October 5, 2019
Cloth diapers, a modern day version of the humble cloth triangles strapped to baby bottoms, are re-entering the market to counter the imported disposable diapers that became popular after India opened its markets to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the 1990s.
A Toddler Thing (ATT), a Tiruppur-based cloth diaper manufacturer, conducted a workshop on September 22 on this topic for new mothers at Infusions Cafe in Coimbatore.
Anusha Ashwanth, whose husband is a co-founder of ATT told The Covai Post, “About 25 new mothers and pregnant women came for the workshop and we briefed them about cloth diapers. Experienced mothers demonstrated how to use and wash these diapers. These diapers are made of cotton, hemp and purely organic infant-safe materials. Each diaper can last for nearly 200-300 washes. They are soft and do not cause nappy rash. We had a question and answer session and concluded with some games.”
Are these diapers costly? Swathisri Aravind, founder of ATT explains, “Yes they are costlier than disposable diapers, but if you work out the math at Rs.12 – Rs 22 per disposable diaper, mothers would have spent around Rs 1.25 lakh on diapers alone by the time the baby is two years old and potty trained. Whereas a cloth diaper costing Rs.500 to Rs.1,000, even if bought in packs of 30, which is what we recommend for full-time users, will cost only Rs.30,000. It is healthy, pocket and environment friendly. Once mothers understand this, they become our loyal customers.”
She started ATT in 2017 by doing research on imported cloth diapers, making samples and testing it among friends and relatives.
Currently ATT manufactures diapers in batches of 2,500-3,000 every two months with attractive prints and sells it before going to their next production. “We supply to nearly 50 retail stores, hospitals and ten online sites. Our products, that also cover muslin essentials for babies, are certified and have won awards for durability,” says Anusha.
“Grandmothers are happy that we youth are bringing back the older method of baby diapering,” says Swathi.
Despite the ongoing debate, doctors advice that baby nappies whether disposable or cloth should be changed every two hours for healthy baby skin.
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