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Ready for Love


Charlotte Liebling considers herself a “world watcher”—someone who carefully observes the world around her. Here’s an example: When she was in college, Liebling volunteered at a store that sold secondhand secondhand used (adjective) We've saved a lot of money by buying secondhand books and furniture. goods. She observed people bringing in items to donate, including stuffed toys.

FAVORITE FRIEND Charlotte Liebling, who founded Loved Before, shows off a beloved bear in a childhood photo.


Liebling could tell that the toys held great sentimental value for their owners. So she felt sad when the toys were sold very cheaply, put in the dog-toy section, or—worse—thrown away.

One night when she got home from work, Liebling started doing some research. She realized this wasn’t happening only in her town. Worldwide, she learned, millions of toys end up in landfills every year.

All through the night, Liebling scribbled ideas on sticky notes and posted them on her walls. “If we can change the perception perception a commonly held idea about something (noun) Gil changed people's perception that you have to be athletic to have a career in sports. that stuffed toys lose their value once they’ve been loved,” she recalls thinking, “then we can show people they have so much left in them, and give them to others.” That’s how the Loved Before toy-adoption agency began.

LOTS OF LOVE Loved Before accepts donations of stuffed toys. The company refreshes them and takes their picture. Then it packages them in an environmentally friendly box, ready to ship.


How It Works

The process starts when someone donates a soft toy. People can do so through the mail, or by taking a toy to a local drop-off point in the United Kingdom. (That’s where the company is based; Liebling is making plans to expand to the United States soon.)


The original owner writes down the name of the toy and a story about it. This can include the creature’s likes and dislikes, its favorite things to do, and an adventure it’s been on. Liebling and her team believe that sharing what makes the toy unique helps potential new owners understand its value.


Next, the toy is cleaned, photographed, and packaged with its name and story. Every Monday, toys are posted for adoption on the Loved Before website. The company makes a charitable donation of at least half of the profit from the sale of each toy.

NEW HOME A Loved Before customer unboxes her newly adopted stuffed toy, Dua the Giraffe.


Think Twice

Since its creation in 2019, Loved Before has sold more than 50,000 stuffed toys. But the company’s goal is more than “just trying to save some toys from landfills,” Liebling says. “We’re trying to change perceptions on a really wide level.”

She explains that Loved Before hopes to teach kids “about the value of loving secondhand things again, in the hope that it will go far beyond the idea of teddy bears.”