Aussies spend over $1 billion on new toys for their kids every Christmas, however, 26.8 million toys are thrown in the bin, according to new research by B Corp eco-retailer Flora & Fauna.
Considering that 1.6 million Australians are not financially equipped to provide their child with any Christmas gift, Flora & Fauna is inviting every Australian to donate any pre-loved or unwanted toys.
As part of its latest Christmas campaign, each toy will be professionally upcycled by The Peninsula Senior Citizens Toy Repair Group and donated to grass roots charity We Care Connect to continue to support disadvantaged children. Some of the upcycled toys will also be re-sold on Flora & Fauna’s website.
Founder and CEO of Flora & Fauna, Julie Mathers, believes that while it is natural people want to indulge in new things, including toys, at Christmas, it is equally important to think about the afterlife of the toy, given its short lifespan 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 enthuses.
The need for Christmas gifts for kids is greater than ever this year says Helen Barker, spokesperson at 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,” she says.
“The causes of poverty are complex, but helping a child in need is simple.”
According to Flora & Fauna’s research of over 1,000 Australian parents, 9.6 per cent would consider buying or receiving pre-loved toys if they had been cleaned and restored properly.
“The research revealed 45 per cent of parents say their child gets bored of a new toy and discards it in just three months. 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.”
However, when it comes to making a purchase, sustainability is often a neglected factor. Although nearly two thirds (64.5 per cent) of Aussies believe it is important that the toys they buy have eco-friendly or sustainable properties, in the last year only 36.7 per cent of the toys they bought were actually eco-friendly.
“As more people are making sustainable choices, we need to think consciously about what we buy and also what we reuse and recycle. 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.”