How Are Eco-Nappies Good For The Environment?
Welcoming a baby into the world is one of the best feelings a couple can experience. However, it is usually accompanied by feelings of trepidation and worry as you try and figure out how to make sure your baby gets the best possible care.
Nappies are one of the most basic essentials for a baby and trying to find the right one can be quite a task. This is especially true if you are trying to find nappies that are good for both your baby and the environment. Not only would you have to find a company you can trust to provide eco-friendly nappies, but you would also have to make sure that the materials used in it would be safe for your baby.
Let’s make this process a lot easier for you by breaking down the ingredients we use in our nappies so you will be able to make an informed decision with regard to the nappy problem.
At Little & Brave, our eco-nappies are made in a two-part system. They are the commercially compostable eco-nappy inner and the reusable, washable fabric snap-wrap or snap pants. Let’s break down the materials used in these separately.
The Eco-Nappy Inner
First, let’s talk about how the nappy inner is typically structured. While doing so, we can take a peek at the materials that are popularly used in making these parts as opposed to what is used in Little & Brave’s eco-nappy ones.
The structure of a nappy inner can be broadly broken down into two parts:
The nappy core:
Now this is made up of three smaller components - the top sheet, the distribution layer, and the absorbent core.
The top sheet is the part that touches your baby's skin. The distribution layer is the one that is immediately below the top sheet. It draws any liquid away from your baby and distributes it evenly across the rest of the nappy. The absorbent core is the layer at the very inside of the nappy. It absorbs the moisture of your baby and locks it up so that it will not go back to the surface of the nappy.
The nappy chassis:
This is the outer part of the nappy that is responsible for the protection of your baby from outside elements. It is also the part that is responsible for ensuring that the nappy fits the child perfectly. So, this includes all the elastics, the tapes, the side panels and so on.
These two parts are usually made using polypropylene, cellulose, and an absorbent polymer. That’s a lot of plastic!
Little & Brave does things a little differently. Our nappies are made of sustainable materials like FSC-certified wood fluff pulp (a first for New Zealand), corn-based PLA instead of oil-based plastic and a cloth-feel rayon outer, also made from plants.
These words might be a bit confusing to read so let’s delve into them a bit.
- FSC-certified wood fluff pulp:
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a nonprofit organization whose main aim is to protect and preserve forests. The protection they offer and fight for is not limited to the forests but extends to those who rely on these forests which includes animal life, indigenous people, and more.
You may be wondering - how is this organization any different from others of the same kind? FSC is known for being the most stringent when it comes to giving out its certification which is why it is held in such high regard.
So, we made sure to get this certification so that it would serve as an assurance to all our customers that the wood fluff pulp we use is of the best quality while also being environmentally friendly.
Let’s talk a bit about wood fluff pulp and why it is being used here. This is a type of pulp that is extracted from softwood trees. Not only are they highly absorbent, they are also extremely soft on the skin. This makes it perfect for babies as their bottoms are extremely sensitive and need to be taken care of.
This is why we have gone out of our way to make sure to first get the certification required to prove that we are able to procure the wood fluff pulp in a way that will not harm the environment, while also keeping in mind your baby’s health.
PLA is a polylactide biopolymer resin. That is a lot of long weird words which aren’t immediately identifiable. Simply put, it is a fabric that is made with your baby in mind, which means we’ve ensured that the fabric is highly breathable while also being very absorbent.
Now, you might be worried that this is plastic and you are right it is. However, this is made from plants! Dextrose (a sugar that is derived from corn) undergoes a chemical process before it is made into the fabric that is used in nappies. It is a long and complex process but it can simply be described by saying that corn is broken down so that dextrose can be extracted from it. This dextrose is then fermented, broken down and then made into the plastic that is used in this fabric.
Why do we use this instead of normal PLA? Well, not only is this fabric made with a material that is renewable, but it also has a preparation method that is vastly lesser toxic. The production of this type of fabric emits far fewer greenhouse gases as compared to the norm that is around us today. It is also very easily broken down when being composted, which is the major focus for us at Little & Brave.
These are the materials that are used in the nappy inner.
The nappy outer on the other hand has some very different materials that we will discuss in the following section.
The Eco-Nappy Outer:
Parents often use snap wraps and snap pants to help keep the nappy secure for their child. So, it is not only enough that the nappy be eco-friendly. The snap wrap has to be so too. And we have made sure it has happened. Let us tell you how.
Our snap wraps are made of breathable cotton elastane. This serves the dual purpose of making sure that your baby is comfortable, while also making sure that this can be used for a significant period of time. These snap wraps were made with sustainability in mind which shows us that these can be used for a long while without any significant change in the way they function.
A similar process can be seen in our snap pants. They are made out of quick-dry polyester and spandex while having a water-proof PUL (i.e., polyurethane laminate). They are also made with a snap which helps keep them on when your child is having a particularly curious day and seems intent on taking it off. Both the snap wrap and the snap pants can be easily washed either by hand or by machine. There will be no damage done to either even after a considerable amount of time.
Helping the environment does not mean that you have to use only bio-degradable products. It is also important to use sustainable products so that you will not have to keep throwing away anything. You could also reuse products by getting them second-hand or donating them once your baby is grown.
We hope that this blog gave you a better understanding of how an eco-nappy works and how it is far better for the environment. You can also take a look at some of our other blogs to see the various ways in which you can improve your quality of life while making sure it isn’t at the cost of the environment.
Shop with us at Little & Brave and start your journey into being an environmentally conscious parent today!