In our commitment to one of our sustainability goals—“Inspire others to join us in asking questions, learning, and taking action”—Lovevery’s Sustainability Team is excited to bring families more helpful sustainability resources in our blog and on social media (@lovevery).
When it comes to your child’s development and the health of the planet, materials matter. In our commitment to sustainability, we work to source materials that are safe for your family and easier on the environment.
We’ve heard from our community that they’d like to learn more about how and why we choose the materials for our play products.
Here’s a closer look at OEKO-TEX® certification, organic cotton, and bioplastics, including insight from our sustainability experts and advisors.
What does it mean to be OEKO-TEX® Certified?
OEKO-TEX® provides standards that ensure maximum consumer safety in textile products. The third party organization takes into account numerous regulated and non-regulated substances that may be harmful to human health.
In many cases, the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 goes beyond national and international requirements. The OEKO-TEX®️ organization closely monitors the latest global legal standards regarding harmful substances and continuously updates the standards based on these regulations.
“Naturally, parents want to provide the best possible care for their children, whether that’s protecting their health from toxins or protecting the earth they will inherit. OEKO-TEX® considers all the ways a substance could affect their little ones and adjusts the restrictions based on use. The independent and rigorous testing helps combat greenwashing and unverified claims so that busy parents can quickly identify products that match their goals.”– Casey Strauch, a representative from OEKO-TEX®
How does an item become OEKO-TEX® certified?
A company or supplier can submit a product to be tested by an OEKO-TEX®️ institute to be eligible for certification. When a textile item passes the test, anyone can look up detailed information about the product and see what substances are tested through the process. The submitted product needs to be tested annually to ensure it meets the most up-to-date standards.
Why is OEKO-TEX® important to Lovevery?
“Harmful substances in textiles can enter our systems through skin contact, breathing and saliva. With thinner skin and lower defenses, children, pregnant women and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to chemical exposure. When a garment is OEKO-TEX® certified, testing includes every fabric, color, button, zipper, etc, parents can be certain that the product they are putting close to their kids has been tested to protect their health.”– Casey Strauch, a representative from OEKO-TEX®
Lovevery uses the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®️ label, which is the organization’s label for all textile products. Lovevery’s Organic Baby Quilt, Nap Mat, and Play Gym are STANDARD 100 OEKO-TEX®️ certified. Testing our products with this global standard improves the quality assurance of our products—to help give your child the best possible start. It is one of the world’s best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances.
Organic cotton vs. conventional cotton
Cotton is one of the most widely grown crops in the world and heavily used within textiles. According to a 2020 study from Cambridge University, “organic cotton production may alleviate the environmental impacts of intensive conventional cotton production.” Historically, pesticides and other farm chemicals have been connected with water and soil pollution and harmful effects on ecosystems, animals, and humans. In particular, conventional cotton involves high usage of pesticides and chemical fertilizers and defoliants, including glyphosate, an herbicide classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Certified organic cotton means that farmers can’t use toxic, persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, sewage sludge, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic farmers also have to use methods that build soil health, which can improve the amount of carbon stored in the soil and support on-farm biodiversity.
How does Lovevery use organic cotton?
Lovevery uses organic cotton in select items its Play Kits, the Organic Baby Quilt, the Nap Mat, and many other Playthings. Although organic cotton does come at a higher cost, it’s key in our commitment to the planet and your family.
What is a bioplastic?
Bioplastics are made with ethanol created by renewable biomasses such as corn and sugarcane. Rather than extracting petroleum, a finite resource, from the ground to make standard plastics, materials to make bioplastics can be regrown. Choosing a renewable material provides a variety of sustainability benefits:
- Emits less carbon dioxide to produce the material.
- Reduces the amount of air pollution and reliance on fossil fuels.
- Avoids food source competition by using a byproduct of sugarcane harvesting
Is a bioplastic compostable?
Bioplastics can either be made to decompose, be composted, or to have the same integrity as a standard plastic so it can be recycled. It’s important to check with companies on how to dispose of their specific bioplastic materials. Lovevery’s bioplastics can be recycled (although we hope you’ll pass them down to friends and family for more fun and learning).
Are all bioplastics the same?
Since bioplastics are still being developed, they are made from various resources and can also have a different percentage of bioplastic content. As of 2021, the EU requires the amount of biobased content in biobased plastic bags to be 60%, but this standard is not universal to all products.
Lovevery uses sugarcane-based bioplastics in the following products:
- Super Sustainable Sink with Bio-Based Cups and Plates (The Helper Play Kit)
- Jump-In Eco Hoops (Investigator Play Kit)
- Turtle Hatch Game (The Problem Solver Play Kit)
As the market and technology innovation for bioplastics improve, Lovevery will pursue incorporating more bioplastics and other sustainable materials in our products to reduce our carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels.
Learn more about The Lovevery Commitment and the sustainable actions we’re taking. Visit our Lovevery Play Kits, Play Gym and other play essentials webpages to learn more about the sustainable materials we use in our products.
Delate, K., Heller, B., & Shade, J. (2021). Organic cotton production may alleviate the environmental impacts of intensive conventional cotton production. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 36(4), 405-412.
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