#76 Nappy Leaks Podcast: Comparing Cloth Nappies To Cloth Nappies
With so many brands of cloth nappies on the market, there are a wide range of price points. What differentiates between a high or low price point cloth nappy, how do you compare? Are there some cloth nappies that are just all round great value for money? Or are there cloth nappies that have an inflated price for their quality? Whether you are considering cloth nappies from Work at Home Makers (or Mums) (WAHMs), commercial brands, or China Cheapies; the Vashti and Vicki will give you tips to look for on websites, questions to ask the manufactures or retailers, what you need to feel and look for when you physically have a nappy, and how to judge a company on their products and service via review websites. With this comprehensive list, you will have a the tools to compare cloth nappies with cloth nappies, making your next purchase, so much easier!
Transcription: Comparing Cloth Nappies To Cloth Nappies
Andrew: Welcome to Nappy Leaks with Vicki Simpson and Vashti Wadwell. How are you doing, Vashti?
Vashti: Great thanks Andrew, how are you today?
Andrew: Say it like it’s not the third time I’ve asked you.
Vashti: Don’t we do this first take?
Andrew: Well we do it first take, but sometimes we start again. How are you doing, Vicki?
Vicki: I’m in a really grumpy mood. So yeah.
Vicki: Not grumpy, just down mood.
Andrew: But you’re wearing such a bright top.
Vicki: I know. This is the joys of depression. You put a fake face on, I’ve even got makeup on, and nice, bright top, and try and convince yourself that world is fine.
Andrew: The world is fine, and everybody’s getting over COVID.
Vicki: The world is fine. Fake it until you make it.
Andrew: The whole world is faking it until they’re making it.
Vashti: The world might be fine, but sometimes we’re not, and that’s OK.
Andrew: Well, it could have been worse. Look at other countries.
Vicki: Yeah, true.
Andrew: So on a bright note, we have another review. Actually I should give a plug for reviews, if you find the show helpful, like I say at the end of the episode, and I say that every time, that’s not pre-recorded or anything…
Vicki: Even though it sounds the same every time.
Andrew: Exactly the same, and the transcription ladies hate it when I change it because they can’t copy and paste it anymore. Leave a review. If you’re getting a lot out of the show, leave a review. And the reason I say leave a review is because it puts us at the forefront of other parenting podcasts. And when I was looking at parenting podcasts there the other day, there’s podcasts where they haven’t done episodes for six months, and they’re getting a higher rating than we are…
Vicki: That’s not fair.
Andrew: …because it’s just done on reviews.
Vicki: No wonder I’m depressed.
Andrew: That’s it. Get Vicki out of her depression and give us some nice, honest reviews. And none of the reviews like, shipping was slow or anything like that, because we don’t ship in this company.
Vicki: We don’t ship? When would we ship?
Vashti: Are we shipping transcriptions now?
Andrew: Transcriptions, that’s right. Actually the transcriptions have been late a couple of times, because I’ve been late getting them in. But we do have a nice review here from MCN Mama, and she says…
Vicki: I know her. No.
Andrew: Everybody knows her.
Vicki: Clearly it’s an alias.
Andrew: Clearly, yes. It could be a catch phrase like Nappy Lady.
Vicki: Could be.
Andrew: Could be, that’s right. Lots of great information, enjoyable, light hearted and I feel like I’m catching up with old friends in this podcast.
Vicki: Good, there’s the chit chat. She doesn’t skip past the chit chat.
Andrew: She doesn’t skip past that chit chat, that’s right. And her name is MCN Mama, but her catchphrase is Unsatisfied Customer 101. So we’re obviously the only good review she’s ever written.
Vashti: Or maybe she’s the person you go to if you are an unsatisfied customer, and she helps you learn how to be a satisfied customer. Or work around that, and that could be it.
Andrew: Maybe. Maybe it’s a website, MCN, maybe that’s a website, MCN Mama could be a website.
