“When I was pregnant, I became more environmentally conscious than ever”: mother launches new toy rental program


An Irish mother who was pregnant when she thought about an innovative toy rental program launched an eco-friendly way to help children change toys.

enel Sanders (35), from Bandon, County Cork, was living in Dubai with her husband Didier (39) and was expecting their first child, Orlando, now two, when she came up with the plan.

“I was pregnant in Orlando when I got the idea of ​​starting a toy rental club,” Ms. Sanders said.

“When you bring new life to the world, you start to see the way of life and the environment you live in from a new perspective.

“I have become more eco-responsible than ever, especially when it comes to choosing everyday essentials like diapers, wipes and baby clothes.

“Next, I looked at the cost of toys, their value to a child’s learning and development, and their impact on the environment. “

The Sanders, co-founders of the Clever Tots Toy Club, now rent toys suitable for children from three months to three years old.

A monthly toy box delivery includes a set of four toys, replaced each month.

Ms Sanders said: “The principle is to provide a more sustainable way for caregivers and children to enjoy their toys in the home environment.

“We believe that buy-in and support will inspire parents to spend even more quality time playing with their young children.”

The rental is € 39.99 per month, with discounts for purchases of three, six and 12 month subscriptions, which could result in an average saving of € 60 per month, compared to if parents had purchased the toys, says the company.

The start-up said it was prepared for the situation where children get particularly attached to a toy and allow parents to purchase the item at a reduced price.

Ms Sanders said she realized how important it is for families to have the choice of purchasing a favorite item, after seeing Orlando tie up to a toy in Dubai.

“Fortunately, when it got attached to a recycled plastic fire truck, I was able to keep it for a little extra money,” she said.

“We also incorporated this into our model for the Clever Tots Toy Club, because we know that sometimes kids won’t be able to figure out that a toy has to come back to be shared with another child.

“Although it can be a good learning opportunity for them as they get older.”

Costs may also be incurred if a toy or part of a toy is lost.

Ms Sanders had joined a toy rental club in Dubai and during the time between Orlando hitting six months and celebrating her first birthday, the family received a box of toys each month.

She decided to bring the idea to Ireland and offer the initiative to parents concerned about the environmental cost of consumerism. The couple returned to Cork at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She thinks her business is the perfect service
for parents who don’t have the storage space for a lot of toys
. The company also offers a membership service to provide customers with access to online and video resources designed to support children’s development.

See Clevertots.ie for more information.

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