An innovative subscription service is widening access to toys and reducing emissions from toy manufacturing
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Spotted: As most parents know all too well, a lot of money gets spent on toys that are played with for only a short time and then discarded or forgotten. Aside from being unnecessarily expensive, this is also environmentally unsustainable – especially as most toys are made from virgin plastics. However, at the same time, toys and play are essential to children’s development. To tackle these issues, Colombian startup Toynovo has created a circular model for toys.
Toynovo has developed a unique subscription service that allows parents and educational institutions to rent or buy ‘gently used’ toys through the platform for a monthly fee. Users can also exchange toys for new ones and sign up to receive a monthly bundle to exchange multiple toys on a regular basis.
In addition, Toynovo donates any toys that are no longer suitable for the subscription service to low-income families – extending their life further. Along with the toys, the company also provides educational materials for schools, community parks and play kits, and breastfeeding cabins for workplaces. The company has even developed its own line of (non-plastic) toys, called Joynovo.
Toynovo became a certified B Corp in 2022 and claims that it has eliminated more than 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide by extending the life of toys. The company is also expanding in other directions – exploring ways to reinforce toys so they last longer, repurposing toys made from wood into construction materials, and expanding the service to the US.
Toys are just the latest product to be offered on a subscription basis to widen access and save resources. We have also recently spotted affordable subscription models for kids’ bicycles and reusable nappies.
Written By: Lisa Magloff