A big brand of “eco-friendly” disposable nappies recently released a reusable nappy to the market. On the day of the launch my Instagram feed was flooded with posts about this new nappy. Many of the mums I follow that already use cloth gave a detailed review about the pros and cons of this nappy – highlighting durability and fit as potential issues (with one major online nappy site stating that they would not be stocking the brand until the issues were resolved). But I also saw a lot of other influencers posting who were new to cloth. It was fantastic to see so many embracing cloth but something about these posts was bugging me.
It took me a little while to pinpoint exactly what it was about these posts that was annoying me so much. I am a massive advocate of cloth nappies and in my view the more people using them the better. So seeing some big name influencers embracing cloth should be a great thing right?
At first I debated whether it was because the reviews of this nappy from experienced users of cloth were mixed. Potentially those new to cloth who are influenced to buy this new cloth nappy will find it doesn’t work for them – especially if there are problems with the fit. But overall it’s probably a good gateway to cloth and getting started is the first step – many parents are worried about cloth being difficult but introducing even one nappy a day can make a big difference.
So I delved deeper, looking at the posts and considering what it was that was bothering me. And as I saw more and more posts I figured it out. The mums that were new to cloth all seemed to post the same press blurb “did you know a disposable nappy takes 500 years to decompose… Now [baby’s] bum can help clean up oceans and landfill”.
Many of those who were sent the nappy were users of the brand’s disposable products. And by using this particular marketing line were pushing the fact that by adopting these cloth nappies they would be reducing their environmental impact. Which is fantastic but begs the question, why didn’t you switch sooner? Why did it take a disposable nappy brand gifting you a nappy to get you into cloth?
Now I’m not trying to make this a competition about who is the most green. I know there are a wide range of reasons why people can be reluctant about cloth. And let’s face it, sometimes disposables are a necessity. But it’s not difficult to do a bit of research to find out that even the most “eco” of disposable nappies take hundreds of years to decompose. Not to mention the costs of producing the nappies in the first place. I know not everyone has the time to spend researching nappy options but if you’ve already made an effort to seek out a greener disposable it doesn’t take a lot to find out this information.
There are some brilliant reusable brands out there already using recycled materials to create beautiful cloth nappies that are tried and tested (Tots Bots and Close Parent both use recycled plastic bottles to make their nappies, which also perform brilliantly). So I guess it’s a little disappointing to see a brand of disposables taking up so much space when other brilliant brands that don’t use influencers remain unseen.
It’s a shame that these influencers haven’t adopted cloth earlier but perhaps trying this nappy will get them and their followers into the wonderful world of cloth. I guess I’m just worried that once they have fulfilled the requirements of their paid partnership they will switch back to disposables.