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Ecological and trendy pram/stroller?

Ecological and trendy pram/stroller?

An ecological environment for children is always an important factor in our consultations with parents and parents-to-be. Under the umbrella term of ‘Greenproofing’, we inform parents about things they need to take into account in terms of potential toxins in the home and in baby products. For more information about this, you can visit our Greenproofing website (only in German).

When purchasing a pram/stroller* there is still not the widest choice of ecological models. We were therefore very interested in a report about Vinzent and Luis, the founders of AngelCab. They have made it their mission to create a customizable baby carriage made from ecological materials, in Germany. We were able to speak to the pair and find out more about their idea:

With AngelCab you’ve created a new quality of baby transport in which the wishes of customers are almost completely realized. How did you come up with the idea?

At the very beginning of the project, we always wondered why prams/strollers* even at the top end of the price/quality spectrum were still frequently produced using inferior materials, yet parents are prepared to pay a high price. It was our goal to create a pram using quality materials, practical functionality and beautiful design. The focus wasn’t on biological materials in the beginning. However, we quickly noticed that these are the highest quality and the most child-friendly. One problem was that we didn’t consider the price when choosing the materials and ended up with a really high-quality stroller but with material and production costs that were way too high to compete in the traditional market. It was through this experience that we had the idea of only selling AngelCabs directly, in order to be able to offer parents ecological materials, production in Germany and truly individual products.

 

In some cases, it’s even possible for parents to design their own fabric for the stroller. How does that work?

blogmedia-18501Printing the individualized cotton canvas works with an A2 pattern sheet, which we send out to those interested in a custom-made stroller canvas. All of the canopy parts are printed on this sheet and can be individually customized. There are no limits from drawing your own design to cutting out already-existing designs- there are many possibilities. Once the design is finished, we have the pattern sheet picked up and print the customized canvas design digitally with reactive dye. The ‘artist’ retains the rights to their design so we are only authorized to print the design once and may not duplicate it.

Mellow-preview-1

Following diverse test results from Stiftung Warentest and others, that often raise the issue of harmful toxins in the materials used, you decided to create your own ecological stroller: Which materials did you decide to use and why? What differentiates AngelCab from other producers?

 Natural materials are the basis of an AngelCab. It’s important to us to use as many natural materials as possible so that the child comes into contact only with these. We therefore use only GOTS certified cotton and pure sheep’s wool, as well as woven coconut fiber for upholstery. We also coat all of the outside elements without fluorocarbons, since these are not only harmful for a child but also for the environment.

Of course synthetic materials would have had their advantages- e.g. polyester, which is much more dirt-resistant, but we wanted go all the way so we put our money on organic cotton. All other materials are either certified or are tested regularly for toxicity. All test results can be downloaded on our certificate page. Every single part is tested- from the tires to the leather and the paint used.

The certification of the whole pram is not possible because all of our materials are not GOTS (cotton), Ökotex (synthetic leather handles) or FSC (wood) certified. We put the different materials together and so e.g. the producer of the cotton (Lebenskleidung Berlin und C.Pauli Biostoffe Cologne) would be GOTS certified according to CERES. GOTS is luckily a textile certification that doesn’t allow any gaps, which prevents ‘Green-washing’ of products/producers.

AngelCab strollers are GOTS, Ökotex and FSC certified. This requires adherence to many regulations. Why do you think big producers don’t aspire to this?

The criterion for exclusion of certified materials is clearly the price. For a meter of woven polyester, you often don’t even have to pay 2 Dollars but for a meter of thick woven organic cotton with fluorocarbon free hydrophobizing from Switzerland you pay almost 14 times that. Of course there are cheaper organic cotton materials but our Stotz fabric from Switzerland cannot be beaten in terms of luxury. With pure sheep’s wool, FSC-certified wood or special medical-grade synthetic leather, additional costs are only to be expected. It’s the small things that make the production of such a product suddenly very expensive. The important thing is the appreciation of these materials, since a customer who looks into the materials we are talking about is also prepared to pay the price for such.

The market for so-called ‘organic prams’ is still too small for it to be worth it for a big producer to start mass production in Asia. However, we are seeing many manufacturers jumping onto the ‘organic train’, making products in green colors with a natural wood look. None of these have a GOTS label and as the saying goes- either you do it right or don’t do it at all.

A further fantastic idea is the AngelCab cradle and soon also a sled extension. Tell us more about these.

Rocking-Crib-AngelCab-600x600We considered how we could make the supply chain more sustainable. With certified natural materials and short transportation routes, we have already covered the ecological part of sustainability. The social part we encourage through production in Germany.

Since the carrycot for the pram has almost identical measurements to a crib and offers lots of space, we considered the possibility of using the carrycot as a crib. That saves money and protects the environment, since one doesn’t need to buy both.

Along with the sled extension and crib, there will be a handcart extension, on which the carry cot can be mounted.

Schlitten-Aufsatz-1-600x600

You offer test-driving over a weekend. How does that work and how much does it cost?

Since we have high material and production costs, we can’t use traditional sales channels, therefore we offer interested parties a test-driving service. Similar to a hotel booking, you can book a test-drive of 3-4 days via our website. A 100 Euro deposit is made via PayPal plus carriage costs of 24.70 Euro. The already-assembled stroller is sent and then collected after 3-4 days. Just like a real test-drive, the pram can also be taken out and really put through its’ paces. If the tester decides to purchase the stroller, the postage costs are of course reimbursed.

Are you planning an AngelCab for twins or triplets?

We are already planning a twin stroller, though this will take a little while to complete.

Thank you very much for the interview and for the wonderful idea! We wish you every success and many well-protected children in your strollers!

*We have used the terms ‘pram’ and ‘stroller’ interchangeably to (hopefully) please both our American- and British-English-speaking readers!

picture source:© angelcab

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