For some years now, wood and natural materials came back in the toys shops alleys. Yet, the vast majority of toys are still made from low quality and non recyclable plastics, for an average of 7 months use.
Toys are as polluting as the textile industry.
Ecology is one core element of Fabulabox genesis and brought us to deeply question the toy life cycle to find the right solutions.
Does a toy have to be wooden to be ecofriendly ?
How does Fabulabox designs and produces toys in a complete ecodesign approach ?
Ecodesigned toys : made from natural and durable materials
The first issue to solve was the choice of materials. Many natural materials are not ecological in their production or processsing. We chose to study a vast group of biomaterials, with no prejudice, and with the help of experts from each sector and the testing of materials engineers’ students.
Wooden toys ? Ideal for simple and color-free forms. But impossible for a system that was visually rich like our Fabulabox : we would have needed more than 7 layers of printing and solvent to fix them. Moreover, our innovation is also an assembly system to increase fine motor skills for all children, and the rigidity of wood even thin made it impossible to make it work.
What about wood fibre ? After many researches we identified 2 types of cardboard that met our specifications : wood from FSC forests, both smooth and durable.
Our sceneries are made from a very resistant flat cardboard, usually used for Champagne packaging and printable in natural inks without chemical additives. And our gameboards are made from a double microflute cardboard. Resistant to warping and to the real life of children, while being biosourced and recyclable : cardboard toys are a wonderful option… as long as you make the choice of quality and ecological sourcing.
What else ? To solidify the sceneries, we developped a bioplastic plug colored with mineral pigments. As solid as a Lego but 100% made from natural materials, our bioplastic plugs are really biodegradable and even compostable at home (which is rarely true !).
Why did we choose bioplastics instead of recycled plastics ? We tell you more here
Ecological toys : local production and zero waste
After months of researchs on materials and their whole impact, we worked on the production of our ecological and educative toys.
2 key stakes for us :
► produce as close as possible to favor local jobs and reduce transportation,
► and integrate a zero waste approach.
Clearly not that easy !
France has a strong industrial and craft networks both in wood and paper, and in bioplastics. All the meetings we made with our partners help us fine-tuned our design to decrease the amount of material used and optimize our production.
All our Fabulabox are made in France, close to our headquarter in Lyon, to allow us to establish solid partnerships, to better control quality and to limit the necessary route to assemble our toys.
Yet another element is key to ecodesign : the toy packaging.
Have you noticed how inside a construction game packaging, you throw away more plastic dunnage and overwrap that the real toy volume ?
Toy market is ruled by a harmful belief that a big size justifies a big price, leading to unnecessary materials around the toy. We opted for the opposite strategy with a zero waste approach: all our Fabulabox have a very compact format that requires NO inside dunnage, and no overwrap thanks to the quality of our cardboard.
In each Fabulabox, everything is ecological and qualitative : each element is useful and reusable, and was designed to be resistant and durable, nothing is disposable.
You are Fabulous
Ecological toys design requires to integrate all steps of a toy lifecycle. Trends such as recyclable plastics can hide ecological and sanitary major issues. Since no specific label exist for toys, we recommend you to read producers websites and ask questions. We will always be happy to share with you our knowledge and approach.