Andrew: Let’s all check it out. So on today’s topic, is comparing cloth nappies to cloth nappies. Now we’ve done an episode a while ago called China Cheapies, which was two years ago.
Vashti: That long? Wow.
Andrew: It’s two years ago. Actually it’s longer than two years, I’m just saying two years because I don’t know exactly.
Vashti: Why don’t you know exactly, Andrew?
Andrew: Because I checked it and didn’t write it down.
Vashti: It’s hard to get good help these days, Vicki.
Vicki: I know.
Andrew: Because I did read through that transcript, just to make sure we weren’t going to cover anything twice. And now, in this podcast, we’re not running down brands. It’s not about running down brands.
Vashti: We never do.
Andrew: We try not to mention brands, although I’m sure brands will come up occasionally, and we’re not trying to run down China Cheapies either. What we’re doing is we’re separating the price tag, because sometimes when you find a China Cheapy, the reflects that it’s a China Cheapy, and some people get success out of China Cheapies. Nothing wrong with that. What we’re looking at here is how to tell the difference between a China Cheapy and a good nappy when the nappy has the price of a good nappy.
Vicki: The price is the same.
Andrew: OK, because…
Vashti: There’s also some really great nappies out there that are a lower price point as well.
Andrew: True, true, but again they’re probably priced for how good they are.
Vashti: No, they’ve got a lower price point.
Andrew: OK, let’s mention some brands.
Vashti: Caterpillar Kids, I’ve heard, is only around the $20 to $25 mark and they’re a work at home mum that hundreds of parents are loving, and are a great quality nappy.
Andrew: So we’ve got a work at home mum who doesn’t realise how valuable she is.
Vicki: Obviously not, 100% undervaluing her time.
Vashti: Her product. And her time, yeah.
Vicki: And you know, I learned that pretty early on. Your time, work at home mums, especially when they’re using domestic machines, they don’t make any money. They really don’t make any money.
Andrew: Unless it turns into an international nappy brand. Like this one.
Vicki: Well yeah, but that’s why we ended up outsourcing, and industrial machines speed things up. But so many work at home mums really undervalue their time. Some of the art work that goes into some of those nappies…
Vashti: It’s incredible. And this is the thing. Remember when I was looking at work at home mum nappies when the big kids were little, they were always at a higher price point than the commercially available ones. At one stage, I was comparing yours, Bubblebubs, with Baby Beehinds. Now Baby Beehinds was made offshore at that stage, but Bubblebubs was still being made on your kitchen table. You did have a higher price point, and I had to sit there and justify why I would spend more money on one of your nappies, compared to one that I could buy off the shelf, and I didn’t have to wait several weeks for. And in the end, I went stuff it, I’m buying these, I want to try them, I’ve heard great things about it.
Andrew: I can answer that question. Sometimes you use price to control demand. So that was one of the reasons…
Vicki: It was at a point where my demand was so high that I ended up, that’s when I learned, and put the prices up.
Vashti: The thing I’ve noticed recently, and this has been over a few years, is that a lot of work at home mums have actually lowered their prices, to compete with the commercially available nappies.
Vicki: And they shouldn’t, they shouldn’t. They’re a completely different product.
Vashti: After using work at home mum nappies, and I used, I specifically went out and got a couple of custom made nappies for Kylan, I think we had about three or four custom made nappies for Kylan, and I was more than happy to pay, one of them I paid, once we worked out, because I got the Nest logo on the bum, and because I had to get that digitised and everything like that, the nappy ended up costing me about $75, $80. And I was happy to pay that because it was an incredible quality nappy, and it was well worth the price I paid for it. And it was worth the price, based on the fact that the maker had spent that time, and had put that love and care into that nappy. And that nappy, it’s still at home, and I will never, ever move it on. It’s got sentimental value.
Vicki: And it probably took up, honestly, one to two hours to actually make that. So even taking out all of your fabric and all of that, that’s not minimum wage. That’s not even close to minimum wage, and it probably took longer than that.
Vashti: I’d say with the embroidery, it would have taken three to four hours.
