Our Story

My name is Stuart Loach and in the Autumn of 2019, I launched Envirotoy – a plastic free toy shop. How I got to this point is detailed below! In the summer of 2019, I found myself at a bit of a cross roads in my life having recently left my corporate job which I had been doing for 5 years. I was on a mission to decide what to do next. One thing was for sure, re-entering the corporate slog was not an option. Luckily I had plenty of time to think about this as I meandered my way down the country on a bicycle with a good friend of mine. In the forefront of my mind, i’d decided that I wanted to start a business but was this business going to be?

I’ve always loved just being outside in general, the mountains and the oceans . I’d grown up spending my summers on the mid Wales coast in the Dovey Estuary and especially loved the sea! While cycling through Scotland, this became more and more prominent in my mind.  I needed a business that gave me a living but also served a purpose for the greater good. That was my first box ticked – I’d decided it needed to be something that would help look after the environment. The idea came to me due to circumstance – I have many friends and family who are parents to little ones and when I arrived home with a crocked knee I had about four children’s parties to attend in the space of a week. As fate would have it, these parties gave me my ‘light bulb’ moment.
I was in a high street toy store buying some presents – the amount of plastic in there was eye boggling. I thought that there had to be a more sustainable solution than this, so that’s when i decided on an eco friendly toy shop
Fast forward to the summer of 2021 – Karooku Kids

Through the first two years of running Envirotoy, i’d learnt a lot! About toys, retail and had lots of ideas for the future. It’s at this point I decided to rebrand the business as Karooku Kids! Many of the same principles applied but it means we can expand into items such as tableware, clothes and general kids items. A kids store where the products are as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible, whilst at the same time being great products that people love to own!

The prospect of a rental market for children’s items was always something that interested me – children grow up extremely fast and what is a hit today is less so tomorrow. With rental, the numbers didn’t quite add up but with our return used for 40% offer – the prospect of a pre-loved shop of high quality toys was an idea. This meant toys would have a long and useful life and could save people money.

The Brand name – thinking of brand name and one where the domain is available and doesn’t cost the earth isn’t easy! We’d always had a happy penguin as the Envirotoy logo so thought of going down that road – Karuiku is a species of extinct Penguin, we’ve just tweaked it a bit which gave is Karooku Kids!

Stuart, Founder.