For nearly 50 years Sophie the Giraffe has been loved by babies all around the world, and she has become an iconic toy that has been passed through generations, a favourite among celebrity mums, old-school mums and modern mums alike. But what makes me love this classic teething toy so much more, is the fact it is also eco-friendly, all natural and toxin-free.
For those who don’t know her heritage, Sophie was born in 1961 in Paris. She is made by the French company Vulli, located in the French Alps, from 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree that grows in Malaysia. Every morning, before the daytime heat sets in, the milky liquid latex that oozes from beneath the bark of these trees is collected. Vulli then applies a traditional process of rotational moulding to shape the rubber into Sophie as we know her. Amazingly, each Sophie is still produced traditionally, involving 14 manual operations before completion. With more than 30 million Sophies sold around the world, that’s a lot of manual labour!
Even more amazing, Sophie’s popularity grew by simple word of mouth – mums obviously know a good toy when they find one – and there are plenty of reasons why. This toy is not only soothing for teething babies, it’s great for early learning because it stimulates all five senses:
SIGHT – the dark and contrasting spots of the giraffe provide visual stimulation for young babies
HEARING – the gentle squeak of Sophie stimulates hearing and keeps babies amused
TASTE – the natural rubber is soft on gums and the all-natural food paint is non-toxic and completely safe for babies
SMELL – the singular scent of natural rubber makes Sophie the Giraffe very special and easy for a child to identify among all their other toys
TOUCH – the shape of Sophie’s long neck and legs is easy for little hands to grip; she’s also very light and soft to touch
It’s no wonder this sweet little giraffe has become the star she is today. Soft and soothing, the perfect size to hold and chew, Sophie comforts and pacifies babies like no other toy or dummy can.