The Growing Cloth Diaper Industry

Nature Mom and I just got home from the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas, the big trade show for the juvenile products industries. We walked the show floor looking at a stunning variety of great new products. When we weren’t walking from booth to booth, we attended the cloth diaper business meetings and Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA) annual meetings.

It was so great to meet so many business people with similar goals and business ideals. RDIA, the cloth diaper industry association, is experiencing a lot of growth as many more diaper services and retailers in particular, the businesses that have the most contact with cloth diaper users, join the association. We learned at the meetings that there are about 130 members of the association right now, and more new members joined at the meetings.

A week ago, Monday, September 14th, breakout sessions were designed to help business owners build their businesses—look at ways to reach out to our communities, consider how best to set up a brick and mortar store, and make plans to use social media. Monday was a day for business building.

Tuesday evening was the business meeting with awards for service, review of projects like the free Consider Cloth diaper demo kit that has been sent to childbirth educators in Canada and the U.S., presentation of goals for the coming year, and a keynote address by outgoing Chair Jenn Labit of Cotton Babies and bumGenius. Especially considering that the industry association is only one year old, we are doing great things together.

If you are in business in the cloth diaper industry as a manufacturer, retailer, diaper service or info service (website or consultant) of any size, join RDIA.

During the business meeting, people talked about what they did B.D. (Before Diapers). So many of us have backgrounds that we could use to build the industry and help put more babies in cloth diapers. This past year the association drew on many members’ experience B.D. Scientists reviewed cloth diaper detergent guidelines. A writer put together the website. A market researcher drew up plans for upcoming research. Marketers created publicity materials for public awareness. Meeting planners helped put together the annual meeting. A university teacher ran the annual meeting. And so on.

What is coming up? Nature Mom has been networking, and I know she is going to work on recruiting more Canadian cloth diaper businesses to the association in the coming year. She can’t do it alone (though I know she will try). Help her. Help the industry.

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