Our Impact
Plush Toys With Purpose

Axol & Friends is more than a brand, it’s a movement to empower youth to be activists and environmentalists. We also fight for sustainability, environmental conservation, animal rights, human rights, and social justice. Click the circles to learn more!

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Our Story

In 2018, we set out on a journey to create a brand that showcases rare endangered species, advocates for sustainable, ethical production and consumerism, and raises funds for youth empowerment programs around the globe.

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The story begins with Axol the axolotl, an adorable little salamander struggling to survive in their habitat due to urbanization.

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Axolotls
are a rare species of salamander native to central Mexico. They’re studied by scientists for their unique regenerative abilities, and beloved across the world for their quirky nature.

Axol the axolotl is the main character in our book series that aims to teach children important lessons of environmental conservation, human and animal rights, and kindness towards everyone and everything on this planet.

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Our very first product was our axol plushies. Originally made of recycled polyester and only manufactured in pink, we hand dyed each one to offer 5 color options!
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We are committed to sustainability and thrive to be as eco-conscious as possible. From the idea stage to the hands of our customers, we have taken steps to reject plastics, reduce emission, and even offset our carbon footprint by planting trees.

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Our new retail packaging provides a completely plastic free display. And we have recently switched from recycled plastic-based fabrics to organic cotton, a more biodegradable and marine-life friendly material.
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Axol Ethos
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Our core values are empowerment, sustainability, and conservation. We also stand for human rights, most importantly, the right of every human to be free, think and express themselves, and to love and be loved.
Ethical production, fair trade, and environmentally conscious business are just the beginning. We have an obligation as global citizens to do more. Our mission is to use our voice to advocate for communities in need, our time to empower the marginalized, and our energy to fight for vulnerable people and animals everywhere.
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Empowerment is the action of equipping someone with the knowledge and skills to impact their own lives as well as the communities around them.

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We focus on youth programs because we truly believe all the pressing issues facing this world can be solved through empowering youth to be change-makers.
Kids are bright, creative, and innovative. But unfortunately, so many children are unable to reach their full potential because they lack access to education.

If we hope to combat global warming, protect endangered animals, and create a better world we must invest in our children.

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Take the pangolin trafficking epidemic for example. A large part of the issue is actually political and social. If we can raise a generation of activists, scientists, political leaders, and conscious consumers that are also engaged in civic discourse, we can reduce the demand for pangolin scales and shift societal norms regarding animal poaching and smuggling altogether. And that’s only the start of what we can achieve together!

Together We Can Change the World.

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The Axol & Friends Movement

A portion of every sale is donated to one of our non-profit partnerships. We currently have two partners, one in Mexico and another in Thailand (the natural habitats of Axol and Java)

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Zapotlán Ecológico
is a non-profit based in central Mexico that runs school-time, after-school, and community-based programs.
Since 2013, Zapotlán Ecológico has been working with kids from ages 5 to 18 in the communities of Valle de Juárez, Mazamitla, San José de Gracias, and nearby locations.
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The programs that Zapotlán Ecológico hosts range from tutoring and educational advancement, activism and social studies, all the way to family festivals known as “Amazing Rally.”
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We have joined forces with Zapotlán Ecológico to create Operation #SaveAxol, an initiative to rescue the beloved axolotl through youth empowerment.
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We begin with educating the students about environmental science, endangered animals, and conservation.
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Next, we equip these teens with the knowledge and tools to create environmental clean-up and community reform programs.
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Finally, we implement the best student-led plans to save the axolotl!
So far our students have identified two key areas for impact, cleaning up the rivers and lakes the axolotls call home, and reforming societal norms in the rural communities to value and protect the axolotl.
A portion of every Axol plush sale funds this program. Thank you for joining our movement!
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The Mirror Foundation
is a grassroots local NGO that provides services for children and families overcoming extreme adversities in Thailand.
For over 20 years, the Mirror Foundation has been providing encompassing social programs for ethnic minorities, stateless persons, and victims of human trafficking.
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The Mirror Foundation is split in two departments, Chiang Rai and Bangkok. The Bangkok office addresses challenges of homeless youth, missing persons, and other urban issues. The Chiang Rai office is focused on helping stateless persons.
The Issue of "Statelessness"
In Thailand it is estimated that some 2 million people are stateless, meaning they do not have a nationality or citizenship. There are many causes to this problem, but the most cited include uneven economic growth, erratic labour migration policies, bureaucratic failure, and discrimination against non-Thais, especially highlanders (also known as “hill tribes”). Stateless people cannot vote, buy land, seek legal employment or travel freely.
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The Problem
is even worse for stateless children in Thailand trying to attend school. Almost all stateless students drop out by age 12.
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Language barriers, unfamiliar cultural norms, discrimination, and the stresses of poverty are all strong deterrents. Many students also have to balance school with caring for siblings or providing financially for their family.
The Solution
requires a flexible approach, that provides encompassing services considering all social, economic and political factors, to create a system where students are set up for success.
To better serve the needs of these unique children, the Mirror Foundation is building its own school specifically for stateless children in the north of Thailand.
The Rai Som School - Blueprints
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The campus will also have areas assigned to rice paddies, vegetable gardens and flower beds.
The blueprint shows the main two classrooms. The complex will include an administration block, farmstay, volunteer block, and offices
Curious how this partnership relates to Java the Pangolin? Read about our impact model to learn more!
Impact Model
A portion of every Java plush sale funds this organization and the construction of the new school. Thank you for joining our movement!
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Impact Model

From production to profit, Axol & Friends is committed to making a difference every step of the way. Here is how...

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WE BEGIN with sustainable fair-wage production that is ethical and environmentally conscious. What do all those buzz words really mean? It means we pay our producers a solid high rate, create our plush toys with eco-friendly materials, and package them in recycled cardboard boxes. We are committed to growing our sustainability, actively looking to source materials that are even more sustainable. By 2019 we aim to only use natural dyes and organic cotton to make all our toys, and will partner with transformative employment programs to create greater social change and empowerment!
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NEXT, we sell these plush toys to spread awareness about endangered species and raise revenue. At the moment we have Axol the axolotl, and soon will include Java the pangolin, his best friend! In addition, we donate many of our plushies to be companions for children going through hard times. We hope that everyone who adopts a plush Axol can have a lifetime of adventures, learning, and joy, regardless of whether they are able to pay. We value people over profit, always.
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FINALLY, we use the profit from the sales to fund after-school programs that empower children and teach the importance of environmental conservation. We currently have partnerships in Mexico and the U.S., and actively seek new partnership opportunities. If you happen to be an NGO or Nonprofit Organization with values aligned to ours, we invite you to email us!
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...and then we repeat the process, increasing our impact and momentum with every cycle. AxolinBox