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Let's Get to Know Tosy Toys

Brand Founder: Zahide Genç
1- How did you meet upcycling? How did your upcycling journey begin?

It was always an action that existed in my life in some way, but I didn’t know it. I can give an example: As a child, the trousers we fell down and tore were always shorts. For example, there is a blanket I inherited from my grandmother. She used pieces of tiny clothes and put them together to make a pilaf and teapot cover. I didn’t know that this was upcycling at the time, but it was something that was always done in our house. Let’s say I actually realized how much upcycling is in my life. This happened during my pregnancy and motherhood in 2019.

2- Could you describe your company and how did the idea of making toys from old baby clothes come about?

Tosy Toys is an organization that transforms waste textiles into toys. A company that involves babies and children in transformation with toys. I first started making toys with my daughter. When I had difficulty finding a baby book, I opted for upcycling to meet my own needs. My upcycling journey began by designing the Babybird book.

3- What are your sources of inspiration for producing sustainable toys?

My main sources of inspiration are my daughter and our games with her. I am inspired to produce different toys to meet her needs and support her development. For example, when my daughter was 3 or 4 months old, I noticed that she loved playing with labels, and the idea of making labels with safer materials was born. Likewise, based on my daughter’s playing with diapers and bags, I added a pouch to her fruit and vegetable set and designed a toy that suited her taste.

4- What materials do you use besides old baby clothes?

I use rustling materials in books, various sound-making devices, and a wooden teething ring.

5- How does the process of transforming old baby clothes into toys take place? Can you tell us about this process?

My process of turning old clothes into toys starts with thinking and planning. I decide which figures to combine with the different patterns and textures of the clothes. Then I cut the materials and do the sewing. Each toy design can take a long time because it is important to think about the details and try to get the best result.

6- What are the biggest challenges in the design process of your toys and how do you go about overcoming these challenges?

My challenge now is that I can only upcycle fabrics. I want to use the other vik wiki, bell tone and wooden ring I use from upcycled materials. However, it will be safe for babies and upcycled. I’m doing research on this. But of course, considering that upcycling is not common, my research is progressing quite slowly.

7- Based on your customers’ feedback, what aspects of your toys made from old baby clothes are they most satisfied with?

They most like the toys to have different textures and rustle. Babies enjoy playing with these features.

8- How do you integrate sustainability and environmental protection values into your business?

I produce toys that are durable, will not break or tear, and will perhaps be kept among the first toys. When we become parents, we talk to our baby for hours, read books to her, tell stories and sing songs. And this strengthens our communication with our baby. Of course, sometimes we run out of stories to tell. At that time, I would explain what the toys we were playing with were made of and how they were made. Who wrote the book we read, how it was published, even how many copies were printed. When I learned that many parents do this, I said yes, I will explain upcycling to babies too. Our little ones will grow up with these concepts and values, and this is how we will improve the future.

9- How do you make sure that the materials used in your toys comply with safety and quality standards?

I can say that I use the trial and error method. By observing her reactions and games while playing with my daughter, I can determine which materials are safer and more suitable and what needs to be changed and corrected.

10- What are your company’s future goals and growth plans?

My future goal is to raise upcycling awareness to more people and present my toys to a wider audience. Additionally, to raise awareness about sustainable and upcycled toy production and to contribute to shaping our children’s future for a more livable world.

11- Can you give information about how your customers can send their old baby clothes to you and buy toys?

Our customers can send their old baby clothes to us via Reppatch. Those who want to buy our toys can also contact Reppatch.com and instagram/tosytoys.