Posted on 13 November 2009.
This post has been submitted to the ParentingbyNature blog contest. I wrote this post and decided after the fact that it would be a perfect fit. I am really proud of this particular post, and when I wrote it I was almost crying! I hope if my post is selected as a finalist that you will vote for me. Thank you!
Many of you know that I attended ABC Kids Expo this year. Attending also gave me the unique opportunity to attend the RDIA‘s (Real Diaper Industry Association) keynote meeting as press. I live tweeted the event as much as possible, but missed quite a bit since my son was a tad cranky. We were out of our time zone and things were just difficult. The fact that Pampers has been slyly dropping “facts” about cloth diapers being bad for our babies (see this post) made me think back to Jen’s, creator of Bum Genius and Cotton Babies, outgoing keynote speech at that meeting. Jen was the Chairperson of the RDIA and gave the reigns over to Leah Carter who is the woman behind Better for Babies (Little Beetle cloth diapers).
Jen gets loads of credit for helping usher in the modern cloth diaper revolution. Without her Bum Genius 3.0, and now the supremely affordable Econobum line and versatile Flip line, some parents may have never even heard of cloth diapers or attempted them. I began with Bum Genius 3.0′s because of their rave reviews on Diaper Pin. I was able to convince my husband to cloth diaper after showing him the 3.0′s that I purchased in North Carolina. My first brand new cloth diaper purchase; it felt so good and I fondled them forever. I put them on a teddy bear while I anxiously awaited the birth of my son. My point is the Bum Genius is a household name for cloth diapers. Ask any cd’ing mama if they have heard of them and they say yes. You can find them at some Targets even!
In the speech Jen made she notes a few things that could be coming for the industry. First, that disposable diaper companies will be (and obviously already are) taking notice of the cloth diaper industry. This means a few things. One, that they will step up their efforts to slander cloth diapers by releasing either bogus and unverified scientific evidence about the healthiness of their diapers and the harmfulness of cloth. This is evident in the Pampers quotes. Two, that they may even try to fund (and influence) studies to back up these claims. This isn’t unheard of; already there are studies claiming that disposables are no worse or even better than cloth diapers on the environment. This study says the water used to wash diapers and the manufacturing of the diapers is just as bad as throwing THOUSANDS of diapers in the landfill. Third, that if they can’t beat them, they may join them. Meaning, big companies like P&G could begin making their own cloth diapers or buy out an existing smaller cloth diaper company. This one actually scares me the most. I shudder at the thought of a behemoth company making cloth diapers. I love supporting cloth diaper companies because the majority of them are small, family run, companies started by Stay at Home Moms. Even the larger companies like Bum Genius are still run by the orginal creator. Jen’s story is pretty amazing. She started her company from nothing and is now the most recognized cloth diaper brand. No matter what you think about her, her company, or her diaper you have to respect her commitment, business savvy, and ability to start so many families on cloth diapers. We were a Bum Genius family, and still use them as the workhorse of out stash. There are plenty of diapers I like more, and plenty I like less.
What I am trying to convey is that cloth diapers are making a come back. If P&G, a multi-million dollar company, is shaking in their boots about what this means for their profits then we know we are on to something. Getting the message out about our “real” diapers is crucial. The more they slander cloth diapers, the more we have to praise them. Think back to when you began researching cloth diapers. What if you heard that they weren’t really that great for the environment. Would you have believed that? Maybe. Or what if you were told cloth diapers would give your child a cold or impair their ability to learn. A little crazy but you didn’t know any better. Maybe you would have thought twice about cloth diapers. Just maybe, you would have picked up a box of Pampers. We have to spread the message more to combat these falsities and outright lies. If our community bands together and continues converting moms, aiding them in their research, showing off our diapers at play groups, changing our babies in public, putting our babies in baby legs and cute fluff, and evangelizing on Twitter, Facebook, Mommy Forums, and blogs, we can grow our grassroots cloth campaign. We are all onto something great that is bigger than ourselves. I know this sounds overdramatic, but I am extremely proud of our cloth diapering community. We help one another, we care about the earth, our babies, and the futire. We have begun a new era, but we have also come full circle. Our grandmothers didn’t have a choice but we do.
I want to quote Erin Kimmet, creator and President of Thirsties, who said this in a Q&A I had with her (not published yet but I have to share this now. I love it) “I hope that when my kids have kids of their own, and when my grandkids have kids, they will refer to the past 30 years in history as the diaper-dark-ages! And they can brag about how their mom was a part of the diaper revolution!”
Viva la Cloth! Viva la Revolution!