Consumers want you to lead the way with eco-friendly toys

How can toy retailers lead environmentally-friendly changes with the resources we have available?

Posted: 28th September 2022
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Consumers want you to lead the way with eco-friendly toys

Scotland - Keycraft’s beautiful home - has been hosting the United Nations’ COP 26 conference in the fabulous city of Glasgow this last week. Protecting the environment is a priority for our business, so we’ve been following conference news with interest. It has naturally got us thinking about our own sustainability measures.

Children will always need toys as a fundamental part of their early-life development and enjoyment, and we also have to work within the parameters of our economic and political systems. Our own environmental policy focusses on responsibly sourced materials, products and packaging, using recycled or recyclable materials where we can.

However, we know there’s room to keep improving. For toy retailers collectively, what can we consistently do to make a bigger difference with the tools and resources we’ve got?

Here are a few of my thoughts.

1. Offer more eco-friendly toy products

The easiest way to help is simply to offer more eco-friendly products for sale.

There has been a surge in demand for sustainable products, with a 71% rise in searches for sustainable goods over the past five years. That demand grew particularly rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since more consumers are proactively seeking out these products, offering eco-friendly toys in your store will help boost sales amongst this growing demographic in a virtuous win-win.

Keycraft’s Living Nature™ range is centered on its eco-friendly credentials, using our Naturlistuffing from recycled bottles. Each toy comes with a hang tag detailing how many recycled bottles have been used to make it. This offers a unique selling point and feel-good appeal for eco-conscious customers. I have no doubt it’s been a big contributing factor to the success we’re having with this brand.

Our sustainably sourced Majigg™ wooden toys are also popular if you’d like to sell less plastic toys. We are always making steps towards being more eco-friendly with our wider range of products, but it's a rolling change.

2. Encourage eco-friendly toy demand

Consumer demand plays a crucial role in driving change. Aim to convert more customers who weren’t necessarily looking for an eco-friendly option, but can be persuaded to make an eco-friendly choice with influential merchandising.

Give your eco-friendly toy collections pride of place in your toy displays, floor layout or website. Provide signage that attracts attention to the eco-friendly credentials of your toy stock, allowing customers to make informed decisions that feel good by supporting positive change.

In addition, children learn through play. Nature-themed toys help create more emotional connection with our natural world. That’s another great reason to choose our lovable Living Nature soft animals! Each one comes with a fun, educational hang tag about the animal.

3. Sell products with minimum packaging

I’m sure we’ve all had moments where we are buying a product in unnecessary plastic packaging and wondered why the manufacturer had to make life harder for us to be kind to the planet!

If you can prioritise stock that doesn’t come with packaging, there will be a cumulative positive impact. It’s another great brand-enhancing promo op for your store or website. Why not put up window signage (or product description info) advertising the fact that you are minimizing packaging to save the planet?

Keycraft has a wide range of pocket money toys with minimal packaging. Check out our popular brands and speak to our team if you’re looking for toys with less or no packaging. We also have complimentary display stands so you don’t miss out on brand appeal without the packaging.

4. Increase logistical efficiency

I’m sure your business already plans stock and customer deliveries as efficiently as possible for cost reasons. And of course, the more you can consolidate transport, the more carbon emissions are saved.

However, have you also considered the size and weight of products? Following on from my point above, lighter products with less packaging save transport space and fuel. They are also easier to store onsite in your own facilities, allowing you to make less frequent stock replenishment orders.

If you’d like Keycraft to set aside toy stock to help you consolidate your regular deliveries, please speak to our team when placing your orders.

5. Offer a used-toy donation box

Unfortunately, plastic toys often can’t be recycled. But instead of throwing them away, encourage your customers to donate them. Provide a used toy donation box in your store to help remind customers that they can be upcycled once children have outgrown them. You could find a local charity, hospital, child-care center, or family support organization that would be happy to receive them.

Don’t forget to provide a sign pointing out that donating toys helps the planet and children, and mention the organizations you donate to. Repetition of messaging helps people remember and become more conscious of protecting the planet. It also helps communicate the values of your business, encouraging loyalty and support from customers with the same values.

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