Cloth Diaper Business News Feed

What is going on in the cloth diaper industry?

  • Who bought a laundromat a year ago?
  • Who just moved into a new 5000 square foot store?
  • Who is celebrating a 10th anniversary?

You know you want to know!

Find answers on the cloth diaper business news feed.  Our home page has a mini version of the feed in a cool sidebar gadget like the one below.

All RDIA members are welcome to send press releases, announcements, and big news to info at realdiaperindustry dot org.  For more details on news feed guidelines, use your member login to the RDIA website and check out the member media tools page.

Announcing the Cloth-Diaper-Friendly Daycare Directory!

Finding good daycare for your children is hard. You want to find one with a similar approach to caring for your child, experience in handling a broad range of children and problems, and staffed by people you trust to take a major role in your child’s daily life. Hearing Marisa L. Tobey, owner of Ready, Set, Go! Learning Center in Portland, Maine talk about using cloth diapers on the children in her care would definitely sway me towards her center. She said,

“Teaching children healthy habits is especially important at the age when they’re learning basic life skills. We teach them to compost, recycle, respect nature, eat healthy and organic/local, grow their own food, conserve water and reduce waste. Using cloth diapers in our daycare center is a huge part of practicing what we teach…and we produce so much less waste than other centers. We’re teaching social responsibility.”

Unfortunately, not all daycare providers see cloth diapers quite this way – yet. The Real Diaper Association and the Real Diaper Industry Association have been working on several related activities to facilitate the use of cloth diapers in daycare. A big step is recognizing that there are a lot of daycare providers already using or accepting cloth diapers. Finding those daycares, though, frequently takes a lot of effort – – until now…

The new Cloth-Diaper-Friendly Daycare Directory is now live and ready for you to use!

While RDA received some tips in their 2007 survey about cloth diapers in daycare, the information is old so we need your help in finding cloth-diaper-friendly daycare providers to include in the directory. This directory is ready to fill a major need that we’ve been hearing about at RDA since our founding. But it is absolutely reliant on the public to populate the data and make it as useful as it can be!!!

WE NEED YOUR INFORMATION!

  • If your child wears (or wore) cloth diapers in daycare, take a minute to add as much information as you can about that daycare to the directory.
  • If you know someone who uses cloth diapers in daycare, go to the directory and click on the Share links at the bottom of the page to send an email or Facebook message to that person asking them to contribute information to the directory.
  • If you are a daycare provider who accepts children in cloth diapers – or, better, PROVIDES cloth diapers for the children in your care – BY ALL MEANS, add your information to this directory!
  • If you own a diaper service proving cloth diapers to a local daycare provider(s), add their information to the directory, or share the link with them (daycare.realdiaperindustry.org) so they can add themselves.
  • If you are merely sympathetic to the cause of cloth diapers in daycare, share the link to the directory (daycare.realdiaperindustry.org) in any way you can.

If you’re looking for a daycare in your area that accepts your cloth diapers and nothing appears in the directory for your area (yet), the joint RDA/RDIA project team published a tip sheet for parents about how to ensure a caretakers’ acceptance and use of cloth diapers for a child in their care. Hopefully, it will result in acceptance of your cloth diapers, and you’ll be able to soon return to the directory to add your provider!

Heather McNamara
Executive Director, Real Diaper Association (Associate Member)
Chair, RDA/RDIA Cloth Diapers in Daycare Project

Cross-posted with RDA.

Diaper Service Info Site

The diaper service committee of the RDIA has been hard at work developing the content for the Cloth Diaper Service Info section, the newest component of the RDIA website.

  • We are happy to announce that the eagerly anticipated Find a Diaper Service page is live with all the members in the diaper service category of the RDIA listed. Already, over 1,000 consumers looking for a diaper service have been directed to this URL, and it is proving to be the most viewed and requested page within the RDIA site.
  • The second most popular page in the new diaper service section is the How To Start a Diaper Service Business of your own. We’ve been averaging several inquiries each week with over 100 inquiries since the site went live.
  • There is also consumer information available in the Why a Diaper Service section. We are hoping this will encourage inquiries to consider the benefits of using a diaper service.

Although websites are a work in progress, and the Cloth Diaper Service Info section is certainly no exception, the diaper service committee is pleased with this accomplishment and gearing up for the next goals that the diaper service membership identified during the 2009 annual meeting, including:

  • the development of laundry standards,
  • a marketing plan, and
  • the development of a kit addressing how to start a diaper service business of your own.

As always, we are looking for eager volunteers to join our committees and bring their expertise to the table regarding these topics. If you are from a diaper service, please consider volunteering. If you believe the adage, you get out of something what you put into it, then we’ll have 100% participation within our diaper service membership! To volunteer, contact committee chairs or write to info at realdiaperindustry dot org.

Diaper Service Business Committee Volunteers have been:

Judy Aagard (Tiny Tots Diaper Service & Baby Boutique)
Jennifer Moore Temple (Buzzie Bee Diapers)
Peter Allen (Do Good Diapers)
Dennis Frederick (All Together Diaper)
Lori Taylor (Fuzbaby and Firefly Diapers)

Tips for getting your cloth diapers into daycare

For our family, finding a daycare provider willing to use cloth diapers on our baby would be an absolute requirement. Any reasonable daycare provider would either accept our diapers without question or be willing to learn to use them even if they had never seen them before. If they were not reasonable on this matter, I would be concerned about how well we’d work together and about whether they would respect our parenting decisions on other matters as well.

Having said that, I haven’t used daycare for my children, so when it came time to put together recommendations for the many parents who contact us about information to use in daycare selection conversations, the best sources were the moms who had done it. The Real Diaper Association (RDA) conducted a survey on the use of cloth diapers in daycare facilities. We received over 250 detailed responses. The responders were largely parents who had talked with daycare providers about their willingness to use cloth diapers on their children while caring for them. We culled the best advice they had, and came up with this tip sheet for using reusable cloth diapers in daycare.

The tip sheet includes practical advice about finding a daycare provider and talking with them about cloth diapers, and specific options you could consider to make it work for both of you. It also has links for parents to inform themselves about state daycare regulations and about proper sanitation practices for changing diapers in a daycare facility.

This tip sheet represents the first step in a joint project by volunteers from RDA (Real Diaper Association) and RDIA (Real Diaper Industry Association). Follow ongoing efforts to facilitate the use of cloth diapers in daycare at the RDA website or on this blog. Many thanks go to Ann Maclean, Northern Virginia Real Diaper Circle Leader, and RDA volunteers Angie Gregory and Ada Vaughan for all the work they did in putting it together.

Heather McNamara
Executive Director, Real Diaper Association
Chair, RDA/RDIA joint committee on Cloth Diapers in Daycare

Cloth Diapers in Daycare cross-posted at Real Diaper Events, the Real Diaper Association blog.

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