Flora & Fauna is making Christmas a bit brighter for kids and the planet. The online retailer is launching a new campaign to support a 'Surprisingly Better Christmas', using pre-loved toys.
More than $1 billion is spent on new toys by Aussies every Christmas.
However, what may come as a surprise is how many of these toys end up in the bin – a report from Flora & Fauna has found that 26.8 million toys are discarded after the holidays. What’s more, more than 1.6 million Australians can’t afford to buy their kids gifts for the holiday season.
But Flora & Fauna is hoping to change this narrative. The ‘Surprisingly Better Christmas’ campaign aims to celebrate and encourage upcycling kids’ toys in time for the holidays.
From November 17 – 30, Flora & Fauna is inviting Australians to donate their pre-loved or unwanted childrens’ toys to their recycling unit. Before sending the toy, parents are encouraged to give a bit of extra information about what they’re donating, such as when it was bought, who it was bought for, why you’re donating it, and if it has a name.
These toys will be expertly cleaned and restored by Peninsula Seniors Toy Recyclers, with eco products from Flora & Fauna. Once these toys are restored, they will be donated as Christmas gifts to kids in need via the local charity, We Care Connect.
“We are hearing that the need for Christmas gifts for kids is greater than ever this year,” said Helen Barker, a spokesperson for We Care Connect. “A donated toy could help bring Christmas Joy to a mum who’s left a violent home with her two children and minimal belongings, a family experiencing unthinkable financial hardship or a single parent with multiple children who might have a medical condition. The causes of poverty are complex, but helping a child in need is simple.”
Peninsula Senior Citizens Toy Repair Group | via Flora & Fauna
For Julie Mathers, CEO and Founder of Flora & Fauna, this is the perfect opportunity to think about the afterlife of a toy, as many have a short life span at home. “After almost two years of restricted freedom, financial insecurity and uncertainty for the future, we are delighted to bring this initiative to fruition, helping more families and children in Australia have a happier Christmas,” she said.
According to research from Flora & Fauna, 45 percent of parents say it’s roughly three months before kids get bored and the toy is discarded. “By taking in the discarded pre-loved toys and giving them a new purpose, not only are we saving them from landfill, but we’re also fulfilling the wishes of many children who simply want to wake up on Christmas Day to the teddy bear they’ve been dreaming of having,” she explained.
The study from Flora & Fauna discovered many interesting takeaways, including the fact that the majority of Aussie parents (69.6 percent) said they would consider buying or receiving a pre-loved toy, so long that it’s in good condition, cleaned and restored properly.
Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64.5 percent) said it’s important to consider if the toys they buy are eco-friendly or have sustainable properties. But in the last year, only 36.7 percent of the toys purchased actually fit this description.
“As more people are making sustainable choices, we need to think consciously about what we buy and also what we reuse and recycle,” said Mathers. “We’re generating more and more waste in the world, so when it comes to your child’s toys, it could mean something as simple as finding an eco-friendly alternative, repurposing it at home yourself, or passing it onto another child who will love it even more.”
What inspired you to start this Christmas campaign?
“Christmas is a wonderful time where families and friends come together and that couldn’t be more important right now. However, it’s not a great Christmas for everyone and too many children don’t receive gifts, yet we are so wasteful as a society with so many toys having a short lifespan and heading to landfills. We wanted to do something about this,” Julie Mathers tells Power Retail. “By taking in discarded pre-loved toys and giving them a new purpose, not only are we saving them from landfill, we’re providing toys with their own ‘Toy Story’ to a child who would otherwise not receive a gift this Christmas.”
What are some of the immediate benefits of purchasing pre-loved Christmas gifts for kids, rather than something brand new?
“There are so many great reasons. It’s a great way to save money and help our planet at the same time. By purchasing an upcycled toy, not only do they help reduce waste but they are also usually less expensive than their brand new counterparts,” she says. “Furthermore, our campaign is all about fulfilling the wishes of many children who simply want to wake up on Christmas Day to a gift they will love, regardless of where it has come from. With more families than ever doing it tough this Christmas, a Surprisingly Better Christmas will bring some much-needed joy to many deserving children.”
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