The organic home: for minimalist living

The organic home October 20 2017, 0 Comments

At Twoodie we are building a store for the organic home. Essentially this is a one stop shop for products that are able to biodegrade (i.e don’t contain plastic and toxic pollutants).

Initially our focus is on wood and creatively exploiting the intrinsic character of wood.

These products are all naturally endocrine disruptor free, and independently tested as such. We believe the science.

We make the best quality products on the market, with a focus on design, efficacy and sustainability. Products that deserve to exist in the world.

Transparency is how we build trust internally and externally. We tell the truth, however painful and imperfect we are/it is/things can be.

We prize commitment, focus, persistence, practicality and optimism.





Twoodie Public Benefit Report (part 2 of 6 for 2017) September 28 2017, 0 Comments

2 - Establish a professional workplace

Twoodie endeavours to do more than create all wood products that are non-toxic and finished with plant based materials made from natural oils and waxes.  We guarantee the supply chain and this includes, to the very best of our ability, our team.

Twoodie has had full time workers (founders), interns (reimbursed), contractors (paid fairly) and freelancers (ditto) amongst other people involved in building the product and company.

Those involved with Twoodie have been given the opportunity to up-skill through mentorship, conferences, coworkers and by gaining relevant business experience. Where necessary they have been provided with references, guidance and on the job skills training.

All have had contracts and clearly defined roles.

All shareholders and stakeholders of Twoodie have been kept up to date in keeping with our legal responsibilities.

All published information and research, such as the Twoodie report on Endocrine Disruptors in Toys, has been professionally and independently carried out by our team in an environment where finding the correct answer, and doing so in a professional manner, has been of the highest priority.

 

 


中国玩具市场现状,Twoodie在其中的作用与影响 September 09 2017, 0 Comments

中国玩具市场按大类分主要有电子类、机械模型类、塑胶玩具、木制玩具等。据市场调查公司Euromonitor资料显示,中国玩具及游戏市场的零售总额由2010年的717亿元上升至2015年的1,923亿元,平均每年的增长幅度21.8%,预计于2019年突破3,000亿元。同时,中国婴童网孕婴童产业研究中心统计资料显示,16岁以下人均玩具消费支出不到30美元,相比之下,美国超过200美元,欧美其他国家也达到150美元以上,可见有一定发展空间。随着城市居民收入提高、生活质量的改善,内地居民对玩具的需求已开始从传统的、中低档次的电动型、拼装型、装饰型玩具转向新颖的电子型、智慧型玩具及高档的毛绒、木质类装饰型玩具。随着中国经济和人均收入的缓步增速,中国人对于玩具的购买力及需求在逐渐增加。(香港贸发局,2016.07.05)


这也就为玩具市场出现的质量危机带来的前提因素,供不应求、选择多样,大部分商家为了降低成本,采用不环保,不安全的材质来制作的婴幼儿玩具。2013年,在德国科隆的中国货物批发中心,大量中国玩具产品被检查出可能危害到儿童的安全而被立刻销毁,这引起了德国社会的关注。负责检查的地方政府官员彼得•比利希把这些危险玩具向媒体展示,具体解释说,“这里是电池,导线,电子元件,除了本身问题外,一些小的部件很容易脱落被儿童放到嘴里吞下去,或者弄到气管中。这就会造成窒息等严重后果。”在被检测出来的危险品中,检查人员具体向媒体展示的一些玩具的危险。除了有些塑料品对儿童来说所含有的危险毒物外,有的导线由于使用材料不合标准,接上电源很快就会由于发热而燃烧,有的玩具遇火就燃烧融化,有的玩具具有杀伤力,有的激光玩具伤害眼睛和视力。对此,欧盟去年发现公布了两千种以上的具有危险的进口商品,它们大多都来自中国。(自由亚洲电台,2013)由此可见,中国本土及外销市场都存在一定的安全隐患。大多数玩具产品带有EDCs,和双酚A等有害物质。婴幼儿长期接触容易导致不孕不育、癌症等恶劣长期副作用。


此时,一款纯天然,无污染的玩具就显得尤为重要。来自日本的Twoodie,提供了完全无污染,100%健康的原木玩具。在设计上,Twoodie坚持“大成一体”,简单的原木设计风格,高雅不失格调;同时又兼顾了0-2岁幼儿的兴趣所在。一套Twoodie玩具可以为孩子创造音乐带来便利,也可以为他们发挥建筑创造的想象力带来可能。当然,最重要的是完全不需要担心他们会将玩具放进嘴里甚至啃咬。因为Twoodie来自日本,只选取最优质的木材和完全无污染的制作方式,采取相对独立的多道质检程序,保障您孩子的安全和未来。


Twoodie相信,孩子是我们的未来,优美良好的环境是我们能给他们最好的财富。所以Twoodie支持环境保护事宜,对堆砌着塑料垃圾的处理厂和白色污染过重的海洋说不。我们相信现在你做的每一笔对环境的投资,就是对未来和环境的支持。因此,每一笔您的消费,我们就会捐助环境保护组织。


相信您的购物体验,将不虚此行。


How to avoid getting Zika August 28 2017, 0 Comments

Tips on how to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito when you are pregnant.

