New In! Nature's Purest Organic Lion Attachable Travel Chime - lovely baby gift!
Organic Skincare for Babies and Children
Recommended Baby Skincare Products
NEW Organic hand sanitiser, keeps little fingers clean & germ-free on the go, without water or wipes
Organic Monkey Baby Gift Trio Set
About Organic Toys
ABOUT ORGANIC TOYS
We hope may find the following factual information useful when considering organic toys…
|There are three main benefits of opting for organic toys:
Organic toys are made using fabrics which have not had pesticides or toxic substances used in their production. You have increased peace of mind in terms of these natural toys' purity and ultimate suitability for your baby or child, particularly in cases where skin sensitivities or allergies are an issue.
Organic cotton farmers and workers aren’t endangering their health or even risking their lives, as is the case with non-organic cotton, as a direct result of working with potentially fatal chemicals. Similarly, surrounding communities don’t face potentially lethal contaminants polluting the air they breathe, the soil or their water systems.
Non-organic cotton production is extremely harmful to the environment and damaging to fragile eco-systems and wildlife. Quite simply, organically grown cotton isn’t! Organic wool, from organically raised sheep, is kinder to both the sheep and the environment.
||First and foremost, from a safety perspective, all our toys carry the European CE mark, shown on the toys’ labels and meet or exceed the EN-71 European toy safety standard, to provide complete peace of mind. All of Sigikid's toys have also passed stringent LGA safety tests, as well as carrying the LGA Quality certificate which confirms successful testing that a product is of high and consistent quality.
|If you’re considering buying an organic toy, you’ll of course expect to have the reassurance of an independent, trustworthy and official means of knowing just how pure it really is, particularly as ultimately the person who’s going to be in the closest contact with the toy will be a baby or child, whose skin is far more delicate and sensitive than an adult's.
Inadequate UK legislation regarding the description of organic toys
Currently, UK law is extremely strict about organic food standards and the criteria that must be met before a food product can be described as “organic”. However, this isn’t the case for non-food items, which means that a toy can be called “organic”, even if it contains only a tiny organic element. At the moment, it’s not compulsory for companies selling non-food organic products to have their goods tested and certified. Increasingly though, reputable companies are voluntarily seeking certification to prove the authenticity of their products’ organic claims.
Additionally, a toy could be made using 100% certified organic cotton fabric, but if that certified fabric then undergoes manufacturing processes that introduce harsh substances into the fabric (for example, during bleaching, dyeing or finishing processes) the purity of the finished article will be compromised.
Wording such as “natural” can be misleading, relying on you making the assumption that natural is always the ideal and better than synthetic. This isn’t always the case though. Conventionally grown cotton will have been subjected to very harmful substances at crop stage.
Another example of natural not necessarily equating to harmless can be found in the case of dyes. Some previously permitted “natural” dyes are now known to be very potent carcinogens. In fact, there are actually some very good (albeit synthetic) non-toxic, “reactive” dyes which are eco-friendly as they are of low environmental impact. As these reactive dyes create a colourfast tint to the fabric very effectively, they have the advantage of not needing further chemicals as colour fixing agents. Some man-made reactive dyes are even permissible within organic certification standards.
100% organic cotton/wool
Wherever you see a fabric used for our toys being described as “100% organic” on our website or literature, this means that the material it’s describing has been made with organically grown fibres, to official organic standards and has been awarded organic certification. In such instances, the fabric has either been untreated any further, or has undergone only environmentally-friendly, non-toxic processes. Please see individual toys' descriptions for more details.
What the toys we stock are made from
|At The Organic Toy Company, we go beyond just offering you “organic toys”. Our aim is to provide you with honest, detailed and easy to understand information about the composition and purity of the toys you are buying for the children you love.
All of our toys have, at the very least, a main outer fabric which is 100% organic. Some of the toys are made entirely from 100% organic textiles, inside and out, whilst some have other fillings which aren’t organic but which are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
If any parts of the toys are made with fabrics which aren’t organic or are even synthetic, we make sure we tell you, rather than keep quiet about it! We equip you with these facts in our detailed descriptions of each toy, so that you know exactly what you’re buying.
