In 1981, seven university graduates came together with a shared desire to infuse the world with positivity. Vitool Viraponsavan, one of the strongest voices of the group, went on to establish PlanToys and has been inspiring children and families worldwide ever since.
To this day, PlanToys operates with the belief that it’s their job to help educate and inspire society to prioritise environmental preservation, child safety and development. By raising children who are self-aware, environmentally-conscious and imaginative, it’s their hope that they will become individuals who understand the value of life, cherish nature, connection and play.
The PlanToys mission is defined by their Sustainable Way;
They ensure the use of sustainable natural resources and create minimum to zero waste throughout their production process.
They manufacture children’s toys with love using eco-friendly processes in every step of production.
They strive to give back to society and their community through special environmental and educational campaigns that help make the world a better place for everyone.
What sets them apart most from other brands is their attention to detail.
• Their craftspeople are experts in woodworking- creating unique toy designs that can't be found anywhere else!
• Simple designs make their toys classic, durable and timeless.
• They use non-toxic, water-based dyes and premium-grade materials that don’t harm the environment.
The Life and After Life of a Rubber Tree
Plan Toys have never cut down a single tree for production! When rubber trees no longer produce latex, they are typically cut down and burned. But this is where Plan step in and use the timber for toy production, a practice they have followed for over 42 years.
Rubberwood is primarily biodegradable. Although it would take many years for a wooden toy to decompose, it is the natural process! They use non-toxic dyes and zero chemicals to minimise the environmental impact of a toy.
However, tiny parts in some of the toys are made from metal or plastic in order to ensure a toy's durability. These pieces are not biodegradable. The company continue to research new low impact materials to reduce their reliance on these small components.
The Carbon Footprint of Each Toy
PlanToys is currently the only toy manufacturer to calculate the carbon footprint of each product and share it on their packaging! By reducing the amount of greenhouse gas produced during toy production they hold themselves accountable and set a standard for environmentally-friendly manufacturing practices.
Manufacturing, Sourcing and Staff
PlanToys try to use alternative clean energy as often as possible. Solid biomass (like surplus wood pieces from production) is burned to produce a bio-fuel that produces the heat used in PlanWood creation (a process that uses the Rubberwood sawdust to make a new material).
They also use solar energy and food waste from the factory to produce biogas, a renewable energy used for cooking in their canteen.
73% of the materials used to produce the toys are taken from a 30-kilometer radius of the factory in Southern Thailand's province of Trang thus supporting the local economy. Employees are also looked after through the availability of a credit union and a cooperative shop. Wider social projects funded by PlanToys include libraries and a nature theme park.
Three Ways to Play
PlanToys live the ethos of sustainable play and believe it has an enormous role in our development:
Play helps children to grow emotionally, physically and cognitively.
Play encourages social cohesion, fairness and sharing.
Play that nurtures a relationship with our wider world and environment encourages us all to live in a more eco-friendly and positive way.
Learning Through Play on a Larger Scale
In 2021 PlanToys owner, Vitool Viraponsavan took his passion for creative play and education even further and the Forest of Play in Trang Province was launched. This is a 64,000 sqm adventure play park built entirely from reclaimed and upcycled materials sourced from the local area. In particular steel and concrete used in manufacturing has been deployed to build structures and tiles & pipes from hospitals are used in the bathrooms.
The theme of the project is to connect children and their families with nature through interactive play and discovery. The concept of extinction, pollution and care for the earth’s resources is shared with visitors and school trips from Bangkok are also laid on.
littleCONCEPTS are proud to have been the exlusive UK distributor for PlanToys since 2016, to find out more and to stock PlanToys in your store visit www.littleconcepts.co.uk