We recently went to Thailand on a preplanned holiday.  I was pregnant and we almost cancelled the trip but then decided to take it, which for us at this particular moment in life was the right decision.  No one got bitten, no one got food poisoning, there was lots of sun and hence vitamin D which is good for babies when their mom is deficient! The island we visited had no known reported cases of Zika and there had been only 2 documented in all of Thailand so after weighing the risks (including that of spending a holiday full of anxiety) we decided to go but to take every imaginable precaution in order not to be bitten by a mosquito and hence at theoretical risk of zika.

Here we share this first hand experience and research, including those products we felt were most safe and non toxic. At Twoodie we don't like to use chemicals or endocrine disruptors as these are especially dangerous for babies and pregnant women.  In the end its a balance of what is more risky, in context.

Just to be clear: what is Zika?

Zika is a virus that is spread by day time active mozzies.  The name comes from a forest in Uganda where the virus was first discovered in 1947. We heard about it more recently because of the outbreak in Brazil. Symptoms can include fever, red eyes, rash, joint pain, headache…

Zika and pregnancy

Zika grabbed many headlines because it has been shown to cause horrific birth defects.  This has happened in children whos mothers were infected during pregnancy.  For this reason countries like Australia strongly counsel against visiting Brazil, Thailand, Phillapines, Singapore and other countries where they consider the risk “high”…

Microcephaly, because of its physical deformity, is one of the birth defects that has been highlighted as it was recently discovered that Zika can cause it. But it can also be caused by exposure to infections, malnutrition and exposure to harmful chemicals according to the CDC. So for us looking for a preventative measure was important but also trying to find a non toxic and endocrine disruptor free natural mosquito repellant was a consideration. After all at Twoodie our primary objective is keeping moms and babies safe from toxic toys and the nasty things hiding in untested plastic.

How to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito

I read the internet and have some common sense suggestions that we followed.

These are so basic but really not worth compromising on:

  1. Don’t go out at dawn or dusk.  Regardless of what time Zika mosquitos are active (they are day mosquitos) this is just generally good advice.  There are more bugs at this time and they are harder to see so skip the sundowner and take in the view from your hotel room.
  2. Don’t stay near stagnant water.  Get an ocean not a garden view if possible and stay on as high a floor as possible. Make sure to shower inside.
  3. Check your hotel room/apartment windows and doors for openings.  We used duck tape to close a ¾cm wide gap in the door at the Sheraton. Spray around all these areas for good measure. 
  4. Close window blinds and put lights off close to windows in order not to attract mosquitos or bugs at night.
  5. Obviously, keep doors and windows closed at all times.

So these are the basics for your hotel or accommodation and securing the premises against mosquitos and zika.

The next important thing is to wear clothing that is loose fitting and bulky (hard when hot, I know) so that your skin is not exposed.  I wore a kaftan and in the evenings put the aircon on and wore a jacket and tracksuit pants.

At this point one should mention that Zika can be transmitted between sexual partners and so its not just mom but also dad who needs to take all of these precautions unfortunately.

So to recap this is really the first 4 steps to prevent ZIKA:

  1. Find a place of no/less/lesser risk of Zika/a risk level you are personally comfortable with (if you are living in Thailand a trip to Singapore doesn’t seem like a very reckless endeavour).
  2. Carefully secure your hotel room/environment so you can enjoy it
  3. Cover your body as fully as possible with clothing
  4. Avoid going out at times when there are more mosquitos or you are less likely to notice them biting you!

Then we get to the next level or deterrent: this involves lathering and surrounding yourself with any number of products and gimmicks. We show you the best since we have honestly tried them all!

Remember that places like Thailand have outdoor airports and so it is important to apply before you exit the aeroplane or make sure you are covered with protective clothing.

The best products to prevent mosquito bites

We tried the following:

  • Bushman water resistant insect repellent 80% Deet - 8/10
  • Parakito bands - 2/10
  • Aerogard spray odourless protection, low irritant spray - 6/10
  • Tweety tomatoe spray - 4/10
  • OFF! Deep woods spray from Johnson and Johnson - 9.5/10
  • Mosquito coils from Japan “Fumakilla” - 2/10
  • Mosquito coils from China “Zebra” - 1/10
  • Ars Mat 12 plug in socket (Courtesy of the Sheraton hotel) - 0/10
  • Speed Tox Plug in light - 1/10
  • Speed Tox room fumigator - 9/10
  • Bushman 40% Deet spray small can - 7/10
  • Bushman 40% Deet spray can large size - 6/10.  Also available with 20% DEET (but assume pretty similar functionality)
  • Aerogard Tropical strength 6 hours protection can spray - 7.5/10
  • Mosquito patches - 1/10

We can also comment on these also available to buy online:

  • Bushman Deet and sunscreen combo - 9/10
  • Speedtox insect spray - 7/10

We tested these products daily for over a week.

 

Mosquito repellent creams - brands you can buy online/instore

Bushman water resistant insect repellent 80% DEET - 8/10

The Bushman cream was sticky and left a white residue that was hard to get off, even in the shower.  I felt very protected using it but this was not a pleasureable experience and I think next time we would go for the sunscreen combo because it is also a real pain to be reapplying both sunscreen and insect repellent after every swim and shower. As an aside I find their packaging really gross.  Unlike Aerogard which kind of communicated satety in their 'bank blue' and century gothic the Bushman offering just looked amateur and toxic, especially with the lumo green!

