What inspired you to set up Blue Brontide?
I learned that children' products are the most intensive users of plastics amongst consumer goods, about 15 times higher than the plastic usage in food packaging, with 90% of all toys & tableware for babies and toddlers between the age of 0-3 years being made solely of plastic!
Every year 8.5 million children's products end up being disposed of & accumulate on landfills in just the UK alone!
I found that as babies grow, what once was the most essential must have item, often ended up being just another plastic “thing” taking up space that ended up being disposed of with more new “stuff” taking its place - with a bit of research I found that over 40% of babies products have a lifespan no longer than 4 months!
Blue Brontide was born with a desire to shift the concept of children’s products with an “expiry date”, to become the Eco-friendly baby and kids collection that’s designed to keep & be passed on to new members as the family grows.
What ethics are important to you?
I think as a consumer & business sustainability is key, which is why all the products on our website are created with a minimum of waste, in sustainable & organic materials, always 100% plastic free & made with consideration to the environment. We strive to ensure that all of the products we make or choose to stock have a life-long lifespan, hopefully being passed down the family so fewer items will make their way to landfills.
Why do you think cutting down on waste is so important for everyone?
When you read in the press stories of whales being washed up with stomachs full of plastic bags or watch Sir David Attenborough Blue Planet II and see birds feeding their young plastic they have mistaken for food I don’t see how its an issue anyone can ignore anymore.
It’s a sad situation when the way we live our lives is affecting the whole world around us in such a drastic way, but it's not too late to implement the changes needed to make a difference & I think we're seeing a massive shift, particularly in consumer's purchase choices, people really do care where the item they bought came from, & how it was made and with more and more people become environmentally conscious consumers and waste becoming an issue that even sceptics can embrace, plastic items, in particular, are becoming less and less desirable! (which is great to hear)
We love your plates, trays and bento boxes – how did you come up with the idea for them?
When Blue Brontide started there really wasn’t a lot of choice when it came children’s tableware it was mostly plastic, disposable, in bright colours with some cartoon character adorned on it, we stared our range with the idea that simple & minimalistic doesn’t have to be boring and children’s tableware can have a lifespan of more than a few years. So our whole tableware range from plates, trays & bento boxes are crafted in solid oak wood, package-free and are most importantly built to last, made for keeps & designed to be passed down the family gathering memories & character along the way.
And what is the design/manufacturing process?
Our design practice is completely backwards! We always start with the materials first then move on to the design. The materials we use really are the most important aspect for each item we make.
Such as for all our fabric baby accessories we have carefully chosen fabrics that are original designs created first as sketches or hand-carved block prints then becoming screen prints, pulled by hand. Printed on natural fibres of hemp, cotton or linen, grown organically, GOTS certified, chemical-free from renewable sources.
The base cloths we use are also Fairtrade from factories where the working condition are checked by our fabric supplier to make sure theirs no unfair working practices taking place because ‘Theirs no beauty in the finest cloth it makes hunger & unhappiness’ ~ Mahatma Gandhi.
Your products are designed to be passed on and reused by families – do you get feedback about this?
That's right, it’s basically the whole ethos of our business, that Blue Brontide don't do 'disposable', we do 'made for keeps' by making and stocking children's items in sustainable & organic materials that are built for longevity.
We do get lovely feedback from customers who purchased plates from us over 5 years ago who say they are still like new & we recently received some great feedback from a customer letting us know that a toy tractor purchased from us for their first child has now been passed on to the newest addition to the family to play with, which is great to hear as that’s the whole idea of each item on our site ‘’that they will fit into your child's life for many years to come & can be passed down.’’
Do you have a favourite product?
It has to be the ‘Eco Wooden Bear Breakfast set’ he’s the perfect breakfast time companion, he's happy to hold your boiled eggs & soldiers, join you at parties as a treat board and join you on teddy bear picnics. He’s made from solid oak wood, Ecologically friendly & fully bio-degradable.
. . . everyone loves a cute bear!
What is in the pipeline for next year?
We’re going to be expanding our own range as well as supporting additional small independents by showcasing their work in our ‘Guest Brand’ section so keep your eyes peeled as we have lots of NEW children’s Eco gifts arriving soon.