As a seller, on the e-commerce site Etsy, I am shocked and angered that Etsy posted a blog article repeating SeaWeb's campaign against coral. I was going to keep my mouth shut about Etsy's part in this ; not wanting to bite the hand that feeds me. My Etsy shop is my livelihood!
But, Etsy, I feed you too! I pay listing fees, I pay commissions, I bring new sellers to you. This is what I get in return?
The spokesperson for this issue is not a seller on Etsy but was given a platform there. The spokeswoman is a big time jewelry designer and Etsy linked her FaceBook and Twitter pages to the article which in return lead you to her business. This was free advertising for a non handmade, manufactured company.
What the hell is going on over there in the Etsy offices?
SeaWeb, is an international, nonprofit, communications organization dedicated to creating a culture of ocean conservation. Remember the boycott campaign against Swordfish? That was a SeaWeb campaign. I did some internet searching and from what I gather the North Atlantic Swordfish was feeling stressed but not in danger of extinction. The campaign against eating Swordfish never made a distinction between North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Pacific Swordfish.
My intend is to blog about coral. So if you are interested in reading more about the swordfish boycott here are some links: The truth about Swordfish, Activist Cash, and fishingnj.org
As a jewelry designer I feel SeaWeb is at it again, misleading the public with their "Too Precious to Wear" campaign against Coral. Deep water red and pink coral populations are dwindling. We need to clean up our planet, our air and oceans.
The international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has listed 2000 species of coral to be regulated and monitored. It is illegal to bring CITES-listed coral, or coral artifacts such as jewelery, into any of the 158 countries which have signed the convention, without a CITES permit. This includes the US, the UK, other countries in the European Community, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
SeaWeb has a youtube video about their Coral boycott. In it you see a bead shop with strands of coral. They also show necklaces that have a similar flare to my photos of my necklaces. Obviously artisan created handmade jewelry.
When I walk into my local bead shop to buy coral I am purchase Bamboo Coral. It is a legal coral and not on the endangered CITES list.
Endangered red and pink coral grows very slowly in deep sea waters. Bamboo coral is fast growing and in shallow waters. Bamboo coral is dyed red to achieve the "look" of deep sea red coral.
Coral is a living being. As a consumer you choose to either wear furs, feather, coral...or not. But, if you love coral please know what artisans are currently using is legal and not endangered.
So, again we have SeaWeb leaving out pertinent information, hurting the small business person, be they a fisherman or a jewelry designer.
And Etsy...why are you putting your sellers up against the wall, having to defend ourselves????