Sustainability at Soft & Salty

How are we different?

At Soft & Salty we take great pride in doing all we can to design and manufacture quality products with minimal negative environmental or social impact. From fabric and supplier choices to the way we conduct our day to day, we’re all about developing a thriving business while at a bare minimum, leaving the planet no worse off for us having been here.

Our oceans are one of our greatest resources and keeping them healthy is vitally important to the longevity of our environment. By facilitating connection with the creatures who call it home, especially some of the more obscure, we hope to broaden young minds and start a conversation about what we can all do to conserve our marine ecosystems into the future.


Merino Felt and Fabrics

We work with a goal of making at least 80% of the materials for each of our designs eco friendly, natural and sustainable. Our work is based around 100% merino wool felt which is supplied straight from the makers in Holland. The wool comes from happy Aussie sheep, there are often remnants of grass and sticks in the fabric, a testament to their life lived outdoors and freedom. Hollandfelt comply with UNE-EN 71-2, UNE-EN 71-3 and OEKO-TEX standards.  

UNE-EN 71-2 is a flammability standard meaning the risk of this fabric combusting is incredibly low to non-existent.

UNE-EN 71-3 refers to the migration of certain elements. This tests for the presence of substances which may be harmful such as nickel, lead and formaldehyde (which is commonly used as a preservative when transporting fabrics or textile products from overseas to prevent mould and mildew).

OEKO-TEX is a globally standardised certification for textiles that have been tested for substances which are harmful to human health and the environment. Independently tested and valid for only 12 months a time, companies who use this label are manufacturing textiles with integrity.

We’re always exploring options to improve our choices for supplementary fabrics. This is tricky both with expense and suitability. Eco friendly fabrics come with a higher price tag and factoring this in without blowing out the costs of our products is a struggle. Textiles are primarily designed for the fashion industry so finding fabrics that adapt well for plushies can be difficult. Our fabrics can’t have any stretch, need to be able to hold up to the strain of being stuffed and need to stay true to the shape of the design in a 3D shape.


Recycled PET stuffing

Most plush toys on the market are filled with polyester stuffing, which is made from plastic, with the volume inside each one a surprisingly large amount. We use stuffing made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) derived from recycled plastic bottles, which can be recycled again at the end of your sea friend’s long and natural life span. Between 30 and 70 bottles are repurposed for each sea friend, with the amount varying with size and style. PET is antibacterial and non-allergenic, making it perfect for our product.


Made by hand and in small quantities

There are numerous advantages to manufacturing stock in small quantities.

Less waste, as we’re able to meet demand as it arises rather than trying to predict what customers will want, purchasing a large amount of stock and then trying to sell it and if it doesn’t, it’s value depreciates and it ends up on sale or wasted in landfill.

So instead of buying 5000 plush narwhals from a factory in China and hoping people buy them, we can make 5 plush narwhals and only manufacture more when they sell, whether that’s in a day or a year.  Not unlike fast fashion, which is increasingly being put under a microscope for it's detrimental effect on our planet.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of research into consumer shark purchasing patterns or plush whale species preferences. And to be honest we still can’t identify any clear patterns; different people just connect to different animals and we love that!

So we sew a few, sell a few, make a few more. Easy!



All of our packaging is recyclable, biodegradable or compostable.

We use recycled cardboard to protect our plushies in transit. Our postbags are home compostable as is all the sticky tape we use, even cello tape. We only use string made from natural fibres and our info tags and cards are all printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper (that means the stuff that would otherwise go into landfill).

The offcuts of cardboard from packing our plushies are used to wrap or provide padding to our smaller products, and we re-use all cardboard boxes and packaging that we receive deliveries in.


Home studio

Working from a home studio negates travel between home and a workplace each day and therefore reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption. Our energy footprint is smaller by having only one premises to power, light, heat, cool etc.


Moving Forward

We are always researching new ways to improve our practices and products which will enable us to do better. As revenue increases, more options become available to us and it’s very exciting. At the core of everything we do is an unwavering commitment to care for our friends of the sea and the waterways they reside in.

Would this ruin a whale’s day? If yes, then it’s a solid no from us.

We aren’t zero waste and it’s unlikely we ever will be. But we’re doing our best to lessen our impact and support other businesses and suppliers who are doing the same. Always looking for ways to improve moving forward and doing what we can while staying true to our vision for our design and products.