Is plastic really bad for our babies and children?
Our Plastic Free Baby shop is a friendly place to be. I know how hard it is to be a parent to small children, and for sure I don’t want there to be additional things for you to have to worry about and over think about. I hope that by offering my Plastic Free Baby shop, it’s one LESS worry to think about – I’ve searched high and low for products on the market that are good no-plastic or low-plastic alternatives to mainstream baby products, and all I’ve done is put what I have found all in one place. And I am still looking for new products every day that passes, as I know just yet that I haven’t got everything covered in our shop. Got an idea? Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are so many stories in the press about how bad plastics are for the environment, and there are now more and more stories about how they are to be avoided particularly by Mums, infants, and children. I’m not trying to scare the living daylights out of anyone, but there are just some hidden chemicals that we should be more aware of exposing ourselves to. Here’s a little snippet of a show on Woman’s Hour recently exploring this exact thing, with one expert suggesting the avoidance of plastic items for children: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p075vyg2
How does Plastic Free Baby operate?
Plastic Free Baby was founded by me and run by me… Laura! I am a single mum living in Brighton. The business operates through something called “drop shipping” (an expression I’d never heard before coming to this venture!) which is basically where I don’t keep the products I sell in stock. Instead, when I sell a product, it is purchased from one of my lovely suppliers and is shipped directly to you, the customer.
As a result, I don’t handle the product you have purchased. This means that I don’t have to keep running to the Post Office five times a day with a 17 month old toddler in tow! I wouldn’t be able to run Plastic Free Baby in any other way, as my personal circumstances simply wouldn’t allow for it.
You don’t stock the item that I was hoping to find on your website. Why is that?
I explained in the ‘How does Plastic Free Baby operate?’ section that my business operates through drop shipping. This has many advantages, but also drawbacks. The main drawback is that not all suppliers of products (in my experience, very few) offer drop shipping as a retail fulfilment method, preferring mainly to offer only wholesale (buying in bulk, and keeping a warehouse of stock). This means that I am limited to those suppliers who do offer drop shipping, which is why I’m still on the search for other products that are missing in my shop at the moment (such as more eco child clothing brands, or natural rubber / glass baby bottles).
If you have any suggestions about what products we could stock in future, please send me an email here, and we will try and get in touch with the supplier or manufacturer. Thanks so much for thinking of me.
If you are a supplier or manufacturer that offers drop shipping as a retail fulfilment method, and wish to offer products to Plastic Free Baby, please email me - email@example.com - I’d LOVE to hear from you!
My item came packaged or wrapped in single use plastic. And on some of the product descriptions it is stated that the product might be wrapped in plastic. Why?
As explained in the ‘How does Plastic Free Baby operate?’ section, I can offer products on my website through drop shipping. This means I am not in charge of how the products are packaged and sent to you. I am, however, working with all my suppliers to discuss the benefits of going plastic-free in their packaging, but some are more able to amend their practices than others. For example, one of my suppliers is moving to paper based packaging but can only do this when they have used up their plastic packaging stock first. Other suppliers add it to their Unique Selling Points, by offering biodegradable packaging from the outset, to complement their eco products. It’s not an ideal situation, I realise this, but I am trying hard to make changes to business practices, and this will take time.
Some companies are doing well at this now, and will lead others to do the same thing. For example, a company called Surf Dome (Europe’s biggest retailer of surf apparel) decided to go plastic free in 2015 and by the end of that year they had 75% of plastic from their operations, equivalent to 650,000 plastic bottles by just changing to cardboard boxes, old boxes for packing and using gum tape. In 3 years they’ve eliminated the equivalent of 2million plastic bottles. (Page 135 – ‘No. More. Plastic.’ by Martin Dorey)
I am so very aware of how important this is. We (well, I in this case!) need to work with suppliers and manufacturers to understand the importance too.
The product description says that the item may contain small plastic mechanisms. Why?
I have tried to be as honest as I possibly can be on product description in my shop, to explain when a product may have a small plastic part or mechanism. For some products, this small plastic part may be a packaging tag, or a rivet.
It’s been incredibly hard to find baby / family products that are totally plastic free, as plastic has been the ‘go to’ material for such a long time now. This is why I decided that the tag line of Plastic Free Baby should be ‘low and no plastic alternatives’. If the vast majority of the item is plastic free, I have made the judgement call that this is suitable for my shop.
In time I’m hoping that shops like this one put pressure on manufacturers and designers to consider alternatives to plastic parts for children’s or baby products. Plastic free buggy, anyone? Plastic free car seat? Plastic free baby bath? There are so many things that can be and NEED to be designed without plastic. Until then, some items I sell may have tiny plastic parts, while the world catches up with this plastic-free consumer demand!
If you are a designer looking to hook up with us to develop a new Plastic Free baby product, please be in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org