6 - Leadership by example
We don't like people that preach or talk. We want to be an enterprise that demonstrates how to get stuff done, the right way. Of course we take some short /smart cuts, but never in the areas that would hurt or harm anyone.
In our quest to bring to the world the safest, purest and most creative organic toys we have had to travel quite a treacherous journey.
Examples of times where we have had to make difficult and potentially financially harmful decisions include:
- Avoiding cheaper factories and production facilities in China and Thailand that were unethical or substandard in their treatment of workers and employee safety.
- Choosing to test with expensive specialist third party labs for all jurisdictions according to different guidelines, rather than assume that just those of Australia NZ (the strictest) would suffice.
- Testing all the packaging for toxicity and harmful chemicals in addition to the actual toys.
- Having forthright and assertive conversations with our Japanese partners in order to obtain proof of the sustainability and source of the wood supply.
- Delaying our launch and forgoing the opportunity to send samples to press in order to retest our product for safety and wood composition after the factory location was changed at the last minute without our notice or authorization.
- Returning and paying to have faulty stock repaired as well as redoing all quality assurance in house in order to confidently be able to proclaim Twoodie as the world's safest baby toy.
- Openly and clearly displaying our business practises (good bad and work in progress) on our Open Books page accessible via twoodie.com.
- Reporting honestly and without bias and hysteria about the dangers of Endocrine Disruption and the science and data which supports it to date.
- Refusing to pay bloggers, celebs or influencers that would not publicly disclose their income in exchange for a review, regardless of their claims of neutrality. We believe this to be disingenuous and what's more, we believe in Twoodie!
4 - Share 1%
At Twoodie we have donated 1% of our REVENUE (not profit which would have been substantially lower) to Watsi. We have funded healthcare for 33 patients in 12 countries. This is 33 individuals and families that are helped by our clients and the commerce Twoodie pays forward.
This is made transparent via the Watsi site and our communication with each and every client about the 'donation on your behalf'. We follow this with a status update email detailing the progress and that the money has been spent on what we promised it would be. We use Watsi's correspondence to complete this.
As we grow our business we can continue to improve our impact in this way, beyond just making a product that is non-toxic, non-plastic and free from Endocrine Disruptors. A product that is multipurpose, age agnostic and biodegradable. Made in a way that is ethical and sustainable. A product that we feel confident deserves to exist in the world and is not just another 'thing'.
All of the children we have helped are below 8 years of age. Their conditions include eye surgery, burn repair surgery, brain and spinal surgery and that to treat Spina Bifida; hardly an issue in the developed world as it is relatively simple to prevent with folic acid supplements and healthy diet.
Its our honour and blessing to share what we have, from the beginning, as a marker of our intent (even if this is not materially a very large sum of money).
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.
3 - Preserve the environment
In addition to making non-toxic and safe wooden (biodegradable) toys at Twoodie we have used sustainably sourced wood from Japan and the USA. The woods were chosen to be suitable for the products end use but also sustainable and readily available because of ample supply. We could have used cheaper woods but we chose to use special ones!
We have not used synthetic materials, except for the cloth bag. All other components are natural, biodegrade and ALL components are tested for safety and purity.
Currently we have a new supplier able to more accurately detail the wood source. We hope to be 100% transparent about this from our next order of stock.
Twoodies as industrial design product fulfil many functions as they are long lasting and multifunctional as well as being cross generational. Their price point, packaging design and style emphasise that this is a special product and not something consumable or disposable after quick and careless use. They have been created under the Montessori umbrella with consideration of the broader context of their lifecycle and use.
We are moving towards end-to-end supply chain visibility with our new Japanese supplier. We will be establishing environmental metrics in partnership with them and identifying any constraints they may have.
We ship directly from source to clients. We work with DHL and postage services and hope to be able to take advantage of their innovations as the business scales.
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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.