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Alora Baby aims to push baby gear away from the 'landfill economy' | TechCrunch

Alora Baby aims to push baby gear away from the 'landfill economy' | TechCrunch

All industries are increasingly consuming and producing waste, but this is especially true of baby goods. Little people grow up fast, and parents can be nervous about buying used items (“Is that a high chair? Really neat?) and are often under a lot of pressure to figure out what to do with the stuff the little tyke grew up with. enter Alora Baby, which is trying to shift the narrative towards a greener and more sustainable option for manufacturing – and recycling – baby products. The company is starting with bedside cribs.

Alora Baby, which is supported by government grants, aims to introduce revolutionary changes in baby equipment, breaking away from the norm of seeing products designed for a single age. The team is choosing to bootstrap, emphasizing proof-of-concept before considering major investment rounds. The goal is to reduce business risk and get a clear picture of the company's long-term viability.

“We're stuck in this system, which I call the landfill economy, which is essentially where things get worse: materials are more expensive, labor is scarcer and more exploitative (thankfully!), but We don't have the fuel for it.” In an interview with TechCrunch, Allora Baby's founder, Angus Whiston, said, “Where does this take us?

Starting with bedside cribs, Alora Baby wants to bring the circular economy to the baby goods industry at large.
Image credit: Alora Baby

Whiston believes the startup's approach isn't inherently tech-deep, but its simplicity lends itself to a potentially bigger and more important prospect down the road. When the business machine is finally up and running, he says, the focus will shift to IP generation — specifically, launching research projects that will improve margins, resulting in cheaper production at scale. and hence cheaper products for consumers.

The biggest change for Allora Baby is almost a philosophical one: What constitutes a “new” product?

“We inherently know what products are made from recycled materials. If someone said, 'Hey, this cup is made from recycled materials,' we know it's a new product,” Whiston said. . “And if someone says 'renewed,' we know what that means – but also that it's not a 'new' product.”

It turns out that there is no discrete, clear-cut answer to where the crossover point is. If you recycle aluminum, you will melt it down again and make “new” aluminum. This Is Recycled, but also new. For Alora Baby, the company “reinvents” products, and the founders are eager to explain what that means.

“At one end of the spectrum, we can recycle all materials: take them back to atoms, virgin materials, or raw materials,” he said. “It's great for consumers, psychologically, but it's very resource-intensive.” The other end of the spectrum is simply discontinuing products, says Whiston. “If you clean it, that's the other end of the spectrum. Our remanufacturing process is a series of industrial processes. It includes the kinds of things you'd expect: sanding, re-boring and all that stuff. .Each individual part is effectively cleaned, so it may be a few microns less thick, but it is 'new' in the way that most people are There is, but in this part, it's worth it.”

According to Alora Baby's founders, well-designed technology can be “reinvented.”
Image credit: Alora Baby

The startup focuses on the firm belief that better products should be affordable at scale. In fact, this scalable production format, coupled with a shift in consumer behavior towards sustainability, could be a fully fundable initiative for a venture.

However, the company isn't just about making sustainable baby cribs. It also highlights an important aspect of the circular economy discourse, which examines not only the processes involved in the production of goods, but also the subsequent fate of these goods in various recycling centers and machines. goes

At its core, Alora Baby aims not only to produce baby cribs in an environmentally friendly way, but to change the entire life cycle of a product: its production, its use, and its disposal. or recycling. This further emphasizes the criticality of changing consumer behavior, which, according to the founder, accounts for 80% of the challenge the company faces.

Right now, we're seeing a new generation of companies emerge, challenging the norm and pushing the boundaries, and this new startup is doing just that. Focusing on a green approach to baby gear, it aims to make an authentic, practical impact on environmental sustainability and develop a true, non-greenwashing, circular economy.

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