Everyone has heard the term Fast Fashion and will most likely have their own views on it. But how does Fast Fashion and Cloth Nappies fit together. Well, these days, cloth nappies are becoming a bit of a fashion statement – who doesn’t want a cute bum to look at all day! Thats why I thought I would delve a little more into this side of the reusable nappy world.
Worldwide, approximately 40 million tonnes of textiles are sent to landfill every single year. In some countries this is incinerated, in others, it’s left to sit and rot. Over all, about 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the fashion industry. Cloth nappies, wet bags and reusable wipes are part of this and, while they are a more sustainable option than disposables, there are differing levels to be considered.
“Sustainable Fashion refers to a clothing supply chain that is ecologically and socially responsible. It aims to reorient the industry and consumers away from the fast fashion model and toward sustainable practices in sourcing, production, distribution, marketing and consumption.”*
These sustainable practices need to take into account the whole supply chain. This should include not just what the materials your product is made from but how it is made. What wages are the makers are receiving? If you are paying a $5 for a nappy, how much is the sewer receiving when you take into account the cost of materials, building rent / rates / mortgage, machinery costs, insurance, electricity and any other business related costs at manufacturing stage.
Then you have transportation / freight costs and this is all before it’s actually been received by the retailer who will have similar costs as well. What are the working conditions these sewers are being expected to perform in? Are they in open and airy environments with appropriate ventilation, heating / cooling or lighting? Are they able to take adequate breaks? Or are they in small, cramped areas with insufficient ammenities, poor to no lighting and working 16 plus hour days with minimal breaks? Does the manufacturer hire adequately trained staff or are they employing children who then do not have the opportunity to receive an education therefore perpetuating the poverty cycle?
Choosing a Cloth Nappy
So how do you choose a sustainable nappy? Our first recommendation is to ask questions. Ask your retailer about their supply chain. Check out your favourite manufacturer’s socials and see if they have visited the factory’s that produce their products. Look into the materials that go into the nappies to see if they are ecologically sound. Not all cloth nappies are made equal and price isn’t always an easy way to tell. The most sustainable nappy is the nappy you already have. Look at buying second hand or seeing if friends and family have nappies they want to pass on.
Got questions on Cloth Nappies and Fast Fashion? Send us a message or pop a comment below and we will answer it for you!
*Information sourced from earthday.org