Bdiapers: A Mom’s Journey to Launching India’s First Hybrid Cloth Diaper

August 26, 2020 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Cloth Diapering

Bdiapers: A Mom’s Journey to Launching India’s First Hybrid Cloth Diaper | Baby & Beyond

As most of you probably already know, I had cloth diapered my son and I am a huge advocate of cloth diapering. However, even I could not manage to switch to cloth diapers 100%. There was no denying the convenience of disposable diapers at certain times – while traveling, during monsoons, and especially when I wasn’t around i.e. at school and daycare. Yet everytime I threw away a disposable diaper, I was hit with a pang of guilt. I wished that there could be a middle path – one that is convenient, yet eco-friendly.

Recently I was approached by Amrita Vaswani, founder of Bdiapers. Bdiapers are hybrid cloth diapers – reusable cloth covers with eco-friendly disposable inserts. Though my son has been diaper free for a couple of years now, I was still ingrigued by the concept. So when Amrita asked if she could share her own personal story about how she came to design India’s first hybrid cloth dipaer, I was definitely interested.

The below post is a guest post written by Amrita in her own words.

Bdiapers: A Mom’s Journey to Launching India’s First Hybrid Cloth Diaper
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Bdiapers: A Mom’s Journey to Launching India’s First Hybrid Cloth Diaper

I became a mom at the mature age of 29, after a long career in marketing with the likes of Colgate Palmolive and Microsoft. Having worked and lived in three different countries, I was ready to take time out to enjoy time with my bub and take an easy lifestyle (or so it seemed from the outside J ). But soon as Ishaan and me settled into a predictable routine, and got used to each other’s tantrums , the entrepreneurship bug in me started to irk.

Ishaan, born in the US was a child prone to chronic allergies.  I had started my research MCDs (Modern Cloth Diapers as they were called) back there and settled on a brand called Fuzzibunz as I liked their nifty sizing tape. I moved back to India in 2011 with my ‘stash’, determined to honour my commitment to MCDs, only this time taking the help of the proverbial Indian ‘nanny’. About a few weeks into settling in I thought these would be a great option to bring to India, and with that in mind, in 2012 I launched India’s 1st and only brand of MCDs, under the brand name Bumchum Diapers.

Ishaan wearing Bumchum Diapers in our first photoshoot done by my cousin

BumChum Diapers was launched with atleast 2-3 options of MCDs including the All-in -Ones and Cover + inserts. Sales grew fast with the growth of ecommerce giants, and business was great due to lack of competition. However, I did notice a pattern in sales,  where a new mother  would buy 1 Bumchum Diaper and would not come back for more. I also noticed that a lot of the sales were happening because mothers found it ‘cute’ more than ‘functional’, and the diaper covers were used in sparingly.

Hard to Learn and Not So Convenient

MCDs took a lot of learning to get right. The one -size-fit-all, types and formats and the load of laundry made these a bit cumbersome, especially for a young first-time mom.  

While MCDs helped me immensely in the US, they did not work for me as well in India. Besides the general issues with hard water, soap build up, the constant parade of nannies in and out of my life made it harder to ‘strip’, soak’ ‘air’ these. This along with all the work that came with raising a child in India, made me fall out of love with my stash.

 I often found myself deflecting back to commercial disposable diapers, initially only while going out and night-time diapering. Eventually through-out the day.

Whilst the convenience of disposables was a hard habit to break, I wasn’t able deal with the guilt of the amount of trash I generated daily.

The real tug on my conscience was when I was driving by our house once, crossing our area dumpster …and I saw my sons poop soiled diapers strewn on the roads – open and defaced by stray cats and dogs, while 2-3 milking cows rummaged

The start of Bdiapers

Hybrid Diapers are simply diapers that are separated into covers and soakers. I was initially attracted to these as the idea to reduce waste and reuse. While the cloth took away the guilt of generating excessive waste, and the insert made the diapering process less bulky I wanted to hold on to the convenience of disposables, at the same time break the cycle of exposure to chemicals for my baby. Hybrids were easier to use and learn. With less washing, and a better fit than the regular MCDs – these seemed like a great alternative.

However, the ones I used on my baby were not yet convenient – which is when I designed Bdiaper Hybrid Diapers, a cloth cover with disposable inserts; a diaper as close as possible, to a disposable.

While hybrids are simply cloth shells with inserts, Bdiapers was different in that it was designed to be a true ‘hybrid’.

 The cloth was ornamental while the actual diaper (i.e. Insert) sat in a patented 2-part pouch system that separated the “cloth” from the “diaper”. This helped reduce washing and encouraged reuse.

The Biodegradable Insert

In order to reduce toxic waste, the 1st batch of Bdiapers was sold with imported biodegradable disposables. I believed biodegradable was the answer to my guilt and would encourage green diapering. However, over time I learnt that not only was the process of bio-degrading waste in India not properly understood, our primitive waste management system did not allow for the need to separate organic and inorganic waste. This aside from the fact that moms weren’t comfortable adding human waste to their kitchen waste while composting.

With the exorbitant pricing of these leading to a smaller audience converting to Hybrids, I started to focus on the design of an insert that was manufactured locally, fit our Bdiaper shells securely, without compromising on absorbency and comfort.

The result was an insert that was made using plant cellulose, free of toxic chemicals, fragrance, chlorine bleach and dyes. These inserts were devoid of any unnecessary trims that did not add value in the buckets of health and convenience.

Bdiapers Chemical Free Disposable Insert

Convenient and Eco Friendly

I believe Bdiaper Hybrid Diaper Covers are the healthiest diapering option currently available in India. Whilst the pouch system allows for the covers to be reused over days without washing, the inserts encourage proper waste disposal, as you need to toss away solids in the toilet bowl before wrapping these in paper, and disposing like any other non-biodegradable separated waste (like a sanitary napkin)

The pouch itself is made from coated fabrics that are waterproof and can be wiped clean. (Or, they also dry in minutes!)

Bdiapers Hybrid Cloth Diapers with Disposable Inserts

Fun and Fashionable

We designed these diapers with matching T shirts to complete the look. We realized little babies were mostly spending time at home, and in diapers, and thought it would be efficient to make diapers a part of the clothing, versus just an accessory.

Healthy Diapering Solution

In the process of developing the diapers, we also designed several unique accessories to supplement our healthy, eco-friendly diapering journey. Some of these are the SafetyB (non-metal) Silicone Diaper Fasteners, Bdiaper Organic Muslin Newborn Nappies, Bdiapers Soothing Bottom Wash Spray or the Organic Roll-On Diaper Rash Balm. Each and every product in our collection is unique, and designed to be functional, practical and keeping in mind the convenience of a busy mom.

This is my story and journey into launching Bdiapers. If you are looking for an alternate to disposables and are not yet willing to commit to cloth, I’d urge you to check us out at Bdiapers.

This is my story and journey into launching Bdiapers. If you are looking for an alternate to disposables and are not yet willing to commit to cloth, I’d urge you to check us out at Bdiapers.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post. The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author Amrita Vaswani.

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