Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From the Bitches' Auxiliary - Credit where credit isn't due

Thought you might find this post in the Storque interesting.

What's particularly bad about this, aside from the immature self-promoting, is the way that Etsy is trying to take credit for the things that its sellers are doing - it's "Etsy" who's going green, not the individual sellers, "Etsy" who makes the cool items, not the sellers, and so on.

Really, Etsy is no more "green" than eBay - some of the people who use Etsy do practice sustainable practices, but really - it's an international venue that works by having people selling - and shipping - small items one at a time. The carbon footprint, collectively, for the shipping alone must be astonishing. And it's not like all - or even a majority - of sellers follow sustainable practices; I'm sure there are any number of them using fabrics imported from China, petroleum products, and the like. Gluing together a bunch of cheap crud into a decorative widget is a waste of resources rather than a saving of them.

Hell, promoting consumption of frivolous and trendy consumer goods - let alone poorly made ones - is about as far from green as you can get. Being truly green is about encouraging people to NOT buy things, and yet, what is Etsy about? Buying things. Silly things. Unnecessary, cheap things.

Etsy, collectively, is NOT green; it's taking credit for the sellers who are - who it doesn't even bother to credit in its post - and that leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.

16 Comments:

Hyla said...

Me too!

life-during-wartime said...

Well said! I salute this Auxiliary Bitch with my cup of green tea -- the variety of tea, that is, with no hypocritical politically correct stance involved.

Most of the green stances on Etsy are nothing more than a pose, which IMO is worse than saying nothing about the issue at all. Pffffttt...a nice organic raspberry for Etsy!

EtsyissoNOTgreen! said...

Boy, I am even more tweaked by the "drinking the koolaid" sellers that posted their comments about how wonderful Etsy is...la la la....I wish I could be so darn clueless and oblivious. Guess these are the folks buying the cowls, fingerless gloves and other useless items that are NOT helping our planet get any greener by any stretch of the imagination!

I wish they could comprehend that it is their work, their efforts, their "green spirit", all of their promotional work that is actually getting Etsy all of this press and great pr. Too bad they are not intelligent enough to understand that Etsy makes the big profits, big bucks and the big headlines with THEIR hard work...while they post in the forums about how the hell to make a profit on their $9 whatevers.

Besides, I am a HUGE buyer (not so huge seller!) on Etsy and I have to say that the majority of my orders are wayyyyy over packed, not packed with recycled materials, and contain multiple copies of business cards, postcards, etc. Not at all green. In fact, my Amazon orders are shipped wayyyy more green than my Etsy orders. Guess I gotta see if Amazon is on the ballot...

The Funny One said...

Point well made. I'm more concerned about Etsy's position that THEY are the focus of attention on the site. Branding is only putting their own self-interest in stone. Etsy lost any opportunity they may have had to really put quality handmade in the spotlight. They also, by their constant arrogance, squandered the good will of sellers who would have bent over backwards to help the site turn into THE place to buy quality handmade, worldwide.

Please tell me where I can go to to VOTE AGAINST ETSY, and I'll vote until my fingers fall off.

Vote for Etsy?-----HEY ETSY, how about doing something (anything) FOR YOUR SELLERS FOR A CHANGE?????

justbitchy said...

A bit OT.......

I'm all for greening up onlines selling, but the recycled materials packaging I have received:

1) sometimes looks like trash so I would be afraid someone would throw it out by mistake

2) smelled

3) was dirty

4) was completely inadequate to protect my purchase

5) had dried food crumbs on it

Disgusting.

I bought some beads from a new seller a couple of years ago who put them in a regular #10 thin business envelope with no bubble wrap, no inner lining, no business card, no packing slip, absolutely nothing to cushion or identify the purchase.

NOT kidding.
*head desk*

The envelope was ripped and half the beads were gone.

I sent a convo (I tried to be nice because she was a very new seller)

She said "sorry" but didn't offer a refund or replacement.