They have different levels of DEET and we used the highest available in HK - 80%.

Bushman 80% Deet insect repellent

DEET is very effective for repelling mosquitos and was developed by the armed forces in the US for jungle warfare many years ago.  Most commercial insect repellents contain it even if not expressly advertised as such.

We applied this on top of sunscreen to hopefully mitigate any absorption of harsh chemicals. It has a gross smell - not as strong as nail varnish remover but very distinct. Helpfully you will forget about the smell after a few hours of wearing it.

Bushman precautions on back of tube of insect repellent

It says not to be used for children, and I believe them... this stuff is very strong and for adults at least it gives you confidence...

They did a pretty sweet youtube review video you can see here.

Parakito bands - 2/10

These are bands that you wear. They contain little oblong disks.  The disks smell as strong as soap, i.e. you can smell them close up but not from far away. They are supposed to use natural/essential oils to repel insects.

Parakito band in orange Parakito band on arm

We wore these but honestly I'm not sure that if your right wrist is protected it had any effect on the legs or if maybe wearing this thing just makes you extra anxious.  I wore one of the scented disks around my neck and one in the lumo velcro band on my ankle.  I didn't feel protected and to me this was an add on precaution, not something I trusted to keep me safe.  It smells ok and was one of the most expensive of all the products we bought.  Comes with 2 disks per wearable band and says they last 15 days.  Mine smelt the same after 15 days... but noticeably stronger when first out of the packet.  I would not use these again because I have no confidence that they work, especially since I bought them in a HK supermarket and not an Australian Pharmacy. I'm giving them 2/10 because I like the logo and the name only.

Mosquito repellent sprays - brands you can buy online/instore

Aerogard spray odourless protection - 6/10

Aerogard low irritation spray bottle in blue

This is Aerogard low irritant spray 

Apparently this is Australia's number 1 insect repellent, which is a big claim but as my husband tells me it is fair enough as one of the countries oldest and respected insect repellent brands. This spray was not as lung polluting as the canisters which formed a fine mist and got us all coughing (spray those outside!), but it was effective.  No white streaks and smelled like it worked.  Good coverage.

Aerogard Tropical strength 6 hours protection can spray - 7.5/10

Before I left Melbourne I went into the airport pharmacy and sat with the pharmacist who went through all her notes and all the products and suggested this (NOT the Bushmans) was the only one suitable for pregnant women.  She really did take the time checking all the creams and sprays and lotions out and so I felt most confident with this product that it was safe but also performed its function.

Aerogard insect repellent

The problem with this spray is that the fine mist really gets into your lungs and is hard to enhale.  Also hard to know what/how much has been covered and so easy to over do things. So bottom line whilst the content is obviously good the usability was troublesome. I dreaded applying this stuff. 

I've included the back so you can check out the ingredients:

Aerogard spray can back details

This can is ok for taking on the plane size and contents wise, though they did have a careful look at it. 


Tweety tomatoe spray - 4/10

Tweety mosquito spray

So I have to admit to being against this product from the start because it reminded me, the packaging that is, of a sunscreen I bought when we lived in Shanghai. I had purchased it at a fancy western supermarket because this suncreen said it was extra sensitive for babies.... then I went for a 12km run and burnt my face off under a cap.  It had ZERO functionality.  So as I looked at this tomatoe based spray what it was saying to me is "this is safe to use" but maybe also "this might not work at all and hence the reason it is safe to use, like spraying yourself with fruity perfume".  

Tweety details on back of spray

This one smelt ok and spayed similar in strength and application to the 

Aerogard spray odourless protection.  Because I had such low trust of the product (and because it looked completely harmless to me) I used it over and above on top of the Deet or Aerogard to just to spritz myself when it got hot.  Come to think of it not sure how one could relax at the beach with this much attention on mosquitos, but it was really fine.

OFF! Deep woods spray from Johnson and Johnson - 9.5/10

OFF! insect repellent

This one has the best name, obviously, but we had also used it before in Myanmar.

We bought this at the airport for Steven to use so I could use the pregnancy proof and sanctioned Aerogard but I ended up using it as well and it was the best of the products we tried.  More details below in the summary and recommendations.


Bushman 40% Deet spray small can - 7/10

Bushman canister and vase

The main issue with this spray and also the Aerogard tropical strength was that they spray so finely that its easy to inhale and that's not pleasant.  I felt it was effective and at 40% deet maybe less strong than the cream/lotion but also less easy to apply evenly.

Bushmans spray Busnmans can details on back
Bushman 40% Deet spray can large size - 6/10.  Also available with 20% DEET (but assume pretty similar functionality)

This one is identical to above but we got stopped and had to chuck it as is over 100mls.


Mosquito coils from Japan “Fumakilla” - 2/10

We used these.  You light them and then they smoke a bit and are ideal for the beach. Next to the pool you need to find a way other than sand to stand them upright. They do smell, and they smell fine, but really I'm not sure if this wasn't performing for us more of a kind of sexy placebo role... the grey smoke whafts seductively around but it didn't seem to be hugely protective of my skin.  We used them more for my emotional state and to relax than because they offer a barrier of bullet proof protection.

The smoke is barely visible and certainly outside there is no danger to your lungs unless you are literally holding and inhaling the thing.

Generally I trust things that are made in Japan.  Their understanding of quality is quite evolved.

