In Praise of Etsy Soap Makers

I hope I haven’t tried the patience of my UK Twitter followers too much lately with my tweets drawing attention to the shortcomings of the proposed Safe Cosmetics Act which is the brainchild of the arch donation-hungry scaremongers the EWG. It is a very silly bit of legislation which would cost manufacturers and taxpayers a lot of money while not making cosmetics one jot safer.

 

Funnily enough, I think it would be quite beneficial for me personally.  Despite this, I hope the Americans aren’t daft enough to pass it.  I have a number of reasons for this, and I thought I would share one of them in this post.  There is a great tradition in America of small scale soap production.  There are a few people who make soap in the kitchen or garage and sell it in Britain.  But over the Atlantic is a well established thing to do with an infra-structure to back it up, a guild you can join and quite a vibrant on-line community.  For quite a few of these people it is profitable enough to be their source of income.  They sell at farmer’s markets and in local shops.

A lot of them sell on Etsy, and if you ever want to be reminded of the great creativity human beings are capable of just have a browse through the bath and beauty section of the Etsy website.

Here a few I particuarly like:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/51397352/celebrations-soap-cake-in-beautiful?ref=sc_3

http://www.etsy.com/listing/51995815/lick-me-all-over-soapsicle-glycerin-soap?ref=cat2_gallery_8

http://www.etsy.com/listing/53034708/morning-bagels-soap-set-3pack-vegan?ref=cat2_gallery_25

Fun and interesting as these products are, they are still cosmetic products.  According to the proposed act, none of these will be marketable without extensive safety data being generated and reviewed by the government.
The small soap makers might make great soap, but they make a lousy political lobby.  There aren’t many of them and they don’t have much money.  They are also spread all over the place, so they can’t even vote on bloc.  I have a feeling that nobody is going to take them into account when deciding whether or not to support the bill.

 

  I think it would be a great shame if any of them got put out of business.  There is something about making something yourself and then selling it that is just so satisfying.  The world is already full of big conglomerates that seem determined to drive all character and personality out. I’d hate to see this act giving them a further helping hand.

2 thoughts on “In Praise of Etsy Soap Makers

  1. Pingback: Colin has something interesting stuff to say about soap. «

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