1840 Journal

Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.

Creators

Recycle and play the day away.

“Our little Montreal company handcrafts toys with recycled fabrics made from natural fibers,” Camille, founder of Ouistitine, explains. These minimalist and timeless creations are made from existing material and subtly spark the imagination.

Ouistitine doesn’t infantilize its customers, no matter what's their age. “Kids have a certain sensitivity and intelligence when it comes to the beauty of things,” explains Camille. In a world where children are overstimulated, the brand’s design reminds us to go at a slower pace in today’s world. “Being surrounded by beauty on a daily basis always feels nice,” the designer says. This inclination towards beauty is at the very heart of what defines toys by Ouistitine: the natural fibers are easy on the eyes and soft to the touch, all the while being eco-friendly and durable.

Beauty in this case comes with an old flare. “I love history and antique things,” the designer explains. These toys are inspired from times passed and remind us of a basic childhood need: toys that are comforting and that can last well into adulthood. “Everyone at home will love them, not just the child,” says Camille of her creations. Ouistitine's toys are decorative elements that are pleasing to look at, as well as cherished memories to pass on.

“There are adults who buy them because they find them touching. These toys remind many of their childhood. They’re conversation starters across generations. They can help share life experiences.”

Ouistitine began eight years ago, when Camille, who was expecting her first child, made her first pattern with her mother’s help. Today, they are still the heart of the company. After the creation of the first plush animal, Camille quickly took to making toys. “People who saw them thought they were interesting, that they were something different,” she explains. “It became a company,” she says, “but it started off as a pregnant mom’s project.”

Today, the company requires more workers to meet the needs of its growing customer base. “We are at a point in time where the demand is greater than what we are able to supply because of how we produce our toys.” Since these are unique handmade objects made from recycled materials—boiled wool blankets and sweaters, as well as linen scraps from local designers—a project of this magnitude requires different logistics than are used in traditional fabric making. This means that their collections have a limited number of products. “It’s part of the beauty of the project. The product remains original.”

The toys are made from 100% natural fibers, and are stuffed with sheep’s wool. “The items can go straight to the compost,” explains Camille. This way, Ouistitine creates zero-waste toys. “At the end of its life, when the toy is completely worn and can’t be repaired, you can plant it in your garden,” she says. 

“People are starting to get more and more interested in the origins and materials, not just where the product is made. It’s great to see people being increasingly aware, and we are offering them something that corresponds to their values.” Through play and with open eyes, you too can discover the beauty of the toys’ materials.

Shop the Ouistitine collection >

*Please note that the products of this creator are only available in Canada.

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