Mosquito coils

Mosquito coils from China “Zebra” - 1/10

These coils smelt the same and cost similar to the Japanese ones.


Ars Mat 12 plug in socket (Courtesy of the Sheraton hotel) - 0/10

This was a strange contraption.  It didn't smell and didn't light and didn't smoke.  We put it on and only ever had one mosquito in our room. I don't think one can buy these commercially anyway but its worth asking at the hotel, cannot hurt to have it plugged in.

Hotel mosquito repellent appliance


Speed Tox Plug in light - 1/10

Another strange gadget.  It didn't keep one (now diseased) mosquito out of our space so I'm gonna say it doesn't work. Quite expensive, has a small green light that spooks out the room and needs to be plugged in.  Odourless. 

Speedtox light

Speedtox light and liquid inside

You can see here its a little bit of liquid that you screw into the light and then plug in... very strange and not sure how this works or is supposed to work.


Speed Tox room fumigator - 9/10

WOW! This stuff was amazing.  You put it in a little water and then leave the room... we left for breakfast but you need to leave for at least 3-4 hours and then put the aircon on and cycle the air... When we came back it was like the room was full of smoke and it was hard to breathe.  So we got out and came back later.  We found the room smelling fine, with no residue or stickiness and a HUGE cockroach on the floor who had obviously been pulled out of his hiding place by this fumigation.

This stuff totally worked and I think its ideal if when you check in you drop one and then go out to the beach. It killed every bug in that room and the one next door, I am sure. No sight of mosquitos after that.


Mosquito patches - 1/10

These things do not work! They are of the natural tomato variety.. like the Tweety spray. You are supposed to scratch them to release the scent, but they smell the same whether you scratch or not.  The smell is yuck and when on your clothes and close to you can even make you feel a little sick.  We used them (all of them) but only so I could write this article and confirm that they are just bad smelling and I'm able to tell if effective.  Certainly there is not point in 'scratching' as instructed by the packaging.

Tomatoe mosquito repellent patch

    The best non-toxic products

    Honestly all of the products that worked seemed to have some type of chemical component that was not pronounceable but I took what the very diligent Australian pharmacist said seriously and so I would go with the Aerogard tropical strength.

    Otherwise just stay away from all mosquitos or wear covering clothing 24/7. 

    The best brands to prevent against Zika - summary and recommendations

    The OFF! Deep woods spray seemed to be the least toxic to inhale and use and hence was more regularly applied.  It didn’t really smell and 8 hours is a very comforting time to achieve protection.  It means you can reapply every 4 hrs and feel confident. Next time we travel we will take the initial precautions and then enough of this insect repellent to last us the visit. It does contain Deet but our thinking was that when used on top of sunscreen and only for a short amount of time (a week) that it was safe, especially given no one in our family was prone to seizure which appear to be the main concern. 

    Johnson & Johnsons's OFF!

    OFF! spec and label

    I would not use any of these products on a regular basis as they contain enormous lists of chemicals and certainly not on children (as many of them specifically state).

    So that's our 5c worth.  Have a good trip!

    Jeanne & Steven

    Team twoodie in Thailand

     

     

     

     


    How to choose safe toys July 11 2017, 0 Comments

    Toy safety is a real problem

    Baby, toddler and Children’s toys are routinely recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  This is often because they contain obviously toxic materials. You may remember Mattel recalling 19 million toys in 2007 because they contained lead tainted paint and were unsafe. But these recalls happen every day, just in lower and less extreme quantities.

    Regulation of toys is ineffective

    The sad reality is that even baby toys that are considered “safe” by US consumer agencies (such as the CPSC) often contain materials such as PVC, phthalates, BPA, or other questionable ingredients not explicitly banned in the US.  These endocrine disruptors are prohibited in Europe and in many other developed countries. Toys made in China are only tested in batches of half a million and it is easy (as the Mattel scandal proved) for something to slip through the net when factories are being put under time and price pressure.

    Organic toys and natural materials

    Organic toys in wood or cotton are an alternative the the cheap plastic toys out there. From age 2 children are less dependent on physical toys and less likely to teeth or engage in mouthing activities where they could come into direct contact with a dangerous substance like Lead or BPA.

    Organic, natural, and eco-friendly toys such as Twoodie are great, but beware unsubstantiated marketing.  We have discovered (to our horror) so many seemingly wonderful toy brands that promote sustainability and ethical sourcing but in fact make toys with even the most basic of safety insurances missing - for instance they contain small parts!

    Twoodie PBA, Phthalate, Lead and Endocrine Disruptor free toys #nonasties!

    At Twoodie we are dedicated to making safe and efficacious products for your family. Indeed for playful minds of all ages.  This product needed to exist, even if only just for us. But we are sure there are other people (like you) that care this much too...

    Read more about this here


    Living Organic July 03 2017, 0 Comments

    What does it mean to ‘live organic’? Is it eating healthy organic food, or being mindful or wearing only vegan clothing?  Is it surrounding yourself with natural products or brands that focus on sustainability? We’ve considered the five most important factors:

    1 - What you eat as organic

    The first step to organic living is eating organically.

