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CPSIA: Blog-in, Updates & Clarifications

Jan 29, 2009

by Vanessa Bertozzi handmade and vintage goods

UPDATE: shared this letter with us. Click here to sign their petition.

“Ask the Consumer Products Safety Commission to Clarify New Child Products Rules to Protect Safe Handmade Toys and Clothes.”

[The following was originally posted on January 28, 2009.]

Today, bloggers are converging with a blog-in on the CPSIA issue — which has become such a huge topic of discussion for artisans and vintage sellers who sell children’s items. We encourage all of you to blog about the CPSIA today! See the Common room for more info.

Here are some of the latest headlines from the BuyHandmade blog:

Matt spoke with the CPSC and the exemptions are not yet a done deal, and they won’t be by February 10th. Congress gave the CPSC this new law, and it’s their job to figure out how to enforce it. The CPSC needs to decide which exemptions they can have within the framework of the current law. In other words, they are trying to clarify and interpret the law — and Congress wrote this law very broadly, albeit with good intentions.

This is why it’s so important for concerned crafters and vintage sellers contact their elected representatives in government. The CPSC told us that Rush & Waxman are the Congressmen who could deal directly with this issue. Please see the Etsy Action Kit for sample letters!

On the topic of exemptions, the CPSC can’t exempt groups of people (say, artisans or crafters). But they are looking at the issues of:

  • One of a kind items (OOAK)
  • Levels of production or scale of manufacturing
  • Proposed exemptions include untreated cotton, wool, leather and wood, gems, steel.

After January 30th deadline, there will be another February 17th deadline for commenting on exemptions.

See our other posts on the CPSIA issue!

RESERVED-Jack and the Beanstalk Bib
RESERVED-Jack and the Beanstalk Bib
pistachio pocket cloth diaper MEDIUM
pistachio pocket cloth diaper MEDIUM
Moss, Hair Clips
Moss, Hair Clips
Mint Julep
Mint Julep


  • daisycreek

    daisycreek said 8 years ago

    Thanks Matt and Vanessa! Thanks for getting all this info together and also for being so helpful - it's such a hard time for everyone and I know everyone is really appreciative of etsy's support :) I'm very hopeful that all our hard work will pay off and to be doing so much more business with etsy!! ~Liz

  • MelissasMelange

    MelissasMelange said 8 years ago

    Hears a cheer for all the children's sellers out there! May you get fair and well-balanced exemptions or the ability to meet the guidelines in a feasible way! Thanks Matt for passing on the info to the community at large!

  • KellesKitchen

    KellesKitchen said 8 years ago

    I will blog tonight! I want to be able to buy handmade baby booties on Etsy when our first born arrives.

  • PsycoHatress

    PsycoHatress said 8 years ago

    Thanks for all the info, Im doing my part right now!

  • ArtsAfire

    ArtsAfire said 8 years ago

    Thanks for posting about this! I blogged about it in four places today. It doesn't really affect my store (though I can't sell children's art now), but it affects my friends here and it will affect other aspects of my life. Especially when I have children! I want to be able to buy products from Etsy for them!

  • JoyandWhimsy

    JoyandWhimsy said 8 years ago

    This link lists all the Representatives of Congress for each state in case anyone needs it: And here's the link for contacting Senators: And the White House:

  • blynkenandnod

    blynkenandnod said 8 years ago

    Thank you for supporting us!

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 8 years ago

    Thank you, Etsy for keeping this issue top of mind for all!

  • GoldtoneDesigns

    GoldtoneDesigns said 8 years ago

    Thank You Etsy!

  • SpunOutOriginals

    SpunOutOriginals said 8 years ago

    Pity we can't just list country of origin of materials and/or just test materials from dodgy origins.

  • bamdesigns

    bamdesigns said 8 years ago

    thanks for the update and support. I did the blog in today!

  • breadandroses

    breadandroses said 8 years ago

    Thanks Matt & Vanessa for helping to sort the wheat from the chaff! Absolutely advocate for one of a kind and small scale production but don't forget to include commercially manufactured and dyed fabrics, common sewing notions and textile accoutrement are virtually lead free and have to included unless we want start dressing our kids in unbleached cotton feedsacks tied with unbleached cotton string. The totally untreated, undyed natural fibers exemption is woefully inadequate and unrealistic.

