With Christmas Day in a few days time, finding gifts for your loved ones can be challenging and stressful, especially if you are looking for more sustainable options. For children, its especially important to focus on eco-friendly toys which are not easy to come by. While the health impact is still unknown, the recent finding of microplastic particles in the placentas of unborn babies for the first time, is “a matter of great concern”. To make shopping easier, we have compiled a list of places where you can get ethical and eco-friendly gifts. Sustainable toys are not only made of materials that are kinder to the planet, but will also be better value for money as they are intended to last long, reducing the need for replacing toys and causing unnecessary waste.
Product above: FormaBasic Puzzle R 219.00
Started by a mother and child therapist, Rosa Krauss wanted toys that were beautifully designed as well as long lasting. She found that many toys perpetuated gender norms and broke easily, thus, she started Honest Toys, which hosts a collection of both local and international toys that are sustainable. They sell everything from books to dolls to puzzles, ranging across the ages. (The feature picture is of Honest Toys products).
Product above: PLAN TOYS BALANCING TREE R300.00
Another mom started toy store, Soufi is an eco-toy store stocking PlanToys, a French toy company. Their toys are toxic-free and sustainable, and they offer eco-friendly packaging. They sell toys to challenge children mentally with their educational toys, and imaginatively with their pretend play toys.
Product above: Le Toy Van Sophie’s Wooden Dollhouse R3 295
Play Toys is environmentally friendly and ethically made store that offers a wide range of toys. They categorise their products by brand, age and budget, to easily find the gift you’re looking for. They also have physical stores in Cape Town and Pretoria if you prefer a more traditional retail experience. They offer toys for children aged 0-14 years, ranging from soft animal toys to kitchen sets.
Product above: The Mary Quant Jumper R 750.00
If you’re looking for sustainable clothes for children, Big Little Store offers just that. Hosting an array of brands that make ethical, handcrafted clothes and shoes for children, these pieces are one-of-a-kind. This small business was started up by former Condé Nest editor and Creative Director and recent mother.
Remember that minimalism is an important part of being sustainable. While consumer culture may urge us to buy more, a few, long-lasting, thoughtful gifts are always a better option. And if budget is a problem, hand-made gifts or activities are a sure way of putting a smile on a child’s face.