Watoto Arts: Eco-friendly Doll Production

Watoto Arts: Eco-friendly Doll Production

19 Nov 2023

Watoto Arts, a visionary social enterprise, stands at the forefront of creating positive social change. Their journey began with a simple observation - a lack of representation in toy stores.

Frustrated by the scarcity of dolls their children could identify with, and disheartened by the distant origins, plastic materials, and unfair production practices of existing dolls, the founders decided to take matters into their own hands. At the heart of this initiative was the family's desire to make dolls that their children could relate to, setting the foundation of importance of inclusion in chirdren's play in their family business, Watoto Arts.

The Watoto Arts Founding Story

The spark of Watoto Arts ignited when, during parental leave, one of the founders sat down at the kitchen table and sewed a doll for their child. The next morning, upon gifting the homemade doll to their children, they were met with love and pride. The idea behind Watoto Arts was simple yet profound: all children should have the opportunity to play with dolls that truly reflect their own identities.

Inclusive dolls for kids
Inclusive dolls for kids

The Watoto Arts Vision

At Watoto Arts, the vision is clear and inspiring. The name "Watoto" comes from Swahili, meaning "child" — all children. Their overarching goal is to create a world where every child feels included and can flourish, irrespective of their appearance or place of residence. They recognize that many of the values we carry into adulthood are formed during our early years, making it vital for children to identify with their surroundings to develop into confident individuals.

Watoto Arts believes their award-winning sustainable dolls go beyond being toys; they are tools for fostering empathy and self-esteem, ultimately leading to positive social change.

In-House Production:

When customers choose Watoto Arts, they're not just purchasing a product; they're selecting quality that's crafted in Sweden. Watoto Arts' local production allows them to maintain a close connection with their products, overseeing every step from design to delivery. This control enables them to meet the highest safety and quality standards and adapt quickly to customer needs.

Non-Toxic and Ecological Materials:

Watoto Arts is committed to safety and sustainability, which extends to the materials they use. Their products are crafted from non-toxic and ecological materials such as local sheep wool and recycled polyester, adhering to European standards. This means their products are not only safe for children but also environmentally responsible.

sustainable dolls materials
sustainable dolls materials


Local production means that Watoto Arts' products don't travel long distances, reducing carbon emissions. They are also proud to use fully recyclable packaging, making responsible packaging an integral part of their commitment to sustainability.

Local Employment and Empowerment:

Watoto Arts provides employment opportunities, training, and support to individuals who may have faced barriers in the job market. Their goal is to empower women and create a more inclusive society.

Recycling Waste:

Their approach is simple yet effective: they recycle, upcycle, and donate. Leftover fabrics are donated to kindergartens, minimising their ecological footprint and contributing to a cleaner, greener, and more creative future.

Community Engagement:

Watoto Arts actively engages with local organizations, schools, and initiatives. Giving back to the community is a fundamental part of their mission, whether through education, partnerships, or charitable efforts.

Quality Assurance:

Watoto Arts' commitment to local production ensures the highest quality standards. Every product undergoes rigorous quality control checks, guaranteeing that customers receive products that exceed their expectations.

inclusive dolls for kids

The Process and Way of Working

Watoto Arts takes immense pride in their process and way of working. Their approach includes:

  • Design and Manufacturing: All their products are carefully designed and handcrafted in Solna, Sweden. Their sustainable and local production chain ensures the creation of safe, durable toys that can be passed down through generations.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Watoto Arts prioritizes diversity, inclusion, and representation when designing their dolls, ensuring that children from all backgrounds can identify with their creations.
  • Sustainability: The materials chosen for the dolls are selected with sustainability, safety, and the environment in mind. Watoto Arts aims for quality, safety, and sustainability in every step of their manufacturing process.
  • EU Toy Safety Standards: All Watoto toys adhere to EU requirements for toy safety, following the EN71 standard. Their products are non-toxic and fireproof, providing parents with peace of mind.
inclusive dolls for kids
inclusive dolls for kids

About the Owner

Watoto Arts is not just a business; it's a family-owned commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, community support, and exceptional quality. Their local production in Stockholm is the cornerstone of their efforts, allowing them to maintain the highest standards while minimizing their environmental footprint. Watoto Arts is proud of their role in creating positive social and environmental change, one locally produced, sustainable product at a time.


In conclusion, Watoto Arts is not just a business; it's a mission-driven social enterprise with a powerful vision for inclusive play and positive social change. Their commitment to empowering women, mothers, and individuals excluded from the labor market is an important step toward building a more inclusive society. By choosing Watoto Arts, customers are not only getting high-quality, sustainable dolls, but are also nurturing the idea of environmental awareness in their children. They are also becoming part of a movement that values diversity, sustainability, and ethical production. Watoto Arts invites everyone to join them on this journey towards a better, more inclusive world through the power of play.

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