  • CJsFineDesigns

    CJsFineDesigns said 8 years ago

    Awesome information. If it wasn't for Etsy, I would have never known about any of this and it definitely affects me in a huge way.

  • DaisyChains

    DaisyChains said 8 years ago

    Thank you for all you guys are doing for us during this crazy uncertain time!! Hoping our voices will be heard and the exemptions can be finalized and put in place sooner rather than later.

  • Mimiandlola

    Mimiandlola said 8 years ago

    Thank You Etsy for all your help!

  • behjat

    behjat said 8 years ago

    This is great..thank you Etsy

  • yummyandcompany

    yummyandcompany said 8 years ago

    blogged here too... i have alot of buddies who make things for kids.. thanks for all the support etsy!

  • ShoozieShoes

    ShoozieShoes said 8 years ago

    Blogged and got it off my chest ;-)

  • imakecutestuff

    imakecutestuff said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for supporting the artists and craft makers (future ones too!) that support Etsy and keeping us up to date on what we can do to make a difference! Go Etsy Go!

  • SnuggleHerd

    SnuggleHerd said 8 years ago

    i posted on our EtsyAustin team blog, too! thanks to everyone who's getting involved!

  • scire4

    scire4 said 8 years ago

    Thank you!

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 8 years ago


  • raegunfabric

    raegunfabric said 8 years ago

    I did the blog in too. Do you guys know of any online pettitions/form letters that are still live?

  • tinygreenapples

    tinygreenapples said 8 years ago

    Thank you!!!

  • bubbletime

    bubbletime said 8 years ago

    Thank you SO SO much for helping!!

  • mom2twogals

    mom2twogals said 8 years ago

    Thank you guys for all of your hard work!It means so much to us all!!!!!

  • IcingOnTheCupcake

    IcingOnTheCupcake said 8 years ago

    Thank you so looks like this might be heading in a better direction! I agree with breadandroses on the fabric. This issue really does spread further than the etsy sellers with children's items. After all, if all these sellers are not allowed to sell the children's items that they love to create ...they will be forced into other creative outlets on Etsy.

  • lilbeansboutique

    lilbeansboutique said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I am off to read some more.

  • NiftyKidstuff

    NiftyKidstuff said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for the update...I did my part and blogged about it!

  • themermaidsbraid

    themermaidsbraid said 8 years ago

    I'm so glad that all of us people on the "other side of the story" are not forgotten in this issue. Thanks etsy for doing your part to amend this action. Jessica Trombley The Mermaid's Braid Since 2008

  • humblebea

    humblebea said 8 years ago

    Thank you, your help is really appreciated!

  • WhimsicalMom

    WhimsicalMom said 8 years ago

    Thank you:)

  • sweet2685

    sweet2685 said 8 years ago

    Thank you very much for this information!

  • bperry042

    bperry042 said 8 years ago

    Thanks Etsy. I blogged... twice about this. I don't really feel better about all this, but at least I know that I'm not alone in my feelings about what's happening.

  • bugbitesplayfood

    bugbitesplayfood said 8 years ago

    Thanks etsy!! I blogged today -

  • emmasgems

    emmasgems said 8 years ago

    I also did the "Blog In" yesterday. I got a few comments from people who had heard of the CPSIA but didn't really understand it until they read my blog post. So it did work as intended and got the word out to more people!

  • laraandmedolls

    laraandmedolls said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article. I am glad that they are thinking about having OOAK exempt but they need to rethink about threated cotton and wool fabric too, otherwise we all be making untreated cotton toys which would be boring. We need colors, patterns to make the toys/dolls more fun and interesting. I agree with breadandroses about children clothing...

  • LilPeasandCarrots

    LilPeasandCarrots said 8 years ago


  • StarDustPixies

    StarDustPixies said 8 years ago

    Thanks for everything you are helping us with to figure this out

  • Junienone

    Junienone said 8 years ago

    Very helpful - thanks!

  • mamapatrice

    mamapatrice said 8 years ago

    Thanks for working so hard to help keep us imformed and what we can do to help.

  • BabyinaFishBowl

    BabyinaFishBowl said 8 years ago

    I will have questions, I can't sem to find answers for. first-Untreated cotton? what the heck doesn that mean? what would it be teated with? Who will be in charge of enforcing these laws? Will all listings be removed on etsy, by etsy? if not removed by the seller? How will we know if a product has undergone testing? who can say it wasn't? Will prices be raised to compensate for testing?