Vicki: With the embroidery, the machine does the work, but you still have to keep an eye on it, because it will jam, and stuff like that.
Vashti: And that means you don’t have the machine to do another nappy, it’s been taken up.
Andrew: So the message to all of our work at home mums is…
Vicki: Put your price up.
Vashti: Don’t under value yourself.
Andrew: Don’t try to compete with a mass produced one. Value your time, and put the appropriate price on it, and if you’re making a good quality product, people will come to you anyway.
Vicki: 100%, you know, I mean it’s Fords and Ferraris.
Andrew: I would buy a Ford.
Vicki: I wouldn’t buy a Ford. I won’t buy any other brand of car than what I have now, and we’ll just leave it at that.
Andrew: Hyundai? I’ve got a Hyundai?
Vashti: Yeah, see I wouldn’t buy a Hyundai again.
Andrew: No, did I get my sound right? Hyundai. Is that how you say it?
Vicki: Hyundai, or something like that.
Vashti: I don’t know my Mum can say it because my Mum studied Korean.
Andrew: This is an example of I don’t think they care how we say it, as long as we buy it.
Vicki: I wouldn’t, we’ve had Hyundais…
Andrew: We’ve had quite a few, yeah.
Vicki: And my favourite was IX35, before this car that I have now.
Vashti: Listen back if you want to know.
Andrew: My favourite car was my Mazda, Mazda 323 that I had. That was my favourite car.
Vicki: Your new car will be [inaudible, 09:36]
Vashti: My little Toyota Rav4, love my Rav4. I’m going back to a Toyota, I’ve decided.
Vicki: But anyway, there are people out there that will spend $100,000 on a car and there are people out there who will only spend $20,000 on a car, and they’re two completely different markets. So value your time, and price accordingly.
Andrew: So in this show, what we’re going to do, is we’re going to let you know how to tell the quality of cloth nappies without looking at the price tag, because the price tag might be lying to you. Unfortunately a lot of people have to buy cloth nappies online, and especially we’re not doing baby shows at the moment, that’s even more, how do you tell, when you’re just looking at a picture?
Vashti: That’s the hardest thing when you’re looking at a picture, because the easiest way to tell the quality of a nappy is by feel.
Vicki: Yeah. And look, even our nappies are photoshopped. Every single one. They look very, very similar.
Andrew: It’s funny how the crease is in exactly the same spot in every single picture we’ve got.
Vicki: I know, it’s so hard to get the colours right, but anyway. And unless we’re talking work at home mum nappies, you’ll probably find that a lot of imagery online will be photoshopped.
Andrew: I remember when you were making nappies and every single nappy was different. You actually had to take a picture…
Vicki: I had to photograph it.
Andrew: …of every single nappy. And make sure that that nappy went with the picture, when it eventually got shipped out, so they didn’t get mixed up. Nightmare.
Vicki: Yeah, it was. Value your time. Value your time. Yeah, so a lot of the imagery will be photoshopped. But if they’re not giving you information with the nappy, as an example, so all of our nappies are listed on the website, and we list what’s in them. And also, absorbency as well.
Vashti: And also showing photos of the inside of the nappy, not just the outside.
Vicki: And videos and stuff like that.
Vashti: Showing all the different components to the nappy.
Vicki: Yeah, so I think if you’ve come across a nappy that doesn’t tell you what’s in it, be wary. What are they hiding? That would be a red flag for me.
Vashti: I know when I go looking, for Nest, because my kids are no longer in nappies, so I don’t get to use them myself. But we still test everything. But when I’m looking at a new brand, when I start hearing about a new brand, if I’m looking at that new brand to bring it into Nest or something like that, I do go through the website, and I want to see the photos of the nappy. I want to see videos of the owner or the staff, the maker, using the nappy, and stuff like that. I want to see what the composition of the nappy is, so that I know what’s gone into it, and how the inserts go into the nappy. Is it sewn in? Is it clip in? Is it Velcro in, does it go into a pocket? What sort of ratio they use in their fibres and stuff. I go looking for all that information. And if I can’t find that information, then I start questioning. Hang on, if you’re not putting that information out there readily, then what is in your nappy? What are you hiding from me? I think it’s very important to ask about, if you can’t find that information and you’re still keen on trying that nappy out, send the website an email and say, can you please show me photos of the inside of your nappy? Can you tell me what the lining is made of? Is it suede cloth, is it microfleece, is it organic cotton? How are your inserts made up?
