The environment and the creation of BJD's

Dec 2, 2019 at 10:52 PM

    1. Hello,

      So a long time ago I got into BJD's (well 6 years ago really) and absolutely loved being able to buy a brand new clean canvas doll from the manufacture (when I could afford it of course).
      Since this early me I've gone through a lot and now as I try to sell the majority of my dolls I'm reminded just how many dolls are in existent and how many more on being created. This leads me to think about how harmful this material is for me to hold and even more so for the people who make them and for the environment they are in. Plus the waste from these products must be horrible.
      I imagine that these dolls do not just get thrown away because of their cost alone but I'd be curious how many are made each year and what it is compared to the current 'population'.

      Of course there's basically everything else we do in our lives (I contributing to it like everyone else) that is killing our planet but I'd like to know some people's thoughts on this? Not only on the planet but on the workers who are making our dolls and really the industry in general. I've been so far removed I'd like to know more about this from people who know more then I do.

      P.S. Please let me know if this is not allowed
      • x 3
    2. When I compare the world-changing pollution and destructive capabilities of the megacorporations to the smaller industries like BJD manufacturing, I don't worry about a few more dolls in the world. It's like getting all upset over plastic straws in the ocean when half of the plastic garbage out there is old fishing nets/equipment. Shaming the individual instead of creating and enforcing better industry standards is counterproductive in the extreme.

      Concern over the health of BJD creators and the workforce that needs health and safety equipment is more of an issue to me. How can I be sure that the people who make the dolls are wearing properly-maintained respirators and eye protection and getting adequate general conditions and a living wage and all sorts of things? I can't. I have to trust that the small companies are at least abiding by their government's rules for workplace safety and perhaps going beyond that to take care of their staff.

      Also, every time I see someone strap on a respirator or film a DIY video without proper eye protection, I die a little inside. You guys need to learn about goggles.
      #2 mrsporkspeaks, Dec 2, 2019 at 11:14 PM
      Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 11:19 PM
      • x 11
    3. I absolutely agree with @mrsporkspeaks. Compared to some of the massive issues we have when it comes to corporations and the environment, the comparatively tiny market for and manufacturing of BJDs is barely a molecule in the bucket, let alone a drop. I also agree about focusing more on the people involved; thankfully, even the largest BJD companies are relatively small, and hopefully, as artists, are used to working with the materials and what precautions to take with them. It’s an interesting question for sure, though perhaps not where I’d focus my energies when it comes to worldly issues, personally. :3nodding:
      • x 3
    4. I'm not going to say that resin isn't just one more horrible thing that humans have introduced to poison the environment, because of course it is. But as you said yourself, these dolls are not exactly a disposable commodity - it will be a long time before most of the ones that have been made even to this point will be thrown away, and when they are, they will most likely be in trash bags amongst the billions of tons of other garbage that sits in dumps and landfills, never being exposed to the dirt or the air, never biodegrading because there is so much of it that it can't. When you consider the toy market and the millions of toxic plastic playthings that are broken and tossed each year, filling the air and water with their byproducts when they're created, BJDs are a minuscule threat in comparison. I'm not trying to make light of your concern, because it's a worthy one - but until all toxic materials are regulated, this one is such a tiny niche that it's hard for most people to get worked up over.

      As for the people who work in the industry, one can only hope that job-related health liability would lead manufacturers to keep their employees as safe as possible.
      • x 5

    5. This past year, I've been taking a break from buying BJD's, only buying some inexpensive vintage off topic (yet still plastic) dolls. During this time I've been questioning my purchases and ownership of resin and/or plastic dolls and also my promoting of the creation of more dolls via pre-orders, etc.
      I wonder what effect they may be having on my health off-gasing in my small apartment and in my bedroom in particular which is where I have my BJD cabinet.
      I also wonder about what will happen to them at the end of my life, will they just be thrown in the trash, or will they have broken down long before that. I have some of the original plastic dolls from the 40's and 50's and their plastic off gases and breaks and crumbles and there is nothing left but to throw them in the garbage.
      What will be the shape of current resin dolls 70 years from now?
      • x 1
    6. @midolls*melissa
      I found this New York Times article very interesting in reference to your questions regarding the lifespan of plastics and plastics that we don't see as disposable, the (unfortunate) way that many of our plastic items are thought of.
      These Cultural Treasures Are Made of Plastic. Now They’re Falling Apart.
      At the end of the day, even our dolls will start to degrade in the ways described in the article, but the lifespan is long enough that we can enjoy the dolls for much/all of our lives. Vinyl can degrade faster, since it is softer so has more plasticizers? I believe? This is from scrounged bits of information that I've come across (I'm in no way an expert on this subject), but it is of interest to me because of this hobby.

      As for the main question, I do think about the environmental impact of this hobby. Not only the materials themselves, but also shipping them across the world.
      It's difficult. I think that there is a place for art in the world. I think it is important and has meaning and that doll creators are creating something of worth when they make these dolls. Is there an impact? Yes. Of course. But I try to balance it with other aspects of my life by being careful not to be wasteful in other ways. This hobby brings me so much joy. Is it selfish to stick with it then? I don't know. But I would be very sad without it, so for me it is worthwhile.
      • x 5
    7. I'm glad to participate in an interesting discussion about the environment and this hobby. I do mostly agree with the above posters: the BJD hobby itself isn't the worst offender in terms of pollution and pollutants. I do try to purchase things second-hand and relatively local where possible to minimize the environmental harm (and I also purchase very few things new for myself which is a bigger offset). But I'm also concerned about the environmental effects on the workers in the BJD industry. Are they safe as they work with these hazardous materials? Do they have job security or do they have to work many jobs to make ends meet? Things like that sadden me.
      • x 2
    8. There was a thread about this years ago on here back in the early 2000s. I wonder if it still exists, it was pretty much argued to death there. Not trying to be snooty, I mean if you can find that thread it'd probably put your mind at ease.