-----retailer, and it is so interesting to be able to see both sides of the same issue. I hear alot of talk (especially on facebook groups) from other CD mammas about "The Cheap Diaper". Basically, the question is: "What kind of diaper can I get that doesn't leak and is cheaper than a name brand". Now, I want to state that there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing wrong with asking this question. As a consumer, I want to be able to get the best price for the best product. But as a consumer, I also have to retrain myself to understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch; moreover, if a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Let me explain...When a person designs an awesome product, lets say, a cloth diaper that doesn't leak, that person has to start a company with their state, pay taxes on the business and their income, hire a lawyer, file a patent, secure a manufacturer either in the US or abroad to manufacture their product, pay for the supplies to make their items, undergo a huge marketing process which includes social media, print, expos, not to mention the cost of their own time away from their children and family dealing with business issues, so on, and so on...the list is massive. This isn't even a fifth of all of the things people who are in this industry have to do to get a product out. YEARS go into making a good reliable product. Here is the question...How much is all of this worth? Especially, when as a consumer I can just join a co-op on facebook and get a diaper for $4.00. Here is the information on that $4.00 diaper. By purchasing it, you are undercutting the patents of the people who actually spent the years and the time developing the very product you are using. Most reputable diaper companies go to alot of trouble making sure that the factories where their products are made have humane working conditions and provide such things as fair compensation and healthcare for their workers. A great example of this dilemma is Rumparooz. The inventor of this diaper is a mom, just like the rest of us, and this company has spent a really long time making sure that their products are made "green" to the fullest extent. Their diapers are made in China, but they operate under Swiss Certificate, which means their workers are protected under European standards, they are salaried employees paid 40% above the European cost of living and provided with healthcare, education for their children, and a great place to work, NOT a sweat shop. The diapers and accessories are biodegradable, so even if they end up in a landfill for some reason they will not do harm to the environment. Human beings make our diapers-did you know that? If you are happy to purchase a diaper for $4.00 where are the savings coming from? There is no magic here. If Rumparooz, or any other big cloth diaper company could survive by selling a $4.00 diaper they would! The reason they do not do it is because they insist on ETHICAL treatment of their employees here in the states and abroad. They are dedicated to innovation, which takes time and has costs. They use materials that are organic and good for baby which have passed rigorous safety testing and are not loaded with harmful chemicals used to dye those cute prints which will go in your baby's bum. I hear moms talk about how they just purchased a bunch of diapers from such and such co-op and they hate them because they are leaky and just plain fall apart in a short period of time. You get what you pay for. Our economy is such that supports this notion. If these cheap diapers really were superior they would put the American companies out of business. But they haven't, and they won't. Because they are selling a sub-standard product. It's almost like owning a disposable cloth diaper. They leak and do not last. Alot of moms say, well I can't afford a $25 diaper. I understand that notion, especially in this economy. But there are options like waiting for sales, or purchasing seconds, used or saving up to purchase one good diaper...trust me, you will get more use out of it in the long run. In life, there are always options. We choose what we stand for, what we support. I choose to support moms, and mom-owned businesses, not sweat shops. I choose the best for my baby, but most of all, I want to lay my head down at night and be able to say that the choices I make, by being green, supporting fair trade, ethical treatment of human beings and the earth have a positive impact on everyone around me.
I pledge to NEVER knowingly purchase anything I know to be harmful to anyone, financially, personally and environmentally. Will you take that pledge too?Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival! Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed: