About Our Suppliers
About our Suppliers
In 1875 Anker developed an alternative to, the more unstable, wooden building blocks, they developed a method of manufacturing precisely shaped building blocks using quartz sand, powdered chalk & linseed oil. The manufactured stone is beautifully smooth & a delight to build with.
Bala Sport is a co-operative style organisation. It was set up to expand the availability & use of ethically produced Fairtrade sports balls (focusing initially on footballs) in the UK & beyond.
The Fairtrade Mark is the most widely recognised ethical label globally & trusted by 89% of UK consumers. A key role of Bala Sport is to raise awareness of the issues around Fairtrade sports balls & how they help make a difference in the lives of some of the estimated 40,000 workers in Sialkoy, Pakistan (where around 70% of the world's hand-stitched balls are made).
When the high quality Fairtrade certified football is sold in the UK the buyer is guaranteed that the men & women who made these hand-stitched products are paid a fair wage & benefit from fair working conditions & also the additional Fairtrade Premium.
This is a cash sum used for social, economic & environmental development projects decided upon through a democratic process & typically included free healthcare & educational projects for workers & their families & the wider community. Recent stats show that retail sales of Fairtrade certified products as a whole in the UK generated £23 million in Fairtrade Premium. This organisation will ensure that in future the amount benefiting sports ball workers in Pakistan will rise significantly.
Barefoot Books celebrates art & story that opens the hearts & minds of children from all walks of life, focusing on themes that encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning & respect for the world's diversity. Barefoot believes that the welfare of our children is dependent on the welfare of the planet, so it source paper from sustainably managed forests & constantly strive to reduce our environmental impact. Playful, beautiful & created to last a lifetime, Barefoot products combine the best of the present with the best of the past to educate our children as the caretakers of tomorrow.
BioWare products, raw material manufacturing & disposal have all been developed to have a lower impact on the environment. The BioWare range uses different compostable raw materials, mainly bio-coated paper board, biopolymers & moulded fibre made from recycled paper & paperboard. All BioWare products are certified in accordance with EN13432, the European norm for compostability of packaging. When disposed of in the optimal conditions (60ºC, 95% humidity) of industrial composting facilities, all BioWare products compost into soil in 45-60 days. They can be disposed of through industrial composting, incineration, mechanical or chemical recycling.
What is the difference between biodegradable & compostable?
Biodegradable materials can decompose into very small fractions by biological activity & changes to the chemical structure of the material. Compostable materials can fully decompose back to soil, leaving no visible, distinguishable or toxic residue, in a set time frame & under pre-defined conditions. In other words, composting is a complete form of biodegradability.
BLAFRE is a family company based in Oslo, established in 2005. Inspired by their daughter, Nora, the owners Ingrid & Remi design & make beautiful home products for children, such as lunch boxes, sandwich tins & stainless steel drinks bottles. The drinks bottles are made from 18/8 stainless steel. The whole bottle, excluding the cap, is recyclable. The boxes are made from tin & comply with the RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC. All are made by adult workers in controlled factories in China with fair pay & good conditions.
Compost Me! manufactures 100% compostable food packaging made from plants. These products turn back into soil in only 12 weeks after use. All materials are sustainably sourced.
FairCorp has been working with disadvantaged producer groups in Africa, Asia, & Latin America for many years. Over the years it has developed fair trade criteria, these criteria still form the basis of many Fair Trade labelling initiatives & Fair Trade companies. The "Ethletic" sportsballs are made to a high standard & are competitively priced to broaden their appeal. The company donates footballs to disadvantaged children all over the world, especially those in areas traumatised by conflict & poverty.
The Green Board Game Co
A company that has always recognised the importance of the environment we live in. The company has always used as high a content of recycled/recyclable material as possible & strives to source ethically. They are members of Sedex (Suppliers Ethical Data Exchange). All the games are invented & designed in the UK. All products are fully tested EN-71. The Green Board Game Co has an established environmental & Ethical policy. In summary, this is to purchase components & materials for its finished products which are produced & delivered under conditions that do not involve the abuse or exploitation of any persons, & have the least negative impact on the environment. Green Board Games is among the major winners in the Green Apple Environment Awards – one of the few accredited feeder schemes into the international campaign
Gollnest & Kiesel takes sustainability seriously. Wood is a naturally self-regenerating raw material. This company sources all its wood from places where it can grow back again.
