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‘Sustainability must remain high on the agenda’

Senior executives from across the publishing, toy and apparel categories have shared why it’s vital that the issue of sustainability remains on the agenda for the preschool business.

Executives from Mattel, Keel Toys, Redan Publishing and TDP Textiles told PPS that momentum must continue to drive positive change in the preschool sector, despite several other major challenges facing the industry.

“Pre-pandemic, sustainability initiatives were widely discussed within the industry, yet there is risk now that other factors such as the economic pressures created because of lockdowns could challenge the focus and commitment of us all to sustainability,” said Lorraine Westbury, director of corporate social responsibility at TDP Textiles. “Conversations surrounding sustainability and the related issues have been on the rise throughout the pandemic amongst shoppers.

“I strongly believe there is a substantial increase in the number of discerning shoppers with a moral conscience who now question their purchases – the sensible approach is, therefore, to continue to drive initiatives to ensure successful and sustainable businesses post-pandemic.”

Pamela Gill-Alabaster, global head of sustainability at Mattel, believes that focusing on sustainability – from waste management to carbon emissions and energy generations – is “critical”, while Julie Jones, md of Redan Publishing, said that “we all have a responsibility to protect the planet for future generations”.

Julie continued: “Not only that, consumers have a big voice and we need to listen.”

Steve Cox, UK sales director at Keel Toys, also pointed out that with retail back open the company is seeing many retailers which are looking to introduce eco alternatives. “Don’t wait for big changes as every small step taken towards sustainability will make a difference,” he said.

Read more from Pamela, Steve, Julie and Lorraine in a special industry roundtable in the latest edition of Progressive Preschool by clicking here.

You can find out more on how the preschool sector is pledging its commitment to the ongoing challenge of how we can make products and businesses in our industry more sustainable at the Sustainability in Licensing Conference, which is taking place virtually on 24-25 June. Tickets are just £100 (+ VAT) and there is still time to sign up. Simply click here for full details.

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