Andrew: Wait a minute. I’ve just realised how you decide on what brands to buy.
Andrew: That’s what you’re doing to them, isn’t it?
Vashti: Yeah, I want to know these things. And then of course, we still test nappies. So just because they meet all the criteria in the actual how the nappy is put together we still test it to make sure it does what it says it’s going to do.
Andrew: What about online reviews on the nappy website? Can you trust those?
Vicki: I don’t necessarily trust reviews that are hosted on that brand’s site. I trust reviews on third party sites.
Vashti: …third party sites. So look for things like Cloth Nappy Reviews, which is a great third party website. Google reviews, product reviews, is it product reviews?
Vicki: Yeah, and even on the Facebook page. And if they’ve got their Facebook reviews turned off, I wonder why. That’s a red flag for me.
Vashti: Go into your groups. If you are on social media, go into your Facebook groups and ask questions about the nappy or the brand. Or go into the group…
Vicki: Just don’t ask what’s your favourite nappy.
Vashti: Yeah, 50 people answer 50 different brands. But do a search. Go to the top of the group and there’s a search function, and type in the brand that you’re looking for, and you’ll be able to get it. A lot of cloth nappy reviews and support actually has folders set up for each brand so that you can go to that picture of the brand, and there will be all the reviews of that brand underneath. Now that’s a third party site. If Nest has got reviews up there, I can’t sit there… well I can go to the admins of that group and say that’s an untrue review, that person has never been into my store and has never bought from me, so can you please remove it. But I don’t do that, because I actually don’t go looking at those reviews. I’ve got other things to do.
Andrew: To be fair though, to be fair, Bubblebubs has had some reviews removed.
Vicki: Yeah they were completely fake. Apparently the crystals were coming out of the nappies. Because I’d made a review, and see I don’t believe all five star reviews either. I find if a brand has got nothing but good things, I don’t know. It just doesn’t sit right.
Andrew: Yeah, I look at a lot of electronics, and if I see reviews on their website, and there’s not one single person complaining about shipping, or not one single person unhappy a little bit, they’re fake.
Vicki: Yeah, they feel fake.
Andrew: Nobody gets five star reviews. Like Nappy Leaks, Nappy Leaks has never got five star reviews for every single person, even though our rating is five stars. Our rating is five stars because those one and two star ratings that we’ve been getting are far outweighed by the five star reviews we get. But they’re there.
Vicki: And they’re honest. That’s what I look for is honest reviews. I’ve got, there’s one of our Google reviews was from a customer who had an authority to leave on her parcel, and it was left on her house. So completely out of our hands. She had chosen authority to leave. And that was my fault, that her parcel got stolen. Even though there was a picture of it, when the courier dropped it off, there was a picture of it.
Vashti: And that was the lead up to Christmas as well, when there’s huge parcel theft.
Vicki: It was, and I actually Google mapped her house, and she was on a main road. She should never have had an authority to leave. I remember the conversation with her, she specifically asked. Actually no, we don’t send out with ATLs, well we do with COVID…
Vashti: You’ve got no choice with COVID.
Vicki: Australia Post, she, you know how you get a message from Australia Post that says leave unattended or send to a shop? She actually selected…
Vashti: Chose to leave unattended.
Vicki: …leave unattended, but having said that, I never see negative reviews as a bad thing.
Vashti: No, negative reviews not only give a customer a chance to see how the business is operating, and nobody’s perfect. Nobody is perfect. Vicki and I don’t claim to be perfect in our businesses. We make mistakes all the time.
