In recent years, concern about the potential dangers of harsh chemicals in baby and children’s products has led to a rise in organic baby foods and clothing. However, many parents haven’t yet considered that their children’s toys may contain harmful additives and chemicals. Toy manufacturers are often more concerned with profits than with making a safe product. All parents want to protect their children from potentially harmful materials, especially when they are in important developmental stages. Organic toys for children are a healthy alternative made from eco-friendly, safe materials.
What’s wrong with non-organic toys?
The corporate toy market produces goods that are easily constructed and cheaply disposable, which are good for passing trends and changing interests. This approach isn’t necessarily good for the environment or for the children who will be repeatedly exposed to their products.
From the oil extraction to produce LEGO sets to the artificial stuffing pumped into cheap plushies and the heavy metals in paints that pose exposure risks for kids, the toy industry often overlooks safety and environmental health when making their products. In fact, the Scientific Committee On Health and Environmental Risks in the EU found that there was a considerable threat in the inhalation of CRMs (carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic) from multiple toys on the market.
Teething babies can be exposed to harmful materials on the surface level of toys as they erode over time from continuously being bit. In the long term, plastics, formaldehyde, and even common fire retardants used in toys can present health risks to kids’ skin, hair, and eyes both immediately and later in life according to the same report from the EU.
What makes organic toys better?
Conscious consumers and parents are choosing to buy organic toys for several reasons. Organic toys tend to be safer for children as well as safer for the environment. Because the corporate toy industry hasn’t produced many organic toys yet, buying organic toys often supports small businesses as well.
Organic Toys are Safer For Children
Organic toys for children are built with the clear intention of keeping children safe from CRMs and other byproducts of inorganic production. To even earn the label of being an organic toy, the product must be completely grown and processed organically, with no chemical additives in the manufacturing process. Dyes come from natural plant sources, stuffing and plush are sourced naturally, and hard materials can be made from wood without pesticides.
The Global Organic Textile Standard is an international cooperative managing the definition and labeling of organic textiles. For toys, this mostly applies to stuffed animals and plush toys. Toys labeled as ‘organic’ by the GOTS must be made from at least 95% organic fibers or can be labeled as ‘made with organic materials’ if it’s made from at least 70% organic fibers. Children’s toys can be reviewed under these global standards to test their organic quality.
Organic Toys are Safer for the Environment
Organic toy manufacturers have also adopted a more eco-friendly approach than other toy brands. By creating longer-lasting products, with recycled and organic materials, they’ve minimized waste. It’s an approach that’s disrupted the toy industry. Industry giants have followed in that leadership, with LEGO planning to replace its storied plastic bricks with new bio-bricks made of organic materials by 2030.
Organic Toys Support Small and Ethical Businesses
Larger corporations and big businesses are the most likely to deliver non-organic toys to children. Taking the time to find small companies that care about the safety of children and the environment is a great way to support small business and the organic toy industry. By refusing to buy dangerous toys that are harmful to the environment, you can ‘vote with your dollar’ to reject the irresponsible side of the toy-making industry. Supporting the manufacture of organic toys supports the small businesses that have pioneered the success of similar products.
One of our favorite organic toy manufacturers is Bears for Humanity. They produce a variety of stuffed animals, such as eagles, giraffes, and classic teddy bears. The toys are hypoallergenic, free of harmful plastics and chemicals, and 100% certified by the GOTS. Bears for Humanity also uses a ‘Buy one, give one’ model, which means that whenever you buy a toy from Bears for Humanity, a child in need also receives a stuffed animal. “It’s a gift to feel good about,” they say.
Support the Organic Toy Industry & the Greater Good
Bears for Humanity plush toys can be purchased on Donor360 through several fundraisers already being hosted. These campaigns feature Bears for Humanity organic toys. Or, if you're looking to raise money for a good cause, then you can use Bears for Humanity's organic toys to further your own fundraisers. Sign up here to start your first fundraiser on Donor360.