I remember before my son was born, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the safest products for my baby that were also environmentally friend. I created a zero waste baby registry that included all the best sustainable baby products like plastic free baby bottles and cloth diapers. However, as we made our way into toddlerhood, we came across the obstacle of sustainably made kid’s toys, especially stuffed animals. I created this post to share with you the best places to find eco friendly stuffed animals.
Don’t get me wrong. We have a lot of plush toys that are not sustainably made. However, if you’re like me and want to support small businesses that make stuffed animals that are safe for kids and better for the environment – this list is for you! Be sure to save this post to reference back to when you need a baby shower gift or kid’s birthday gift in the future!
Why Should You Consider Buying Eco Friendly Stuffed Animals?
- Environmentally sustainable: Eco friendly plush toys are made from materials that are biodegradable, recyclable, or made from renewable resources. This reduces the negative impact of the toys on the environment and helps preserve natural resources.
- Safe for children: Many conventional toys contain harmful chemicals such as lead, phthalates, flame retardants, and BPA. Eco friendly stuffed animals are free of these chemicals and are safer for children to play with. This is especially important when purchasing baby toys since babies put everything in their mouths!
- Better for the planet: The production and disposal of conventional toys contribute to pollution and landfill waste. Eco friendly stuffed animals, on the other hand, are designed to minimize waste and have a smaller ecological footprint.
- Support ethical companies: By purchasing sustainably made toys, you can support companies that prioritize ethical and eco friendly practices in their manufacturing processes.
- Teach children about sustainability: By choosing eco friendly toys, you can teach your children about the importance of sustainability and help them develop environmentally responsible habits from a young age.
Best Eco Friendly Stuffed Animal Brands
Bears for Humanity makes the sweetest certified organic cotton teddy bears and other plushies. We love their buy one, give one model where they provide a stuffed animal for a child in need with every purchase. These organic toys are made in the United States, and are hand sewn and stuffed with organic corn PLA fiber stuffing. They’re hypoallergenic, safe for sensitive skin! These stuffed animals come packaged in a biodegradable bag. The black bear is just the sweetest!
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While these stuffed animals are not made of organic materials, they ARE made with recycled materials. The fabric, fiber fill, thread, hang tag with cord are all made from 100% post-consumer material. These toys are handcrafted using 16 recycled plastic bottles. EcoKins are bead free with embroidered eyes and noses making them safe for little ones. These stuffed animals come packaged in a biodegradable bag. EcoKins are currently the only plush toys that are made from 100% post-consumer material.
Under the Nile has the softest most cuddliest 100% organic Egyptian cotton stuffies. This brand has a wide variety of eco friendly plush toys that are so adorable! They make these stuffed animal puppy dogs with leftover scrap fabric from clothing production making these toys extra sustainable. So great that, rather than using new material, they’re keeping these scraps from going to waste and upcycling them into something cute and useful. This fabric is certified by GOTS Global Organic Textile Standard. It’s free of Azo colorants, BPA, flame retardants, formaldehyde, fragrance, PVC or lead. All of their products are ethically made in certified fair trade facilities that adhere to the highest global textile and labor standards to ensure that the people who make these goods are treated well and paid fairly.
If you are a soon to be new parent, absolutely put one of these cuties on your baby registry. They’re so precious! Not only are these soft toys made sustainably but for every doll purchased, 10 meals are provided to children in need around the world through their respected giving partners. These toys are handmade in Peru with premium 100% cotton yarn, using sustainable, fair trade practices. They are stuffed with hypoallergenic polyfill to be the ideal cuddle weight. They support 1,000 artisans with equitable, fair trade employment and ensure that rural working mothers have access to flexible hours and are paid fairly for their work.
More stuffies made from recycled materials – how cool! Shore Buddies are stuffed animals made from recycled plastic water bottles. The bottles are collected and sorted by recyclable collectors. Then, the bottles get cleaned and shredded into plastic flakes. Some of these flakes are used for the Shore Buddies’ stuffing, others get melted and turned into polyester yarn for the soft outside. $1 from every product purchase goes to help save marine life. The sea turtle is my favorite!
Apple Park makes really sweet organic stuffed animals like this bunny! These toys are made with OEKO-TEX 100 eco-friendly dyes and corn fiber PLA filling. Apple Park stuffed toys are non toxic and made without flame retardants. They have a wide variety of other eco friendly children’s products including organic toys and apparel. This sweet soft bunny could easily become the favorite animal in your child’s life!
Last but not least on our list is Organimals from the Ultimate Green Store. They have so many cute handmade organic cotton toys. These stuffed animals are hand crocheted with global organic textile standards organic cotton yard. They’re stuffed with Oeko Tex 1 certified fill or available with wool filling if you request it. Mothers living on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey, where unemployment is rampant, make these sweet stuffed toys. Many of these women are refugees, with a significant number coming from Syria, who have no other source of income. This community of moms produces these toys by a supportive training center which teaches them the skill sets and allows them to either work from home or the training facility. They are encouraged to bring their children to the facility which is fully equipped with a play area, toys, and books.
Lastly, we are so fortunate to have a wide variety of brands that make organic, eco friendly stuffed animals these days. While I still believe the most environmentally friendly toys are the ones you already own or find secondhand, I do also love supporting small sustainable brands and think any of the above stuffed toys would be a great gift for the babies and kiddos in your life. Add one of these lovies to your baby registry or eco friendly Christmas list today!