As an organization representing small locally-owned businesses in the Twin Cities, MetroIBA recognizes that small businesses and consumers alike need more transparency in consumer products. Often, small business owners have barely more information available to them about what chemicals are used in a given product than the average consumer does. Without the buying power of large chain stores, small businesses find it difficult to identify and choose safer products.
So far, my work on this project has involved adapting and creating fact sheets, op-eds, and letters to other businesses. Some of this work, like the MetroIBA TFKA fact sheet, I re-wrote from other sources to meet our needs. Others I have created from scratch.
After several years of working with the Handmade Toy Alliance, this type of advocacy work is very familiar to me. Advocacy writing requires first the creation of position statements which can then be broken apart and put back together under tight deadlines to create letters to the editor, testimony, or press releases. In this case, we'll be up against trade groups that represent larger manufacturers and retailers who don't want to see reform of outdated chemical legislation. Hopefully, our efforts will make a difference this year and manufacturers will begin to change their ingredients to use less toxic chemicals.