We've done the research so you don't have too.
ECO-conscious Brands you can trust.
We only stock family-owned brands you can trust, who adhere to the highest standards both environmentally and ethically. All these brands use sustainably sourced woods and materials to make their toys. Dyes are water, vegetable or soya based. They use non-formaldehyde glues and because they are plastic-free there is no PVC, phthalates and other harmful chemicals in their toys. They inspect their factories for worker welfare and give back to the communities they impact through education, charitable and reforestation projects. They exceed international safety standards and on top of all that, they design multi-award winning innovative and loved toys.
Peter Handstein, Hape's founder believed that "a commitment to children must go hand in hand with a commitment to the environment, for our children will inherit the world we live in." Hape only use FSC woods and water based paints and invest in new sustainable eco-friendly sources of materials for their toys including use of bamboo and more recently Japanese rice, Fasal (wood pellet & corn starch) and Green PE bioplastics from Sugarcane. They run a number of social responsibility programs including building new schools, an International Academy and We Care We Share charity program.
With a strong mission to create a sustainable world, Plan Toys are committed to have a positive imprint on the planet, from the design, production and manufacturing of their toys - every aspect is considered for sustainability. Rubber trees that are no longer producing latex are used to make the toys whilst new rubber trees are planted. Surplus sawdust and branches are turned into waterproof PlanWood toys. Anything left is turned into electricity using their biomass generator. As a result they are a completely zero waste factory. "If one simple plaything helps one small child become a person who understands the value of life and the valuable connection between them and the world in which they live, then we have proudly done our job." Founder Vitool Viraponsavan.
Lanka Kade (translated as 'The Sri Lankan shop'), is a Leicester based FairTrade company that work with 10 independent businesses in Sri Lanka that employ over 160 artisans. Founded in 1994 when business partners Upul and Diane returned to the UK having met in Sri Lanka whilst working for the Red Cross. Purchases support the Lanka Kade Educational Foundation providing books, pencils and milk to school children which has resulted in a rise in attendance, health, concentration and exam results!
A family owned company based in Surrey. They only make toys using sustainable repurposed (once they are no longer producing latex) rubber wood trees and non-toxic water based paints. All their packaging will be completely plastic free by 2021. They have a number of partnerships: with the Charlton's Estate on a conservation and reforestation project, with the One Tree Planted reforestation project, with Gt. Ormond Street Hospital providing toys, and the Theodora Children's Charity (also known as the Giggle Doctors) specialising in improving children's experience of hospital through play.
"Making a difference in the design is not everything – how the products are brought to life is equally important!"
For Fabelab, sustainable design is about using the right materials, ensuring proper treatment of workers, as well as the lifespan of the product, producing multi-functional products that grow with the child through manufacturers they respect. Products are made from organic cotton and filled with organic cotton or recycled polyester wherever possible. Buddies and Soft Rattles all are filled with corn fibre filling, which is the most well-rounded, natural option for washing and retaining the shape and life of the product. Their products are made with organic cotton from their partner company in India. As part of their Minimakers' initiative, they turn paper packaging into sweet and interactive craft projects for little ones. Upcycling and reusability are core tenets of Fabelab, and they ensure that everything made has a dual purpose.
Tegu are on a mission to change Honduras, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere by creating social impact through jobs, responsibly sourcing local materials and bringing world-class products to children at the same time. Tegu is short for Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras and was started with a belief that business can and should be used as a means for good - to create lasting wealth and create positive social change.
Their products are designed from their belief that imagination and playfulness are not only connected to childhood but a key element that pervades every aspect of life, at all ages. Paper, a material with infinite possibilities. Through the filter of imagination, a world unfolds in our cardboard products – masks, birds, insects, cities, sea animals, earth creatures and many more. These tell stories about the beauty that lies in nature, fantasy, art and people. Since nature plays such an important role in their story and daily lives, the products are made from recycled cardboard and coloured with plant-based vegetable ink, thus contributing to the environment from which they take their inspiration.
Toys designed for better play and a better future. This is an East Sussex company who create buildable toys that create worlds and stories but designed to be less harmful to the planet. The core section of Playboard is made solely from virgin fibres from trees from sustainable forests in Finland. It is OBA free. The playboard material is a unique robust play board, a material that can stand up to demanding play but is also totally recyclable and biodegradable. The playsets are all made in the UK.
Husband and wife, Warren and Maria started Capikooa in 2017 in Cambridge, just before their second child was born. Capikooa balance boards are an open ended Waldorf inspired toy for all ages. Each board is from European beechwood that comes from a responsibly managed forest with the FSC certificate. They designed three sizes after working with early year educators to create the best-suited sizes for children of different ages. The curve, width, length, edges, and even down to the details of where the wood is sourced has all been thought about. "We know what it’s like to want the best for your little ones. To not only want them to be healthy, happy, and thriving as they grow but to want them to have the best future on this planet too!" Their name was inspired by words from Valenciano and Catalan. ‘Cap’ meaning ‘head’ and ‘Cua’ meaning ‘tail’ (head to tail) to represent their products that are beneficial to the whole child from mind to body.
