Cloth diapers may well make a comeback on toddler’s behinds. No gloomy swaddling clothes or safety pins in prospect: these protections have come a long way since the last century. As proof of an increasingly marked interest in eco-responsible diapers, the leading disposable brands seem to be taking a close interest in them. For the start of the school year, Pampers is launching its semi-reusable diaper model, with a disposable absorbent and a washable and reusable cover.
Marianne Bertrel is the author of Complete guide to cloth diapers (Thierry Souccar Ed.). And for the one who has specialized in reusable diapers throughout her pregnancies and leads discovery workshops, the trend for washable diapers is still in its infancy. “I really think it’s going to gain momentum. The more parents are made aware of it, the more it will become more democratic, ”estimates the mother of Emma and Vadim, 6 and 2 years old, and Lucie, her youngest of 7 months.
An observation shared by Simon Delliaux. He is also convinced that the future of diapers is in the washable. This young dad launched Kokpit, a reusable diaper rental company based in Lille. Even if he remains lucid: “We remain in a niche market”, which for the moment brings together “between 3 and 5%” of consumers in shorts. “Little by little, the washable diaper is scratching market share,” adds Simon Delliaux. Some nurseries and maternity hospitals in the country have already passed the cap of washable diapers. This is the case of the maternity hospital in Alençon, in Normandy, but also that of Schiltigheim, near Strasbourg, in Alsace.
The reusable market exists
“The fact that Pampers is launching a hybrid range shows that the reusable market exists,” emphasizes Marianne Bertrel. Unlike traditional cloth diapers, the absorbent is disposable with this model. Financially, the mother believes that it is better to opt for a mixed use of washable and disposable diapers, rather than the in-between proposed by the diaper giant. A much more economical solution, according to his calculations.
According to Marianne Bertrel, the disposable would cost a family between 1,200 and 1,500 euros for a period of two and a half years, against an average of 600 euros for the washable alternative, to which are added around 150 euros per year in expenses. various maintenance (water, electricity, renewal of absorbents). A variable investment, since the possibility of providing (or reselling) second hand and reuse at the birth of a second child can also reduce expenses.
200 kg of garbage on average
Until the child is clean, a family normally uses around 3,800 diapers, corresponding to 200 kg of garbage. “When you have a baby, you really realize the volume of waste that disposable diapers represent,” says Adeline, 32 years old and mother of a little Zélie. With her husband, they opted from birth for reusable diapers. “I do not find it so complicated”, underlines the young woman. Regular machine washes, “every two to three days,” she says is an easy routine to set up. “We made this choice for both economic and ecological reasons. “
Faced with these challenges, the other “green” branches of the diaper market, in particular organic products, are not left out. “There is a very clear trend that has been established for four years,” said Céline Augusto, co-founder of the organic company Love & Green. When six-month-old Rose was born, her mother Lorène, 28, rejected the idea of using washable diapers. “I chose organic diapers that I receive by subscription every month at home. I didn’t want my daughter to have lots of endocrine disruptors on her… ”For Céline Augusto, the search for healthy products, moving towards“ more naturalness ”, is one of the strong expectations of parents.
Other solutions exist, like the one created by Carole Juge-Llewellyn, founder of Joone, a subscription-based foreign exchange brand. “What interested me was to do a layer with commitments: that of being practical, with a“ clean ”and transparent composition. “Because, underlines the business manager,” making a diaper that is good for the environment is an oxymoron, whether it is washable or disposable. But it is an indispensable tool for parents. “