Everyone always wonders how businesses start up and where their ideas come from. I don’t think this one is anything out of the ordinary but it means a lot to us so it makes sense to share our story.
We weren’t even considering cloth, in fact I didn’t really even have it as a concept on our radar. A little later to the baby party than most of our friends, we had only ever seen and heard people talk about disposable nappies. More so than that, there wasn’t even a differentiation – people simply talked about nappies - the nappies they were talking about were the ones you see stacked high on shelves in supermarkets – and we knew no different. One Thursday evening at our hospital-run antenatal classes (we had just finished our F2F course as the pandemic hit), our class instructor brought out some reusable wipes from a very well-known brand and I have to say, I really loved them.
Quickly the conversation turned to cloth nappies and a couple of people in the class had already collected various brands to try out. Anyway, we spoke about the concept in the car on the way home (needed OH to be on board) and that night was spent on google searching for anything and everything on reusable nappies and wipes. It’s quite possible that the first of many purchases was also made that evening! And that was the beginning our journey.
What happened next…
We didn’t put any pressure on ourselves to stay full cloth. Luca is our first baby and we knew we didn’t know what was coming! So we just said we would do what we can and if it’s too much we will switch to disposables. Here we are, 10 months later, and still going strong. I could go into a lot of detail about what works for us / what doesn’t but I’ll try and stick to what’s relevant! 😉 I have to say, I developed a bit of an addiction to both wipes and nappies and I love that there are so many nappy options to choose from – there is definitely something for everyone. I didn’t, however, find as much choice with the wipes. Sure – there are plenty of sellers of square or rectangular fabric but very few sellers of “kits” and we just felt that there was room for them to be optimised.
Anyway… square or rectangular… they do the job, but I was forever having corners flapping about and getting in the way. One day when I was using a makeup remover pad, I realised how much more suitable it was that the pad was round – to easily go round my eye – and going round the rest of my face without touching my hair at the edges. When I went to wash my face with my square facecloth, all the corners got in the way – just as they do when I’m changing Luca. So I went online to search for some round reusable baby wipes and I couldn’t find any. It seemed like a fairly logical thing to look for seeing as it’s basically an extra-large makeup remover pad but they just didn’t exist. After talking to OH it was then that we decided to take the plunge and design our own.
We ended up with a lightweight, circular design so that the wipes were more “wipe-like” and less “towel-like” but ensured good absorbency and grip by using bamboo.
Our designs aren’t just for the wipes, we are designing full kits as well but progress isn’t as fast as we had hoped due to the current situation. We use washable wipes for so many things and colour coordinate them accordingly but we both got fed up of having piles of “little towels” around the place and wanted something that looked a bit more homely to keep the wipes in as well as something more decorative to put the dirty ones in. These products are in prototype and hopefully to be sold soon.
Finally, we wanted to improve on the travel system for washable wipes as we found the ones we’ve found aren’t the most convenient but again, our prototypes have been delayed.
We’ve said all along that even if we decided not to cloth nappy Luca anymore, we would still continue to use reusable wipes. We use them for changes, for bathing, for mealtimes, for dusting (!!! when there’s one handily lying around), for dribbling… they really are fantastic.
Since April 2020, we have used a total of 2 packs of actual wet wipes that were given to us and this has been in emergency situations – I genuinely do not find them remotely useful for cleaning anything up. That’s approximately 2,500 wipes (based on 10 a day) that we haven’t put in a landfill up to this point.