The News Never Sleeps
As my peers at the gray lady like to say, the news never sleeps. It's nice when it means you can find out what's happening in the world 24/7, but it's less nice when it means I have to walk to work through a foot of snow. Uphill. Both ways. Barefoot. You're welcome.
"The news never takes two weeks off to go to trade shows" is a little less catchy, but no less true. Early winter and late summer are traditionally slow times for the news, which is why you get lead stories and headlines about the weather every January and August. The last few weeks break that trend, and if you were at Las Vegas or Orlando this month you may have missed some of these stories that will have an impact on our industry:
- CPSC Votes on Extending CPSIA Stay. To my mind, this is the most important piece of recent news for distributors and suppliers. The 2008 CPSIA law has always been hotly contested, and three years on, finding an agreeable way to implement the testing requirements is still proving difficult. Manufacturers and decorators alike will be impacted by the vote, which is expected by Monday. Shopfloor has a great article about the problems with CPSIA regulation and enforcement.
- Tests Reveal High Levels of Lead in Shopping Bags. This could be the next safety issue to seriously affect our industry. If these reports prove true, suppliers may need to make serious adjustments to their manufacturing practices to remove lead content, and the smart company could make a lot of money by adapting safer practices first. An interesting addition to this story is that the reports were issued by the Center for Consumer Freedom, which is funded by the alcohol and tobacco industries, making some skeptical about the veracity of the claims.
- Cotton prices skyrocket. This has been all over the news, but if you haven't looked into the story it may be worth your time. With major cotton suppliers Tanzania and Australia experiencing reduced cotton growth due to bad weather conditions, and China importing the fabric at a rapidly increasing rate, this could affect everyone. I expect alternative fabrics such as bamboo to get a huge boost as a result of the price increases. We'll have more on this in next week's Threads newsletter.
In the coming weeks I hope to touch on some of these topics in more detail, as well as address a lot of the recent news concerning China. There's so much happening that it can be hard to keep up, and I hope to help you sort through all the information. Like I said, the news never sleeps. But it drinks a lot of coffee.