How Ethical Are Your Nappies?

17 Jan

We all know that real nappies are less harmful to the environment than disposable nappies, create less waste and saving you a lot of money in the long run.  But what about the ethics of the nappies we choose?

With the current economic climate, most of us are searching for the cheapest alternative and we all like a bargain.  But should this be at the expense of others?  For instance, nappies made in a sweatshop in China are likely to be a lot cheaper than nappies made in a UK factory by staff who are paid a fair wage.  In my experience, if something is very cheap it usually means that someone is getting a rough deal. 

There certainly seems to be a lot of very cheap nappies appearing on places such as ebay recently.  But some of them really are suspiciously cheap – with prices as low as £3 or £4 per nappy, can you really be sure of the integrity of the nappy?  Crucially, can you be sure that the nappy will last to be used again and again?  A nappy needs to be made of good quality components, especially the outer waterproofing, in order to withstand constant washing and wearing for around 2 years plus.  What about the materials used and how they were produced?  And what about the people making the nappies?  If a nappy made in Hong Kong is selling in the UK for £3, then how much are the factory staff receiving after you’ve taken off the ebay fees, transport to the UK and  company overheads?  In my eyes, it just doesn’t add up.

Which is why I think it is important to look not just at the nappy, but who it is made by.  Personally I like to work with companies who have good ethical credentials, as I think this is as important as the nappy itself.  Companies such as Nature Babies have a great range of reliable, well-performing nappies which are all made right here in the UK.  Similarly, Lollipop is a great UK-based company.  The company is based in Cornwall with their nappies being made in an ethically-run factory in Turkey.  The nappies are then road freighted to the UK, rather than air freighted.

A further point is that both of these companies have excellent customer service, and do everything they can to help on the rare occasions that something goes wrong.  If you buy from a respectable, ethical company then you can have more confidence in their products and their service.  On the other hand, what sort of customer service do you think you’d get if your cheap online purchase leaks after a few uses? 

I like a bargain as much as everyone else, but I’ve seen too many people disappointed by ultra-cheap nappies that just don’t work or don’t last.  And I do think it is important that we don’t ditch our ethics just to save a few pounds.  Real nappies will save you a small fortune anyway, and a reliable nappy that lasts well will work out cheaper in the long term than one that needs replacing after a few months.

Blog provided by Vicki Jordan at Real Choice Nappies

For more information or personal nappy advice, please contact me at vicki@realchoicenappies.co.uk.

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