FAIR & GREEN
Play Fair Play Green
Fair and Green was conceived by its founder- Neena Jha – who realized that in today’s fast paced life, children throughout their early development process still need simple, engaging toys to improve their motor skills and spark their initial creativity. As a mother herself, she noticed when raising her young family that iPad app’s for young children were becoming the norm, and the small beautiful interactive toys she played with as a child, were missing from the toy store shelves. As a mother who also understands that our role in minimizing adverse impact to our planet and its natural resources, Neena set out on a mission to bring to market all natural and safe toys, created in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, that inspired fun and creativity amongst children.
In early 2009 she founded Fair and Green Toys. Fair and Green today has relationships with international artisans and craftsmen that hand produce one of a kind toys for children 6 months and older. It is the gentle loving touch of the craftsman’s hands that bring these toys to life. With centuries old designs and traditions these craftsman use only sustainable practices to bring this beautiful art form to life. Our handcrafted toys represent legacy designs that have stimulated smiles and motivated spontaneous play in children for hundreds of years.
The story of this ancient art began centuries ago in a small village in India. The local ruler, Tipu Sultan, invited the best artisans from Persia to come and show the village craftsman how to make wooden toys. He requested no harm be done to the forest, such that the only wood to be used was the wood that has fallen from the existing forested areas surrounding a lovely lake. The Persian artisans taught the village craftsman how to mill and turn the wood to create smooth surfaces and creative shapes. Additionally, the teachers and artisans collaborated with natural earthly ingredients such as spices, and herbs to develop the rich color palette included in each of these Toys. This longstanding tradition of creating these beautiful handmade toys is now alive and thriving in small shops, and by artisans who work in their own homes in India.
Today International exports are helping to keep this local art alive and withstand the price competition faced by imitations from China. To create the current range of hand crafted toys, Fair and Green honorably works with the village Artisans and is bringing their story imaginatively retold again and again. The above featured toys are ASTM F963 certified – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.
Our current range of toys are manufactured in a remote village in India called Channapatna, also known as “Gombegala Ooru” which in local language means “The town of Toys”! These artisans in the village of Channapatna have been making these toys for over two hundred years using an art form imported from Persia in 18th century by a local ruler named Tipu Sultan. Each toy is made from a sustainable resources and touched by a hand with love. In early 2014 Fair and Green engaged New York based toy designers to design a new range of functional and stimulating toys for kids of all ages that leveraged the Channapatna art. The result was Fair and Green’s first indigenous range of wooden toys to be handmade by Channapatna artisans. Neena found a local partner in Channapatna who provides the infrastructure for the local artisans to create these toys with topmost quality, religiously following the Fair Trade practices. She took similar care in designing the packaging for the toys, consistent with the all-natural, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing theme.
Fast forward, these beautiful handmade works of art are now sold through a network of boutique and specialty toy stores around the country. By buying these toys, you are providing livelihood to artisans and their families that allow them to keep their centuries old art form alive for coming generations to savor. Fair and Green toys uses only Fair Trade Practices to provide the assurance that the toys are created in a socially and economically responsible manner. The artisan’s use only sustainable resources to create the toys. All the toys are produced with lead free, non-toxic materials and have been tested and approved, per the ASTM F963 regulation, as safe for children ages 6 months and older.
The colors used in our toys are made from natural plant extracts (Shellac). Here are the sources of some of the colors used.
Blue and Black: Extracts from the Indigo Plant
Yellow: Turmeric Powder
Orange: Kanchi KumKum Turmeric
Red: Kanchi KumKum and Natural Alizarin
Dark Brown: Extracts from the Ratanjyoti Tree
Light Brown: Extracts from Katha