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 WHAT WE DO

Ethaca® is an innovative baby and kids brand that offers high-quality sustainable clothes, homeware and furniture products, which are not only aesthetically delightful, but also educationally oriented.

We live in an era where devices are getting smarter and perform various tasks. Similar to a smartphone, which except for phoning, it can be used for browsing the Internet, GPS navigation, checking the weather etc, our products are multifunctional, serving not only primary needs, such as this of clothing, but are also designed to develop children’s life skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, empathy, to name a few.

Whether it is a piece of furniture, i.e. a sofa that turns into a merry-go-round; or a piece of clothing, i.e. a T-shirt whose print can be used for storytelling, our products are specially designed to have a learning and/or a creative play function. Moreover, just like a smartphone that comes with an instruction manual and dedicated customer service, our products are linked to relevant articles aiming to educate parents and also include tips to guide them in helping their children develop life skills. Parents can also contact our education consultants who will answer whatever questions they might have.

Here at Ethaca, we do not follow fashion trends. Our collections are not seasonal but thematic and cover various different life skills. Unique products are added on a regular basis to our existing and forthcoming collections.

HOW WE DO IT

 

Ethaca’s method is a parent-child interaction approach based on hands-on learning and social learning theory that places emphasis on strengthening the role of the parent as the child’s first influential teacher.

We are committed to helping parents help their children develop life skills at an early age. We do this, not through the conventional tools of educational books and toys, but through clothes, homeware and furniture, specially designed to promote life skills at any time or place in innovative and playful ways.

Through our products and the activities that accompany them, our collection of articles and our one-to-one free consultation, parents are given all the support they need to use our products as educational tools.

Our educational department works closely with our design team to create products that have one or more of the following elements:

  1. metaphorical: using prints for storytelling and discussion to explain sensitive and hard-to-teach concepts.
  2. interactive: engaging in action and communication with others.
  3. double function: serving two different purposes, one utilitarian, the other educational.
  4. second life: prolonging the period of use and extending knowledge by acquiring another function.
  5. role play: taking on roles and acting them out, stimulating imagination and creativity and encouraging good deeds.

 

OUR AIM & VISION

Our aim is to help parents help their children develop life skills starting from a very early age.

Today’s world faces many challenges, such as economic recession, migration and radicalisation that have caused phenomena of xenophobia, racism and bullying to appear in a more provocative and overt way than ever before. That said, helping children develop life skills is not only important for their holistic development, which is recognised as a major building block for their success in life, but also for building fair and equal societies.

Ethaca is our own portmanteau of the words ethos and Ithaca. Ethos is a Greek word which means ‘character’, whereas “Ithaca” is a Greek island and the home of the mythological hero Odysseus. Homer’s poem ‘The Odyssey’, describes the adventurous journey of Odysseus and his crew back to Ithaca. In modern literature, Odysseus’ journey became synonymous with the quest towards the accomplishment of goals where the journey itself is as important as the actual destination.

For us, Ethaca represents the goals we have set: to encourage and support the teaching of life skills to children. For all those who believe in the importance of children’s holistic development, we would like from our side, to welcome you on board to Ethaca: a design journey to life skills development.

EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH & ARTICLES

Contemporary society is dominated by information rather than knowledge”

(Hart, 1998:30).

 

Educational research drives the development of our every new idea, design and method. At Ethaca, research and development are done by highly qualified and experienced educators. The educational aspects of each product are based on rigorous research and specialised knowledge sourced from highly reputable, peer-reviewed scientific journals and books.

“Penelope’s Loom” is the name of our articles archive and includes only research-based information on children’s education, educational psychology and parenting, taken from sources such as scientific publications, government reports and reviews of research. The aim of the articles is to offer objective, authentic, scholarly information in a clear and simple way. The references of each article are given and readers can contact our education consultants in case they need the original papers or additional readings. Soon, our readers will be able to post their personal comments and feedback.

 

SUSTAINABILITY & ORGANIC CLOTHING

 

We work enthusiastically to offer you high-quality organic and ethically-produced goods. We only collaborate with manufacturers who have at least one or more of the following certifications:

  • Global Organic Textile Standards

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

  • Soil Association Organic Certified

The Soil Association Organic certifies organic textile businesses to the GOTS standard following the EU organic regulations.

  • Fair Wear Certified

The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent, non-profit organisation that works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers.

  • Earth Positive Certified

Organic and ethical standards are the starting point in the Earth Positive supply chain that eliminates the emissions of green-house gases as much as is presently possible, through ‘low emission’ organic farming and by achieving Carbon Neutral status in the manufacturing stage.

  • OEKO-TEX

OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is an independent testing and certification system for all types of textiles tested for harmful substances – from threads and fabrics to the ready-to-use items in the shops.

 PACKAGING & GIFTS

Ethaca is excited to have designed a very special and unique signature packaging for YOU, named Ethaca “5 senses packaging ”®. But we won’t tell you much about it. We don’t want to spoil the surprise for those who don’t know it yet! All we can say is that it does engage all your 5 senses!

Our signature packaging is more than just a packaging; it has a second life and function, which means it can be turned into a ‘character building’ box for your child. The games and activities that accompany each of our products are designed to nurture your child’s life skills development and learning. Make the crafts and do the activities with your child and then store these inside the box. As your child grows and develops, repeat the activities and monitor progress.

When it comes to sending a gift, presentation is everything; an important part of the gift-giving experience. Our handmade, book-shaped box, beautifully wrapped with black and gold silk ribbons, is sure to make an impression! Whether it is for you or a gift, our complimentary luxury packaging will engage you or your friends just like our products.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Not only is doing good the right thing to do, but it also leads to doing better

(Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004:9).

 

Our corporate social responsibility actions at Ethaca include:

  • Environmental sustainability:

Environmental sustainability is making sure that we invest in natural capital through processes such as recycling, waste management, water management, using reusable and organic materials.

  • Ethical trading:

Ethical trading is ensuring that all the goods we purchase are produced in accordance with internationally recognised standards and requirements and compliance with laws and regulations relating to ethical working conditions and environmental considerations.

  • Social welfare:

Social welfare is the well-being of societies. We are concerned with social welfare; that is, we care for the quality of life and the general benefit of citizens, providing assistance to individuals and families in need. Our giving culture is reflected through our giving practices, which we regard not as an act of philanthropy, charity or generosity, but rather as an act of altruism, where giving is more of a private than a public activity. We believe that giving should not rest on values of self-interest or reciprocity. We believe that any type of giving should be altruistic.

  • Product responsibility:

Product responsibility means that all our products come with full information and labelling, such as stating the country of origin and type of fabric/material.

  • Ethical marketing:

Ethical marketing places a high value on customers and respects them as individuals. Our ethical marketing strategy highlights any potential dangers that might arise from the use of products and gives clear instructions on how to avoid them. Moreover, our ethical marketing does not try to manipulate or falsely advertise to potential customers or create artificial shortages to drive demand. Rather, it presents a product honestly and clearly and at a price customers in our target market are willing to pay, after we have carefully considered the costs of the manufacture and distribution of each product.

  • Ethical workplace culture:

1. We take care of our customers like family
2. We treat our employees like customers
3. We seek creative significance in everyday doings and things
4. We strive for improvement and personal development
5. We pursue self-awareness
6. We embrace lifelong learning
7. We think good, we act better
8. We cultivate team spirit
9. We promote a culture of hope and optimism
10. We encourage, nurture and celebrate core values: Empathy; Respect; Equality


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