For a few years now, the materials I sell to make baby items have been 'fully certified'.
But what does that actually mean?

In 2019 I learned what the rules were for selling silicone beads in Europe. That wasn't that easy, by the way. There is actually nothing on the internet about what you have to comply with...

Ultimately, I had extensive contact with both SGS in the Netherlands and SGS in China, and together we came up with a list of tests that must be done to comply with European regulations.

One of the most important things turned out to be that all colors must be approved. The dyes are precisely the substances that contain, for example, cadmium and lead. Because everything is produced in China, I wanted to be 100% sure that safe dyes are used. Not only in the beads, but also in the satin thread, for example.

I started by requesting all the certificates from the factories I was working with at the time. None of them turned out to even come close to what is mandatory in Europe... What a disappointment that was! Unfortunately, the manufacturers appeared to be unwilling to have the tests done.

Europe is a relatively small sales market for them, and America has much less strict rules, which they generally comply with (although I doubt whether it is sufficient for America to have only 1 color tested).

So there was no other option: I had to request and pay for the tests myself.

I chose the two factories with which I had the best and longest contacts, and whose silicones had the best quality in my opinion, and asked for their cooperation in sending the materials to be tested.
Within a few weeks (and now thousands of euros poorer) I had all the necessary certificates, in my own company name.

A few months later I heard that the requirements for one of the tests had changed again, so I had all materials tested again in 2020 (a test was also added, which was advised by SGS in China). That addition also cost a few thousand euros, but the most important thing for me was that I had everything neatly written down on paper again!

This year (2022), after a bad period in my private life, I decided that it was time to grow again. Because we are now a few years further, I hoped that a lot would have changed at the manufacturers.

Because I would prefer to purchase from other factories again in order to really grow, I emailed a number of manufacturers I once worked with again and asked them for the latest certificates.

And that's when I was quite shocked...

I only received 2 tests from my list from 1 very large manufacturer. These tests were only performed on turquoise silicone. According to the manufacturer, these certificates are really enough for Europe, because everyone in Europe uses them...

I asked the contact person if they had consciously chosen to test only 1 color. Yes, she said, because it concerns the basic material. The silicone. When I said that all colors really had to be tested, because the colors could contain harmful substances, and many more parts also had to be tested, I received no further response...

Another manufacturer had more colors tested, but not on all parts.

Shocked and disappointed, I decided to save up to have expensive tests carried out again, at my own expense.

First of all, because I am simply obliged to comply with the law.

But also because I want to make it easier for you to have your own creations tested if you want to sell them. For me it is black and white that everything is approved and safe. You no longer have to have chemical tests done yourself. The firmness tests alone are expensive enough!
You may be inspected and then have to prove that all the colors you used are safe. You can't do that with just the factory certificates...

Do you not want to sell anything, but only make it for private use? It can also be nice to know that all the papers are in order!

As far as I know, I am still the only seller who does not work with the factory certificates, and after my last check I am very happy about that! It was expensive, it kept me awake at night, and it now hinders my growth (which sometimes keeps me awake ;-) ), but I am still very happy that I had all the materials tested at the time. !

In the last few years I have had all the tests done for 3 large factories. I have now also received confirmation that I have had all the silicone used by larger factories for making beads additionally tested. That gave me the opportunity to expand considerably now, and to continue to do so in the future!

So prepare yourself for many more fantastic beads in the near future.
Everything is already in design and production!

27 March, 2023