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As early as the autumn, you’ll start wrapping your child’s scarf tightly around with great care before going out. With the first rays of sun, you have to make sure your child is wearing his white sun-hat and that he has sun-cream in his backpack. You’ve never ever taken all the seeds out of a watermelon, but for your kid you’re even prepared to sift through every grape one by one.
It’s a widespread and almost ancestral notion that kids are safe in their own home. To safeguard their well-being even more, you’ve even bought a glow-in-the-dark night light so they don’t trip up in the night or have bad dreams, and you’ve fitted bumpers on every corner, even on the bottom ones – just to be on the safe side.
But, have you ever stopped to think about how safe the objects your kid uses daily truly are? Do you know what the quality is of the timber, plastic and fabric on which he sleeps, plays, learns and grows up with?
There’s an answer to many of your anxieties: it’s called ecodesign, and when we are talking about kids, it’s a lot more useful than the umpteenth foam bumper pad you’d like to tie to his cot.
Sustainable design focuses on designing and manufacturing objects which can be assembled, used and disposed of in a sustainable way, considering the environmental impact of every technical and economic choice. However, eco-awareness doesn’t stop here, in fact it also takes into account the health and wellbeing of workers and end consumers – like your child.
Kids grow up fast: kids’ furniture will always struggle to keep up. It’s non-sustainable to keep updating the bed every two years, not to mention the little desk and chairs which go with it. It’s not sustainable for your wallet – nor for the environment!
To begin with, go for a convertible cot and bed: in this way you can be assured that your little ones have many blissful nights ahead – while this furniture grows with them. Also as far as the materials are concerned you would do well to consider the long-term impact.
For example, brand We Do Wood manufactures furniture using Moso bamboo, which grows so rapidly that it is the only plant in the world to keep up with constant use and deforestation, thus demonstrating that this is a responsible choice in the long-term.
However, Ninetonine has created the Tree for a Cot campaign: for every cradle sold, the brand will plant a tree named after the child for whom the cradle was bought.
And in the now? Make sure that the materials used haven’t been chemically treated during farming or manufacturing processes, especially if they’ve been painted, so you can prevent your children from inhaling or ingesting these harmful substances – because, as we know, children can’t help tasting everything when exploring.
The same cautions also apply to textiles. Go for organic cotton, wool, linen and jute – especially for carpets, where your child will spend a lot of time living out different adventures.
In fact, conventional cotton is grown using quantities of pesticides and fertilizers, which are harmful for the air, water, soil and for the health of the people who work in and live around the plantations. What’s more, the constant colouring and bleaching process can trigger allergic reactions, especially in the little one’s delicate skin.
After having persuaded your child to sit down politely, the next battle will be to get him to eat his greens.
However, you’ll be bound to agree on one thing: a plate set in bamboo, like the one by Love Mae, suits everyone. Its durability means it’ll survive being constantly thrown about or falling off the table, but also being washed in the dishwasher. All this, as well as being 100% biodegradable.
When choosing plates and cutlery for the little ones, remember to go for objects which are easy to use, functional in the long-term and... obviously, easy to clean.