Diaper Service Accreditation is good for business.


Accredited Diaper Service

Based on feedback we have received from our diaper service members, we have changed the fee structure of our diaper service accreditation program. Starting July 1, 2015 RDIA members who would like to participate in the Diaper Service Accreditation program can choose from a variety of pricing and testing options. We are excited about these improvements, and we think you will be too.

• Laboratory verification that your laundry adheres to the highest standard of cleanliness
• Use of RDIA’s official Accreditation seal on all marketing and promotional materials
• Regular monitoring of washing parameters enables you to quickly detect and solve problems before they cause   customer dissatisfaction
• Confirmation of the effectiveness of your wash formula
• Assures your customers that your service safely sanitizes all products to protect infant health.

Participation in RDIA’s Diaper Service Accreditation program provides your business with an additional level of quality assurance that you can proudly display and promote to all of your customers. RDIA contracts with a leading, independent, national laboratory to provide rigorous, quantifiable, micro-biological testing of laundered diapers and diapering accessories of participating businesses.

Each sample product is examined for the presence of bacteria and fungi and scored based upon the identified levels of bacteria present. In order to pass the sanitation test, businesses must maintain a sanitation score of 85 or better and there must be no disease causing pathogens present on their laundered diaper sample.

Diaper Service Accreditation Fee Structure
Standard Option:
Annual payment of $250, with 2 included laboratory tests (one sample submitted at 6 month intervals)

Monthly Installment Plan:
Automated payment plan of $25/month, with 2 included laboratory tests. (one sample submitted at 6 month intervals)

Already testing?
Annual fee of $150
If your diaper service is already testing diapers regularly with a different laboratory, and you would like to be recognized as an RDIA Accredited Diaper Service, we have created a plan just for you. RDIA will now accept copies of two bi-annual laboratory tests. Independent laboratory tests must be submitted for review to RDIA’s accreditation program administrator, along with all required documents.

Laboratory testing without Accreditation recognition:
$45 per individual test
We now offer the ability to send a sample in for testing at any time during the year. This can be useful for newly opened diaper services that wish to test and hone their laundering protocols during their initial business setup. Individual testing options can also benefit established diaper services any time changes are made to laundering formulas and procedures. All RDIA Diaper Service members are able to take advantage of the single testing option, whenever they desire the additional security that stringent laboratory testing provides. As a best practice, we encourage all diaper services to perform regular sanitation testing on their finished products.

Additional pathogen identification testing:
$30 additional, per request
If a sample tests positive for the presence of disease causing pathogens, you can request a detailed analysis of the bacteria present to determine the exact type of disease causing pathogen. This additional test can provide you with important information that will assist you in removing the offending microorganism from your laundry, and ensure that you use the correct disinfecting methods for the particular pathogen.

For more information on our Accreditation Program, please contact Michelle Dominguez, programs@realdiaperindustry.org


A couple of weeks ago we celebrated National Small Business Week. The majority of our members are either small or micro-businesses.

I am sure you can imagine the challenge we have of serving the various type and size of businesses. Not only that, but the businesses also vary in their lifecycle stage. These two challenges have been on my mind and that of the board for some time. In late March, Lori Taylor of 3Stream and I met and created a customer journey map. Here is the picture of that work in progress.



The process was insightful and energizing. I want to share more about the process and our findings in future blogs. Today, I want to talk about “why”.

One of the reasons I love what we did is that we returned to the “why”.

“Why?” is a powerful question that can bring out the best in us by rekindling our passion and commitment. I try and revisit this often to be sure I am right tasking and that my priorities are in line with my goals. If I find myself stuck or frustrated for any length of time, I know that I need to go back to the “why”.  This process reminds me I have the power to choose my conduct, my perspective, my actions to create positive change or react in defeat and fear. It is the well from which I draw my optimism.

If you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, I highly suggest you do so. This is a link to his Ted Talk that got over 22 million views:


Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA), is dedicated to making reusable cloth diapers the primary choice for families.   Why? Because we know that they are the healthier choice for our babies and our environment.   We believe that by providing services and opportunities through business education, industry research, and collaboration, we create a sustainable future for cloth diapering.

Our strength lies in our ability to work together to create positive changes in the industry. By strengthening one another, we find ourselves better equipped to greet the challenges that are thrown our way.   Working together requires cooperation, honesty, trust, transparency, but most of all positive action.

