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If you’re looking for organic plush toys and stuffed animals made in the USA, we’ve taken away the time-consuming quest of trying to find them! Keep reading to discover the value of buying organic stuffed toys, and check out our American-made list.
Long ago, you could find many toy manufacturers in the United States that made children's toys without harmful chemicals. These are the same toys today we would consider non-toxic and made with the highest standards possible. But even within the past decade, more of these American manufacturers have gone to the wayside. Shoppers instead look for inexpensive options and assume safety standards are ensured.
Organic Plush Toys and Stuffed Animals Made in America
Watch young children play, and within a few short minutes, you’ll see them place a toy in their mouth. That act seems strange to us as adults, but it’s a pure developmental act for our little ones. The special babies in my life are now old enough to stick whatever they’re holding right between their lips!
That’s why it’s so incredibly important to ensure whatever is going into their mouth is safe. The safest stuffed toys and animals you can buy are organic.
Add “made in the USA” into the description, and you’re double the assurance the toys are safe.
To be honest, few fit the bill of being both American-made AND organic. Even then, several of these selections come from independent makers with Etsy accounts. In these cases, creative individuals make the non-toxic, organic products in a home or garage-turned-production room. I, for one, very much value these home-based businesses. I’ve included a few of my favorites from Etsy, along with the few American producers.
The Problem with Toxins in our Toys
Cheaper stuffed animals and toys that find themselves on our store shelves come from overseas. They're made from inferior materials that include heavy metals, flame retardants, synthetic azo dyes, polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, and more. These toxic substances appear in the fabric, stuffing, and even thread, along with other toy accessories such as boots or toys.
At the very least, your child could have an allergic reaction, but these chemicals often create other problems. These issues include endocrine disruption and nervous system problems, developmental delays, cognitive issues, and even cancer.
While the European Union has restricted many toys with these toxic compounds to enter into their countries, many of them continue to end up on American store shelves. That’s why it’s important to do our due diligence when it comes to looking for safe alternatives for little hands.
The American Academy of Pediatrics adds a caution not to buy toys stuffed with small bean-like styrofoam or pellets. These materials pose a serious choking hazard.
Stuffed animals and toys provide companionship, improve social skills, and cultivate imaginative play with both small kids and older kids. Kids love playing with their favorite stuffed bear, rabbit, dinosaur, dog, or doll.
Children shouldn’t worry about having allergic reactions to their plush pals while playing. Organic stuffed toys allow them to play freely while giving us caregivers peace of mind. While the tea party or dinosaur attack is occurring, safety is also ensured.
Organic stuffed animals and toys are made from natural materials and organic fabrics. They're free from pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Colors come from water-based dyes, and natural fibers are used for hair, such as wool.
Made in the USA Stuffed Toys and Animals Not Labeled Organic
There are other stuffed animals and toys made in the USA but are not necessarily organic. Some of you might be interested in buying American-made, but organic may not be high on your priority list, especially if these toys aren’t going into a small child’s mouth! They are listed below in a separate section.
These larger USA manufacturers have to pass the Federal Toy Safety Standard test that shows the materials they use are not harmful to children. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (USPSC) website reads, “All toys intended for use by children 12 years of age and under must be third party tested and be certified in a Children’s Product Certificate as compliant to the federal toy safety standard enacted by Congress, and to other applicable requirements as well.”
In other words, our American manufacturers are responsible for making stuffed animals and toys with materials that have been proven to be safe, but they don’t necessarily have to be organic materials.
Do you know of a company that makes organic stuffed animals and toys in the USA? Leave us a comment below, and we'll check it out!
Organic Plush Toys and Stuffed Animals Made in the USA
Bella Luna Toys, based in New York, is an online store featuring toys that support Waldorf education: natural, eco-friendly toys that nourish the senses, inspire the imagination, and are beautiful to behold. While Bella Luna Toys share selections made in Europe and Canada, nearly 300 products are made in the USA. Of those, the Star Baby Pocket Waldorf Doll and the Baby Mole Pocket Pal fit the stuffed toy/animal category. The dolls come in several colors and skin tones, and both selections are the perfect size for fitting right into a child’s pocket.
Cleo and Poppy is an Etsy shop located in California that currently lists 17 organic stuffed toys and animals in its shop. These items are made from organic cotton jersey and muslin with plant-dyed organic wool felt hair. They’re stuffed with organic cotton stuffing. Find boy and girl dolls along with cute stuffed dogs. Note: Buttons on the boy dolls are a choking hazard for young children, so request one without the buttons.
