Sunday, October 24, 2010

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The Age of the Modern Cloth Diaper

If you look back at the past 30 years of cloth diapering so much has changed. Before 10 years ago most of the available choices on the market were the traditional prefolds, rubber style pull on pants, and pins.

In 1999, Tereson Dupuy, invented the FuzziBunz pocket cloth diaper in a desperate need to find something that would help her son’s chronic diaper rash. Many people credit Tereson of revitalizing the cloth diaper industry.

In the late 70‘s and 80’s, the diaper service industry was moving along at amazing growth but when the 90’s hit there was a steep decline in customer demand for diaper service and many services closed their doors. This created a new need for a “new age” cloth diaper and hence the industry exploded.

The doors for creativity were like a flood gate with one manufacturer after another trying to produce what they thought was the perfect cloth diaper. As the years went on new styles were created- hybrids, all-in-two’s, etc. Many manufacturers came and went- most of them had the creativity sense but didn’t have the know how to market their diaper.

Today I could say many of us would agree that there are so many choices available. Each brand & style caters to a different Mama (or Dad) depending on their lifestyle and budget. I am sure if we lined up every brand and style of cloth diaper available it would at least take up a couple of grocery store aisles!

It has been amazing to see the cloth diaper trends- from pocket diapers, to one-size diapers, and now the latest; hybrid diapers.

It will be interesting to see what this the cloth diaper industry will be in another 10 years and what the ratio of cloth diaper users and disposable users. Lets hope that cloth will continue to climb!

What are your thoughts about the future of the cloth diaper industry? We would love to know!

By Kelly W- aka “The Cloth Diaper Whisperer”

26 comments:

Sarah said...

I think cloth has come a long way. I remember 5 years ago someone at church showing me the diapers she made for her kids and then me telling my husband I could sew my own cloth diapers and sell them for extra cash...too bad I never followed through with that idea because the industry is so different now than it was even 5 years ago!

Katie S said...

I'd like to think that cloth diapers will continue to rise in popularity now that the modern cloth diaper has revolutionized cloth diapering. But there is still the problem of the vast majority of people having no idea they exist! I've introduced some friends and family to the new cloth and they are amazed. I keep thinking, why doesn't someone make a commercial for TV?! Seriously, I think awareness would grow by leaps and bounds if people saw commercials for say, Fuzzibunz, on TV! Now is the perfect time for it too, while people are still budget conscious thanks to the economic recession.

Jill said...

I might still be having kids in 10 years, so I guess we will see! Okay, maybe not 10 since I'm already over 30, but still, I think it can only get better

Catherine said...

I totally agree with Katie! Someone should make a TV commercial! I think very few noncloth moms realize just how easy it is or how far they've come. I have to admit I am not a huge fan of the hybrids though- especially those that say they can be flushed. I read a study saying that these are still quite damaging to the sewer system, and it worries me that more people might use them thinking they are being green. Besides, the cloth inserts are so easy anyway (says me, I'm sure someone will dispute this!).To each his own I suppose though. Maybe the hybrids will get new moms hooked on the idea and then they will see just how easy it can be.....

Zookeeper Jess said...

I agree. I think cloth diaper manufacturers need to start putting commercials on tv to gain awareness that they exist. I've introduced so many people to the modern cloth diaper who had NO idea that there were even such awesome and easy options available. When I tell people I cloth diaper they immediately wrinkle their nose and think of the old fashioned prefolds and rubber pants. Something needs to be done nationally to put it out there that cloth is BACK and cloth is cute, easy, and awesome. I would hope that in 10 years there would be MORE people cloth diapering and disposables would be the minority. Fingers crossed!

Niki said...

I think/hope the ratio of babies in cloth vs disposables will be reversed! People are becoming both more financial and environmentally aware, & cloth is a great solution for both! I agree comercials or more advertising in general would be great for cloth. People need to know it's out there.

Maia G said...

I agree with Katie. We need some commercials to spread awareness!

Jenney said...

I hope that the cloth diaper industry takes over the disposable one. I agree with katie S. though that it will take bigger media advertisement for this to happen. I also think, unfortunatly, that it might be someone like P & G or another big company just out to make money that will make it happen. One of the nice things about cloth diapers is that many of them are sold my smaller more customer friendly companies.

Doing my best in my corner of the world to convert people to cloth...so far so good :o)

Jamie said...

I think that it will be more popular b/c Just talking to my friends about the 'new school' vs 'old school' CDs they want to use cloth...I think if ppl old knew that you don't have to fold and pin them all then a lot more ppl would want them...... I didn't know ANYTHING about the 'new' CDs with my first and didn't want to go through the hassle of folding and accidentally pinning my baby and I thought they leaked worse than DDs but with my second I had friends who use CDs and I fell in love =)
And I think that there will be more of a selection of CDs in store in 10yrs
Oh and like others said making them yourself...I have been wanting to start making some for my baby and is going to try in a few months =)

Dani said...

I want to see cloth diapers in stores. Target would be great. and yes commercials for them on tv. one mom told me the she feels like it is an inside thing to use cloth. Like you are a part of a secret club. I do not like that. there should be cloth diapers sitting right next to the other diapers in the stores. Let's make that happen.

Kara - Wife, Momma, Doula said...

I thunk they are going to continue to grow in popularity! They are so cute so why not!!

Lindsay said...

I would love to see hospitals giving out cloth diapers rather then all those disposibles they send you home with. I would also love Day cares to be willing to use them too.

The Suess Family said...