    But what does this exactly mean? Eating organically means to consume foods that come from organic sources. More precisely, this means that the fruits and vegetables you consume should not be cultivated with any chemicals or additives, and meats should be free of hormones and preservatives. As additives can have harmful effects towards human health, it is crucial that we safeguard ourselves against these dangers. This is particularly the case for processed meats, as the hormones affect and can overstimulate the growth of our children.  

    2 - What you wear as organic

    Living organically can also mean to dress organically. This means to wear organic clothing that are free of herbicides, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds. The manufacturing process of a piece of organic clothing is also much more environmentally-friendly. For example, organic cotton farming emits much less CO2 (which contributes less to the greenhouse effect), and uses much less water than traditional farming methods.

    3 - What you wash in or touches your skin should be organic

    Living organically does not mean that you have to abandon all your cosmetics, so don’t worry makeup lovers! You can still polish and take care of your skin with organic products, and there are plenty of ways to do so. Aloe is obviously one of them, but a new wave of products are emerging with 'skin superfoods' - coconut oil, apple juice, argan oil, green tea, sunflower oil, the list goes on.... Our skin is arguably one of the most important organs in our body (and the largest) - it plays an important role in our immune system, and is the first point of contact against harmful bacteria. It is important we take good take care of our skin, and utilising organic skin care products help keep ourselves clean and germ-free.

    4 - The organic products in your home

    Although less common, ‘organic housekeeping’ is a practice that makes use of natural ingredients to clean dishes, clothes, and furniture. Most people have never heard of the concept of ‘organic housekeeping’, but it should surely be adopted by all families as it is so simple, yet so effective. With vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and olive oil, organic cleaning products can be made in a matter of minutes. For example, mixing ¼ cup of lemon juice with a quart of warm water will produce a cleaning product that effectively removes grease on wooden and metal surfaces. Give organic housekeeping a try and you will surely not regret it.

    5 - Your compassion for the people and environments that go into making what you purchase organic.

    This is kind of a bit soft and fuzzy... but we think it's also important.  Any kind of lifestyle is about a mindset, and usually a mindset of continuous iteration.  It might not be practical for you to make your own cleaning products... just choose ones (for instance by our fellow Public Benefit Corporation METHOD) that do the trick.

     


    TRUTH & MARKETING: in Organic toys and endocrine disruptor free products June 18 2017, 0 Comments

    Don't you HATE it when companies LIE?  

    Especially about things like product safety and how 'sustainable' they are? Promoting yourself is much easier than proving that you’re the real deal. Here’s a scary example: The Washington Post found that 59 out of 59 baby teethers tested contained TOXIC endocrine disrupting chemicals, although many were MARKETED and labelled as being

    ‘BPA free’ or ‘non toxic’ and ‘natural’.

    THAT MAKES US FURIOUS!! Endocrine Disruptors (according to the UN & World Health Organisation) cause infertility, behavioral disorders and cancer.  You DO NOT want a baby putting that in their mouth and sucking on it all day. 

    At Twoodie we are not 'holier than thou' but we are transparent and so we can prove (via our publicly available testing documentation) that we make safe and sustainable toys.  If the Washington Post had tested Twoodie we would have been the 1/60 companies that passed.  

    Organic toys & endocrine disruptor free products

    This stuff really matters and it’s why we started our company.  We are not ok with lies, we are not ok with putting other people’s health in danger because you don’t give a shit.  NOT OK. VERY VERY NOT OK. #nontoxicbabyproducts #nontoxictoys #safetoysforbabies


    ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS | DISRUPTION | TOXIC TOYS June 12 2017, 0 Comments

    ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS

    This is a research report by Twoodie, originally published here...

    • It contains no hyperbole.
    • It is evidence based.
    • It is concise and written in plain English.

    We went through all 29 Pages of the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION and UNITED NATIONS report on Endocrine Disruptors. We then assimilated these facts, combined with highlights from the latest research, expert viewpoints and verified sources, into an executive summary.

    At Twoodie our job is not to be academics or scientists. It's to research and innovate across the entire supply chain to ensure that we provide practical product solutions to keep your family safe and healthy.  We try and to do so in a way that is refined and attractive. We're not hippies or activists... we're just designers, with common sense.

    Together we’ve done the hard (and tedious) work for you. We reveal to the world our progress/thought process (through transparent operations) so you can feel confident in trusting our judgement.

    We stand firmly behind the findings below. They are the TRUTH according to the information we have available as of 6 April 2017. As new studies and information comes to light we will update our advice to reflect this and welcome your feedback and input.

    -----------------------------

    Shop safe here 

    WHAT ARE Endocrine Disruptors?

    Endocrine disruptors are a class of hazardous chemical commonly found in PLASTICS but also cosmetics, furniture, pesticides and other products. They are anthropogenic (man-made) chemicals.

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are defined by the World Health Organization as “chemicals that interfere with normal hormone action”. These chemicals affect or ‘disrupt’ the endocrine system, which produces hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, tissue and sexual function in our bodies.

    Endocrine disrupters target two essential functions of human anatomy:

    1. The formation, development and growth of organs
    2. Reproduction

    Hormone receptors (produced by our bodies) naturally regulate these activities but endocrine disruptors interfere with hormone action.

