SSA and Wild Republic Announce First-of-its-Kind Line of Eco-Friendly Plush Animals

SSA takes partnership with Wild Republic a step further offering environmentally sustainable product in over 30 cultural attractions nationwide.

Denver, CO – July 9, 2019. SSA, the nation’s largest zoo, aquarium and cultural attractions retailer and culinary services operator, in partnership with Wild Republic, known for its nature-inspired toys and plush animals, announced a new line of sustainable plush animals. SSA will exclusively introduce the line in over 30 locations inclusive of the Denver Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden in November 2019, just in time for the holiday season. The product line, which is made from 100% recycled materials, is part of the two companies’ industry-leading efforts to find innovative ways to be environmentally focused.

“Following the successful transition to sustainable fill in our core plush animal line in late 2018, we challenged ourselves to find new innovations to completely eliminate single-use plastic from the category without compromising on the quality that our guests have come to know and love,” said Andrew Fischer, Vice President of Sustainability and Conservation at SSA. “We are thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with Wild Republic to accomplish this goal and continue the journey to improve the sustainability of all category offerings.”

The new line will feature an assortment of 12 animals in two sizes – 12 in. and 8 in. – including: a black bear, polar bear, dolphin, African elephant, hippo, koala, snow leopard, panda, penguin, raccoon, red panda, sea turtle, wolf and tiger. The product complies with certified global recycling standards. The product’s quality and affordable price make the transition to 100% sustainable materials an impactful change in the industry, with a roll out to other retailers planned in 2020. SSA and Wild Republic first disrupted the industry in 2017 with the successful launch of the Quest toy line that eliminated the use of single-use plastic packaging.

“When we sourced a high-pile, outer fabric made completely from recycled materials, we knew we had a game changer. The cuddly toys are carefully crafted and incredibly soft. Everything from the biodegradable poly bag packing down to the soy ink printed hangtag; we’ve created an absolute environmentally conscious product,” said Vishnu Chandran, President of Wild Republic. “We joined forces with SSA again, as it is a company that shares in our approach of prioritizing conservation through action.”

This new product line is part of SSA’s larger commitment to sustainability and conservation efforts through dedicated initiatives focused on stopping waste from the start, transforming the industry responsibly, and supporting its partners for a sustainable future. These efforts, led by Fischer, include eliminating single-use plastic packaging for retail products through transitions similar to the successful Wild Republic partnership; increasing alternative choices such as reusable straws, water bottles and bags; and implementing conservation and sustainability engagement programs and community action projects for employees. Additionally, SSA fosters meaningful partnerships with Seafood Watch, which promotes sustainable seafood choices in over 40 markets, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) with SSA working towards using 100% RSPO products in its operations. SSA is dedicated to making a positive impact on the planet.

Similarly, Wild Republic strives to be as environmentally friendly and ethically responsible as possible, committing to the removal of all single use plastics in its toy packaging. From creation to consumption, Wild Republic makes every effort to lessen the company’s carbon footprint by reducing, reusing and sourcing sustainable products. In fact, Wild Republic utilizes soy ink, an alternative to petroleum based inks, reducing air-polluting emissions and creating paper that is easier to recycle. Wild Republic also uses biodegradable packaging made from plant-based agents which take three to six months to decompose versus the hundreds of years traditional packaging takes. With its broad range of more than 400 species across continents, Wild Republic continues to foster understanding and respect for wildlife and the planet while also implementing change within.

About SSA:
SSA is a family owned and operated company focusing on retail and culinary services for attractions across the United States. As an industry leader delivering innovative retail and culinary services with exceptional results, SSA partners with approximately 60 cultural attractions and serves approximately 40 million visitors annually. Founded almost 50 years ago, SSA is based in Denver, Colorado. For more information, visit SSA on Facebook, Web and LinkedIn.

About Wild Republic:
Wild Republic has been delighting consumers around the globe for close to 40 years with an expansive collection of nature-related toys and gifts that foster curiosity about wildlife and educate children about the wonders of nature. Headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio, Wild Republic has offices throughout the world with international distribution serving zoos, museums, aquariums and retailers. Consumers can also purchase direct at www.wildrepublic.com and are invited to follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

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