Sunday, August 1, 2010

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Nightline Spotlights the Disposable Diaper Wars: Pampers vs. Huggies

And the excess continues……to the tune of $7 billion per year!

The other night I was flipping through channels and was stopped in my tracks when I heard the upcoming story on ABC Nightline called, “The Diaper Wars.” After I heard that the diaper market in the US rings in about $7 billion per year, I couldn’t help but think of exactly how many physical diapers that looks like. WOAH!

I also learned that Pampers employs over 500 scientists, seamstresses, and chemical engineers (yes I said "chemical" engineers) to work in its top secret research and development center. What are they doing in there? Well even some of the top level execs do not have access to know exactly how their diapers are developed and tested.

The show goes on to talk about various development and testing (the stuff that's not top secret) that goes on in the background at Pampers. Yes, folks, people actually send their baby's poo and pee to Pampers to test extensively - wow! There is so much testing that goes into marketing these little urine soakers that Pampers officials were shocked at the Facebook campaign that had moms groaning over the severe diaper rashes their babies got after using Pampers Dry Max diapers. Their research showed no evidence of that, they say. They hint that environmentalists who favor cloth diapering may have been behind the campaign.

I winced a bit when I saw how the two companies are trying to give their plastic saggy diapers a makeover - employing designers and even that crazy Huggies jean diaper that got moms in an uproar (in a good way, I think!).

As I watched in disbelief I was reminded about how much I love cloth diapering. I don't know if I could trade in my cute, fluffy diapers for anything that requires so much engineering just to soak up my baby's urine. I think I'll do it the natural way without man-made tampering.

By Sarah W.

25 comments:

Megg said...

I saw the Cynthia Rowley diapers (Pampers, I think) at Target the other day. I was seriously disgusted. I love my pretty CD solids and the super-cute prints, even if they DON'T come from a famous designer!

Sabrina said...

whoa!! I have to say my fluff is cuter and smeller better than any jean diaper. That is so much wasted money on diaper testing when there are so many benifits to cloth.

Ashley said...

plus, they feel like old newspapers...I wouldnt want that on my butt! I had to switch my son to cloth because of Pampers. They gave him such horrible burns and rashes. So yeah, it was environmentalists making shit up, its true. Stupid pampers..

Rose said...

Yes! Here's to doing it the natural way!

Sarahjenne said...

This report made me a bit upset, too. I can't believe the way they slammed the cloth diapering community. If their customers are having a problem with their product, they should listen! It's just a big Pampers commercial. Everything about disposables makes me mad, but the chemicals are especially aggravating. People trust them because they think that if it's for sale in the US it must be safe. I wish ABC would do a special on cloth!

Erin said...

Wow. That's pretty much all I can say.......

dannyscotland said...

I personally refuse to buy anything from Pampers again, because I am disappointed with the way they handled the Dry Max rash issue. I will now buy only Huggies disposable wipes (for my husband/babysitters/etc). I am currently getting ready to try cloth wipes again, after a miserable failure of a first attempt. If I can stick with it this time, even Huggies won't be getting much money from us, since I do most of the diapering in our house.

christin said...

I used disposables with my son, and for the first 5 months with my daughter. It makes me sick to see this report and know what I was putting on my children. Watching that just makes me even more sure of my decision to switch to cloth.

Heather said...

For cloth wipes, I have a whole bunch of them (mine were scrap fabric from diaper making) that I keep in a container (a collapsible bucket from Ikea) at my diapering area. When I'm going to chainge a diaper, I wet one or more (depending on what is in the diaper at hand) at the sink & change the diaper. There is much to be said for keeping this simple. When my diapering area was far away from a water source, I just kept a squirt bottle full of water on the diaper table. You can add stuff to the water for a "wipes solution" if you want, but all you NEED is water. Dirty wipes go in the diaper pail with the dirty diapers. I find it easiest to use cloth wipes with cloth diapers & disposable wipes with disposable diapers (which I use when out and about or traveling). That's how I've been doing things, for 3 years & 2 babies. I'm closer to 40 than 30, and I remember babysitting back in the days when the available wipies weren't all that nice (they best ones were like the ones you can buy at Dollar Tree) & people generally didn't use them at home. You just washed bottoms with a damp washcloth, rinsed it out well, and put it in the laundry.

