Monday, December 15, 2008
Help save handmade toys
This year I'm attempting to do it handmade. I've knitted a bunch of presents, as the last 4 days worth of posts shows, and those I haven't made myself have been purchased locally and are handmade, or on www.etsy.com, and, obviously, are handmade. Being someone who handmakes a lot of stuff, this is probably more important to me than most, but if you haven't before, please check out etsy, but don't blame me if your bank account is a lot smaller by the time you get back here! There's one exception to my handmade rule for this Christmas, but that's because I never know what to do for my dad! (Dad's are HARD to shop / knit for, right?!)
The US government, in an attempt to rectify the situation that happened about a year ago with all those toys from China that had ridiculously high lead levels, is working on legislation to make all toy manufacturers test their products for lead. Great, right? Well, for those large corporate toy manufacturers who save billions of dollars producing their toys in 3rd World Countries, sure. But what about the people who sell one or two toys a month on etsy or at county fairs? They cannot afford the $150 - $4000 it would take to test each product.
To learn more about this you can visit:
Help Save Handmade Toys from the CPSIA on facebook
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Or, Sign the Petition.
Here is a copy of the letter I wrote when I signed the petition. Please feel free to copy and paste it or write a version of your own.
I believe that it is important for North American governments to protect children from the dangers of lead poisoning, especially from large corporations importing cheaply made toys from countries that will manufacture large quantities under suspect conditions. However, handmade toys, especially those made in Canada and the US, from natural products such as wood and cotton and previous tested products such as yarn - for handknit or crocheted items - should be exempt from such costly procedures. Think of all the people who hand make one or two items to sell at county-fairs or on websites such as etsy.com who simply could not afford to test products for $150 - $4000 when they potentially only sell one or two items a month, usually for far less than $100. These are people who are trying to supplement their income or are working for the simple pleasure a hand made item brings to a child.
Please provide exemptions for items made at home, especially those using natural / pretested materials.
Your Name Here
And now back to your regularly, unpolitical, scheduled knitting.