Every year Goki plants a tree for every new-born child in the most northerly German federal state. This has resulted in 25,000 trees for a new area of public woodland in Schleswig-Holstein! This means that the woods remain the common property of the state of Schleswig-Holstein.
In 2011 Goki handed over 60,000 trees to the state for a new forest near the capital, Kiel. Some of the new trees were planted by children from the forest kindergarten Kiel-Molfsee together with Gerhard Gollnest and Fritz-Rüdiger Kiesel.
Heimess has been producing wooden toys for 50 years. Their toys help to develop the senses (hearing, seeing, gripping) as well as improve motor skills & coordination; help children to recognise & understand colours, sizes & shapes; improve creativity & concentration. Their toys are made using natural materials, in particular native, renewable woods, such as beech & maple.
Legler is a company promoting affordable, original wooden toys because they are ecologically sound. The wood is from managed forests & the packaging is environmentally friendly. Wooden toys do not damage as easily as plastic ones & if they do can be repaired quickly with a spot of glue. Legler supports MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES, a charity providing medical aid in over 75 countries, often working in areas ravaged by civil war or natural disaster. They look after undernourished children, act as health advisors, provide refugee camps with clean water & combat epidemics. In 1999, MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Little Wigwam is a Green Company doing their bit to help the environment. Little Wigwam’s reusable placemats are made entirely of polypropylene, a synthetic product that is:
- Eco-friendly - made from carbon and hydrogen, the manufacturing process is non-polluting
- Durable - the material is very long-lasting
- 100% Recyclable - should you ever need to dispose of your placemat, it is 100% recyclable (Category 5)
- Re-recyclable - unlike other "recyclable" products, polypropylene can be recycled again and again and again. And again!
Little Wigwam Placemats are made entirely in Great Britain; involve no wasteful packaging; are fully compliant with European Toy Safety Standard EN71
Lyra manufacture high quality art materials for children. Their pencil crayons are soft leaded with a comfortable grip making them ideal for young children to use. Children enjoy using them & are delighted with the ease at which they can create marks on the paper. Lyra are widely used by schools. The products are non-toxic & use natural materials.
Mercurius offers a complete, thoroughly tested range of quality art products. Mecurius believes that an environment rich in sensory experiences is extremely important for the healthy development of children.
The MeltDown Eco Bowl is the first product in the UK made entirely from recycled & reprocessed post consumer bottle tops. This type of plastic waste is often not able to be recycled in all areas of the UK, this means that many bottle tops end up being sent to landfill, small pieces of plastic waste like this can also cause severe damage to marine wildlife. Different types of plastic are used to make bottle tops so separating them for recycling can be time consuming & expensive, to make our products we use plastic milk bottle tops as they are usually all made of a plastic called HDPE. We work with local authorities, schools & community groups to encourage collection of waste milk bottle tops. A charity donation is made for each tonne of tops collected & recycled into brand new products
Oskar & Ellen
Oskar & Ellen products are ethically made in sewing studios in the Philippines. They are not mass produce & therefore, each product is unique. Oskar & Ellen believe parents of today appreciate unique, fun products of high quality with an educational element. Oskar & Ellen believe that quality is always better than quantity. These products are made & tested to the applicable standard.
Based in Schleswig-Holstein, the Stockmar company has been making quality products for art & art teaching for many decades. Hans Stockmar started with beekeeping products & beeswax candles in 1922. Acting on the suggestion of certain art teachers he soon proceeded to develop his modelling wax, & more than 50 years ago the classic Stockmar wax crayon was then created. Stockmar products have no negative effects on health or on the environment. The suppliers of the raw materials must provide detailed documentation showing the origin & composition of the materials supplied.
Villa Carton is an initiative set up by two Dutch artists. They are committed to creating toys that stimulate the imagination, have educational value & are fun to play with. They have created a small collection of inspirational toys, including a life sized Rocking Chair that takes a person up to 45kg, a Dollhouse, Colouring Books & Marker pens. All these products are made from heavy duty cardboard so are biodegradable &, therefore, environmentally friendly. They have recently created a dressing up range made from biodegradable fabric that children can colour in to their own design with fabric crayons. These products are not only educational, but also encourage creativity & social interaction.