As my family and I attempt to go more "green", I am on the lookout for fun, natural, organic toys as opposed to the countless plastic, PVC, or other synthetic ones that monopolize the shelves. When it comes to stuffed animals, I find them to all have the same general characteristics. They tend to be the same generic plush animals and dolls that entertain for all of five minutes before being banished to the toy box or re-purposed into a bookend. The organic varieties I've come across are almost always muted pastels, if not completely colorless, and do little to stimulate or catch the eye of an active toddler.
That was until I discovered Aminals.
Aminals are a line of eco-friendly stuffed toys, inspired by children's illustrations. The bright, whimsical, vivid caricatures invite us into the secret, imaginative world of a preschooler. Each Aminal comes with its own little autobiography, but it's up to your little one to decide their next adventure.
Did you know that 1/4 of the world’s toxic insecticides are used just for growing conventional cotton? Millions of pounds of pesticides, defoliants, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers are sprayed on cotton each year. These chemicals pollute the air and the earth, not to mention the lungs of the cotton farmers. I was shocked to hear this. I mean, we're talking about the cotton that our children wear, cuddle and even chew on!
All Aminals are certified organic, stuffed with 100% unbleached, unprocessed, petrochemical-free organic cotton and dyed with low-impact, natural vegetable dyes.
Aminals is certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) an internationally recognized body that certifies that all fibers and processes involved in the manufacture of Aminals meet strict standards for organic, sustainable and humane textile production. Every processing step that brings Aminals to you, from farming through spinning, weaving, washing and dyeing meet or exceed these criteria.Aminals exercises fair labor practices and promotes safe, healthy, humane working conditions for all employees - absolutely NO child labor or discrimination. So, your Aminal is made with love from the very beginning. Also, after your Aminal has lived a long, happy life, you can safely compost it right back to the earth! From start to finish, there is no waste whatsoever.
Aminals was kind enough to send us Dinasor to review.
I was immediately impressed by its softness and vibrance. Dinasor was a radiant, earthly green color and the perfect size for cuddling. His flat, one-dimensional shape made him easy to grasp and carry. He definitely stood out among the rest of Nate's toys. My little boy can be a bit rough on his toys but the constuction of our Aminal seemed quite durable, and the detailing (look at that tongue...is he part aardvark?!) was also pretty cute.
Nate was a little weary of Dinasor at first. For the first two days, Nate would walk around the table he was sprawled on, making sure to stand at least three feet away but staring at him curiously. Once he finally gathered the courage to touch him, they became fast friends. At bedtime, when we rock in the glider and read books, Dinasor now joins along:
He's also fun to wrestle with, teethe on or use as a pillow:
Nate has not yet outgrown his oral phase so all of his toys eventually find themselves drenched in slobber. Unlike some of his other toys, I feel totally at ease letting Nate drool on Dinasor. I know he won't be exposed to harmful inks or dyes, won't choke on fur, buttons or other hazards and will be perfectly safe. I like that I can always throw our Aminal in the washing machine if he gets really cruddy, although doing so may cause him to fade over time. The cost may be a smidge higher than I would normally pay for a stuffed animal but because of all the environmentally-conscious features, I feel it is reasonable.
Bottom line: I would highly recommend checking out Aminals as an addition to your soft toy collection. They are unique, childlike, fun and friendly to the planet. I love that Aminals embraces the "green" lifestyle and encourages recycling and social responsibility.
BUY IT: You can purchase Aminals directly from www.aminaldolls.com (ARV $24.99).
WIN IT: Aminals is generously offering one lucky reader an Aminal of their choice!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Visit the Aminals website and tell me which doll you would choose. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!
SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count! Remember to leave one comment per entry.
1.) Follow my blog or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry)
2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)
3.) Tell me what feature you like most about Aminals. (1 entry)
4.) Add my blog button and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry)
5.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)
Giveaway will end on February 5, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. only. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: I received a free product from Anne at Aminals to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own. Your experience may differ.