged about it!!!

So, doing what any good wife would do, I asked him to be a guest blogger over here tonight. So...without further adieu...Mr. B!

I would like to ask for your help in saving quality handmade children's goods from extinction in the United States. If you haven't heard about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) you can read all about it here. In summary this act will require mandatory testing and labeling for all children's products made or imported into the United States.

I'm sure all of you have heard about the recent scares with foreign-made toys containing dangerous substances. This act has the worthy goal of preventing these incidents & increasing the safety of toys and other children's products in the United States but uses a shotgun approach where a sharp-shooter is needed. It was hastily written and all of the implications were not fully realized. When this law goes into effect in 32 DAYS thrift stores will no longer be able to sell children's toys or clothing, local craft vendors at fairs or farmer's markets will no longer be able to sell products intended for children, craftspeople who supplement their income or make a living making beautiful products like this handcrafted, heirloom-quality wooden kitchen that Kim and I got the kids for Christmas will no longer be able to sell their products. Kim and I also bought two toys for Libby from this company that has already ceased distribution in the United States because of the CPSIA.

The CPSIA will burden small and large companies alike with the enormous cost of testing and labeling every product produced. Large companies will be forced to raise their prices and many small and medium-sized business will be forced to close their doors. Imagine if a law like this were passed to regulate food production. Farmer's markets would be non-existent!

If you value high-quality handmade children's goods and the freedom that craftspeople have had in this country to produce and sell these goods then I implore you to take a few minutes of your time and write your senators and congresspersons. The link that I provided above even has a pre-written letter that you can adapt or just send as-is. Please help save handmade!

One thing he didn't mention is that this will also effect yard and garage sales and Etsy. Yes, my store on Etsy would have to close. Remember the rockets that my kids got from "Santa"?? That store, along with hundreds of other amazing handmade stores would be out of business.

We can not let this happen. Go, NOW! Write your Congressmen and Senators. We have the power to change this and we will.

4 comments:

kathleen said...

Thanks Kim for publicizing this! May I also suggest visiting the War Room for up to the minute updates and focused activism? http://bit.ly/3SFN. There's also the automated mailer to email legislators in one fell swoop. http://tinyurl.com/5hloos. Lastly, we are asking people to fill out the Economic Impact Survey http://bit.ly/Cdwv. The latter link also includes every CPSIA entry published on Fashion-Incubator.com

Unrelated, good you tweeted, wouldn't have found you otherwise. Vegetarians are still hard to find.

Jen said...

While I've seen many bloggers spreading the word about this, I didn't take any action myself until you and Jeremy wrote about it. Thanks for the links that helped me write to my legislators!

Tina E. said...

I've been trying to follow everything on this, but it's tough to understand, ya know? I've been trying to figure out how this affects people giving away for FREE items? With the pregnancy center opening soon and wanting to provide material services (for free, with signed paperwork if we have to I suppose saying we are not liable for anything..blah blah) I wonder if it will be allowed. Have you seen any conversation not related to 'selling' the items?

Kim said...

Tina -- I haven't seen anywhere that talks about giving away items for free. However, I think that it would fall under the same guidelines as a second hand or thrift store.