Image © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitots
Stuffed animals have always captivated kids’ attention but a collection by Cate & Levi really stood out with their fluorescent colors. It turns out the 16-22” creatures are made from American Apparel’s neon colored sweatshirt scraps and stuffed with 100% polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. When not sourcing scraps, the resourceful company is busy reclaiming wool items. Old sweaters are cut and sewn to become the outer surface for another collection of plush animals, which are equally as soft and fun. If your young one finds puppets more captivating, Cate & Levi also offer a fun array of both hand and finger puppets made from found woollen items that are carefully washed and cared for before being given a new, perhaps more animated life. While the sweaters may have traveled afar before landing at the company’s doorstep, each creature is designed and manufactured locally in Canada.
Melange’s set of squishy friends are hand-knit by women’s cooperatives in Peru, and they’re another collection of fantastical stuffed toys that we found noteworthy. Featuring wool, alpaca and acrylic blend outers, the colorful creatures range in size and type, from monkeys to penguins to chics. The company follows Fair Trade standards ensuring that each creation is made in a safe work environment, where artisans earn a living wage, and cultural traditions are honored, respected and encouraged.
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