Why more and more parents are adopting cloth diapers

FIGARO TOMORROW – Worrisome investigations into the presence of toxic substances in disposable baby diapers appear to be weighing on the market. It fell in favor of washable products in particular.

is expected to further shake up this market estimated at 750 million euros. Previous alarming reports, especially c

In fact, the investigations follow one another and always frighten the parents a little more. All reveal the presence of toxic residues and a worrying quantity of allergenic, reprotoxic and carcinogenic substances. After the latest revelations from ANSES, the government decided to convene manufacturers and distributors. They will have to present the “corrective actions” within 15 days.

In the meantime, some parents are reviewing their habits. The first publication of “60 Million consumers” contributed to the downturn in the market, which fell from 830 million euros in 2017 to 750 million euros today. A decline which can be explained by the drop in births but also by a greater attraction of the French for sustainable products.

Some parents are tempted by cloth diapers because this solution has several advantages. Washable diapers produce much less waste. In fact, a baby soil, on average, 2 to 8 diapers per day. Thus, from birth to two and a half years, a child needs nearly 6,000 diapers, which represents more than a ton of waste per child, according to the Planetoscope. For France, nearly 3.5 billion diapers are thrown away each year, which represents 351,000 tonnes of waste for an approximate treatment cost of 21 million euros. And this waste is particularly polluting: in landfill the diapers take almost 500 years to degrade….

In addition, washable diapers are undeniably more economical: the purchase of a set of washable diapers costs 500 to 900 euros on average, against an average overall cost of 1500 euros for a child from birth to 2 and a half years old. All these arguments convinced parents to turn to cloth diapers, sometimes helped by their municipalities since some grant a premium to parents who opt for cloth diapers.

A market growing by 30% per year

As a result, “for 3 years, our activity has been expanding rapidly and growth reached 45% in 2018,” suggests Florence Hallouin, founder of the washable diaper brand Hamac, leader in France with 40% of the market share. As for the market, it has grown by around 30% for 3 years, assures the creator of the brand. Thus, of the 2.3 million children who wear diapers in France, between 2% and 3% are now equipped with washable products, ie between 50,000 and 70,000 babies.

Even if this is not yet the norm, parents who wash their babies’ layettes are no longer considered rare specimens! It must be said that the products have evolved. The washable diaper has nothing to do with cloth diapers closed with dangerous safety pins. “We have filed a patent on our system”, confides Florence Hallouin who makes the installation of these layettes “practical, comparable to that of disposables”, specifies the entrepreneur.

Other brands such as Baby Cheeky, Flip, gDiapers, Grovia… also market innovative and colorful systems to keep baby’s bottom dry and comfortable. These diapers can take many forms: there are fully washable diapers or hybrid systems with pockets for inserting absorbent mattresses, fabric or disposable material.

Washable diaper rental and washing services

And these many choices are the subject of discussions on dedicated Facebook groups. Parents advocate the benefits and constraints of different products. Members of these dedicated groups exchange best practices and advice or offer their products for sale. “We recommend that parents resell their diapers once the child is clean because they can be used for several babies: two, three or even four. To do this, we offer, if necessary, a repair service, ”says Florence Hallouin, co-founder of Hamac.

Along with an ever-expanding offer, the market is becoming more structured and diversified. So, for parents who are put off the drudgery of washing babies’ diapers, the services of. The start-up Ma petite layer was launched in 2017 in the Paris region. “Today, 250 families use our service,” underlines Philippe Gaillard, co-founder of the small structure. “Customers are also contacting us for our diaper rental service, but we cannot honor all requests!” Says the manager. On the same model, HiPopo has thus launched itself in Bordeaux. Other similar systems also exist in Alençon or in Mauritius. Parents are therefore spoiled for choice!

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