Many many toy makers out there are still unaware of the law and what they need to do to CE mark their toys. This can be frustrating for the toy makers who go through the tests of CE, as CE testing may push your prices up, as well as feel like you’ve done it all for ‘nothing’ (obviously that’s just not true!) Its not surprising we all feel a little CE rage now and then! There is little worse than setting up at a craft fair and finding a toy maker next door/over the way just not complying!
Approaching a maker and pointing it out will often cause panic and fear as well as make a person feel criticised – a recipe for disaster, and not a good way to make friends. From experience we often find that the onset of the CE blocks is harder to overcome when its begun in fear, and good toy makers give up which is not what we want at all. Many of us started our CE marking journeys this way and its just not a nice way to begin what could be a beautiful business!
So what can we do? Largely whats important is that your own toys comply with the law, because then you as a maker can do your bit to raise awareness on toy making and its safety aspect. If we can raise enough awareness that we catch the toy makers before they start, they will miss all the heartache of having toys that they can’t legally sell, or a stash of fabric they can’t use, and they can take on the challenge of CE marking in a positive light, as a step towards their business that is needed as much as registering with HMRC etc.
Positive ways to encourage CE marking
Blogging on the subject
Sharing pictures and video of testing – and commenting on other’s posts about them
Joining in and sharing memes etc on the subject
using the hashtag #makingsafetoys
making friends and forming teams on etsy etc of those CE marking
Supporting your fellow CE markers by buying their toys
Answer questions from others on the subject
share your creative labelling and have it obvious on your craft stalls
and just be loud and proud!
Once your customers know what you went through to make your toys safe, they will value you as a toy maker and think twice before buying unmarked toys. The more who know about it, the more will find out about it, and we can catch toy makers early on and support them the whole way through. This will bring about a positive change in toy making, rather than a fear led one!