We are planning on making birthdays and end-of-year about experiences more than about things, but we know that people will want to buy Harper presents. I figure I ought to have one spot to point people for things we’re after or at least brands that we think are desirable.
We’re hippies… ideally, choose products that are local, hand-made or fair-trade, made with natural fibres (cotton, wood, paper, cornstarch). Reused is great! Second-hand means less landfill — but see the notes of caution below. Recycled is next best (we just found a terrific line called Green Toys that’s made from recycled milk containers and a line of books and floor puzzles from InnovativeKids that’s 98% recycled content).
Items we’d like & online stores:
- Harper currently wants a car, desperately…
- Mae fabric wall decals for Harper’s wall (want want want, especially the tree, birds and animals)
- The Baby Book
- Just about anything from EcoToys Australia
- Most of the toys from PlanToys
- The dino T-shirt from My Heart Beats Green
- Lovely clothes from the Tea Collection (especially some of the dresses and the sleepwear)
- The colourful Barbara Sansoni backpack (seen at Fairground Child)
Real world stores
In Melbourne, shops that stock eco-friendly and fair trade toys are:
Some notes of caution
If you find something you think is just adorable and it isn’t on this list, there are a few things to watch out for:
- Doug is allergic to wool, fur and feathers. This means: no felt, no woollen toys, even though they’re natural.
- We’d prefer not to expose Harper to toxic chemicals, volatile organic compounds and other fun things, even when something is second-hand. This means: choose wood and cotton first; no polyester filling or materials; ask whether the plastic toy is BPA-free; no PVC if it’s something she’ll hold or suck. Also, check “eco” toys carefully: we’ve found 100% silk items that are filled with silk, but covered in polyester and toys labelled Bamboo! in big letters that are actually 20% polyester.
- We suspect Harper is gluten- and dairy-intolerant. This means: check that the gluten-free food you buy is also dairy-free (no milk, no cream, no butter, no yoghurt).
Thank you for helping us create a loving and safe environment for our daughter.
PS: gifts to charities on her behalf are also a wonderful idea.