Baby In Vogue: Sustainable Diapers

Carina Legl

As women increasingly choose to complete higher education and focus on their careers first, global fertility rates are dropping. While the global trend of women having fewer babies and later in life is growing, the corresponding rise in income tends to increase the average spend per baby, too. We’re seeing a boom in the baby market, in both affordable and premium segments, whether you look at baby fashion, baby food, or babies’ nappies/diapers (USD 37.6 billion in 2018) or disposable pants (USD 8.2 billion in 2018).

What’s more, the global baby diaper market’s value is increasing. Obviously, babies are its most valuable customers. And retailers should consider pampering babies, particularly as they can capitalize on the growing trend for sustainability in premium and natural fashion, food, and diapers.

From toxic to green diapers

On a daily basis, around 10 million diapers are used and thrown away in Germany alone. Worldwide, this makes 250 million disposable diapers used every single day, thrown away, ending up in landfills – where a single-use disposable diaper takes up to 500 years to biodegrade and decompose.

Obviously, the world needs circular solutions to conquer babies’ diaper waste. And politics are getting involved. Vanuatu, a small Pacific Island nation, announced a ban on single-use disposable diapers, becoming the first nation to take such a bold step forward. While the world recognizes the environmental problems that single-use disposable diapers pose, the European Union’s Extended Producer Responsibility law puts the onus on producers to make, take, and contribute sustainable product stewardship.

With significant focus on and consumer demand for sustainable solutions, we’re seeing an expansion of products in the natural segment. The leader in disposable diapers, Procter & Gamble, introduced the Pure Protection brand of baby nappies/diapers and wipes. While still small in sales, Pure Protection rose quickly within the natural-product segment to become among the top such brands in the US.

However, most brands in the natural segment are emphasizing their use of cotton, which is often criticized for its unsustainability and being non-environmentally friendly, so they need to innovate on ingredients, recycling technology, and waste management. This is crucial for securing growth, brand competitiveness, consumer loyalty, and environmental progress.

Taking little green steps with a biodegradable and eco-friendly diaper

Raising an eco-friendly baby by utilizing sustainable products is simple when you know what to shop for. For biodegradable diapers that are free of perfumes, chlorine, plastic, and genetically modified organisms, go for Nature Babycare (Naty). Or seek out BAMBO Nature when looking for hypoallergenic diapers that are free of harmful chemicals such as chlorine, organotins, PVC, phthalates, latex, heavy metals, and formaldehyde. Other brands to consider: Love & Green, Lillydoo, Les Petits Culottés, Pampers Harmonie, Seventh Generation, and Earth’s BestThe Honest Company‘s diapers are non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Babyganics are considered the most affordable biodegradable diapers. Broody Chick Eco-Natural is 100% biodegradable but still more expensive than the average diapers. If you want to use bamboo, consider Andy Pandy. Organic diapers are trying to puregreennature, and eco-friendly – even in their packaging, which is evoking to be sustainable and good for the planet.

Born to be a sustainable superstar

With my nephew’s arrival, I am strongly considering what’s best for him and the world he is about to conquer. Protecting this cute little boy has become my first priority. Second is improving his life by guiding the retail and fashion ecosystems on a shared mission for a sustainable, circular economy.

Join me for creating a better world for our babies!

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This article originally appeared on Forbes SAP BrandVoice


Carina Legl

About Carina Legl

Carina Legl is a solution manager at the Retail Industry Business Unit at SAP and a PhD research student at Edinburgh Napier University. Carina guides retail and fashion ecosystems in their shared mission for a sustainable, circular economy as she combines theoretical understanding with best practice to drive strategic customer relations and C-level engagement.