Toy Fair 2022
"Hello! What do you have that's locally-made from natural or recycled materials please?"
I've gone (by ferry and train) to the London Toy Fair every year since 2019. With a big smile, I've asked every exhibitor this question.
In 2019, only 5 of 220 exhibitors had anything to show me. Most were taken-aback; they scratched heads and conferred, before concluding they had nothing like that.
But this year was better:
- About 20 exhibitors had something to show me! Including recycled lines from big brands like Micro Scooter;
- About half at least had a plan. "These 2 products are coming out in the summer." "Our plan for that was delayed by COVID."
- Those with no plan at least looked embarrassed!
It wasn't a landslide change. But it was progress worth celebrating!
I also experienced senior toy makers - people we need leading this change - who just lacked facts. "That volcano emitted more carbon than humans," was one of many worrying things an important person told me. (Humanity's carbon emissions are 100 times more than all the world's volcanoes combined, says NASA).
So this year I'll seek to get more involved in the British Toy and Hobby Association (who runs Toy Fair), and seek chances to influence things!
I'd love to see at Toy Fair 2023:
- Toy libraries;
- Innovative pre-loved retailers like Rejoue (toys), CEX (phones) or Zalando (clothes);
- Talks by by climate scientists and eco-innovators from other industries;
- Round-tables for senior folk to discuss the future of the toy industry.
There's only 1 possible future for every industry, and it's carbon-neutral and minimal-waste. I wonder how many industries have a plan to get there; toys doesn't seem to, yet - let's see what we can do to help!