When I mentioned that small 3d glass objects might be better shipped in bubble wrap she said "I've never had a complaint before."

ugh

People like that give all of Etsy a bad name.

I would rather have clean, non-smelly, secure and adequate packaging that I recycle on my end rather than a package that looks bad enough to be trash.

Rana said...

justbitchy -

Ugh. Both of those sound like real disappointments!

When I package my things, I'm obsessive about the materials being clean and sturdy - I HATE the notion that "recycled" or "green" must equal "cheap crap" - because there is no good reason for it to be such.

Etsy frustrates me because it never takes the time to properly educate its sellers on green business practices - but is quick to jump up and trumpet itself as green.

Really, though, at Etsy "green" is just another trend - if they really cared about environmental issues, they'd put money where their mouths are (things like ArtFire's tree-planting program, or making carbon offsets available to sellers, or giving discounts to sellers using certified organic and FairTrade materials). Oh, and not flying to another continent to consult with people who could easily be contacted via email or phone or tele-conferencing.

THAT would demonstrate a real commitment to sustainability - but, as usual, that would require them to actually think about a complex issue in an intelligent way, instead of just going with their (short-lived) enthusiasms.

An Ominous said...

I'm confused about the items that are chosen to be voted upon ... are gold and silver eco-friendly items? Aren't those precious metals that are mined from the earth? I don't see how that is particularly ecologically friendly. Maybe I'm looking at that the wrong way or something....?

Heather said...

justbitchy - that's awful. I recycle my packaging but I would never use something I didn't think was safe...or smelly, or dirty, etc.

And in the "related items" how many items are made with recycled things? What do random robots, tetris tees, and felted keychains have to do with being green?

Oh yeah, it's better to LOOK like you're "green" than to actually BE "green". Got it.

foxaz said...

The only "green" that matters is the long green (dollars) and if that means Etsy must promote its' green-ness, that is what will happen.

You want to be green? Grow a garden, shop locally for what you truly need, go to the farmers' market, mend your own clothes, learn to sew, and make your own clothes, burp cloths,table linens, tutus...teach your children to use their imagination and creativity, reduce your needless consumption of resources...
Turn off the TV, turn off the ights, make your own paper, give up eating meat...

Frivolous spending on unnecessary foolishness is not going green.

I'm confused said...

Someone should post this to http://www.greenwashingindex.com/ !

eclipse said...

slightly OT:
EtsyissoNOTgreen, Amazon is on the ballot but please don't vote for them because they blacklist gay & lesbian books!
http://tinyurl.com/ce6o2b

Eveline said...

I'm also very happy to hear that Etsy is being nominated for an award for a site with 'the best applications and services'. Are you kidding me?

forum rubbernecker said...

Frivolous spending on unnecessary foolishness is not going green.
___________
BINGO! I am all for people spending frivolously in my shop, and I even have some sort-of-green items, but truthfully, no one needs my crap, even though some of it's slightly useful!

ebbandflo said...

etsy's idea of green is the usual ill-thought out knee jerk response to a possible trend - i have great difficulty gaining any inspiration or education from a lot of the so-called green items in the admin-selected green gift guides. it's a very glossy, blingy, immature 'green' at best

snarky said...

I always want to vote against etsy when they post this crap. The "Vote for us!!!" thing sickens me. I always tend to vote for whoever else I think will get the most votes, but I'd love to harness the power of the bitches and all vote for the same non etsy contestant. (evil grin)

Stitch*n*Tyme said...

This is one time I can't hold back. I have wondered when EB would get on this. "ETSY' Day? Excuse me newbies, I hate to burst your bubble, but FREE advertisement for Etsy has been going on four years. Yes, Four years. Grassroots advertisement since the inception of Etsy. They love it. Who wouldn't love FREE advertising? I find it an insult that DANELLO (sp?) gives credit to the sellers who have come together for this day, but the legal department has made it quite clear they have nothing to do with it. Does that not give you a clue? Advertise away, have fun with it. Do you honestly think those who have been around, haven't already done that?