When you use cloth, you never have to worry about running out.
Cloth diapers are popular all of a sudden. Parents have gone from preferring the convenience of throwing away dirty diapers to not wanting to get caught without diapers on hand – a worst-case scenario. Suddenly it's preferable to wash diapers at home, just to know they're always there.
One cloth diapering company, Esembly, says it has seen a 250 percent increase in sales in the past week alone, driven by the scarcity of disposables on store shelves due to the coronavirus pandemic. This got me looking at what Esembly sells, and I thought it might be of interest to TreeHugger readers.Esembly's goal is to make cloth diapering as accessible as possible to new parents, who may feel daunted at the prospect of doing extra (poopy) laundry, but worried about the environmental impact of disposables. It's certainly not insignificant:
"There are 11 million diaper-age babies in the US. Each baby uses an average of 65 diapers per week. Which results in over 37 BILLION disposables being tossed EACH YEAR in this country alone. With raising awareness of plastic bags, bottles and straws, why is no-one talking about diapers which currently make up 30 percent of non-biodegradable waste in our landfills?"
Esembly is fighting against this unnecessary waste by offering a one-stop shop for cloth diapering. Based on your family's size and needs, you get set up with a trial kit that includes adjustable-size organic cotton diapers, waterproof covers made entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic, and reusable cloth wipes, along with a branded detergent (that's free from SLS, SLES, LAS, petroleum, phosphates, and phthalates), wipe-up wash for dirty bottoms, diaper rash cream, and storage pail with waterproof, washable liner. For people who like the set-up, they can continue to receive detergent and creams in a subscription format.
As a parent who used cloth diapers for 8+ years, I think Esembly is really on to something here. Choosing cloth diapers is extremely confusing for someone who doesn't know anything about them; there are numerous styles, models, and designs available, all with various pros and cons. When I was pregnant with my first child (and feeling totally overwhelmed), a friend took me to a cloth diapering store in Toronto to get a crash course on the different types, but not everyone can do that. (I wouldn't be able to where I live now.) So this is a convenient all-in-one service that does make it easier to get started.
Esembly has impressive production standards, with its organic, GOTS-certified cotton diapers and fully recycled waterproof covers. All packaging materials and mailers are 100 percent recycled and recyclable, and the company is working on going plastic-free with its skin care products. Of course, most people can find natural detergent close to home, so they may not need to pay the premium price for Esembly's special mix, but on the other hand, if having it show up on the doorstep as part of a regular package is what keeps a family committed to cloth diapering, then it's not necessarily a waste of money.
I can see how the switch from disposable to cloth could seem daunting to many parents, especially if their motivation stems from necessity and nervousness about pandemic-induced shortages, rather than an actual desire to use cloth. That's not how anyone wants to embark on a new project, but a supportive company such as Esembly could make that transition easier.
Check out all that Esembly has to offer here.