The Handmade Toy Alliance is a great resource for anyone looking to buy ethical, handmade and safe toys for their kids. The alliance is a large group of toy makers, retailers and product manufacturers who are striving to protect and preserve handmade and unique children's products in America.
Here is some background from their website: In 2007 it was found that some large toy manufacturers who outsourced their production
to China and other developing countries were selling toys with dangerously high lead content or
unsafe small parts, unsecured and easily swallowed
small magnets or made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost
every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.
The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act , or CSPIA in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.
All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and to update their molds to include batch labels.
For small toymakers and manufacturers of children's products, however, the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.
The CPSIA forgot to exclude the class of children's goods that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys, clothes, and accessories made by small businesses where the owners are personally involved in the creation of their goods. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children's products will no longer be legal in the US.
You can support these small businesses fighting to get the law changed and to keep real choice in kids products available to the public by remembering to support handmade when you are shopping for kids clothes or toys.
The Play Store -a wonderful online toyshop.
Craftsbury Kids another great resource for natural toys and clothing.