    The effects of Endocrine Disruptors depend on both the level and timing of exposure. There is a specific window of exposure deemed ‘sensitive periods for endocrine disruptor action’ by the World Health Organization, when humans are most susceptible to the adverse effects of EDCs, which is during development (in utero, infancy and early childhood in humans). This is significant because in adults, when the hormone or EDC is isolated or removed, the effect subsides, but the adverse effects of endocrine disruption are permanent and irreversible on developing tissue. It follows that exposure to EDCs is especially dangerous for pregnant women and growing children.


    WHERE do they come from?

    Endocrine disruptors derive from man-made chemicals. There are an increasing amount of EDCs formed as a by-product of manufacturing or combustion of waste. Examples of such chemicals include current-use pesticides, solvents, paints and pharmaceutical or food additives. EDCs may be released from the products that contain them. Once in the environment, they can be carried by air or water. EDCs are prevalent in everyday items ranging from cosmetics to plastic containers and even food.

    People in contact with these substances risk exposure to endocrine disruptors. Humans take up EDCs by ingestion, inhalation and through contact with our skin. Infants and children are also more likely to be exposed to EDCs because of their hand-to-mouth activities.


    IS THIS REAL? Are we just PARANOID?

    What credible sources validate the existence of Endocrine Disruptors?

    Demonstrating a clear link between endocrine effects in individuals and populations will always be challenging because of the difficulty in isolating the effects of chemicals from the effects of other stressors and ecological factors. Furthermore scientific and medical research into EDCs is a relatively recent occurrence. Studies and trials need to be undertaken over many decades (with adequate placebo and other methodological tools) to provide further supportive data.

    What has been discovered to date is detailed below and can be summarised as the following:

    It is undeniable and unanimous amongst researchers and laboratory studies that chemical exposures contribute to endocrine disorders in humans and wildlife and are a definite source of concern.

    To quote the WHO:

    “We live in a world in which man‐made chemicals have become a part of everyday life. Some of these chemical pollutants can affect the endocrine (hormonal) system and interfere with important developmental processes in humans and wildlife.

    There is emerging evidence for adverse reproductive outcomes (infertility, cancers, malformations) from exposure to EDCs, and there is also mounting evidence for effects of these chemicals on thyroid function, brain function, obesity and metabolism, and insulin and glucose homeostasis.

    Global rates of endocrine-related cancers (breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid) have been increasing over the past 40–50 years.”


    HISTORY of Evidence

    In 2002, the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) conducted research specific to EDCs, and published the “Global Assessment of the State-of-the-Science of Endocrine Disruptors” report.

    IPCS is a joint programme of the World Health Organization, United Nations Environmental Programme and the International Labour Organization. It concluded that while results indicated adverse effects of EDCs in wildlife, more research had to be done to examine specific threats to the human body.

    Following this publication, international authorities such as the Endocrine Society, European Commission and the European Environment Agency gathered evidence which showed that there was emerging evidence that EDCs indeed have negative effects on the human body regarding reproductive functions.

    In 2011 The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and the US Paediatric Endocrine Society put forward a consensus statement calling for action regarding endocrine disruptors and their effects.

    A year later the most comprehensive report to date was published via a collaboration between the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme.

    This paper, ‘State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012: Summary for Decision Makers’, compiled the findings of international scientific experts and their research and was led by Professor Åke Bergman, of Stockholm University. The members of his team included doctors, academics, scientists and various heads of departments within the World Health Organization.  The research was funded by governments (not industry) so we can assume it was not conflicted.

    The findings in this seminal report have been referenced by credible journalists and researchers from Environmental Health Perspectives and the Economist, with the main aim of educating the general public on the sources and the dangers of endocrine disruptors. To quote Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times “The chemical industry - by spending $100,000 on lobbying per member of Congress - buys its way out of effective regulation of endocrine disruptors. The industry’s deceit marks a replay of Big Tobacco’s battle against regulation of smoking”.

     

    The BAD news

    The most alarming fact regarding Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals is that the research performed to date appears to be only the tip of the iceberg. So while hundreds of chemicals that are currently used in different industries are already known to have endocrine disrupting effects, there are thousands of potentially similar chemicals, especially in consumer products, that have not yet been tested.

    Close to 800 chemicals are known or suspected to 
be Endocrine Disruptors, but only a small fraction of these chemicals have been investigated in tests capable of identifying endocrine effects. The vast majority of chemicals in current commercial use have not been tested at all.

    Furthermore the testing process, although in theory strict, only tests specific dosages of EDCs to determine the levels safe for humans and wildlife. The concern is that whilst humans have low dosage exposures to individually safe EDCs, these chemicals could collectively reach a harmful level. The toxicity of such environmental circumstances have not yet been determined and assessed.

    The consequences of exposure to EDCs on human health are severe. Endocrine disruption leads to a magnitude of health problems. In adults, close contact to EDCs have been linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndromes, reproductive issues as well as more fatally, increasing rates of testicular and breast cancer.

    As previously mentioned, exposure to EDCs during the specific ‘sensitive periods’ of development will lead to long-term and more permanent health impacts such as increased occurrences of reproductive diseases, endocrine-related cancers, behavioural and learning problems.

     

    HOW TO AVOID Endocrine Disruptors?

    In reality, simply testing for EDCs is not sufficient. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a common and dangerous endocrine disruptor that is present in a range of consumer goods such as food packaging, plastic bottles and baby teethers, was not banned by the Food and Drug Administration despite strong objections from the Endocrine Society and toxicologists. While we wait for official measures to step in, endocrine disruption can be avoided or minimized with conscious changes in daily lifestyle.

