Xintiandi Invaded by Rabbits and Other Animals

Xintiandi Gift ShopInfestation isn’t the correct word for it. The Xintiandi Gift Shop has just received a rather large delivery of some of the most adorable animals known to man or mouse.

The animals, twitchy-nosed and dressed in traditional Chinese outfits, come from Organic Island, a Hainan-based brand that is making a name for itself as designer/producer of hand-made soft toys too good to export.

The brand, launched a year ago by Hainan- based designers Misty Zhang Lan and Tim Wilson, turns convention on its head, producing high-quality designer-toys destined almost exclusively for the domestic market.

The toys, hand-knitted in organic cotton, began life as travel souvenirs in tropical Hainan’s five-star hotels, and were initially dressed accordingly, in swimsuits, Hawaiian gear and pirate outfits.

For their outing to Shanghai, the animals have turned on the style and are elegantly turned out in qipaos and zhongshans.

The toys are made at home in remote towns in Sichuan and Chongqing.

“We think of Organic Island as a miniature world,” said Wilson. “The name Organic Island represents Hainan, our hopes for the island as much as the reality.

“We try to make the toys in a way that is kind to the environment and kind to little people too.

“The materials are certified organic or Oeko-Tex, and our hope is that when people buy one of these animals as a souvenir, they don’t just take home a great gift. They also take home thoughts about the kind of world they want to live in, and about how their own choices can influence that world,” he said.

The Xintiandi Gift Shop is at: Block 25, Lane,181, Tai Cang Road, North Block, Xintiandi, Shanghai

For more information about Organic Island, contact Tim or Misty on 0898 88610297, email Tim at tim(at) or visit

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Toys, Gifts, Souvenirs