Amrita Vaswani Has Launched Sustainable Diapers To Popularise Eco-Parenting
- IWB Post
- February 17, 2018
After having seen few childbirths at home, I always wonder why do parents prefer to have dai ma, an erudite of traditional baby care, while everything else is ultra-modern?
It’s obvious that their ways are more natural and healthier, from sunbathing to apt body massage to the right food – they know it all and we trust their advice. But there’s one advice probably that we skip, it is to use fabric diapers in place of disposable. The chemicals in disposable diapers are toxic to baby’s skin. But considering how time-consuming it is to wash the cloth time and again, it’s difficult for mothers to keep up with it.
Not only are diapers harmful to skin, they also aren’t eco-friendly at all. My conversation with a corporate turned an entrepreneur Amrita Vaswani made me learn that disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose.
Amrita, who always preferred the natural way of parenting, used cloth diapers for her sons. After her return from the US to India, with her 7-month-old son, she realised that the lack of market for the natural soakers and also the ill-fitting of the diapers were two of the biggest setbacks for eco-conscious parenting.
Thus, Amrita decided to introduce the hybrid diapers which are both reusable and disposable through her brand Bumchum Diapers, which she launched in 2013. They are available in an array of sizes and come along with super cute matching t-shirts.
Read excerpts from our conversation:
To start with, have your sons been part of your R&D team?
Haha! I have two sons Ishaan and Rudra, who are 7 and 2-year-old respectively and they definitely are my inspiration. When I started the business plan, Ishaan was about 7 months old and he used to wear cloth diapers. And that’s when I realised how finding cloth diapers was not an easy task in India.
And, now you’ve introduced disposable cloth diapers. Tell us more about the disposable inserts and fabrics that are used.
The disposable bamboo inserts are chemical and fragrance-free. They are made of super absorbent polymers which have great holding capacity and are imported in bulk from China. The cover of the diaper is nylon coated, non-plastic, which can be washed 100 times.
The diaper pad is disposable and can be replaced within the waterproof pouch of the reusable cotton covers.
Do you design those super cute, stylish diaper-t-shirt sets yourself?
Well, no. I run the brand and take care of the operations. The design part is outsourced from a design company and our new design is under works at a design school in Bengaluru.
Have pediatricians contributed in shaping the brand in any way?
They actually have been quite an important part of the board. During our initial discussions, gynecologist Dr. Chadha from Apollo Delhi and birth instructor Dr. Anusha Upadhayay had educated our customers about healthy, natural parenting.
Were there any challenges in setting up an eco-friendly, sustainable startup?
Not really. It has been smooth and easy that way. I believe that finding your own tribe is what matters for success. Your ideas need to resonate with your community. So far, the response has been good and we’re working on the things we are lacking to provide. Like the pant style diapers, they’re quite on demand and will be our next in line for launch.
There’s also a mompreneur programme that you initiated. How does it work?
So, the programme runs pan India which helps moms to buy the product at a discount and make money by reselling it through their network.
That’s great. Do you have any tips for moms running a startup with a kid?
First of all, I believe it depends on your level of ambition. Sometimes mothers underestimate their ambition and forget about their other child which is their career. They forget that this baby needs care, nourishment, and attention too. It does get a bit harder with motherhood sweeping in but giving up should not be an option. Because it will get easier eventually. With all the humps on the way, the journey is worth the pain.
Speaking of which, how do you spend your free time with your sons? What is your favourite thing to do with them?
Three of us play shadow puppet for at least 20 minutes at night. The older one really looks forward to this. Apart from which, we spend a good time on weekends.
Have you learnt any business lesson from them?
Life lessons. *laughs*. They have taught me to be more patient, flexible, and open to a lot more things. One thing that everybody should learn from kids is to be a lot more forgiving.
And how do you teach them to be eco-responsible?
Well, the younger one is tiny right now. But I truly believe that the best way to teach your children to do something is by doing it yourself. Ishaan, the elder one, at his age, is much more conscious about the environment than I was at his. He finishes his food on the plate, recycles his toys and also donates them.
That’s impressive. Has your husband been a part of the business journey?
Absolutely. Through and through. He takes out time from his busy schedule, he has been a part of many core discussions. He is sort of like a sounding board in my life.
His work is incomplete without me and mine without him.
All things love…
How should parents start exploring eco-friendly parenting?
Firstly, eco-friendly is a lifestyle. It starts at home and with yourself.
Secondly, I would like to say, which I tell my friends too, go back to practices that our grandmothers used to raise their kids. Go back to basics. Don’t buy unnecessarily fancy stuff and let your kids’ immune system build through natural ways.