Vicki: Oh my gosh, and if you make a mistake with one customer you’ll do it again. I don’t know what it is with that, but it’s like, do we have to stuff your order up again?
Vashti: It’s always one person will end up with several mistakes. But also, it gives us chance to grow and to learn, and one of the things…
Vicki: And be better.
Vashti: …I look at when I see a bad review, is how the business has responded to that review. So if you’re looking at reviews online, on Google or Product Reviews, or anywhere like that, and the business hasn’t responded. I know for Google reviews, I always get a notification if someone has left a review for Nest. I don’t think I’ve had any Product Reviews, I don’t know.
Vicki: I’m not getting notifications for product reviews. I come back six months later and there’s a review, and it’s like agh, I didn’t respond to that. I do like to respond. Positive, negative.
Vashti: Yeah, I like to respond to all reviews as well. But so if there’s a bad review, I will go looking to see what the business has said, whether it be on Facebook, whether it be on Google, I’ll look to see how the business has responded. And if the business has just ignored it, or fobbed it off, then that gives me an indication of who the business is. But if the businesses has looked for a way to rectify whatever the customer’s issue is, then that shows me it could have been an honest mistake, or it just could have been a bad day. There’s a number of reasons why things happened.
Vicki: It could just be a salty customer.
Vashti: And that’s the thing. Sometimes you get personality clashes. Sometimes a customer is having a bad day. I know there’s been days when I’ve gone into a shop and I’ve been a little bit snarkier than I probably should have been with a sale rep, because my teenage son has just told me to burn in hell. These things happen. Everyone has bad days.
Andrew: With reviews though, I must say that any bad review that, let’s use Nappy Leaks as an example. We got a bad review about our sound quality once. And I immediately, actually I’d already done it, but I went out and bought three new microphones and upped the software that I use and everything like that to fix the audio, because oh my gosh…
Vicki: Reviews are actually important, because how do you know? You don’t know what you don’t know.
Andrew: Oh my gosh, people are listening. I could see stats that thousands of people are listening to us, but until you get feedback like that you go oh my gosh, they really want to listen to this. So I go out and up all of our equipment.
Vicki: Yes, he uses that an excuse to buy stuff.
Andrew: That’s right.
Vashti: Andrew likes buying electronics.
Vicki: He actually wrote the one star review himself. Look Honey, I need to buy more microphones.
Vashti: I need to spend money.
Andrew: But the same thing has happened in Bubblebubs. We’ve had a bad review about something, and it’s been fixed, and we haven’t had that bad review again, but anyway…
Vashti: We had, it was a semi-bad review recently after one of our workshops that a customer had to wait too long for service after attending the workshop. So we’ve rectified that now, and we have two staff after every workshop.
Andrew: I thought you had less people. Less people can do the workshops now.
Vashti: No, well I’ve brought in, I now come in every Saturday after a workshop to help the girls out, so that there’s two staff there to serve. Sometimes you still have to wait, because we do have very personalised service at Nest.
Andrew: It’s a busy store on a Saturday though isn’t it?
Vashti: It can be very busy, especially after a workshop. If you’ve got a full workshop with four couples, and then you open the doors and we have three or four people waiting outside as well, don’t want that many people in the shop at the moment with COVID, we’re only supposed to have ten people in the shops. Well, we can have up to 17, according to government guidelines, but I cap it at ten.
Andrew: Do you need a bigger shop again?
Vashti: No, I’m not getting a bigger shop, Andrew.
Andrew: Alright, so let’s get off reviews. When you’re looking at the nappy online and you’re seeing all the descriptions, is there any description of something that would put you off?
Vicki: Charcoal bamboo.
Vashti: Hands down.
Vicki: And I personally don’t like microfibre. Microfibre works, but not on its own. It works in combination with…
Vashti: A natural fibre.
Vicki: Yeah, with a natural fibre. On its own, you’ll just end up with compression leaks.
Andrew: So what’s wrong with the first thing?
Vicki: Charcoal bamboo? It’s a marketing ploy.
