The Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild (HSCG) is a non-profit trade association for small businesses handcrafting soaps and cosmetics and the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry as a whole. The HSCG works to provide legislative advocacy for all soap and cosmetic handcrafters at both the state and federal level.
The handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry is a comprised of small and emerging businesses. These businesses are largely women-owned companies (over 95%) that average 1-3 employees. While the size of each handcrafted soap and cosmetic business is quite small, the number of these companies well exceeds 250,000 nationwide and industry-wide employment estimates are over 750,000.
The HSCG supports current cosmetic legislation that makes it illegal to manufacturer an unsafe, adulterated or misbranded products and agrees with the FDA and other industry experts that U.S. manufactured cosmetics are among the safest consumer products sold in the United States.
The HSCG is deeply committed to supporting the FDA’s efforts in substantiating safe cosmetic ingredients. If an ingredient is not safe, handcrafted soap and cosmetic businesses want to know and will not use it in their products.
Handcrafted soap and cosmetic businesses do not invent new ingredients. These businesses take ingredients that have already been deemed safe and blend them into small batches of custom, handcrafted products. The vast majority of ingredients used by handcrafted soap and cosmetic businesses are food grade and can be found in any grocery store.
At a Federal level, the HSCG monitors for legislation that could affect the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry and has been working to make our industry known in the legislative arena. We are becoming a recognized stakeholder in matters concerning the handcrafted soap and cosmetic industry.
Debra Carnahan, of Carnahan Global Consulting, has been retained to represent the HSCG in Washington, DC. Part of our strategy has included several visits to DC to meet with Members of Congress who are, will be, or could be active players in any future legislation. Our goal is to educate them on the issues facing our industry and our position regarding potential cosmetic legislation.
Personal Care Products Safety Act
In 2015, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the "Personal Care Products Safety Act". We worked dilligently to educate members of the House and Senate, especially the members of applicable committees about our industry. The 2015 bill did not come out of committee and died at the end of the legislative term.
On May 11, 2017, Senators Feinstein and Collins introduced a similar bill (S. 1113) titled "A bill to amend the Federal food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to ensure the safety of cosmetics." The 2017 bill is considerably updated and has better provisions for small and emerging businesses. See the full summary.
Regulations are the implementation of any legislation passed by Congress and approved into law. The process for implementing new regulations or changing existing regulations is lengthy and detailed and has many opportunities for input from concerned parties. The HSCG monitors potential regulation changes or implementations and provides input when needed to ensure that the needs of our industry are addressed.
Post Office Box Petition
In August 2012, the HSCG submitted a Citizen Petition to change the wording of the existing labeling regulations to allow a USPS Post Office Box in lieu of a street address on product labels. The petition was denied, but in the response the FDA provided additional information that will be helpful to handcrafters. See the full details.
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