Alycia said...

In this day and age when people are trying to be so green I can't believe disposables are still getting this much attention. I guess being green is the cool thing now, as long as it doesn't require you to spend an extra 5 minutes a day off your butt caring for your diapers. I also thought with how appearance obsessed our society is people would be sick of puffy paper butts and go nuts over the cute cloth that's out there.

I guess they're all too cool for us. Oh well. I'd rather be uncool and have my baby in a comfy diaper then be cool and have my poor kid wearing chemical soaked paper.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

This story just made me even more glad we are using cloth. When they peel apart the layers and it practically falls apart. Gross.

lulusmama said...

I love how everyeone is so excited to buy us all these so called designer sposies! When my family and friends come over they are amazed at my LO's cloth, and how cute they truley are! These arent your gramas cloth diapers! My daughter is in college to become a chemical engineer and all I asked of her is to use her powerd for good not evil! LOL!

Dan and Katie said...

Chemical Burns?!? It shouldn't take a team of chemists to diaper a child! All little bums deserve soft clean natural cloth! Disposables kinda gross me out now!

Yara said...

Dannyscottland... all you need for cloth wipes is... water. Not sure how you failed the first time. I hope you try them again & give no disposable diaper company (huggies or pampers) a penny of your money : )
Or hey, if you must use disposable wipes (sometimes you just gotta, right?) how about Grovia, or g-diapers disposable wipes?

Good luck!

Karrianne said...

My cousin used pampers religiously with her all her 6 kids. (her last two are still in diapers) and once they changed it to Dry Max, her babies got HORRIBLY rashes... which led her to start using cloth... which led her to get ME into using cloth! :)

I find it funny that so much work gets put into something that is used for approximately 3 hours, then thrown away. All that time... effort... money... materials... THROWN AWAY after 3 hours of use. It just seems SO wasteful to me.

Madeline said...

The old me would have thought that was interesting and great that they did so much testing. The new me (post CD research) is horrified. 300 chemical engineers versus simple, clean, and reusable cloth? I'm so upset with myself that I didn't figure this out for my first child.

Carlie Madsen said...

I'm excited to watch cloth diaper industry grow and take a bite out of their ridiculous bottom line.

Stephie C said...

This grossed me out too and my hubby and I are so proud to put cloth on our little girls bum!!! So much nicer than those paper diapers

Jennifer said...

I'm so disgusted by the whole "designer" disposables issue. Cloth diapers are so much better on so many levels- cuteness, financially, environmental, health, etc.- hands down, no contest.

krt100706 said...

This seriously disturbed me! Chemical engineers - seriously? And to think all of that is ending up in landfills. I am glad I decided to cloth diaper my baby!!

Heather said...

I had to put my son in a disposable the other day and it just about killed me. It smelled chemically (is that a word) and was just so ugly compared to my fluff.

Shelly said...

I don't really get disgusted when I see sposie companies trying new marketing schemes, like new prints. They just don't work for us! :-) To many poopy blow outs!

Jenney said...

Sick. Sick. Sick. Seriously, synthetic urine? Sick. I"ll take my cloth anyday.

Christine said...

I love visiting this website because I read these great posts from people who believe in the same things I do. I saw those jean diapers and could not believe my eyes!! It makes me so sad that these huge companies use such tactics to get people to buy stuff and babies are the ones that suffer in this case. Im so glad Im choosing cloth with baby number 2!

Amanda C said...

I saw the designer pampers in Target a week or two ago and was in shock! Something like $15 for just a few diapers and honestly, the boy prints were pretty ugly. I'm one that didn't use cloth until my second child was over a year old and when I did my research I was disgusted at what they put in disposable diapers. I thought it should be illegal...and some of it is in other countries! I will say I'm not hardcore cloth, I still use a sposie on my son at night as it's the only thing that will hold him and we use sposie wipes when we are out...though we use Target brand, so I guess at least my money isn't going to the big two.
As some others have mentioned, cloth wipes are super easy and can be super cheap. I just wet mine with water in the morning, maybe 8 for the day (if I run out I can always wet more!). I just haven't found a solution for out of the house so we use about a pack of sposie wipes every month or two