A short clip showing my home tests of our soft toys in the early days. Somewhat cruel but a must for all toy producers who are to ensure that toys are safe for children.
Our current ecological cotton plush toys are tested and certified in a laboratory.
YES YES YES. WE PASSED!
When this E mail came a few weeks ago I almost felt like I was back at school receiving exam results. After spending months trying to source an African organic cotton supplier, the little Ndaba team in Zambia together with the team at Yawama of Sweden ( Anna Lidström and Clara Lidström and myself) worked on new designs for the Yawama Kids. You can only imagine my excitement when ALL our toys PASSED in ALL areas of the safety test. I could not have done this alone. Thank you Charles at Little Ndaba and to Erin from Totoknits for your commitment to design, development and women empowerment in Africa.
Developing toys to meet European safety standards can be costly business but can also be done in your home kitchen. We have tested both options. I have had so much support from Conformance and have run many trial run tests on our prototypes at home before sending our toys to the lab for analysis for official testing. So when I sent our 12 soft toys off I knew exactly what their fate was. Torture.
European standard EN 71 specifies safety requirements for toys with specific regulations for soft toys. Compliance with the standard is legally required for all toys sold in the European Union. The standard has been published in 12 parts and includes tests for flammability to ensure that fire does not spread quickly if the toy were to catch fire, mechanical testing to ensure that body parts and smaller parts can handle a certain weight before falling off and that dangerous elements are not present in the toy.
Further reading for those wishing to branch out in a similar venture