MightyNest Trusted: Products are Made by Someone we Trust
11.02.11 MightyNest Trusted: Products are Made by Someone we Trust
Two weeks ago we launched the "MightyNest Trusted" seal and last week we introduced you to step 1 in our process of finding the best products: making sure they are safe, healthy and non-toxic! We know you count on us to find the best products for your family. We're taking you inside our product selection process to be transparent about how deeply we take that responsibility to heart. This in-depth look of our rigorous 4 step selection process continues with Step 2.
Step Two: Ensure Products are Made by Someone We Trust.
Once we have confirmed that a product is made from only safe materials, the next step in our product selection process is to rigorously vet the manufacturer to determine if they are someone we can trust.
When you reach out to as many companies as we do, you quickly realize that there is a wide variety of manufacturers that have very different goals. Some companies are trying to make the highest quality product, some aim to make the least expensive and many in between. Some have very long supply chains with their products manufactured overseas with components coming from multiple sub-manufacturers with multiple ingredients. Some are making products in their kitchen with ingredients they source locally. All of this matters when evaluating a finished product and all of it is part of ensuring the products are safe.
We dig in to get a sense of what motivates each manufacturer, how they run their manufacturing facility, their processes and their commitment to healthy, safe, non-toxic products. Are they proud to tell us about how safe their products are? Do they go the extra mile to find the answer to our questions? Or, do they get annoyed or defensive? Do they say it's proprietary and/or drag out the process hoping we'll ditch some of our questions (we never do!)? The answers to these questions are key to step 2.
During this step, we also take this opportunity to ask questions that did not already surface during step 1 about the products themselves.
Some questions we ask include:
- Where are the products made?
- What is your involvement with the manufacturing process and facilities?
- If certified, who does the testing?
- What materials are used in the product's packaging?
We keep asking questions until there are no more questions to ask and until we know everything we need to about the company. Through this process we really get to know a company and, unfortunately, a lot of companies don't make the cut. In addition to the typical reasons you'd expect a company not to make the cut, other less expected reasons include:
- A resistance, sometimes even hostility to answering our questions
- Referring to an ingredient as proprietary
The great news is that the best companies shine! They absolutely love knowing that the thought and care they put into making their products, and building their company, is appreciated (we know how they feel!). We typically find two types of companies that fall into this category: those that started for the sole purpose of offering healthy, safe and non-toxic products and those who want to make high quality, long lasting products.
Both goals tend to lead to the same end - products made from simple, high quality materials that are built to last. These companies share a similar passion with MightyNest.
Great examples include:
- A mattress and bedding company founded by a grandfather looking for a safer option for his grandkids
- a neo-natal nurse who teamed up with an industrial designer to make BPA free glass baby bottles
- A husband and wife team that make natural playdough in their kitchen
- A french glassware company recognized throughout the world for its high quality products
- A mom who started making reusable sandwich bags when her kids started school and who now employs several local sewers
- Parents who were frustrated by the abundance of unsafe food storage and serving ware and decided to design and manufacturer an alternative
- And many, many more…
Half of the reason we ask so many questions is to get the answers we need to make a decision, the other half is to see how questions are answered. This gives us great insight into who the company is and if they are trustworthy. Somewhere in the future it may be easier and more cost effective for the manufacturer to cut corners. The best protection against this is knowing the character behind the company and what motivates them - are they committed to not only making healthy, safe, non toxic products today, but are they committed to continue doing so in the future.
We are very discerning about with whom we work and many companies just don't make the cut. Companies, and their products, that DO pass this second step towards gaining the MightyNest Trusted seal, then proceed to step three: Handpicked for Highest Quality.
Look for this post soon!