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April 05, 2018 3 min read

We are the owners of Little Colorado, and we are also parents. We understand how hard it can be when you want to give your child everything she needs and dreams of. We also get that when it comes to choosing your toddler’s furniture, you need to find affordable options that fit your budget.

However, as one of the only American-made toddler furniture manufacturers in the country, we know the serious costs that can accompany these “savings”: costs to human rights, human welfare, environmental protection–and even to your child’s personal safety.

Here are four of the actions Little Colorado takes every day to ensure our business is doing what it can to help people, our community, and the world, while keeping our furniture affordable.

1. We Employ Up to 20 People, and We’ve Added a 16% Increase in Wages

Depending on the time of year, we employ between 16 and 20 people at our 27,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Denver.

While Colorado has made efforts to support workers with two minimum wage increases over the last two years, these increases are not sufficient to keep pace with the cost of living.

To help support our workers and their families, Little Colorado has, on average, raised wages 16% over the two-year period that we’ve owned the business–with our entry-level and lower-wage employees receiving the bulk of this increase. 

2. We Build Only Safe, Non-Toxic Furniture–That Your Children Can Give to Their Children  

Most of our competitors' wooden toy boxes, tables, and storage products are made in China. This likely means they are constructed with lower quality materials, questionable construction practices, and potential dangers to your child.

As the New York Times reported in 2007, Chinese-manufactured products accounted for every toy recalled in that year. These significant safety concerns included choking hazards, as well as the presence of lead paint and even kerosene.  

Little Colorado believes communities and customers deserve better, and this is what we do to help:

  • All Little Colorado products are made from wood—not oil-based plastic or laminate.
  • We use three primary wood types: Baltic birch plywood, knotty pine, and Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF).
  • None of our wood has added formaldehyde (all wood contains naturally-occurring formaldehyde).
  • Our strong and flexible Baltic birch is from Northern European sustainable forests.
  • To ensure longevity, safety, and quality, we create “dado” joints to make sure our product parts fit together snugly and securely. Most of our competitors just glue pieces together, end to end, in “butt” joints.
  • The quality of our Baltic birch and knotty pine prevents the warping that occurs in the plywood our overseas competitors frequently use.
  • We source our MDF from Plum Creek, the most highly respected MDF brand in the industry.

3. Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights

As the 2015 Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights states, Chinese workers who produce goods for companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, and Disney work 12 to 13 hours per day and are then forced to sleep in crowded, cold dormitories.

In addition to our efforts to pay a living wage, at Little Colorado our employees work on average 8 hours per day and are protected by the safety regulations outlined by OSHA.

4. Protecting Our Environment Makes Future Generations Safe

Low wages are not the only reason American brands choose to manufacture outside of the United States; the ability to export and avoid US environmental, air, and water regulations also lures companies overseas.  

So, know that while other American toddler furniture companies are choosing to pollute communities around the globe, Little Colorado is thrilled to be staying right here in Denver, supporting our people, our community, and our planet. We do this because we believe in heirloom quality: not just for our furniture, but also for our communities and for the world.


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