Hello, blog friends. Over the weekend, Etsy ran an article in their Storque blog on the environmental irresponsibility of using coral in jewelry designs or selling coral beads and such as supplies. This article was written by:
1. A jewelry designer who does not make her own jewelry and does not sell on Etsy.
2. A jewelry designer who sells manufactured pieces that incoporate mined precious metals and stones that are not exactly morally exempt from environmental "green" criticism.
3. A jewelry designer who linked to her off Etsy commerce site in her Etsy profile, directing people off of Etsy to a place where they could buy non-handmade jewelry.
4. A jewelry designer who also directed readers to sign a petition to not buy anything including coral.
There are several problems with the article.
1. Etsy allows the use and sale of coral, and collects listing and selling fees for those items listed.
2. Most, if not all, of the coral used in pieces on Etsy is not the dredged coral that negatively impacts the oceanic environment.
3. Etsy is basically blacklisting their own sellers, while still making money from them. This Etsy-endorsed article asks people not to support the use of coral, while Etsy gladly pockets the money from any coral listings.
4. Jewelry is a tough market on Etsy, and Etsy directed people to an offsite jewelry commerce site offering manufactured and not handmade pieces.
5. Etsy does little advertising, and much of the traffic to Etsy comes from sellers like me (and possibly you) promoting our behinds off. I introduce people to Etsy all the time, and, even if they don't buy from me, they're likely to find something on the site that tickles their fancy and buy something. I also buy from Etsy, as most sellers do. We're their primary customers, while also being their primary advertising outlet. Basically, active sellers support and pay for this site.
7. The article negatively "calls out" any seller with coral in their shop, and could negatively impact those shops' business.
8. Etsy posted a half-hearted apology here, but has left this article up and running, while not allowing any comments on the article.
Now, you guys know I love Etsy, love buying and selling on Etsy, and love my Etsy friends. However, this little incident and the response to it really gets my goat. It often seems that Etsy acts without thinking, and this brings to mind the mature filter that was put universally on all accounts several months ago.
What do you Etsy people think of this?