There is so much negativity thrown around. It is used as a weapon, to activate fear and mistrust; to find fault and lay blame. There will always be those who disagree and believe there is a better way. Heck, I believe there is always a better way, it just takes work to get to it. It is constant work. What was best at one time, doesn’t always continue to work in the long term.

What I don’t believe in is giving up – taking your marbles home or changing friends because they don’t agree with you or things aren’t happening when and how you think they should. While the immediate result of this behavior can appear positive and energizing, it is short lived. This approach to problem solving is wasteful, divisive and results in confusing messages.   Already thin resources are wasted. I hate waste.

I love community. I love the work involved in creating smart solutions to challenges, especially when those who disagree work together. I love the process as much as the solutions themselves. The key is agreeing to work together.

You are important. Your needs, wants and priorities for your business are important. I don’t have all the answers, none of us individually do. Together however, I know that we can raise each other up, provide struggling businesses the resources they desperately need and together create a sustainable future for cloth diapers.

Joining in the work is simple. It starts by completing a short survey. Your answers to these questions will not only help us capture industry data, but will help us better understand the current issues, challenges and opportunities cloth diaper businesses face while informing our advocacy and planning process. Share the survey with other cloth diaper businesses (Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters). The more responses received, the more useful the results will be!  Please note, that this is an industry survey, not a consumer survey.  RDA (our sister organization) is doing a consumer survey.

Complete the Cloth Diaper Industry Survey

You can also contact me directly or talk with, Michelle Dominguez, RDIA Program Director or any of the RDIA board members.


RDIA Diaper Service Members Receive Accreditation


Contact: Kim Meador, RDIA Board Member
DATE: July 24, 2012
PLACE: Sacramento, California
E-mail: Kim@ecobabyandhome.com

Accredited Diaper Service


The following diaper services have received RDIA diaper service accreditation:

These Diaper Services have been awarded accreditation from the Real Diaper Industry Association, a California-based cloth diaper industry trade association that establishes quality standards for the cloth diaper service industry.

“By voluntarily applying for and receiving the RDIA Diaper Service Accreditation, these diaper services have demonstrated a commitment to safe laundering practices,” said RDIA Board Member, Kim Meador. “Safe and sanitary washing conditions are crucial to our industry, and it is important to have organizations that are willing to measure themselves against national standards.”

As an RDIA accredited Diaper Service, each of these businesses joins a select group of diaper services that meet rigorous standards for safety and accountability.

The Diaper Service Accreditation program was created for the safety of diaper service customers, to create industry standards, to provide marketing support, and for general business peace of mind that each service is providing a safe, sanitary and product for diaper service customers.

The Real Diaper Industry Association strives to make reusable cloth diapers the primary choice for babies’ parents and caregivers while emphasizing responsibility and sustainability through a focus on people, planet, and profit. RDIA works toward these goals by providing service and opportunities through business education, industry research, collaborative marketing, and group benefits.

The accreditation program is only available to members of the Real Diaper industry Association as a benefit of membership. Membership in RDIA not only gives cloth diaper businesses access to the accreditation program but also gives them access to other members’ cumulative knowledge of hundreds of years of diaper service operations. Join RDIA now.

Please direct additional questions and inquiries to: accreditation@realdiaperindustry.org

By-Law Change Passes 49-3

Every few years, it is standard for associations to review the make-up of their members and modify board representation to accurately reflect their membership. For example, diaper service membership had grown considerably, but diaper services were still represented by only two board members. With this discrepancy and others in mind, the RDIA board proposed By-Law changes in September of 2011, and these By-Law changes were overwhelmingly passed by 49-3 on February 7, 2012.  These changes improve our association in many ways.

More Diaper Service Board Members, Fewer Manufacturer and Retailer Board Members

RDIA membership is currently comprised of 17 Manufacturers, 50 Retailers, 71 Diaper Services, 7 Artisan Manufacturers, and 21 Associate Members. Since the resurgence of diaper services has brought more diaper service members to RDIA, the board wanted these members to be properly represented. Under the new By-Laws, manufacturers, retailers, and diaper services each have three board members.


