Meet our Friends: BigStuffed

21st July 2020

Words by Anna Whitaker

Finding ethical cuddly toys can be a challenge. In fact, most high streets gave up on them a long time ago, when – like many things – cheap imports began to dominate the market. But for something like a soft toy; that special friend you’ll love for a lifetime, surely price shouldn’t be the priority.

BigStuffed is the brainchild of Dana Muskat, a fashion graduate turned toy designer based in the city of Paris. Her story is one I can totally relate to. Burned out and bored of working to someone else’s brief, she launched BigStuffed as a way to express her own ideas, after word spread about the metre-long octopuses she made for two new babies in her life. 

These beautifully crafted and unique, albino characters were a way for Dana to tell her own version of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ story. Abandoned at birth by their families in the depth of the ocean, each of her lovingly handmade creations are looking for a new family to adopt them and love them, just as they should be. 

Six years later and BigStuffed makes not only the original octopus design in a number of colours and sizes, but humpback, beluga and bubble whales, starfish, manatees, crabs and penguins all with the same sad story.

It’s this tale that led Dana to the instantly recognisable droopy eyes you’ll find on each design; a reminder of their past and a brighter future to come. Despite the plastic nature of these eyes, they come approved with the CE mark and are deemed safe for all ages.  

That goes for the whole collection too, which is produced in Bretagne, a coastal town in the West of France. The atelier there has been in operation for decades, handcrafting stuffed animals with the expertise and passion that gives every single BigStuffed toy its quality guarantee.    

BigStuffed toys are available online from Liberty London, Scandiborn and Etsy here in the UK, as well as their own website, which ships to the UK from France for €9 (for anything up to 1KG).  

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