Wild Republic in partnership with SSA, the largest national zoo, aquarium and cultural attractions retailer and culinary services operator, announced the launch of Ecokins, a new line of sustainable plush animals made using 100-percent recycled materials.
SSA will exclusively introduce the line across more than 30 locations inclusive of the Denver Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden this November. The new line is the result of the two companies’ efforts to find innovative ways to be environmentally focused. A roll out to other retailers is planned in 2020.
“Ecokins is part of our renewed corporate social responsibility strategy, ‘A Promise to The Planet,’ which was implemented last year,” said Wild Republic Founder G.B. Pillai and President Vishnu Chandran. “Following the successful transition to sustainable fill in our core plush animal line in late 2018, we challenged ourselves to develop a long-term sustainability strategy to include all levels of our supply chain. The launch of Ecokins helps further our mission and we are honored to join forces with SSA who shares in the same values and commitment that we believe to be so very important to the sustainability of our planet.”
Ecokins are made entirely of recycled and eco-conscious materials, from the biodegradable poly bag packing down to the soy ink printed hangtag. Ecokins complies with certified global recycling standards.
“When developing Ecokins, it was equally important for us to develop the highest-quality plush that our consumers have come to expect from a Wild Republic product,” said Chandran. “The materials we use in the development of this line is sourced from a high-pile, outer fabric made completely from recycled materials resulting in the softest, most cuddly collection of eco-friendly plush like none-other.”
The new line will launch with an assortment of 14 animals in two sizes: 12 inches and 18 inches. Animals include a black bear, polar bear, dolphin, African elephant, hippo, koala, snow leopard, panda, penguin, raccoon, red panda, sea turtle, wolf, and tiger.
Wild Republic said it is committed to the removal of all single-use plastics in its toy packaging. The company utilizes soy ink and biodegradable packaging made from plant-based agents, which take three to six months to decompose versus the hundreds of years traditional packaging can take.
This new product line is also part of SSA’s larger commitment to sustainability and conservation efforts through dedicated initiatives focused on stopping waste from the start, transforming the industry responsibly, and supporting its partners for a sustainable future. These efforts also include eliminating single-use plastic packaging for retail products through transitions similar to the Wild Republic partnership; increasing alternative choices such as reusable straws, water bottles and bags; and implementing conservation and sustainability engagement programs and community action projects for employees. Additionally, SSA fosters partnerships with Seafood Watch, which promotes sustainable seafood choices in more than 40 markets, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), working toward using 100 percent RSPO products in its operations.