Original Number of Board Members from this Category

New Number of Board Members from this Category







Diaper Service



Artisan Manufacturer



At-Large (New)



Diaper Service Information







New “At-large” Seats Provide Flexibility

Sometimes there are experienced and enthusiastic members that would like to join the board, but there are no vacancies on the board within their category. To encourage these interested members to join the board, we created three “at-large” board seats.


Small Manufacturers Become “Artisan Manufacturers”

The original intent of a “Small Manufacturer” category was to ensure all manufacturers were represented within the association, regardless of size. Since there have been, and always will be, professional makers sewing cloth diapers by hand and selling directly to end users, the original board wanted to ensure the voice of these cloth diaper makers, and their unique needs, were heard separate from those of larger manufacturers whose business is primarily wholesale.

Over time, however, the label “Small Manufacturer” brought confusion. Many manufacturers identified with the category name of “Small,” even though they weren’t sewing their diapers themselves by hand. So, the board decided to clarify this by adding “handmade” and renaming the category “Artisan Manufacturers.”


Manufacturer Member Requirement less Limited

Manufacturers used to be required to meet two of the following three criteria: 1. Gross sales over $100,000/year, 2. Has wholesale accounts (their product sold by resellers), and 3. Be in business for over 1 year. This excluded some smaller or start-up businesses manufacturing for wholesale, and was one of the reasons newer businesses often joined as “Small Manufacturer,” so this section was removed.


Cloth Diaper Information Services Category Eliminated

This was probably the only change that isn’t as intuitive as all the others. Historically, Cloth Diaper Information Services have not stepped up to serve on the board after Jennifer Liptrot (Diaper Pin) served. This board seat had been vacant since August 2009. For a full year, there was only one member in that category. With that in mind, the board reevaluated diaper service information services.

When the board was first created, the founding members sought a place on the board for businesses like Diaper Pin, where cloth diaper information was presented to consumers and businesses, who were then redirected to other cloth diaper businesses. Since that time, the era of blogging has taken over. In this new climate, cloth diapers are highlighted on hundreds of blogs. These blogs help spread the word of cloth diapers in our industry, and consumers as well as RDIA businesses are grateful for their contributions. Last year, a handful of bloggers joined RDIA in the diaper information service category.

Over time, blogs have become a form of publishing and public relations. Blogs are popular, social, informative, and can have political impact. The natural category for bloggers seems to lie within the Associate Membership category, along with all other businesses  and organizations that support the cause of RDIA, want to be an integral part of its future, interact with its members, and show that together our industry is stronger than as individuals. In my research on trade associations, this is where bloggers typically fall. The decision was further encouraged because no information service members showed interest in representing their category on the board in 2011 when there was an open seat.

An association is a living, breathing entity that constantly changes to best serve its industry.  We can only assume that we will revisit this decision and reevaluate cloth diaper bloggers and other cloth diaper information services in the future. In the meantime, we will work with bloggers as associate members, offering an open dialog to better our industry, as well as opportunities for interacting with all RDIA members. We have offered all previous cloth diaper information service members a full one-year extension to their now associate memberships. We look forward to a continued relationship between cloth diaper bloggers and other cloth diaper businesses.


How Will These Changes Be Phased In?

The board analyzed several scenarios for phasing in the new board member distribution. The goals were to ensure all current board members would serve out their terms, minimize short terms (less than three years), and keep the board as balanced as possible. Ideally, we wanted to see new board members elected each year for each of the large categories: manufacturers, retailers, diaper services, and at-large.

The graph below shows our idea for implementing the new board seats. Please click on it to see a larger view.

Become a Board Member

There will be a total of six vacancies on the RDIA board this year (2 Diaper Service, 1 Manufacturer, 1 Retailer, and 2 At-Large). The second diaper service seat and the second at-large seat will be short terms as we work toward the ideal of each category having one seat up for election each year.

Cloth diaper business owners

RDIA Board Members Matt Guckin, Mandi Meidlinger, and Catherine Bolden.

As elections approach, be sure to ask board members questions about what it takes to serve on the board, why board members devote so much time to our industry, and how you could contribute. Reach out to fellow members and encourage them to run for a board seat. Then, be sure to attend the “State of the RDIA” webinar that we’ll be holding for members in a couple of weeks.

The four major roles of RDIA and associations in general are:

  1. member education and benefits,
  2. research and statistics,
  3. standardization, and
  4. lobbying.