Vashti: It’s not a fibre.
Andrew: But it sounds cool.
Vicki: It does, it’s a buzz word.
Vashti: Yeah, basically it’s just microfibre that’s coated in fleece that’s been infused with charcoaled bamboo. So it’s got no actual…
Andrew: Charcoal bamboo sounds like it’s been burnt.
Vicki: It has.
Vashti: It has, so all the scraps, so when they’re making your bamboo fibres, all the scraps end up getting thrown in a furnacy thing, and charcoaled down, and what’s left gets infused into a microfleece, and it’s supposed to have…
Vicki: Charcoal is a bit of a buzz word too. Even you have charcoal…
Vashti: Filters in your water bottles.
Vicki: No, no…
Vicki: No, stringy stuff.
Vashti: Dental floss.
Andrew: Charcoal dental floss.
Vicki: That stuff.
Vashti: Can you get charcoal dental floss?
Andrew: Charcoal dental floss.
Vicki: It was really gross, but it was going to make his teeth black.
Andrew: And it’s black, too. So even I got fooled by the charcoal. And on the packet they say doesn’t fray, because sometimes when you do it, it frays. It doesn’t fray, it just breaks. So yay, they got me with it doesn’t fray, but it just breaks.
Vashti: Yeah, it’s a buzz word. It’s not bamboo, it doesn’t absorb like bamboo, it’s microfibre.
Vicki: Anyway, if we’re not talking price, here’s where to basically tell an overpriced China Cheapy. So let’s say an Owler as an example, is a China Cheapy. But it’s priced accordingly. When you’re looking at a nappy that’s priced around $25, $30 and it has charcoal bamboo, or it has microfibre, that’s when I would be questioning that oh, hang on a minute, this is a rebranded China Cheapy, and no improvements have been made to it. So that’s one of the things to look out for.
Vashti: You can get rebranded China Cheapies that have had custom modifications made to them, so they’ve gone to a factory and they’ve said, I want, they’ve picked off a card, basically, and I want square tabs and double row of waist snaps, and I want an internal gusset. And three rye snaps high, and two across.
Andrew: And I want it in 50 colours.
Vashti: Yeah, and they say what sort of absorbency? Well if they choose the microfibre or the charcoal bamboo then it’s no different to an Alva. Whereas if they then turn around and say no, I want a bamboo cotton blend, then that’s slightly different. It’s not a nappy that’s been designed by a mum, and patterned and drawn up and stuff like that. It’s been picked off a card, and so technically it’s a rebranded China Cheapy, but they’ve made upgrades to it.
Vicki: They’ve improved it.
Vashti: Which means that it could possibly have that $25 to $30 price tag.
Vicki: No, I was just saying if it’s charcoal bamboo and it’s $25, no.
Vashti: Walk away.
Andrew: No, go to another website you mean.
Vashti: Yeah, walk away from that website. Or go to your local retailer. There’s retailers around Australia, and yes, this is a plug for myself if you’re in Brisbane. Or even in south east Queensland, we had a customer yesterday who drove an hour and a half.
Andrew: This is kind of a plug if you’re anywhere in Queensland.
Vashti: There you go. But there’s retailers all over Australia. And not just businesses. Darlings Downunder has a shop in Melbourne, but there’s plenty of retailers around Australia who have show rooms in their homes that you can visit by appointment. You can make an appointment with Bubblebubs and come out and touch and feel the nappies, and stuff like that.
Vashti: Yeah, always contact, if it’s an online retailer, always contact them before you head out there to make sure.
Andrew: If they do contact us, we just tell them, go to Nest.
Vashti: Thank you. I mean, that’s because we’re so close. We are only ten minutes away from each other. So it is easy…
Vicki: It depends where they’re coming from. If they’re coming from say Ipswich…
Vashti: An extra ten minute drive is a pain in the patootie.
Vicki: Yeah, especially along the Centenary Park.
Vashti: The Centenary Freeway.
