wooden toys on the floor

What Makes a Toy Sustainable?

Toys that Make the World Better

“We’ve got the whole world in our hands!” To borrow and adapt the classic folk song, when we hold a sustainable toy and watch our children play with one, this saying feels even more true. As we witness our ever-changing world, finding ways to leave less of an impact is vital. And one way to care for our planet is by finding toys that leave less of a footprint, stand the test of time, and don’t add harmful materials to the world. Yet sometimes determining the best sustainable toys to add to your children’s toy box takes a lot of research, as does understanding exactly what makes a toy sustainable.

So let's delve into six key factors that define sustainable toys and why they matter for your children's playtime and for our world.

Thimbleberry dollhouse

Material Sourcing

Sustainable toys are crafted from responsibly sourced materials, such as FSC-certified or PEFC-certified wood, organic cotton, or recycled plastics. Sustainable soft toys should be made from certified raw materials such as organic cottons, organic wool fill or a hypoallergenic poly-fill made from recycled materials. Look for labels like GOTS certified (for fibers) to be sure you're buying truly organic soft toys. These materials minimize environmental impact by promoting sustainable forestry practices, reducing chemical exposure, and diverting waste from landfills.

Another material which has become a sustainable choice is rubberwood. Rubberwood trees produce latex for about 25 years. When they no longer produce latex, the forests of rubberwood are typically burnt down and replanted. Making wooden toys out of the non-producing trees is a great way to make use of materials that would otherwise be discarded. If eco-friendly rubberwood toys sound awesome to you, be sure to check out our collection of Plan Toys and Tender Leaf Toys.

Eco-Friendly Production

Sustainable toy manufacturers prioritize environmentally friendly production processes, such as low-energy manufacturing, water conservation, and waste reduction initiatives. By minimizing carbon emissions and resource consumption, these practices help mitigate climate change and preserve ecosystems.

At the German headquarters of HABA, for example, they collect rainwater and use their recycled wood chips as fuel. Tender Leaf Toys plants a tree for every tree used in their toy making production. 

Longevity and Durability

A sustainable toy is built to last, offering years of play and enjoyment. Durable construction ensures that toys withstand rough handling and multiple generations of play, reducing the need for frequent replacements and minimizing waste. Wooden toys are the best example of this kind of durability as they will last for years of play. Perhaps you even have wooden toys in your collection from your parents or grandparents. HABA’s pull along duck is still being played with by the great grandchildren of the company’s founder.

Wooden truck

Non-Toxic and Safe

Sustainable toys prioritize child safety by using non-toxic, eco-friendly materials and adhering to rigorous safety standards. By avoiding harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, and lead, these toys promote a healthier play environment for children. Eco-friendly wooden toys often use a beeswax finish and water-based stains on their toys.

For example German toy maker Grimm's Spiel & Holz collection of wooden toys are all naturally dyed using non-toxic, water-based stains, without varnishes or paints.

Ethical and Fair Trade Practices

Sustainable toy companies uphold ethical labor practices and support fair trade initiatives, ensuring that workers receive fair wages and safe working conditions. By fostering responsible manufacturing practices, these companies contribute to social justice and economic empowerment.

Tegu is a vertically-integrated magnetic block company located in Honduras that intimately know their supply chain and suppliers. Another company we love for there ethical structure is Ten by Three, the maker of our Bolga baskets who have created a prosperity wages model that goes beyond Fair Trade. And the beautiful felted playmats from Tara’s Treasures felted playmats are made by Nepalese artisans who are supported by fair wages and community support.

Wooden wands

Educational and Open-Ended Play

Although this doesn’t seem like a direct one, sustainable toys encourage imaginative play, creativity, and skill development and these important skills spark curiosity, problem-solving skills, and environmental awareness in children. Whether it's a simple wooden block set or a nature-inspired play kit, these toys encourage kids to imagine what is possible and this is exactly the vision we need to ensure we adapt to our changing planet and figure out ways to encourage eco-friendly practices and sustainable living.


At Bella Luna Toys, we’re committed to offering a thoughtfully curated selection of sustainable toys that prioritize quality, safety, and environmental responsibility. From handcrafted wooden toys to organic plush animals, each product in our collection embodies the values of sustainability and eco-conscious living.

We hope you find joy in embracing sustainability and thereby fostering a brighter future for our children and the planet. We truly believe that meaningful play experiences leave a positive impact on the world.

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