"The world has given us so much. It’s time for us to give back. We believe in the principle of giving back. Whether it’s for local children in need, or for endangered species, giving back and helping where we can is at the heart of what we do". This New Zealand company have created different species of animal models to showcase the wide range of animals children can connect with. Dodoland models and packaging are 100% recyclable. The middle layer of the corrugated board is made from 100% recycled materials.
Magic Wood is a German company with more than 25 years of experience in production of high-quality wooden products. They are known all over the world for their truly unique, quality made, sustainable wooden toys with a whimsical theme especially their renouned Elf treehouses made from alder, white beech and hazel FSC certified woods with surfaces oiled with linseed oil. Magic Wood's vision is to provide stunning, durable wooden toys produced in a socially and ecologically responsible way and harm no living tree.
Their mission is to deliver quality, safe and affordable products which are responsibly sourced and complement childhood development through fun, exploration and learning. Bigjigs began in 1985 in a shed in Kent by husband and wife, Peter and Liz, both teachers. The company remains family owned and based in Folkstone where their office and warehouse are powered by 216 solar panels! 90% of their packaging is from recycled material and their inks are soy based. Liz personally visits the the production facilities in China to ensure they are operating ethically, whilst their two sons visit the sites where the rubberwood is sourced from managed forests, to ensure environmental criteria are being met.
Grapat, based in Catalunya Spain, is a family project that materialised from leaving the city to live in a natural environment. It begun after observing their eldest daughter play during her first 3 years. They noticed that free play, loose parts, open and unstructured material transforms into what the child decides and which are the fruit of their internal need. "We propose a material without instructions, the only premise is to let do, without time, slowly. A material that incites, invites, causes the creation of diverse worlds, fantastic, realistic, invented ..." Their workshop is located in the countryside, and being close to nature can make some tones and colours have variations. Depending on the humidity or if there is wind the dye can impregnate one way or another in the wood. The finishes are made with waxes and oils of vegetable origin. Since 2019 they have eliminated 100% plastic from packaging 'so we can contribute to the reduction of waste
on the planet." They collaborate with foundations that take care of people with psychic difficulties, who help in the packaging tasks of all their loose parts.
Heimess, Goki and Holztiger are trademarked and manufactured by Gollnest & Kiesel, a north German company that produces cherrywood toys; started in 1981 with the aim of making 100% German ethical wooden toys. The toys are manufactured in their factory in Vaihingen near Stuttgart with wood sustainably sourced from local surrounding forests, not far from Stuttgart. The Heimess Nature Touch range and Goki Nature range use a natural thermal colouring process instead of using dyes, giving this range their distinctive two-tone wood colouring. Paints used are water based dyes. Every year Gollnest & Kiesel donate a new forest in Schleswig-Holstein, which is currently the least forested state. They do this by planting a tree for every newborn baby born in the state, under the company moto “a tree for every newborn in Schleswig-Holstein”. Since 2004 over 400,000 trees have been planted in new forests.
"Teaching kids about the amazing animals we share the planet with whilst raising money to help protect them." Ria started her business, located in Wiltshire, all based on her own illustrations after the birth of her first son. "My dream is to teach kids all about animals and develop a true passion that they can carry through their lives and want to protect our earth for themselves and the future." Wherever possible Ria uses FSC certified or recycled materials and UK production. The colouring books are made in Hertfordshire using recycled paper and vegetable based inks and the Fact Cards are made from FSC certified paper in Cambridge and have a water coating to protect them that means they remain recyclable.
Makii takes children on an adventure. By means of colourful and crazy characters they want to inspire kids to let their creativity explode! Hence Makii is a childish way of saying 'make'! Makii was founded in 2013 by illustrators Idris van Heffen and Mielo Pouwer from Rotterdam. They saw a great opportunity to create innovatory and creative products for kids by believing that creativity and playing together sparks the imaginations of children and lets them learn in a playful way. Their whole collection is produced as eco-friendly as possible: climate neutrally, with bio-inks, and solely using FSC-certified paper.
HABA’s is a family owned and run German toy manufacturing company with the birch wood toys sustainably sourced from managed forests within a radius of 150 km of their site in Bad Rodach, Franconia. The company defines itself as an “Inventor for inquisitive minds". The company philosophy is based on one simple principle: Children are the most important things in life, instilling fundamental values, helping them become independent and develop into creative and imaginative people.
