This information just came in from one of our loyal Smarty Sponsors, Spencer Daniel, with the Divine Consign Show. And unfortunately, it’s not good news for their business. The Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is scheduled to take effect February 10th, and was passed by Congress last year in response to widespread recalls of products that posed a threat to children, including toys made with lead or lead-based paint. Let me preface this with there is a lot of gray area in this new law and it will be extremely difficult to enforce, but here’s the deal.
From the LA Times on 1/2/09, “Barring a reprieve, regulations set to take effect next month [Feb. 10] could force thousands of clothing retailers and thrift stores to throw away trunkloads of children’s clothing. This new law is aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children. It mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and under (including clothing) be tested for lead and phthalates. Those that haven’t been tested will be deemed hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.” Click here to read the full story in the LA Times.
Clearly there are two sides to this law. Supporters say the measure is drastically needed. Yes, I agree, we absolutely need to have laws in place to protect our children and what they are exposed to. However, this seems to go against the green movement. Umm, did they think about our landfills and the good ‘ole green motto “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”? The new law if left as is will drastically affect US-based makers of handcrafted toys and handmade clothes. Don’t you think including clothing in this mix is a little excessive? Think about the impact on trunk lines, local consignment sales, mompreneurs, eBay, etsy, Craig’s List, our own Smart e-Place, Goodwill thrift shops, etc. – this is HUGE! Small businesses in particular will not be able to afford the high cost to test their products. Not to mention, we’re not going to be able to sell any of our hand-me-downs manufactured pre-Feb 10th, unless you can show proof that your items have been tested (OK, that seems realistic!). No more big consignment checks for me selling 4 kids’ worth of clothing each season. The amount of money I spend on clothing will drastically increase if I can’t shop the consignment sales too. This is a big deal in my world!
There is a possibility of a partial reprieve by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But they don’t have authority to change the law. Bottom line – as of February 10, 2009, consignment sales, Craig’s List, eBay, etc. will be forever changed when it comes to selling any items geared towards children. Divine Consign will not have a spring 09 show (at this point, unless some changes are made with the CPSIA), which is such a bummer. We won’t be able to resell or even donate our pre-Feb 10th children’s items, which means all of this stuff will have to go to landfills at this point. Seems to me that Congress may need to take a closer look at this one. I don’t think our economy can handle another blow of this magnitude. Let’s hope for a reprieve – there HAS to be a reprieve!
What do you think?