At bebemoss.com we like nature, we like green and organic and of curse sustainable. It's been some time now we are exploring and investigating alternatives to the polly fill stuffing we usually use in out toys.
My first bet was well since our yarn is organic cotton why not put also organic cotton inside... Unfortunately its a no go. Fluffy cotton agregates and forms hard bals after washing, the toy then becomes hard and loses its shape easily. This material is only acceptable if toys are not hand or machine washed, only surface cleaning works. Well then it does not work as far as I am concerned! I firmly believe that especially stuffed animals and alike toys shall be regularly washed. Our kids wipe the whole household and sometimes the outside with them and those little loveys turn with time into mite kingdoms opening way into infections and allergies and similar problems... So we need a filling that is washable and natural.
My 2nd guess went to wool. Wool is natural, can be hand washed ect. Well not that easy unfortunately. Most of wool filing on the market is heavily treated. First the animal itself is treated with tones of pesticides and then the fleece itself is treated. The process of wool transformation consists of SHEARING (basically shaving or cutting the fleece) GRADING AND SORTING (wool from different part of the animal has different quality and therefore will be used for different purposes) CLEANING AND SCOURING (“raw” or “greasy” wool contains a substantial amount of natural contaminants, such as sand, dirt, grease, and dried sweat and needs to be cleaned) and this is where the problem occurs as most of the time what is used is hot water soap and alkali (bleach like chemical solutions) or even acids to solve the dirt. Its not only a very polluting process but it leaves the wool containing traces of those chemicals... ) CARDING and COMBING is the final process which a basically passing the wool through a series of metal combes or combing machines.
So if we wanted to use wool we would have to dig deep and search for a supplier who does it the good old fashion way (water and soap only) After searching the Anatolian region we finally found a farmer near Aksaray who does just that and we ordered 25 kg of wool. They wash the wool with Arab Soap a soap produced from vegetal oil. The wool we received is clean, super fluffy and does not smell. I am having it tested in a proper lab to make sure there is no chemical residue in it. I really hope we did found our alternative and will therefore produce totally organic toys on the outside but also on the inside.
Our quest for a greener and more sustainable solutions is not over as we would like to explore more stuffing material options for example bamboo or maybe even natural sponge...
We would love your input on the subject, and if you are interested by our all natural handmade crochet toys filled with wool please send us a message. You can also pre-order by simply ordering any of the toys we offer specifying you would like it wool stuffed. It will take an additional few days to ship, but you will have a totally natural and organic toy :)