InnovateFrom products to processes, these brands make a positive environmental or social impact.
PlanToys® makes all-wood toys for infants and children through age 4.
Founded in 1981, PlanToys®’ founders were inspired to create toys from rubber wood trees after observing that the trees were cleared and burned once they stopped producing latex (about five years into their lifespan). The company also developed processes to kiln-dry the wood without chemicals, and even repurpose sawdust to create new toys. All PlanToys® are made using water-based colors, recyclable cardboard packaging, and soy-based printing materials, while its manufacturing processes deliver power to village residents near its factory in Thailand. The carbon-negative company has planted more than 2,000 acres-worth of trees through its reforestation program and works with parents of special-needs children to develop toys.
Architects by training, PlanToys®’ initial investors hoped to use the toy company to educate children about sustainability. The company has since been credited with effectively creating a market for rubber wood, and developing an early competitive advantage in the sustainable toy market. PlanToys® continues educating children beyond its core business: it runs a Children’s Museum exploring the history of toys, with more than 10,000 visitors annually.