    This includes:

    • Not storing food or beverages in polycarbonate containers and instead choosing to use glassware
    • Choosing furniture or toys of natural materials such as wood and glass
    • Consuming organic food
    • Avoiding pesticides
    • Washing hands after dealing with chemicals
    • Making informed choices when purchasing cosmetics or fragrances

    With regards to woods (our passion at Twoodie) chemical preservatives, paints, finishes and other unnatural additives should obviously be avoided.

    Special attention should be paid to infants and children and products that they come into close contact with such as toys, teethers and plastic cutlery and containers. Especially in the case of teethers, while the ones most commonly sold in the United States were labelled as BPA-free or nontoxic, BPA or replacement chemicals were found in them.

    Bottom line:

  • Research and understand what products and environments are likely to contain EDCs
  • Minimize or completely avoid these where possible


  • THE TWOODIE WAY

    The effects of endocrine disruptors on our health are potentially catastrophic.  They include cancerous tumours, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. For this reason we will adopt a “better safe than sorry” approach to the products we use and will pay special attention to those that surround children.

    The science is debated, but only as much as that of climate change. Regardless of one’s faith in man's ability to change the climate we can all agree that living a more sustainable lifestyle is a good thing. This is also our approach at Twoodie.  You don’t need to wait to have more conclusive proof of the existence and impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals to make purchasing decisions that are natural, healthy, beautiful and of lasting quality. Our job is to make this easy for you.


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    World Health Organization. (2012). State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. United Nations Environment Programme. Geneva: WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data.

    Harrison, P. T. (2001). Endocrine Disrupters And Human Health: Current Research Will Establish Baseline Indices. BMJ: British Medical Journal , 323, 1317-1318.

    Ashby, J. e. (1997). The Challenge Posed by Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals. Environmental Health Perspectives , 5 (2), 164-169.

    International Programme on Chemical Safety. (2002). Global assessment of the state-of-the-science of endocrine disruptors. World Health Organization. Geneva: IPCS.

    Skakkebaek NE, e. a. (2011). The exposure of fetuses and children to endocrine disrupting chemicals: a European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) and Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) call to action statement. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism , 96 (10), 3056-3058.

    Agency, E. E. (2012). The impacts of endocrine disruptors on wildlife, people and their environments - The Weybridge +15(1996-2011) report. European Environment Agency, Copenhagan, Denmark.

    Kortenkamp A, e. a. (2011). State of the art assessment of endocrine disrupters. Final report. Directorate-General for the Environment. European Commission.

    Kabat, G. C. (2017). Hormonal Confusion: The Contested Science of Endocrine Disruption. In Getting Risk Right: Understanding the Science of Elusive Health Risks (pp. 85-115). Columbia University Press.

    Kristof, N. (2009, 06 27). It's Time to Learn From Frogs. Retrieved 03 29, 2017, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/opinion/28kristof.html

    Kristof, N. (2012, May 2). How Chemicals Affect Us. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/opinion/kristof-how-chemicals-change-us.html

    Tech.view. (2008, Aug 22). Hazard in a Bottle. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from The Economist:http://www.economist.com/node/11991291

    Honest Blogs. (2016, Jan 26). What are Phthalates? Retrieved March 29, 2017, from The Honest Company : https://blog.honest.com/phthalates/#

    Amarelo, M., & Lunder, S. (2016, Dec 9). Teethers Expose Babies To BPA and Other Endocrine Disruptors. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from Healthy Child Healthy World: http://www.healthychild.org/teethers-expose-babies-to-bpa-and-other-endocrine-disruptors/


    Working on our pitches for magazines and online sites April 17 2017, 0 Comments

    Twoodie is the ONE STOP skill-building, creativity-boosting baby toy solution designed to cover ALL the essential developmental and learning needs in your child's first 18 months of life.


    Our toy is inspired by Montessori free play, because we believe fun playful learning is fundamental to growth – and don’t just take our word for it, free play is preferred by Prince George, Google's Larry & Sergei, and an innumerable number of super-successful CEOs who were educated according to this method. We’ve dedicated three years and over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of Twoodie toys, so that you can trust every single one is natural, sustainable, and made to exacting quality standards in Japan.  Twoodies come packaged in a luxurious velvet pouch for easy transport, and a solid artist-tattooed shoebox for safe storage...adding beauty (not clutter) to the home.


    In this tech-focused world, your baby only needs ONE toy before paediatricians say it's safe to engage with smartphones and screentime: Twoodie is that toy!


    ------------------

    Twoodie is the ONE STOP baby toy solution that is designed to cover ALL the essential developmental and learning needs of a child's first 18 months of life.

    It's inspired by Montessori free play as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were schooled in this method.  Twoodie spent three years and ran over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of the toys which are natural, sustainable and made to exacting quality standards in Japan.  Twoodies come packaged in a luxurious velvet pouch for easy transport and a solid artist tattooed shoebox for safe storage...Adding beauty (not clutter) to the home.


    You only need ONE toy before paediatricians say it's safe to engage with smartphones and screentime: Twoodie is that toy!


    ------------------



    Twoodie Gems

    US$125 with complimentary shipping

    Sold exclusively via twoodie.com


    We've spent 3 years immersed in Japanese culture, interviewing children's health & development specialists and collaborating with wood technicians to create the ALL IN ONE baby toy.

