by Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Expert and Youth Market Specialist
First posted on the YourToyCom.com blog forum and community website serving the toys, games and childrens’ technology industries, on behalf of the Spielwarenmesse. Spielwarenmesse is the leading and largest International ToyFair in the world, held annually in Nuremberg, Germany in early February.
The newest trend in sustainability offers a much more subtle approach, one that builds beautiful eye-appealing design into the products, without screaming “I am an eco-friendly toy or game”.
From selecting organic plush and natural fibers for infants and toddlers’ products to choosing wood from re-forested sources, many manufacturers are making strides toward using improved ecological practices. Consumers now have more options when they want to follow their social consciousness, and can vote with their wallets, and also with their hearts.
Some companies consistently create and design products that use tactile and beautiful woods for their base product, and select color markings that can be applied with soy-based inks. Often, their packages are designed to be permanent containers for the product or are made using reduced packaging thoughtfulness. Some examples include HABA (Germany), HaPe (China), Plan Toys (Thailand), Boikido (France), Brio (Sweden), Gluckskafer (Germany) and Green Toys (USA).
Other manufacturers have added soft and subtle organic and natural fiber products to their ranges, giving newborns and toddlers soft and earth-friendly toys. Some of these products are created by Kathe Kruse (Germany), Steiff (Germany), plu natur (Germany) Aurora World (Korea, UK) , Lassig (Germany), and HABA (Germany).
The games and puzzles category offers the opportunity to use recycled papers, cardboard and packaging, and soy inks to create color. Some manufacturers that have chosen this sustainable route include: BioViva (France), Ravenburger (Germany), Makedo (Australia), Amigo (Germany). These are just a sampling of the many sustainable manufacturers represented here at the Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nuremberg that are continuing to build greener products for a sustainable planet.