Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reuse as a play tepee: BabyHub SleepSpace multi-use travel cot has been designed with the environmental impact in mind. By including a tepee cover with the travel cot, BabyHub SleepSpace is reusable as a play tepee, greatly extending the product life cycle. Great for older brothers and sisters too, as well as baby! Currently available as a white cotton canvas tepee cover, with patterns planned for the future!

Simply throw the cover over the travel cot, and with the zipped door open and fabric barrier folded back, it transforms into a play tepee

For the environmental and social impact summary, see below:

Babyhub SleepSpace is designed with environmental protection in mind. The design means that few materials are used in a multi-use product. There is also a tepee cover, which allows the product to be reused as a play tent for the older baby, extending product life cycle.

Life Cycle Environmental Issues

Raw Materials Extraction and processing

The greatest environmental impact is from the production of aluminium. It is an energy intensive process. Average water use in alumina refineries is 2.9kilolitres per tonne. Land is despoiled but there are post mining restoration programmes. CO2 emissions are falling per tonne to half 1990 levels. PFCs (perflourocarbons) have reduced by 90% per tonne of aluminium produced (Australia). There are plans for carbon capture, locking CO2 into the “red mud” left after alumina is extracted from bauxite, for example by Alcoa. Spent pot lining from the smelting industry is hazardous waste some of which can be recycled. Fluoride emissions from smelting are down by over 60% since 1990. Energy use is about 30% of the operating costs of aluminium production.

Recycling saves up to 95% of the energy required for primary aluminium production. One third of all aluminium metal entering the global market is recycled.

Another environmental impact is from the production of polyester travel cot fabric, (Production energy for polyester is 84-93MJ/kg) but discharged effluent from dyeing and bleaching can be treated to reduce contaminants. Processes such as these are analysed when visiting the factory and/or asking our agent to inspect and report for us. Materials produced for manufacture of baby goods are already restricted in many ways which minimise environmental impact, for example, levels of Azo dyes in fabrics and cadmium in plastics are strictly controlled

Manufacture

Energy is used in machining of fabric and for some processes in assembling of the product.

However, manufacturing impacts have been reduced substantially by basing components on moulded parts/what is already available and being made in the factory with minimal adjustments required. It aims to be a good example of Lean Design

Transport and Distribution

International sea freight has a smaller environmental impact than air freight and the product will be brought to the UK by sea freight and then by road to warehouse and retail outlets. To minimise energy wastage, only full container loads will be transported. The product is designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible to minimise packaging and impact of distribution, for example by the use of lightweight mesh for most of the fabric area and a lightweight aluminium frame.

End of Life, Reuse, Remanufacture, Recycling and Disposal

Aluminium is recyclable. Many families can reuse the product for other children and also it is designed to be reused as a play tent/wigwam, extending the product life greatly.

Environmental Impact Summary

The planned method of manufacture is the best for good diffusion of the product, for it to be widely available and affordable, as it will fit into existing structures and processes, which will also minimise the environmental impact. It is well designed to make minimal use of materials and energy and is also multi-use.

Social Sustainability

There are three pillars to sustainable development: social, economic and environmental. There is disagreement about criteria for social sustainability. A useful guide can be taken from the quotation: “Social sustainability focuses on the personal assets like education, skills, experience, consumption, income and employment while institutional sustainability aims at interpersonal processes like democracy and participation (institutional mechanisms) distributional and gender equity (institutional orientations) or independent and pluralistic sources of information (organisations) (Spangenberg 2002b). To ensure social sustainability of the manufacture and distribution of the product , BabyHub visits our agent, factory and logistics warehouse to view employee practices. As for consumption, the patents and trademarks have been filed in China, as well as the US and Europe, to take account of the development of consumerism in China, challenging existing patterns of consumption that support global inequity as well as environmental degradation.

BabyHub’s companies make use of the organisation Board Apprentice to ensure diversity on our board of directors.