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Reuse, resell, recycle

How Silver Cross is preserving nursery products for future generations and families in need
Reuse, resell, recycle

This article first appeared in our Earth Day special issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 22 April 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

For safety and practical reasons, parents need durable nursery equipment that’s built to last – but the products, by their nature, have a short lifecycle.

Babies grow so fast that all the kit – from prams and strollers to bouncers (as well as clothes) – is soon outgrown.

Add to that the bewildering level of choice in the sector and it’s easy to see how nursery products can end up in the waste stream, despite often having years of life left in them.

Building to last

Quality and longevity have been central to Silver Cross for over 140 years, when the nursery brand’s founder crafted the very first baby carriage that allowed parents to transport their child in safety and comfort.

Today the travel systems, strollers and car seats look very different, but the philosophy remains the same.

‘It’s important to choose quality products you can rely on’, says David Abbott, director of marketing at Silver Cross. ‘Even though you may only use them for a short period of time, you’ll be trusting these products with the most precious thing in the world: your baby.’

Silver Cross has always developed products that will last longer than one child would ever need them; perhaps more than any other brand, it’s synonymous with nursery products that have been designed to span generations.

‘While our travel systems are suitable from birth to approximately four years, you may only use one for as little as six months’, David explains. ‘That’s why we’re now looking at ways we can extend the lifecycle of Silver Cross prams and strollers and get products to families who need them.’

Services and repairs

Earlier this month, Silver Cross launched a valet and service programme for its travel systems and strollers, which are usually a big investment for families.

After a complete road test and premium valet, the Silver Cross is returned like new so parents can reuse or resell knowing their product is safe and looking its best.

From 01 June 2021 parents who don’t intend to reuse or resell their travel system or stroller will be able to return it free of charge for a full valet and service and donate it to a family in need through partner charity Baby Basics, which recently opened its 50th baby bank in the UK.

The UK recycling plant

Silver Cross builds to last and offers services to extend useful life, but David accepts the reality that despite all best efforts, some Silver Cross products will be discarded – or finally reach a point where they simply can’t be restored. The goal then is to keep them out of landfill.

For this reason, Silver Cross has put measures in place to ensure every possible part of its products can be recycled.

A recycling plant was created at the UK service centre in 2020, when lockdown gave Silver Cross an opportunity to look at its internal processes. ‘From prototypes to photography samples, we go through a lot of product’, David explains.

‘By introducing the recycling plant we’re now able to strip products down by material, so we can recycle as much as possible.’

Sustainable materials

In a general sense, we’re becoming a lot more interested in the materials that go into the products we buy, where they came from and where they end up.

Many, still haunted by the images of ocean plastic that hit our screens with Blue Planet II in 2017, make a conscious effort to avoid products that present a problem for recyclers.

‘There’s definitely a need for consumers to understand where their products come from and what they’re made of’, David tells us. ‘It’s becoming more important for parents to know they’re choosing a brand that not only offers exceptional products but is also actively trying to create a better world for their family.’

The deliberate focus on how products are made, how long they last and where they go at the end of their life means sustainability has been in the DNA at Silver Cross for some time, but it has become a major focus over the last few years, since the company started taking active steps to improve the brand’s environmental impact.

‘We’re still some way from being able to produce our products from 100% sustainable sources’, David explains, ‘but we’re actively trying to prolong the lifecycle of our travel systems and strollers by offering parents new and unique services that will allow them to reuse, resell or recycle their product.’

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