You’re not imagining it, only a few months in and sustainability is certainly the word on everyone’s lips in 2021. Making more considered and green choices has become of greater importance to toy retailers following growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products. Large brands favoured by children and teens have taken the sustainability pledge in recent years, including LEGO, Nike and Adidas.
What Are brands Doing to Be Better?
So what are brands doing to move towards a more sustainable model? Many are looking deeper into their materials and manufacturing processes, reducing waste and energy consumption. For example, Nike & Adidas have committed to utilising more sustainable materials in their manufacturing processes.
When talking about children’s brands and toys, the use of plastic is often a sticking point for some conscious consumers. They key aim is to avoid plastic ending up in landfill through reducing plastic use, recycling plastic where possible and to give toys a second life. Hasbro have recently launched a collaboration with Terracycle, where any of its toys can be taken to a TerraCycle drop off to be recycled and those donating receive a reward for every kilogram of toys dropped off. There is also the Recycle to Read scheme which rewards schools and communities with books and reading resources when they recycle plastic toys.
You may think, the climate crisis has been around for some time, so why are brands only making these
moves towards sustainability now?
A recent Brandwatch report highlighted that 57 per cent of consumers want businesses to focus on sustainability and the environment more in 2021. The Insights People data also shows Gen Z are the standout leaders in sustainable consumption, with many willing to pay an increased price for peace of mind. As Gen Z are getting older, gaining increased purchasing power and even becoming parents, it is now imperative that any brands seeking to target this generation be sustainable.
Interestingly, the pandemic has caused a consumer mind-set shift. Covid-19 has provided a stark reminder of our fragility as not only a country, but as the human race. This has forced us to look at climate change, as a threat that faces us which we can change. Like Covid-19, to make a change, we have to work together.
One of the most important drivers of change, has been the growing availability and affordability of
sustainable manufacturing and material options, as demand from customers grows.
Sustainable Toy Brands to Shout About
Build Your Own Kits – This company sells eco-friendly children’s toys that you can build yourself, including amazing marble runs and microscopes. All products are made from FSC paper and board, using minimal plastics in both kits and packaging without compromising on integrity.
Toyi – Based in Turkey, but shipping to the UK, Toyi gets kids upcycling through play with a range of innovative construction kits containing a variety of pieces used to turn everyday objects into toys.
Punkbox – Dragons’ Den entrants Punkbox have launched a range of stickers and activity packs to encourage children to reuse old packaging as fun new toys.
Gibsons – Family favourite Jigsaw company Gibsons has now made all of their jigsaw puzzles planet-friendly, with all new designs coming in compact boxes without shrink-wrap and using recycled board to create its puzzle pieces.