Once a year, leading global baby gear brands gather in Cologne, Germany to share their latest at the Kind + Jugend trade fair, in hopes that retailers share their product visions. Although the show is not open to the public, we walked the 100,000 square meters of show space to search for exemplary sustainable children's furniture, safety gear, textiles, hygiene, toys and baby clothes. Read on to find eco-friendly sun protection, the world’s thinnest highchair, and more of the best products coming to the baby gear market.
Austrian based Supaflat’s flagship product is a highchair that packs up to only 4 cm in thickness. Designed for feeding babies from 6 months to 3 years, the highchair is fit for modern interiors. The ultra-thin design saves on fossil fuels used for shipping, and is available in a natural wood finish. The Supaflat booth also previewed a flat folding crib that we hope to see on the market soon.
Mother’s Corn feeding products are made from corn and non-toxic inks, so your baby can enjoy healthy and safe meals. They are free from hazardous substances such as environmental hormones like BPA, and carcinogenic ingredients like phthalates and PVC. Even though the inks used to decorate products are safe, they are minimized and kept away from surfaces where baby could teethe. The range of products span ages, so your toddler can eat happy too.
ImseVimse offers clothing to protect your baby from the sun without chemicals or toxins. Their vibrantly colored sun covers, swim shirts, and bottoms meet the high qualifications of Oeko-Tex Standard. This independent test is specific for textiles used for children ages 0-3. The garments are rated at a UPF 50+ which means that they blocks 98% of the UV radiation.
Ultra-soft, and available in super cute prints, Bambini & Me offers a range of suits, swaddles, and rompers. When the founders thought of making soft, sustainable baby clothing, they found out that bamboo has many incredible properties. Before they are harvested, bamboo plants absorb around five times more carbon dioxide than most other trees and produce more oxygen. Some are extremely fast growing, at more than 3 feet per day without any fertilizers, so they regenerate quickly. For baby’s health, bamboo clothing has the benefits of being anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, as well as perfect for moisture and temperature control.
PlanToys are made from natural rubber wood trees that no longer produce latex, and would otherwise be waste. To keep the wood pure, no fertilizer is added to the soil three years prior to cutting the trees down. Surplus wood pieces from production are also used in their Biomass generator to produce electricity for the whole factory and villages around the PlanToys factory. In order to keep the company carbon neutral, they planted over 9,000 trees to offset the carbon dioxide from manufacturing of approximately 2.5 million toys. See our extensive coverage of PlanToys here.
Founded in 2009, Krethaus is an Argentine firm dedicated to contemporary design. All of the products focus on simplicity and giving character to family life. Their children’s furniture line is made from natural wood with non-toxic coating to finish. One of our favorite pieces is the Bienvida crib, which has a structure made from machine washable, and extremely durable paper. The crib transitions as the child grows and can be used up to two years of age, when it then transitions into a junior bed.
We absolutely love these tubs of creativity from Fischer. Kids can make castles, creatures, or anything they can dream up with 100% biodegradable spongy blocks called TiP. Made from potato starch that was grown and processed locally, TiP Sticks are made without glue, and they’re completely safe for play. The little TiP logs can be wet to stick to each other. They can also be cut, shaved, or even soaked to use as “paint.” Kids can make their own scene or follow themed kits.
Quite possibly the most stylish, soft, and sustainable clothing and toys seen at the show were from Wooly Organic. All the materials used in their lines are 100% certified organic cotton by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and grown without the use of toxic fertilizers or pesticides. The toys use corn fiber ploylactic acid (PLA) filling, which is naturally hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and Oeko-Tex certified. PLA is made entirely from a fermented corn processing and is completely biodegradable. Even the packaging for all Wooly Organic products is FSC certified cardboard and printed with soy ink.