I would really like to see cloth become more mainstream. Carried in more baby stores not just online. I I have converted 3 mom in just cloth diapering my son, because mom's don't know the products are out there.

erin french said...

I think it's already so awesome, but still room for improvement. I'm hoping they find a way to make them super absorbent without having to double stuff them. Diapers have definitley come a long way!

Dee said...

I think as more and more people become environmentally and healthy conscious, the popularity of cloth is only going to grow. They're becoming easier to use, and are absolutely adorable. With a little more marketing (man I'd love to do marketing with some CD companies!) I think popularity would explode.

MnkyGrl said...

Cloth diapers are making a comeback! I never even realized that cloth diapering was an option anymore until I became pregnant and started researching baby stuff. I can't believe all the super cute options available these days!!

Anna said...

Cloth diapers have come so far! Even in the two years that we've been using them, I've seen so many more people around me become interested in learning more about them as well. I'd like to think that in another 5-10 years, they will become much more popular as people continue to be more conscious of the environment and our own health.

Sarah said...

I agree with you, Katie S. My SIL started CD'ing her son at 6 months old and if it weren't for her, when I had my son 2 years later...cloth never would have crossed my mind, and now I can't imagine doing it any other way. I got my best friend and her SIL using FuzziBunz...that feels pretty cool!

thelaundryblog said...

I think part of the key to expanding the use of cloth diapers is availability it stores. Where I live the nearest store that carries cloth diapers is several hours away. BabiesRUS, Buy Buy Baby, Target and Walmart only carry Gerber prefolds and similar low end products. You can get G diapers at our local Wegman's grocery store, but not the cloth part, just the pants and flushable liners. These are the only cloth diapers most people will ever see. People want to know what they are getting into. It was a huge risk for me to buy cloth diapers online and pay to ship them, knowing I'd have to pay to ship them back if I hated them and would be stuck with any I had already used. The idea was supposed to be to spend money. It would be great if some of the larger cloth diaper manufacturers could get their diapers carried in more mainstream stores. Don't get me wrong, I love the cloth diaper specialty stores. But so many areas of the country are without access to cloth diapers unless you want to order over the internet sight unseen and untried.

Kim said...

I think part of the problem is exposure to the average consumer...but also the daycare industry would have to change. Because the VAST majority of commercial daycares (not in-home as much) will not use cloth. So that makes it twice as hard for a parent who wants to make the switch....to have to possibly switch daycare plans, etc? Too much of a burden. Perhaps the two things would change together...more people using them = more daycares accepting them...I don't know.

Kim said...

I don't see change happening until daycare policy/state laws change. A parent can WANT to use cloth but still be stuck with disposables by daycare. And doing it part time is fine...but not as easy or as economical/green. Until it is more accepted in daycares, i'm not sure it will be more accepted by parents.

Kimberly and Jordan said...

I'm hoping like many that due to environmental concerns and financial hard times of many in our country that modern cloth diapering will continue to grow.

I also like to take personal responsiblity and tell my friends/family about it. I just had my daughter and plan on 'showing off' my fluff when out and about, or at a mom's group like MOPS. You can start in your own community.

The ideas of commercials are great for the general public too. Most people wrinkle their noses and scoff at me when I mention cloth. TV media would be a great way to advertise.

hlkeaton said...

I would like to see all daycares readily willing to use cloth diapers if that is what the parents use while their children are not in daycare.

Another perk that would be incredible would be if cloth diapering parents would get some sort of a tax rebate for their purchase of cloth diapers, kind of like you get for buying energy efficient appliances, etc. for you home. It makes perfect sense to me, as we are helping the Earth by reducing waste in the landfills. It would probably also encourage other families to try.

anne_art said...

As soon as big diaper companies realize they can make money from cloth, they'll start marketing them. That will be a great day for cloth, but, I fear it will be a bad day for all these awesome WAHMs who are the real innovators in the bizz right bow and who make the cutest dipes!

sweeetmarine said...

In the past ten years cloth diapering has made some incredible strides so it's hard to say where it will be in another 10 years. My hope is that it starts to reach a different demographic of women. It really seems that women who could really benefit from the money saving of cloth diapering are unaware of how it all works. I myself thought cloth diapering would be too much of a hassle before I actually saw how someone used them. If every cloth diaperer were to convert 1 person, cloth diapering could be the method of choice within 10 years!

Sarah Schulz said...

I think a couple things need to happen in the next ten years - we need to make laundry foolproof! It seems like that is such a daunting thing. Everything I read online suggests that CDing is great until about six months in and then ammonia and stink issues come up and you have to start stripping regularly - I see too many moms just giving up at this point because they don't want to deal with the work. Also, I have tried talking moms in my area (Utah) into it and they are just too resistant. One mama just had her second and she was interested but now says she just has too much laundry already and her baby goes through too many diapers so she won't even give it a try. I live in an area with lots of young stay at home moms so we don't even really have the daycare issue, but I feel people here just aren't green...they are frugal like you wouldn't believe but they just don't want to give up the convenience of disposable diapers. And I know ONE store (booth in a larger store, really) that carries cloth. That's a huge barrier to lots of people I know: they just don't want to buy online if they don't know how it will work. So to sum up, we need to make laundry and/or inserts foolproof to make CDing easier and we need to make it more appealing to moms who aren't necessarily green and who will just go for what is most convenient. Sorry for the rant but CDing is a rare, rare thing where I live and "green" mamas are seen as weird so it's a little frustrating.