"At Zein it’s not just about what we do, it’s about how we do it."
Zein & Sustainability
As part of our commitment to making a significant “green” impact on our beautiful planet, we implement sustainability in all aspects of our organisation.
At our locations, we aim to operate at zero-emission or near-zero-emission where possible by using solar panels and sustainable boiler systems for heating and electricity, and sedum green roofs that provide insulation during colder months and a cooling effect during warmer months – as well as contribute to the biodiversity of wildlife on our planet. In the on-site kitchens, our chefs make use of local products for the preparation of organic meals and snacks in order to minimize our CO₂ footprint.
Our teachers also commit themselves to raise awareness amongst the children in our care, educating them on the impact we as humans have on the environment from a young age through the provision of eco-friendly activities embedded in our pedagogic approach. By sowing, harvesting and eating our own fruits and vegetables, children can experience the wonderful works of nature first hand. Additionally, we promote the reuse, recycling and repurposing of discarded materials for our art, craft and inventive projects.
This approach to childcare is embedded in all aspects of the organisation at Zein, including the interior design of our locations. You will never find walls painted in bright primary colours, or hard edged white melamine cupboards giving a clinical type feeling to the surroundings. Instead, Zein favours a natural approach with beautiful stylish wallpaper, soft carpeted areas and spaces furnished ‘just like home’.
The interior design of Zein Childcare centres is, in fact, so integral to our approach that when Co-Founder Jan van der Meijden couldn’t find the kind of furniture he was looking for – when furnishing the ‘Estate’ location – he decided the best solution was to design their own! So, with the help Kids-F, an interior designer and interior architect, the ‘Dutch DeZein’ furniture line for children was born.
Using smooth wooden forms, the natural and homely children’s furniture line brings the outdoors inside by using organic shapes reminiscent of a tree. The tables and chairs feature veins and knots, the sides of the cabinets are designed to look like tree trunks and the cots have little ones sleeping below the branches of a tree. The extensive line also consists of stylish but practical items specially designed for use in childcare – cabinets for the backpacks of after school care children, a cabinet especially designed for use by the group leaders, and toddler beds that can be stacked in the corner when not in use.
In addition to the homely and organic feel that the furniture brings to the rooms, the line also includes pieces that support the imaginative play aspect of Zein’s pedagogic vision – like a kitchenette with adult and child height sinks, and a play arch set up where, with the help of a large blanket, a play hut can be created and children can let their imagination run wild…