  • shulamite

    shulamite said 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for keeping us all in the loop, I had no clear idea what was going on at all until I read the articles here on Etsy, and now I'm feeling a lot more clued in ^_^

  • tanyap

    tanyap said 8 years ago

    Thank you Thank you!!! We need all the help we can get :)

  • NannysDesigns

    NannysDesigns said 8 years ago

    Thank you for helping us with this big issue. Do we wait until Feb. 10th to know if this has gone through or not? Thanks again

  • ButterflyGem

    ButterflyGem said 8 years ago

    Thank you terribly for all your hard work on this matt :) your an awesome support and help to us mommies! MUWAH and huge hugs! ALicia

  • AlyTheRed

    AlyTheRed said 8 years ago

    I really appreciate the gathering of new information as it comes in. AND simplifying the links and actions we can and need to take. Thanks so much. I don't want to see those who have made safe toys all along being punished!

  • LilMissMuffin

    LilMissMuffin said 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for the hard work you have put into this! We are all hoping things get ironed out and we get to stay in business! I guess we will see in a couple weeks. God Bless!

  • Dannielle

    Dannielle said 8 years ago

    Thank you for all your hard work! You're appreciated!!

  • Legacy925

    Legacy925 said 8 years ago

    Can someone convo me and tell me if 925 sterling silver has to be tested, since it is already considered lead free? Thank you, Etsy for staying on top of this and keeping us all in the loop.

  • socksbykathy

    socksbykathy said 8 years ago

    Thanks for your help - We appreciate you !!!

  • belleofthebay

    belleofthebay said 8 years ago

    Guys, as awesome as it sounds *we cannot accept the exemptions*!!! They are trying to get us to stop by dangling the exemption carrot in front of us. You've already heard how much they have respect for us mommy-bloggers (none,) they do not believe we're intelligent enough to see what they're doing. Kathleen from Fashion Incubator says its a classic bait-and-switch. Do not let them trick you, keep at them! Kathleen from Fashion Incubator explains this all very well here: This law is too broken to be fixed by sticking fingers in the holes of a boat that is sinking. An untreated fabrics and untreated natural materials changes nothing. Children do not wear all white or off-white clothing! Have you ever heard of untreated leather? Untreated leather is just dead cow. Wood toys have to be treated with something, even if is a natural non-toxic substance like I've read an etsy seller uses. Books have ink on their pages, fabrics have printed duckies or a pretty shade of pink. All these things *would not qualify* under the proposed exemptions. And here's the problem with exempting OOAK or small businesses-everyone else will have testing certificates...except you. Do you really think parents are going to buy a product that does not have a label like all the other products in the stores, and has no proof that it is lead free? We can claim in our listings or on our sites that natural substances don't have lead, or OOAK items don't have to be tested, but it will still kill our businesses. Which one do you think a mom will choose, an appliqued shirt from Gymboree that has a label stating where it was made, batch number, and has been tested and certified to be lead-free, versus an appliqued shirt by an etsy seller with no label and simply their "word" that it is lead free? Also what if you want to sell to retailers, like many boutique sellers do? There's a little shop that has said it will look at samples of my girl's gowns, but now I will not be able to sell to them. Kathleen from Fashion Incubator also brings up the very good point that if your business is successful, you will need to expand and no longer make OOAK or small batches of your designs (as well as if a store agrees to sell even a few of your products,) and then you'll be forced to test everything. Bottom line, if we don't have our items tested to be lead free, we will not be competitive against Walmart, Target, Gymboree, and The Children's Place etc who have the $ to do the testing. And if somehow we were to be successful and sell more, we cannot grow your business, or as Kathleen describes we will be pushing against that bubble that keeps you safe from testing requirements. Grow...and you burst the bubble, and destroy your business because you likely cannot afford the testing. The bottom line is this- if you accept exemptions instead of the law being repealed or amended, then you're betting that consumers will buy products for their kids not certified lead-free, and you're betting against your business that you will not expand. Keep at your Congresspeople, Waxman, Rush, and the CPSC. Deluge them with letters, write and call daily. Nothing has changed, and if HR4040 is allowed to stand (as they seem to be saying) it will be the death of our businesses, exemptions or no.

  • beeskneesstudio

    beeskneesstudio said 8 years ago

    Anybody actually have the link for the Feb 17 public comments on exemptions? I can't find it on the CPSC site. If you have it, convo me.

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