    The Twoodie gems are unique in that they cover ALL the early learning and developmental requirements for 0-18 months but are appreciated by playful minds of all ages.

    With Twoodie you only need ONE toy for the critical first 2yrs when paediatricians recommend no screen time. Twoodie is an all in one solution that's organic, stylish and PROVEN.

    We've designed a toy that speaks to Marie Kondo's minimalism and Montessori free play (as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were educated according to this method).

    It's an heirloom and adds beauty not clutter to the home.

    We have run over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity and safety of the toys which are all natural, sustainable and made to exacting standards in Osaka, Japan.

    Twoodie is the world’s first completely transparent toy brand.



    Safe Sustainable and stylish

    Tried tested trusted

    Imperfect impermanent incomplete



    Twoodie is the ONE STOP baby toy solution that covers ALL the essential developmental and learning needs of a child's first 18 months of life.

    It's inspired by Marie Kondo's minimalism and Montessori free play (as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were educated according to this method).  We ran over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of the toys which are natural, sustainable and made in Japan.

    75 words, 460 characters with spaces

    ------------


    Using sustainable woods and some impressive physics Twoodie makes whimsical surrealist stacking toys.

    The gems are part of a new movement of toys that embrace free and 'self directed' play and has recently gained momentum after the royal family decided that Prince George would attend a Montessori nursery school.

    From 0-2 yrs paediatricians recommend no screen time as this can damage a young child’s retina irreversibly.  So the African-Australian designers at Twoodie set out with the ambitious goal to create a toy that would fulfil ALL of the developmental and learning needs for the first 18 months of life.  

    "People need less stuff because they are travelling more and living in dense urban spaces.  They seek the organic: wood, nature and calming objects - a complement to their hyper connected surroundings and lifestyle.  Twoodie is an all in one toy for millennial parents that relieves anxiety and encourages interaction."

    These pure wood gems are cross purpose although they are tested to the strictest international standards for newborn babies and have faceted edges and a careful weighting that allows little ones to grasp them easily...

    Everything is Made in Japan where the toy was developed with human centred design and observation at the Tokyo Toy museum and the hundred year old archives of the Odawara wood center.

    Twoodie is the only toy brand in the world offering complete transparency, a rarity in the cheap and opaque world of plastic playthings.  This engenders trust from a small but growing international clientele of artists, tastemakers and idealistic parents.



    254 words


    Hi Nic.  We're writing to you because you write about issues that are

    important to all of us.

    Therefore we think there is a possibility you will understand what we are

    trying to do.  Its about mission, not ambition:


    We've started a new type of toy company.  After living in Asia and being

    at the coldface we experienced the poisonous effect cheap plastic toys have on our health, communities and environment.  Everyone talks about cleaning up the fashion supply chain, but toys are a vastly more opaque and

    untransparent industry.


    There was this moment when I realised that the plastic toys I was picking

    up off the beach in my company sponsored clean up were exactly the same as those in the Toys R Us showroom I walked through every day at work.

    If the statistic that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the

    ocean is true then sacrificing our careers and everything we own to fix

    this problem has to be worth it.


    How we solve this problem:


    1 - We designed a toy that uniquely covers ALL the developmental needs of a child for their first 18 months.  So you "only need to buy 1".

    2 - We made these toys sustainably in Japan, compensated everyone involved fairly and tested them independently.

    3 - We made our Public Benefit company COMPLETELY TRANSPARENT: all our margins, factories, salaries, contracts, testing certifications and

    philanthropic giving is available for public scrutiny at twoodie.com

    This way we hold ourselves to account.


    How can you help us?  Connect us to someone at your newspaper who

    understands design and sustainability and will tell the world that *there

    is now an alternative to toxic toys and plastic landfill.* Or consider this for your blog. That's all we're asking: the opportunity to let people know it exists.


    For your consideration.  


    Non-Toxic Toys April 08 2017, 0 Comments

    The short list of what you won't find in Twoodies:

    • No Carcinogens 
    • No Endocrine Disruptors
    • No Fire Retardants
    • No GMOs or Synthetic Biology 
    • No Heavy Metals 
    • No Nanoparticles 
    • No Herbicides, Insecticides or Pesticides 
    • No Harmful Chemical Solvents or VOCs
    • No Behavioral, Developmental or Neurotoxins
    • No know allergens
    • No BPA or other plastics
    • No lead tainted paint
    • No metals or magnets 
    • No toxic glues or adhesives

    "The reality of life today is that we live in a toxic world surrounded by thousands of invisible chemicals and toxicants which infiltrate the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the products we use every day. These silent encounters with chemicals have been linked to nearly every disease raging in America from ADD, Allergies, Alzheimer’s, Asthma, Autism and Autoimmune diseases to Infertility, Cancer, Diabetes, Chronic Inflammation, Obesity, and Parkinson’s disease."

    nontoxiccertified.org

    Twoodie wooden gem in walnut from America and safe wood for baby toys  Twoodie wooden gem baby toys in gem shape and oak wood from America  Twoodie wooden gem baby toys in gem shape and cherry wood  Twoodie wooden stacking gem in Japanese Zelkova wood with visible woodgrain

    Twoodie wooden gems arranged in crown formation on wooden surface