Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why you should care deeply about CPSIA

When I was a kid growing up my dad regularly participated in craft fairs. He would sell his hand carved spoons, I would barter away his hand carved spoons for toys. I had a soft box, an apron that held all of my crayons and many other things. To say that I have been supporting handmade all of my life is no understatement.

It goes well with my commitments to buy local, fair trade and support women run businesses. After the major toy scares of last winter, I made a point this year to buy more American, more from small companies and more handmade. For my niece I got a rockin' cape from Ellie Bellie Kids. For M I got a sweet little frog from Crabtree Studio. (who is local and hand made) I also got a couple of great shirts from Harrilu, amazing people who gave me a discount for being a volunteer at the No Coast Craft Show. (because every little monster needs a little monster shirt).

M's birthday is coming up in April, and I had planned on further stocking her kitchen with a collection of crocheted fruits and veggies and other food from Etsy and local artists. Unfortunately if the big toy manufactures and their organization get their way, I will be supporting law breakers to get anything made by hand, by caring and wonderful small businesses owners, here in the US. (and some imports as well)

After the scares last winter everyone overreacted. While the recalls involved Chinese made toys from large corporations, now every person who sells something intended for children under the age of 12 must do major testing on their products. Testing that in nearly ever case costs far more than they would ever dream of making selling it. ($4000 per item) It also virtually kills artists who reuse things like old sweaters and vintage fabrics.

You can help though. You can contact your congress person, you can learn more about it, you can write your own post. You can help save handmade. No one wants less safe for kids, we just want the focus to be on the right things, and not put the important small business owners out of business (since everyone seems to agree that they are the heart of a good economy).

Save people like My Friend Jess, Plushroom Soup, Wild Oats, Hazel & Melvin's Room, Critterbee and so many others.

Help? Please?

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