A small number of the toys we sell do have minimal features (eg feet, scarves, contrasting fabric for inner ears, etc) which are made from conventional cotton or non-organic fabrics, such as silk. Whilst this isn’t ideal, we do want to maintain a wide range of choice and as long as the main outer “body” of the toy is organic, we will provide choice and arm you with all the facts, so you can decide for yourself. Please check individual product descriptions for this information.
||Various certification bodies test and assess the purity of organic toys and, in some cases, their ethical footprint. There are numerous organic certification associations whose standards are recognised internationally, including: Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS); Organic Trade Association (OTA) in North America; Control Union (CU) and SKAL in The Netherlands; Institute for Marketecology (IMO) in Switzerland and Demeter; to name just some. GOTS certification for the finished toy.
|GOTS certification can be awarded to an organic toy as a finished product (rather than just certifying the textile used to make the toy). In such cases, this level of GOTS certification confirms that the end toy has complied with strict GOTS organic standards throughout every part of its production. In addition, GOTS certification demonstrates that fair trade policies are in practice for all workers who have been involved in the various phases of the toy’s production, tracing back as far as the cotton crop stage.
Some of the organic toys we stock feature coloured fabrics but are actually undyed. In these cases, this is achieved simply by using fibres from naturally occurring brown, green or white varieties of the cotton plant, thereby producing coloured fabric without using any dyes.
It is possible to colour organic textiles without introducing harsh chemicals, by using low-impact “reactive” dyes which are safe, colourfast and environmentally-friendly, some of which do comply with the strict organic regulations. Any toys we stock which have undergone a dyeing process have done so with the use of safe, eco-friendly and non-toxic dyes.
Conventionally, in textile production, finishing processes are commonly used to give fabrics a particular feel or appearance, for example, to give a material a soft or shiny quality. If commonly used substances, such as formaldehyde, are used as a finishing agent on an organic textile, this process represents a further opportunity for harmful chemicals to be introduced, unless organic standards or non-toxic considerations are followed.
Öko-Tex 100 certification
The Öko-Tex 100 standard (sometimes referred to as Oeko-Tex 100) is a certification awarded to fabrics which have passed tests which show them to be free from the top 100 pesticides or harmful chemicals most often found as residues in textiles, when tested. Öko-Tex certification is not limited to organic textiles – it can also be applied to non-organic textiles. Öko-Tex certification is sometimes mistakenly believed to be an organic certification, but it isn’t.
It is important to note that Öko-Tex 100 certification has its limitations and this can be a source of confusion. It does show that a certified fabric has passed stringent tests for the absence of certain harmful substances at the time of testing, but it doesn’t guarantee that such substances have not actually been used in an earlier process or at crop stage. Vigorous washing may simply have been carried out to successfully removed any residues of toxins prior to Öko-Tex testing.
Therefore, it doesn’t provide any assurances that the fabric has not previously undergone processes or used chemicals that may have had a negative impact on the environment or human health. Given this, conventional cotton can also be awarded Öko-Tex certification. This is possible because aggressive washing, prior to testing, will conceal the cotton plants’ atrocious environmental history of having been heavily contaminated with pesticides and other toxic pollutants. However, a fabric which has organic certification does provide an environmentally-responsible guarantee in this respect.
Sources of Expert Information
For technical information and advice, we’ve referred to The Soil Association’s organic textiles expert as well as Pesticides Action Network who campaign tirelessly against the use of pesticides. These organisations’ websites share with you a wealth of knowledge, so you may find it helpful to click onto their sites from our Links page if you’re interested in more in-depth and expert information.
The Soil Association is the largest and most recognised organic certification body in the UK and their website also provides informative pages relating to organic textiles.
There’s an excellent publication entitled “My Sustainable T-Shirt” about the manufacture of conventional, compared to organic, textiles and whilst this mainly makes reference to organic clothing, the basic principles and facts are the same for the organic textiles that are used for making toys. If you would like to know more about how organic cotton fabric is produced, "My Sustainable T-shirt" at http://www.pan-uk.org/Projects/Cotton/Resources/index.html should tell you everything you need to know! Please see our Links page for more sources of information.