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Hoping to engage children in supporting a green future, Barbie brand owner Mattel has given the toy a sustainable makeover with the introduction of a collection of three dolls made from 90% recycled ocean-bound plastic parts. 

To introduce the sustainable Barbie Loves the Ocean collection, Mattel has created ‘The Future of Pink is Green’, a stop-motion brand campaign in partnership with BBH LA that leverages the brand’s iconic association of pink – alongside green – to communicate our next step toward a greener future. It also aims to educate kids on the importance of sustainability in an easily digestible way for fans of all ages. 

Barbie Loves the Ocean is in line with Mattel’s purpose-led approach to branding and feeds into its stated goal to use 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based packaging alternatives across all products and packaging by 2030.

Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer at Mattel, said: “This Barbie launch is another addition to Mattel’s growing portfolio of purpose-driven brands that inspire environmental consciousness with our consumer as a key focus. At Mattel, we empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. We take this responsibility seriously and are continuing to do our part to ensure kids can inherit a world that’s full of potential too.”

In tandem with these efforts, Mattel has produced a new Barbie vlog on YouTube in which the doll talks directly to her fans about the need to adapt individual behaviors for the sake of the planet.

A further commitment will see the toy brand launch a limited-edition Barbie-branded bracelet in partnership with 4Ocean, which will enable people to get their hands on a post-consumer recycled plastic accessory that has been assembled by hand in Bali. Under the deal, 4Ocean will remove one pound of trash from waterways, oceans and coastlines and educate people on proper waste management for every bracelet sold.

Explaining the background to these complementary initiatives, Lisa McKnight, senior vice-president and global head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel, adds: “Our 62-year legacy is steeped in evolution, as we consistently drive forward initiatives designed to better reflect the world kids see around them. 

“We are passionate about leveraging the scope and reach of our global platform to inspire kids to be a part of the change they want to see in the world.”  

Barbie’s battle to banish plastic waste is complemented by Mattel Playback, a product return program that accepts unwanted toys for re-use in future products.

Mattel has set out a roadmap towards using only 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based materials by 2030 to address consumer concern over plastic waste, fueled by a recent high-profile Greenpeace campaign, while also promoting the benefits of fewer screens and more physical play for children.

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