Mama Bamboo will be proudly exhibiting for the first time at Harrogate Int. Nursery Fair. Prior to the doors opening Nursery Today caught up with their CEO Laura Crawford to find out more about this sustainable and eco-friendly business.
Can you tell our readers a little about Mama Bamboo and the inspiration behind your eco nappies and wipes product range?
I became aware of the plastic problem with nappies and wipes when my second child was born. Until then I had no idea that most nappies and wipes were almost entirely plastic and would take over 500 years to degrade. Here in the UK, we use eight million nappies and 30 million wet wipes every day. It’s horrifying to think that every disposable nappy and wipe ever used, is still on this planet and will be for several hundred years.
But I simply could not find an eco-solution that worked for me. I tried cloth nappies and found the workload was just too much to handle on top of two under 2-year-olds. I tried all the various eco-nappies available at the time and found them to be less absorbent and prone to leaks, and too stiff and papery. And whenever I gave in and used standard plastic ones, my babies came out in awful nappy rash. I wanted a soft, natural, sustainable nappy that actually worked.
As I researched wipes, I was also shocked to find that so many contained seriously harsh chemicals and even endocrine (hormone) disruptors. I wanted compostable, natural wipes that wouldn’t irritate their skin.
I did months of research into materials, processes and chemicals before I finalised our Mama Bamboo designs. Our nappies are made using sustainable bamboo, corn starch and chlorine-free pulp. Our wipes are made using the same sustainable bamboo, and a +99% purified water, aloe vera and coconut extract solution. They are designed to be kind to babies’ skin and to Mama Earth, whilst also performing on every level for demanding Mums and Dads, just like me.
As a business, you are a great advocate when we look at eco and sustainable products within Nursery. How important is this to your business?
Sustainability and baby’s health is at the heart of everything we do, and these usually go hand-in-hand. What is good for babies’ skin, is often good for the planet. It’s not natural to wrap babies in plastic and put dangerous man-made chemicals on their skin. Sustainability is baked into our every element of product design.
But our eco-commitment goes beyond our products and raw materials. We consider our carbon footprint, waste, and eco-impact in all our business processes and practices, as well.
We actively seek to partner with B-Corp suppliers and ensure community standards are met and exceeded at every stage of the supply chain.
We also invest a lot of time and energy into the ongoing campaign with DEFRA to establish a better end-of-life composting solution here in the UK for all hygiene waste.
For me, if you’re not focusing on the sustainability of your business at every level, then you’re not engaged in ‘good’ business.
You state that you were the first European nappy brand to become B-Corp certified – what does this mean for your business and the brand?
Certifying as a B-Corp was an incredibly proud moment for us and winning the “Best for the World Environment” accolade for the last two years from them, was really the icing on the cake. It’s literally saying we are the “Best of the Best!”.
For me, B-Corp is a brilliant credential as it takes a holistic view of your business; community, environment, workers, customers and governance. It’s not enough to greenwash an area of your business with single focus on one eco-improvement, you need to be fully engaged with sustainability throughout your business.
B-Corp as a brand is becoming more recognisable to consumers now, with some supermarkets categorising products with B-Corp aisles. I think this will become more important to retailers as consumers begin to demand this eco-validation when shopping.
Your eco-nappies (available in six sizes) and your pull-up training pants (four sizes) are made using sustainable bamboo? Are there any specific benefits for babies and toddlers by using this?
Bamboo is nature’s little miracle. Not only is it organically fast growing, without the use of pesticides or fertilisers, and uses 7x less water than cotton or other fibrous crops, but it also has special properties which makes it perfect for delicate skin. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial due to an enzyme called Kun. Bamboo viscose is incredibly soft and breathable, which lets air flow naturally against the skin. It is also temperature-regulating like silk. This all means it can help to reduce the chance of nasty nappy rash.
Of course, the range doesn’t stop there, you also have wet wipes which you state have a ‘no sting formula’. Can you tell us a little more?
Our bamboo wipes feature a 99.4% purified water, aloe vera and coconut extract formula. Unlike some wipes we do not use phenoxyethanol, alcohol, or endocrine disruptors. Our wipes are free from parabens and methylisothiazolinone (MIT), which many studies have shown to cause health problems and skin irritation, especially in babies’ sensitive skin.
Unlike some wipes our formula will not ‘sting’ or dry babies’ skin.
Finally, do you have any exciting news or new product launches on the horizon that you would like to share with our readers?
We recently launched our Size 0 tiny baby nappies. Designed with Ickle Pickles Children’s Charity to fit the tiniest bottoms in the neonatal wards. We have partnered with IPCC to donate nappies to several of the neonatal wards in the South East. Our hope is to make the first few days of a new parent’s life a little less stressful by providing each family with a full pack of nappies which are kinder to their delicate babies’ skin. We also launched the Give Another Mother scheme with IPCC so all our customers can donate to this amazing charity as well.
We will be launching a complementary baby and mummy bamboo range this Autumn as part of our Bamboo Buddy Club. Bamboo muslins, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, babygrows maternity t-shirts, and water bottles.