Their stickers are not like others! They want to increase children's creativity, curiosity, manual skill, concentration and autonomy. They create friendly activities easy to share, reinforcing strong links within families. The Poppik brand was created in 2016 by two cultural and educational product experts. They imagined their products as a cultural journey where colours, patterns and shapes are used to introduce the user to the diversity of the world. Stickers are plastic free.
Rubens Barn hand-made empathy dolls are especially designed to help children deal with their emotions; they quickly become your child's best friend. First developed to help autistic children and dementia patients, their super soft sculpted face and weighted bottom became a huge hit with all children. It takes over 100 different steps by a highly trained-hand to create each doll. The faces are sculptured in soft fabric, for a more emotional and realistic look. The eyes are embroidered and brings the dolls to life. Hair, skin & stuffing are from 100% polyester. Bottom weight 100% calcium carbonate granule. Their new Tummies range are made of Organic Content Standard (OCS) organic cotton. They are filled with Global Recycled Standard (GRS) PET stuffing and their tummies contain weighted wheat bags suitable for heating and cooling to offer extra comfort when needed for little ones.
Creating a gorgeous world for little ones with their range of sustainably handmade, 100% organic cotton, ethically-accredited toys, baby clothes and gifts. Their mission is to make beautiful garments, toys and shoes with honesty and enterprise.The Albetta factory complies with the principles of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) which promotes workplaces that are free from exploitation and discrimination where workers enjoy conditions of freedom and security and equity. It has been Albetta's policy from the early days to make their products from high quality fabrics, thread and accessories which are free from harmful chemicals that can be washed and dried multiple times. Albetta started sourcing Better Cotton in 2018 and is from BCI or from GOTS certified organic cotton suppliers. certified by the OKEO-TEX STANDARD 100 which guarantees they are FREE from harmful chemicals which may cause allergies and irritations.
A UK family business based in the Cotswolds run by two sisters Anuja Wilson and Lamani Simons. They set up the business in 2000 originally from their homes! They design all their own toys and have the licences to design toys based on the British classics Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh and Paddington focusing their lovely designs on 'wooden toys designed in the UK for the UK market'. Meticulously designed in Gloucestershire, the toys are all made in the Far East to rigorous standards and once a year the sisters go out to visit the factories where their designs are brought to life.
"You can make a difference in lifting society". This is a mission that has guided Under The Nile for over 20 years. "We believe that we should all care about the people around the globe, not just within our own communities. By growing organic cotton, we seek to cultivate the farmers who make it happen. By teaching men and women who aren’t educated how to sew, we give them an opportunity of a better life."
Started by Janice Masoud who simply wanted to find clothes that wouldn't irritate her baby's skin, the 'Scrappy Toys' stocked at Timeless Toys are lovingly made and stuffed with 100% organic Egyptian cotton from leftover scraps from their clothing production. All Scrappy small toys are certified GOTS, and Under the Nile is the first and only baby clothing company to carry the Gold Egyptian seal authenticating their use of genuine, premium Egyptian cotton. Their organic and fair trade stuffed animals are also all ethically and sustainably made in a Certified Fair Trade facility in Egypt that adheres to the highest global textile and labour standards to ensure that the people who make all their goods are treated well and paid fairly.
Sawdust & Rainbows is a family company based in rural Co. Down, Northern Ireland, run by engineer, entrepreneur, mum and all-round superhero, Rosie Hughes!
A qualified manufacturing engineer, Rosie designed and created the very first Sawdust & Rainbows activity toys herself in her garden shed! Since then, the team has grown to include her husband and a small team of employees. Rosie’s son Reuben was the inspiration behind the first Sawdust & Rainbows toys after Rosie built a climbing frame for her son as a safe, child-sized alternative to the metal ladder he was trying to climb whilst they were doing some DIY! Their Wee’UN is a folding indoor climbing frame inspired by the pikler, first designed over 100 years ago by Emmi Pikler, a Paediatrician in the 30/40’s to encourage naturally paced motor development, free self-directed movement and build awareness in young children of their physical limitations and strengthen their vestibular system.
"Leave only footprints". West Sussex based company Scrunch have designed outdoor items specifically to make travelling and storage easy. Goodbye to rigid plastic buckets, balls that cannot be packed into hand luggage, dangly long fishing nets and hard plastic sand moulds – hello to rolling and scrunching, to folding and squashing these amazing products into very small spaces! Roll them, fold them, scrunch them – pop them in your backpack or suitcase. Made from 100% silicone which is derived from sand, they are environmentally friendly, reusable, super strong and you no longer have to abandon your beach items on your holidays. Squash them in your pocket, squish them into the corner of a rucksack or suitcase and contribute more to the environment too – what’s not to love about Scrunch!