On a more basic, or perhaps human, level, an association is a group of people who find strength in numbers while sharing a common interest. According to ASAE (the American Society of Association Executives), associations are founded on democracy, volunteerism, and common interest that are the heart of the American experience.

When we work together, big and small, we strengthen our own industry while advancing society. Our industry needs leaders, and this year is a great time to lead the future of the association.

Mandi Meidlinger
Jillian’s Drawers
Chair, Real Diaper Industry Association

Changes to CPSIA Testing

On January 6, 2010, Intertek, a major testing provider, held a webinar on CPSIA changes: “Revised Rules of the Road: How Changes to CPSIA Testing and Certification Requirements Impact You.” RDIA member Alison Maynes of LolliDoo Diapers attended the webinar and provided the report below.

The Challenge

Since the enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) last year, many have struggled to understand and comply with the law’s new product testing and certification requirements. In a series of votes last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced new enforcement policies and the agency’s intention to take up an Intertek petition aimed at easing the burden imposed by the CPSIA—making testing and certification for mandatory safety standards more efficient and effective. However, several of these measures are provisional in nature, and have conditions on when they can be utilized and how they can be relied upon by manufacturers and importers who are required to ensure their products meet U.S. standards.

The Solution

Intertek is committed, not only to providing you with the most accurate and timely information about these developments, but also finding effective and affordable solutions for your testing and other product safety needs. Toward that end, on January 6, 2010, Intertek experts will be hosting a free webinar to explain in detail last week’s actions by the CPSC, and what each does or does not mean to you in practical terms. The webinar will include a Q&A session to enable participants to have their specific questions and concerns addressed.

The CPSC last week voted to:

1. Extend the existing “stay” (delay) of enforcement for the CPSIA requirement that products covered by the federal safety standards be certified with a General Conformity Certificate, or “GCC.” This applies to a number of (but not all) product safety standards, notably the ban on lead in the content (substrate) of children’s products, the ban on certain phthalates (plastic softeners) in toys and child care articles, and the general toy safety standard (ASTM F-963). However, compliance requirements for lead in content, phthalates and ASTM F-963 are still in effect.

2. Adopt a new “Interim Enforcement Policy” that, under certain circumstances, will allow the certification of products for the lead-in-paint standard (and ultimately the lead-in-substrate standard) based on testing components (including paint) rather than testing only the final products.

3. Publish for public comment and formally consider a petition submitted by Intertek and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) to specifically allow certain test methods for the lead-in-paint standard (specifically “spray sampling,” “multiple stamping” and “finished component testing”) that will save manufacturers both time and money in testing products.

Each of these votes, along with issues surrounding them, is admittedly complex. All of these actions taken by the CPSC could be superseded by a broader testing regulation the agency is expected to issue sometime next year which can impact your holiday 2010 products. However, with careful understanding and application, manufacturers and importers of consumer products can ensure that their products meet all applicable safety standards and that they do not incur unnecessary expense or delay in testing and certifying their products to those standards.

Stay of Enforcement

CPSC voted to lift the stay for certain standards beginning February 10, 2010. This continues the stay for lead and substrate one year longer.

The stay of enforcement is continued for general wearing apparel, which applies to cloth diapers.

Component Testing

CPSC now allows component testing for certain products for lead and paint standards.

The component testing documents allows for component testing to children’s products subject to the lead paint and lead substrate standard – 300 parts per million. As long as your product meets the standard, you don’t need third-party testing or the GCC.

Though the paint standards don’t apply to diapers, this gives an indication of the direction CPSC can be expected to go in their interpretations of the law.

General Conformity Certificates

You can certify as a manufacturer (not retailer) based on a test by an approved third-party lab. Based on a passing test report, you can issue a GCC based on another issuance of a certificate.

Compliance Testing

A sample sent for testing must be representative of what is used on the product, though it doesn’t need to be the same quantity.

There is a very detailed testing guidance document on the CPSC website. This document has not been voted on as regulation at this time. It is, however, a good indicator of what will be in place in the near future.

Children’s Product Definitions

Note the CPSC is working on a new regulation of the terms “children’s product,” “toy,” and “child care articles.”

Bottom line: make sure your product complies with the standards set out in the CPSIA.

I should receive a PDF document of the presentation soon, so please email me if you’d like a copy: alison@lollidoo.com.

Alison Maynes
LolliDoo Diapers