13 Great Reasons to Join the BCIA
1. Compliance Help in the US and Abroad
BCIA offers systems and support to help our business members comply with complex and sometimes expensive regulations. One example is our Product Registration Service, which makes it easy for companies to comply with the product registration requirements of the CPSIA legislation.
We continue to work with labs and testing companies to make testing to international standards understandable, attainable and affordable for all businesses. We will continue to advise companies (with the help of our excellent legal team) about the requirements of existing and future regulations, both in the US and abroad.
Retailers’ support of the BCIA ensures that the carrier brands in their stores can comply with current regulations, and that retailers are aware of their own legal responsibilities. If retailers are acting as importers, the BCIA helps retailers navigate the compliance process. BCIA has created unique documents to guide retailers through compliance, and retailers have access to all the same services and benefits as our manufacturers.
BCIA has retained Mary Martha McNamara and Neal Cohen, top product liability attorneys in the US, to advise us on matters of product liability, product safety, and applicable standards, bans, and regulations affecting our industry. This has allowed BCIA to provide our members with expert advice regarding the CPSIA and other relevant legislation.
Need a legal referral? The BCIA can refer you to a qualified product liability, patent and trademark or Prop 65 attorney for your own legal matters.
3. Members-Only Groups and Forums
Membership in the BCIA entitles you to access to our private Facebook group as well as our on-site private groups and forums.
Members of the BCIA are actively working together to share resources and information on labeling, regulations, compliance, and basic business concerns. Using our members-only resources you’ll be able seek answers to your most difficult questions, and work with your fellow industry members to build a repository of useful information.
BCIA was founded by industry leaders. This organization formalizes the long-standing camaraderie between competitors within our industry and provides opportunities for companies to connect with one another, sharing information, ideas, and resources.
BCIA continually networks with other related industries and organizations, (ex. JPMA, the Handmade Toy Alliance, and the Real Diaper Industry Association, Consumer Reports).
BCIA creates opportunities for social gatherings and networking meetings between babywearing companies during events like the ABC Kids Expo, ASTM subcommittee meetings, the Toronto Kids Show, and at various International Babywearing Conferences, strengthening the collaborative efforts of the industry.
5. Annual General Meeting at ABC Kids
All members are invited to attend the BCIA Annual General Meeting held each year at the ABC Kids Expo for the juvenile products industry.
6. Members Only Discounts
In addition to the PRS program and other benefits we offer directly to our members, BCIA has negotiated discounts for member businesses on items such as:
- Product testing
- Labels and templates
- Merchant services
- Print materials
- Web development and design
- Social media and marketing
- Compliance programs
See a full list of our Current Member Discounts.
7. Business Resources
The BCIA works with organizations like AM Testing, Jacoby Solutions and York-Jersey Underwriters to provide specialized business education and resources specifically geared toward the baby carrier and juvenile products industry.
Whether you’re looking for merchant services or advice on managing social media effectively for your business, we can point you in the right direction for industry-based expert advice.
- Business Building Workshops
- Research on Industry Trends
- Webinars and White Papers
8. Positive Marketing and Safety Campaigns
BCIA continues to work with Bracewell, one of the leading strategic communications firms in the US. They continue to assist us in developing PR strategies that further the industry’s interests, including our work with other national organizations on public education campaigns.
BCIA is uniquely poised to share this important message with both governmental organizations and with the general public:
- Babies should be closely supervised in their first four months of life.
- The safest place for new babies is next to their caregiver’s heart, visible and kissable to their caregiver.
- Baby slings and soft carriers facilitate this supervision.
- It is especially important that while caring for babies, caregivers must not cover babies’ faces or put them into positions or devices that compromise their airways.
BCIA continues to work with leading national and international organizations to spread this important message, and we continue to work with member companies to help them provide clear instructions and photographs in their marketing and other materials.
9. Political Involvement
BCIA is working directly with congress and the CPSC on your behalf. Our Executive Director meets as needed with CPSC Commissioners and staff and key members of the senate and house, but has also networked with consumer advocacy organizations at locations such as the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization conference. We are the voice of the baby carrier industry to theCPSC Small Business Ombudsman, who is well aware of the needs of our membership and the many small and micro-businesses that comprise it.
