Juno's Sustainable Bassinets Make Parenting a Little More Sustainable
by Rudy Sanchez on 10/07/2022 | 4 Minute Read
In Finland, almost all babies sleep inside a cardboard box.
Since 1938, the Finnish government has provided a box filled with baby essentials for expecting mothers, starting with low-income moms before they send it to the other new mamas. Demonstrative of Nordic pragmatism, the boxes also serve as a bassinet.
While Finnish babies sleep comfortably in boxes, the situation is much different in the United States. Newborns in the US find themselves in buggies made from synthetic fabrics and unrecyclable materials. Other countries like Canada and Scotland (and the state of New Jersey) have also adopted the baby box concept.
Juno is a company that offers a bassinet similar to those included in baby box programs. Co-founder Herman Chan, a new dad, was frustrated with the available options as the bassinets on the market were too complicated, hard to move, and made from unsustainable materials. Chan and co-founder Thomas Düster, both industrial designers, spent three years developing the Juno bassinet, creating a durable and sustainable alternative made from natural, comfortable materials that are also safe for babies.
“Our goal was to create the most natural and affordable sleep environment for a baby that could keep them safely nearby at home or on travel,” Herman said. “We invented the Juno Bassinet as a reaction to being young parents who found ourselves with multiple infant sleepers because of how complicated and immobile they were to move. These products were expensive, made of off-gassed plastics, and used for only 2-3 months before transitioning to a crib. When we wanted to donate them, we learned organizations like Goodwill did not accept infant sleepers, and only 0.03% of furniture like bassinets get recycled in the US.
"We asked ourselves, ‘shouldn’t a natural product for babies be better for the planet?’ So we set out to create the most natural and portable bassinet under $150, completely made in the USA and fully recyclable,” Herman added.
The Juno bassinet ships in its own travel case—a cardboard box with a handle—a thoughtful piece of design that ensures the company doesn't create excess waste. Inside are the fold-out bassinet, the breathable base, sleeping pad, and a 100% organic zippered sheet. The bassinet features custom-coated, multi-layered, corrugated cardboard that Juno says stands up to various fluids that come with being a new human.
Weighing only 11lbs, or 13lbs with the travel case, the bassinet is very portable and is easy to move from room to room. Juno bassinets set up in seconds and, when fully assembled, keeps babies 15 inches off the ground, and the profile is reminiscent of Apple’s Power Mac/Mac Pro cases from 2006 to 2012.
Safety is top of mind for all caring parents, and Juno’s bassinets are certified to meet or exceed Consumer Product Safety Council (CPSC) standards. The products also get certified by the Juvenile Product Manufacturer Association (JPMA). Additionally, Juno’s bassinets are UL Greenguard Gold certified, US Trade Commission organic cotton certified, meets Oko-Tek’s Standard 100, and shipping is certified carbon neutral by UPS. Even the cardboard is Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified.
On the exterior, Juno bassinets come minimally adorned in three designs, each one showing off its sustainability and cardboard composition; “Pure” sports Juno’s playful design that forms a smiling face with the letters of the brand name; Ocean-like “Waves” prints round, curvy wave patterns on the side; and “Moon” uses a diamond pattern on the sides.
Designing and bringing to market the Juno bassinet was far from child’s play. Things intended for babies have stricter requirements, and the younglings' safety is paramount.
“Our young start-up overcame multiple challenges by prototyping and developing the proper manufacturing techniques and processes together with AllPak,” Herman said. “Through this strong partnership, we could create a world-class children’s product without the budget and benefits that a large organization would have. For example, when automated assembly lines were not an option for us, our teams worked together to define an efficient yet high-caliber process for hand assembling the bassinets locally."
Once the baby shower is all said and done, new parents still have to drop a lot of coin on their newborn—and let's not even go there with daycare. But there's also plenty of waste that doesn't come in the form of full diapers. While an infant will quickly outgrow their bassinet, Juno is helping overcome these problems with a durable, lightweight solution that you can actually recycle. Not too shabby for something that's most likely bound for a landfill anyway.
Juno products are available directly from HelloJuno.com