Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hello lemon, meet lemonade

Okay y'all (and I don't say that word often because I'm not from the South I've just been living here for 17 years, but when I do it's usually a sign of desperation), I'm seriously bummed and looking at a ton more work I have to do because today is doomsday for the small crafters in America (okay, not doomsday but it's darn serious) --February 10th, 2009, the day the CPSIA goes into effect. What in the world is she talking about? Well, I'll tell you to the best of my ability.

Remember a few years ago when there was a huge mess with product recalls of children's toys/products from China due to the fact they contained dangerous amounts of lead and something called phthalates? In reaction to that, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) made new rules about how much lead and phthalates could be present in children's products and it goes into effect today. There's a huge stink among manufacturers and small crafters about how the act was written and how difficult its enforcement will be and who will do the testing and the fact that as it is written it includes things like books in libraries and second-hand stores, etc. , etc. But one rather large problem it poses for the small crafter is the exhorbitant cost it will take to have their products tested -- under the law as it stands at this point.

I've been sitting on this information for quite some time, quietly signing petitions online and urging the powers that be for new rules and regs in various and sundry ways, just hoping against hope that something will change and the rules will be fair for all and most importantly that products will be safe for the country's children. All the fuss has stirred things up enough in Washington that two important things have happened so far:

First, the CPSC has exempted certain items from testing in a recent memo such as wool, cotton, pearls to name a few. And in other HUGE news, the CPSIA issued a stay of enforcement which postpones the enforcement of the act for 1 year so that it can be properly reviewed and hopefully re-worked during that time so it is amenable to all. Okay, so maybe I was being a little melodramatic using a word like doomsday, but I am feeling the pressure to comply sooner rather than later so there is no ambiguity about my products.

I can tell you that most of my items are completely fine but where I run into trouble is in the area of buttons. Buttons, buttons and more buttons. When deciding what to do, I took the "out of the box" approach and decided that I'd simply MAKE my buttons out of the same materials I use to make my booties. I will do the same thing for the buttons found occasionally on my hats. So my world isn't ending, the bunnies are in the clear, jewelry is fine (for adults), I'm making mountains out of molehills perhaps, but simply put...it's just...more...work. Whew.

Luckily, there are alliances and highly determined folks out there fighting for a reasonable amendment to the CPSIA before it is enforced next year at this time. Whether you think this law directly affects you or not, you're bound to see some changes, after all it doesn't just apply to children's toys, it applies to ALL childrens products (for kids under 12--I guess at 13 we can give them all the lead we want--oh, I'm getting catty!) from diapers to barrettes to clothing, books and school supplies. Hmmm, I wonder what the spiral in spiral notebooks has in it?

So you'll notice a new button style on my booties that, while it's adorable, will hopefully look more boyish on the boy booties than the pink one above. You may not agree, but I'd be willing to assert that this new design, while still functioning as well as a traditional button, is actually a whole lot cuter. And don't worry, hopefully tomorrow I'll be back to posting like my normal self.


Pamela said...

I read a lengthy article yesterday that it may put virtually all thrift shops - now in more demand than ever - out of business. No more second hand toys!

You petition away! Write to your congressman!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Oh, I've been hoping this would all just go away. Feel free to e-mail me any links you have that need signing (puffthemagicrabbit@gmail.com).

As for the lemonade- totally cute booties.

women-on-the-rise said...

i just wanted to let you know that the government has issued a stay for the next 12 months, you can read about it on etsy.
great news:)Your booties are selling like gangbusters in my store.