Keel Toys is paving the path for sustainability in the plush aisle with revised manufacturing methods and the launch of its new brand, Cuddleco, a line of 100 per cent recyclable and sustainable soft toys.
Cuddleco is a line of eco-friendly toys, manufactured and stuffed with 100 per cent recycled polyester from plastic waste, while the traditional glass eyes have been replaced with cotton embroidered eyes, that both reduces each toy’s carbon footprint while “giving each a unique and playful character.”
To further the eco message, the Cuddleco range will feature endangered animals from the four corners of the world including, Turtle, Sloth, Tiger, Snow Leopard, Panda, Blue Whale, Great Apes and Polar Bear to name a few.
For Eco awareness the range will be labelled with the sustainable message and offered with a variety of retail solutions. Furthermore, even the now iconic Keel symbol and hang tag are to be formed from FSC card and attached to the toy with cotton. The sew in label is recycled, and all are manufactured in an ICTI ethically audited factory.
“Keel Toys are recognised around the world by the iconic red disc in the ear of each toy, our seal of quality and value. As the first step of our new sustainability initiative, we are delighted to announce that starting from our November factory shipments, all our items will now carry a new Keel Toy icon formed from FSC cardboard, saving plastic on the millions of toys we sell each year,” read a statement from the firm.
Single use plastics and bottles have become one of the hottest topics over the last few years, resulting in the increased use of recycled polyester. Recycled polyester, also known as rPET, is obtained by first collecting bottles and other plastic waste and cleaning them.
The cleaned bottles and then shredded into pellets. To create the yarn the pellets are crushed and melted which are spun into thread. This process gives plastic a second life and uses 59 per cent less energy to produce than virgin polyester.
“Just to give an example, 16 water bottles will produce enough fibre to make a 30cm toy. While much attention is given to rPET made from plastic bottles and containers thrown away by consumers, in reality polyethylene terephthalate can be recycled from both post-industrial and post-consumer input materials,” said Keel Toys.
“We are proud to say that we have already phased in the 100 per cent use of recycled polyester stuffing in all our toys. The next step for us was to design a fully sustainable range.”
Keel Toys has committed to assessing all aspects of its business to look for ways to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing.
“Over the past year we have installed LED lighting in our offices and 115,000 ft² warehouse to reduce our energy use. We have also started to move our Area Managers’ cars from diesel to Hybrid cars, and we even have our first pure electric car on order,” said the firm.