Our Green House, based in Connecticut, features all eco-friendly, fair trade gift items you can purchase individually or group together and make a gift basket. They have made-in-the-USA offerings, but not all products are American-made. Included on the website are knit baby toys like this manatee. It's 9 inches long and 4 inches tall and made by a teenage girl in Massachusetts. She uses organic, eco-friendly cotton stuffing and knitting yarn. Find several other stuffed toy/animal selections, too, that are made in the USA, along with gifts for the entire family! Our Green House also has a baby gift registry on its website.
California’s Taraluna features over two dozen plush toys that are certified organic AND American made! Shop bunnies, chickens, pigs, elephants, even a billy goat, and more! Fabrics include lambswool, bamboo fleece, and more. It also carries organic cotton toys such as the Security Blanket with Animal Friend. Taraluna supports small, woman-owned businesses. Note: Not all Taraluna products are made in USA, so check the descriptions.
Verbena and Fig, located in Michigan, is an Etsy shop that has stuffed dolls, stuffed toys, and baby booties. The stuffed bunny with grey ears is made with organic cotton, cotton embroidery floss, and cotton stuffing. It loves to snuggle and rub noses with your baby or toddler! The dolls are stuffed with organic cotton, too, and are draped in linen fabric.
STUFFED ANIMALS AND PLUSH TOYS MADE IN USA THAT ARE NOT ORGANIC
We found more stuffed animals and plush toys made in the USA that are not made from organic materials. They are American made with love. As always, check the age recommendations as some may contain small parts.
Not to be confused with North American Bear Company or The Bear Factory, American Bear Factory makes several stuffed animals and toys in the USA. These are sold on several websites, including Made in USA Forever and Strictly USA. Consider the cute camel with two humps or the classic teddy bear. These soft, furry friends are handmade from scratch using American-made materials.
Big Plush offers over 150 American-made GIANT stuffed animals. Located in New Jersey, these are made with American thread, fabric, and stuffing. They’re sewn and stitched here, and they’re stuffed with premium polyester stuffing made in the USA. You can add custom touches, too, such as names, t-shirts, and more. Note: Only the animals in the link we provide are 100% made in the USA. Other Big Plus selections are either partially or wholly made elsewhere. Save 10% when you provide your email to the Big Plush company.
Fox River makes the iconic sock monkey! I owned one of these when I was young, and I’ve been surprised at how many kids today actually know about them! They have the “red heel” mouth and are made from socks, also by the same company. Fox River, located in Osage, Iowa, is privately owned and has been making socks since 1900 using both US and imported yarns. Purchase either the mini sock monkey in brown or the larger, original sock monkey that’s offered in six different colors. This toy is not recommended for children under three years of age.
Trouble the Dog is a keepsake toy that’s also durably made to be played with. Made in the USA, he’s a cute little grey dog with a big nose, a black spot over his eye, and a felt tongue for giving kisses. The maker, Sheila Duncan, intends for kids to be able to “whisper all their ‘troubles’ into his soft, waiting ear and bring comfort and joy. You can also buy books that feature Trouble the Dog.
If you want a truly 100% made-in-the-USA teddy bear, shop the “Made in America Collection” tab on the Vermont Teddy Bear website. You’ll find the same classic teddy bears that have been made since 1981. These are easily identified with their “Born in Vermont” tags and come with moveable joints, suede details, and THOSE EYES! They seem to be looking lovingly right at you! They come in brown, but if you want your bear to have blue, green, or hazel eyes, you can make that request for a small upcharge. You’ll find a huge selection of colors and sizes, and you can find special bears for special holidays and situations such as weddings, births, and such. Note: Vermont Teddy Bear makes other bears and clothing in other parts of the world as well as the USA, so be sure to shop the “Made in America Collection” for an American-made bear.
Interested in other eco-friendly products made in the USA? Enjoy these articles!
Tammy Tilley is a southern transplant living in the Midwest. Growing up in the West Virginia hills, she was surrounded by family and friends who made things with their hands, from a penny whistle carved from the backyard tree’s branches to the hand-hewn wooden cradle gifted to her when her firstborn arrived. As an adult, she continues to be fascinated by the small cottage businesses the Amish and Mennonite communities cultivate in Northern Indiana. Tammy holds a B.A. and M.S. in English/Education.