Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers. Thank you for joining us, we’re so happy to bring you another interview with one of our many amazing honorees! For this interview, we were fortunate enough to speak with Serena Li, Duck Duck Books® founder, and editor-in-chief! Duck Duck Books® is the company responsible for the Mom’s Choice Award-winning product, the Duck Duck Backpack. The Duck Duck Backpack is a convertible, durable, and sustainable backpack and lunchbox for kids from ages 1 and up. The Duck Duck Backpack is an eco-friendly take on kids’ backpacks, lunch boxes, and book bags. It’s spacious enough to fit all the board books and snacks a hungry kid needs, and light enough for them to carry on their own. Not to mention, it’s very cute! As your child grows, the back straps can be removed so that it can be carried as a lunch box, reducing waste and saving money.
When you buy a Duck Duck Backpack through the Duck Duck Books website, 10% of the sale goes to help a local community in need. You can learn more about this on their How We Give Back page. Keep reading to find out more about Serena and her award-winning product, the Duck Duck Backpack!
MCA: Hi Serena! Thank you so much for joining us to talk a little bit about your Mom’s Choice Award-winning backpack! The Duck Duck Backpack is the perfect product for eco-conscious parents that want their little ones to have a backpack that they are sure to love and cherish well into their adolescence! Can we first start off the interview by having you tell us a bit about yourself?
Serena: My name is Serena Li, Duck Duck Books®’ founder, and editor-in-chief. I was born in Guangzhou, raised in Houston, and spent much of my adult life in Seattle. I am passionate about creating a sustainable world for the next generation — and that means raising kids who are kind to themselves, kind to others, and kind to the environment.
MCA: That’s such an important mission and one that Mom’s Choice Awards is very passionate about as well! You get a strong sense of your passion through each Duck Duck book and eco-good your company produces. Speaking of your company, can you share with us how it was created?
Serena: After my little Sophia was born, I saw firsthand the environmental impact as a result of child consumerism. We are fed with so many options of products that are not meant to last. Besides making social-emotional learning books for kids that are sustainably made, I took it upon myself to design innovative, eco-friendly lifestyle goods for kids, and that’s how Duck Duck Eco Goods was born.
Now I use Duck Duck Books® and Eco Goods as a platform to spread love for diversity, multilingualism, and our environment. I hope to provide tools and options for other parents to instill an eco-friendly lifestyle for their little ones. It’s never too early to start!
MCA: We couldn’t agree more, what your company is doing for children is so important and an amazing way to introduce them to sustainability! Tell us more about your mission of tackling child consumerism through Duck Duck Books®.
Serena: Sustainability is a big part of who we are and what we do. Our vision is a world with more families making eco-conscious decisions and living eco-friendly lifestyles. As a mother, I was baffled at the amount of waste generated by child consumerism and wanted to leverage our brand to help reduce waste.
I first came up with the Duck Duck GiftSwaddle, a multi-use, reusable, washable wrapping cloth inspired by the traditional Japanese furoshiki, to wrap our gift sets after I learned that most wrapping papers go straight to the trash. Then, I became obsessed with how to improve everyday items to increase reusability. That’s when we launched the Duck Duck Backpack, a convertible and washable toddler backpack-turned-lunch bag that grows with your child made from Supernatural Paper, a vegan leather from responsibly and ethically sourced materials. These products tackle child consumerism as they are built with reusability in mind to encourage children and their families to use products that produce less waste.
Change doesn’t have to be drastic. If all of us make one small, conscious decision a day to help our environment, the impact can be tremendous!
MCA: Raising an eco-conscious kid is all about introducing your child to sustainable habits one step at a time! Can you share with us some of the features that make the Duck Duck Backpack so unique?
Serena: The Duck Duck Backpack is an eco-friendly take on kids’ backpacks, lunch boxes, and book bags. It’s spacious enough to fit all the board books and snacks a hungry kid needs, and light enough for them to carry on their own.
As your child grows, all of the backpack straps can be removed so that they can be carried as a lunch box, reducing waste and saving money. The carabiners that connect the backpack straps are reusable, and the cotton safety tether can be reused as a durable dog leash!
The most special feature of this backpack is that it is made of Supernatural Paper, a washable vegan leather alternative. This material is liquid-resistant and easy to clean, and has a trendy paper look, but is durable.
MCA: Supernatural Paper sounds amazing! Why was it important for you to create Duck Duck Backpack with “Supernatural Paper.”
Serena: Supernatural Paper™ is made of tree cellulose sourced from responsibly managed forests. Forest is a renewable source, unlike plastic which is made from petroleum or natural gas, which is nonrenewable. Bonded with allergen-free & synthetic latex, the Supernatural Paper is a paper that is durable, washable, and sustainable. This is perfect for our Duck Duck backpacks.
MCA: You partnered with another sustainable brand, Out Of the Woods, to create the Duck Duck Backpack using their product, the Supernatural Paper. Tell us more about this partnership and how it was formed!
Serena: When I design our Eco Goods products, I put a lot of effort to seek out the best material, because if I’m going to make it, I have to make sure it’s high quality, unique, and fulfills our mission to create a sustainable world for the next generation. After much research, I partnered with Out of the Woods®, who makes the washable, vegan, and sustainable Supernatural Paper as they align with our mission and values.
Our partnership with Out of the Woods has been positive. It’s so wonderful to work with a team who is as passionate about sustainability as we do. In Pierre Barlier (CEO of Out of the Woods)’s words, “It’s been a delightful experience collaborating with Serena Li and Duck Duck Books® in developing a backpack that synthesizes the best in function, charm and of course, sustainability – for our most precious customer. We share the same philosophy as Duck Duck Books® in creating offerings that encourage conscious choices for everyone, ultimately resulting in greater collective impact.”
MCA: What kind of feedback have you received about the Duck Duck Backpack?
Serena: Our feedback on the Duck Duck Backpack has been positive! Parents have been attracted to its adorable design, love that it is washable, and see it as a perfect first backpack for their little one.
MCA: The design is adorable indeed. Please keep us posted on all Duck Duck Books® future releases!
You can learn more about Serena Li and her award-winning book, Duck Duck Backpack by visiting her MCA Shop pages.