BCIA maintains regular communication with Health Canada to stay abreast of current regulations, and to keep our joint educational campaign “Visible & Kissable” in circulation.
10. Regulatory Affairs
BCIA works to keep you actively informed of changes and developments within the international governing standards bodies. In the last two years we have seen the acceptance of ASTM F2236 into law in the US, and adopted by many other countries as a voluntary standard to test to. We have seen the development and publication of the European Technical Report TR16512 meant to address slings and carriers without unbound leg openings, as well as a long awaited update to the original EN-13209 standard.
BCIA has played an active role in the standards-writing process with ASTM International. CPSIA legislation has dictated a mandatory standard for infant slings, and a well-written ASTM standard is most likely to become the mandatory standard. Our former Executive Director, Vesta Garcia, was instrumental in proactively starting the process of creating this standard, and we continue to be actively involved in this process. Founding board member Rochelle Price is the current sling standard subcommittee chair, and she and many other member businesses attend the biannual meetings of the ASTM subcommittee F15.21, responsible for writing and passing the standard.
BCIA keeps its membership closely apprised of the ever changing regulatory climate, providing continual support as business members manage the compliance process.
11. Cohesive Collection of Industry-Related News
It can be difficult to keep up with changing regulations and a shifting media climate around infant carriers. BCIA is doing that work for our membership, keeping members updated on sling-related articles in the media.
Additionally, we are proud that our membership continues to work with us in creating positive press around the baby carrier industry and the countless benefits of babywearing in leading publications such as Earnshaw’s.
12. Research and Education
Membership in the BCIA provides a cutting edge look into current babywearing research, safety recommendations, and more.
BCIA paved the way for educating the CPSC and legislators about the importance of sling-style and other carriers with the creation of a White Paper, which has collated the leading research about baby carriers from around the world.
Additionally, BCIA is working with industry educators to facilitate future research. BCIA continues to explore the possibility of the creation of an educator certification program. BCIA continues to facilitate conversations among leading educators in North America and around the world about best practice in both babywearing and babywearing education.
13. International Involvement
BCIA is committed to representing the industry as an international organization with a focus well beyond the United States. To that end, we have board members from the UK, France and Canada representing international interests, and our Canadian, European and Australian membership base continues to grow. The more members we have in each geographical area, the better able we are to assist with your unique needs. We have dedicated BCIA committees representing Canada, the UK and Australia. Our membership base becomes more varied every year and we are pleased to have recently seen an influx of members from Mexico, the Philippines, Japan, India and Malaysia, to name only a few.
BCIA stays on top of regulations that affect the babywearing industry internationally and keeps our membership up-to-date on compliance issues that will affect our industry.
We have a strong relationship with Health Canada and are pleased to announce the successful launch of our joint education ‘Visible and Kissable’ campaign. We are poised to use this campaign as a model for future campaigns with other governments.
All of Our Members Receive:
- Business listing on the BCIA website
- E-newsletter with important industry news updates and information from BCIA
- Lab testing discounts
- Priority referrals to media
- Access to international research on babywearing and baby carriers
- Access to the membership directory
- Valuable networking opportunities
- Reduced rates of advertising in all BCIA publications
- Access to purchase multi-language labels and templates
- Participation in BCIA business forums and discussion groups
- Opportunity to vote on all policy and to run for elected positions
- Opportunity to sit on BCIA working committees
- Privilege of using the BCIA logo on your company website and publications
- Invitation to participate in cooperative advertising and marketing efforts
- Scholarship and further education opportunities
- Sponsorship opportunities
- Participation in the BCIA Annual General Meeting
Enjoy All the Benefits the BCIA Has to Offer.
Business members of the BCIA are those who work in the baby carrier industry as manufacturers, retailers/distributors, educators and those in supporting industries. Business members:
- Provide superior baby carriers, components of baby carriers, or services to manufacturers, distributors, retailers and, ultimately, caregivers;
- Support the mission statement and purpose of the BCIA;
- Are dedicated to furthering the adoption of babywearing in our culture and to introducing caregivers to the biological norm of babywearing.