Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A safer alternative

The fact that I'm head over heals for Etsy is old news, but there's a newcomer on the scene that has me watching, Dawanda. Dawanda is an untapped new source for Handmade goodies! Dawanda, though smaller scaled then Etsy, and with prices noted in Euros, is a great place to find unique goods with that oh so chic euro flair. Most of the sellers are european and many manage Etsy shops as well. The majority of my etsy shopping revolves around handcrafted safe toys for my daughter. I too have taken the pledge to buy handmade and I do whenever possible. There is really something special about contacting the creator of a product directly and receiving the custom made treatment, it also feels great to be supporting a fellow artist or designer, many of them SAHM. There seems to be a whole movement out there of parents who are demanding more responsibly made playthings for there children, be it lead free, hand made, phthalate free, organic, fair trade, waldorf or montessori inspired, etc. If you asked me it's about time! toys aren't just toys anymore and it's up to us as parents to monitor what is suitable for our children to put in their mouths, cribs, strollers and rooms. The daily recalls issued against those heaps of mass produced plasticy things is mindboggling, sure it's great to get a bargain, but when manufacturers start cutting costs, you have to think who's paying for it. Don't just take my word for it though, try reading The Walmart Effect. PBS recently ran a story on toxic toys in the US, specifically Phthalates in rubbers and plastics, check out the video here. I'm not saying all mass production is evil there are lots of great manufacturers out there, though quality generally has it's price. Enter sites like Etsy and Dawanda where you can get quality handcrafted wares priced without the overhead of regular retailers. It's worthwhile to check and compare prices though, I've seen the same listings on Etsy for $25 usd listed on Dawanda as 25 Euros!

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