- Aug 30, 2013
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"Comfy Cotton Diaper Service has outfitted more than 15,000 babies in cloth diapers, all with an extreme focus on being environmentally friendly." They have washed over 40 million pounds of diapers (as well as 34 million pounds of other reusable linens), preventing at least that much waste from entering landfills. - from Comfy Cotton's anniversary press release
The following is excerpted from my interview with Sergio in honor of the occasion of their 25th anniversary...
We had a customer who started Comfy Cotton but had no idea about laundering. She hired us to wash the diapers and when her babies were potty trained she was not interested in the business any longer. By then, I was "infected" with the "environment virus". I believe that disposable diapers are unhealthy for the baby and an aberration to the environment. The following are some of the reasons:
1.Health: Through several studies disposables have been linked to asthma, infertility and allergies. There were far less rashes 35 years ago than today.
2.Environment: Think that all the disposables manufactured in the last 35 or so years are still in the landfills. The very few that are being "recycled" doesn't stop the damage caused by manufacturing them. You still need all the natural resources to make them.
3.Economics: Babies are potty trained earlier using reusables than using disposables, as they are aware when they are soiled. Six to eight months earlier.
What role has cloth diaper education played in your business?
Education is a very important part in our success. I would love to have more resources to make people aware that reusable diapers exist. In my experience, very few parents are aware of it. We are supported by many different organizations (RDA, La Leche League Canada, RDIA, etc) and send brochures and information to Doulas, Obstetricians and Health Facilities.
How do you participate in your local community?
We are constantly striving to educate new parents in our community.
- With social media being as prominent as it is, we have recently added a Facebook and Twitter account to our business, thus helping to try and spread the word about cloth diapers and the impact of disposables.
- We also advocate and participate in local events that are happening in the communities we serve (such as The Great Cloth Diaper Change) and publish informational monthly newsletters.
- We also continue to make several donations each year to not-for-profit organizations, both locally and worldwide. Some of our diapers have ended up in places like Kenya, Mexico and Guatemala!
What are the biggest changes you've seen in the cloth diapering community over the years?
Today's society and government put more emphasis on 'recycling', not 're-using' and 'reducing' - therefore sending out the message that disposables are okay, as they are recycled in many green bin programs throughout Toronto. What many people do not know, is that only a partial amount of a disposable is actually recycled, the rest ends up in landfill.