By Julia Wilkinson
Fur, feathers, and even certain types of fibers were flying on the Etsy discussion board about its new Prohibited Items policy. Although the lion's share (sorry) of the comments applauded Etsy's integrity and commitment to protecting endangered species and their parts, quite a few sellers - such as those of vintage or "pre-ban" parts like old ivory - were unhappy with the changes and some felt it went too far or introduced a slippery slope of banning everything animal-part related.
And other sellers who sold vintage items were not happy with the change. "Hazel," whose shop is "Pinguim", wrote that sellers who had vintage "pre-ban" type items listed would be out of the funds invested in such pieces, and also the time they had invested in researching pre- vs. post- ban pieces. "This new policy will hurt those who know the difference and have invested and researched accordingly," she wrote.
But an admin on the Etsy board, "Bonnie," responded that "the risk that the legal status of these items may be unknown or mislabeled is too great, and the continued sale of these items stands to perpetuate market demand and further jeopardize the existence of these species."
While Etsy's firm stance against pieces such as ivory was clear, there seemed to be more grey area in products made of materials such as fiber and feathers. A seller known as "whiskeyish" wrote, "I'm sorry, but correct me if I'm wrong - you're banning any and all camel fiber, chinchilla fiber, bighorn sheep fiber, markhor fiber, etc., without considering any ramifications? That means you're banning camel hair coats (bactrian camels), cashmere sweaters (kashmir markhor), spun wool yarn (from mixed fiber sources), and chinchilla fiber from someone brushing a pet chinchilla, no exceptions." More....