Vashti: But there are online retailers all over Australia who will take the time. Some of them do in home consults. Some of them do skype sessions and can talk you through different nappies. And yes, OK, it’s online but at least they get to open up the nappy in front of you and talk you through. Or just contact your local retailer, whether it be the brand, whether it be a multi-brand retailer, contact them and ask them questions. That’s the biggest thing.
Andrew: Normally another thing to look for, and this is what I personally look for, but it doesn’t seem to be much in the nappy industry, and that’s a money back guarantee. Not many of the brands tend to offer a money back guarantee. So if you get the product and you go yeah, no, I don’t think this is what I paid for, you can just straight send it back. But not many of them do that, do they?
Vashti: No, because nappies are a hygiene issue. It’s like swim wear and underwear. Most businesses like Big W and Kmart and Target and places like that, if you buy underwear, very few of them will actually take it back, because it’s underwear. And nappies are very much along the same lines. They’re underwear. So it’s a hygiene issue in regards to doing that. However…
Andrew: To be fair, those big brands, Kmart and stuff like that, when they give a refund, most of the time they don’t put it back on the shelf.
Vashti: They can afford to absorb that cost.
Andrew: They can afford to because it’s been out of their control, they don’t know what’s happened to it, they’ll tend to throw it away. And that’s why during COVID you saw all the big name retailers say no refunds, because basically they don’t want somebody bringing back a six months’ supply of toilet paper, knowing that they’d then throw that away.
Vashti: Yeah, but if you’re looking at your brands, your nappies, look for their warranty as well, not just if they’ve got a money back guarantee, but if they’ve got a warranty on their product.
Andrew: That’s a good point, yeah.
Vashti: If you start using it and it’s not doing what they said it would do, then you can get in contact with the brand. Or if you start using it, and it’s not doing what they said it would do, contact them. Send them a message, give them a phone call, and say I’m having these issues, is this something I’m doing wrong, is this a problem with the product? Most brands will talk you through how to get around that and get your nappies working for you. And if they can’t get the nappies working for you, then it could be a warranty issue. If a snap falls off or the elastic breaks or something like that, and the nappy has got a six month warranty, we do six months on every brand at Nest, whether the brand themselves do it or not. I’ve got a couple of brands on the shelf who only have three month warranties, but we extend it at Nest to six months, because I think a nappy should have a six month warranty on it.
Andrew: OK, here’s a question for both of you. Which is better, a six layer booster or a two layer booster?
Vicki: It depends on the composition.
Vashti: That’s the same as how long is a piece of string.
Andrew: OK, so not only are you looking for the number of layers you’re actually looking at how thick, and what those layers are made of.
Vicki: Each of those layers, yeah, if you had six layers of microfibre, it still, no actually, six layers of microfibre, could you imagine trying to get that clean? No, I would actually say two. It really depends on the composition. You don’t want too many layers because it will take forever to dry, and it just won’t get clean.
Vashti: I think the thickest I’ve seen any insert is a five layer. Which is actually three layers of microfibre and two layers of microfleece, and that’s a lot of your five layer bamboo charcoal.
Vicki: Yeah, that’s technically three layers anyway.
Vashti: Yeah, because fleece isn’t absorbent. But most reputable brands do two to three layers, because anything more than that, and it’s just too thick, as you said, to get it clean and to get it dry. But then you’ve got that whole issue, do you have a three layers of 120 gram GSM or two layers of 420 GSM. What’s the best there? Well three layers of 120 works out to 360 gram GSM, and two layers of 420 works out to 840 GMS, so the 840, the two layers, is going to be more absorbent.
Andrew: So the layers is just, it’s another catch phrase.
Andrew: Should you also look at the washing instructions that come with the nappy? Would you get an idea of the quality of the nappy by the washing instructions?
Vicki: That’s a good question.
Andrew: That’s if they even give washing instructions. Because I’m thinking, I know that some nappies can’t be washed at 60 degrees…
Vicki: Then it’s not fit for use, end of story.
Vashti: That’s the thing, if you look at a brand and their washing instruction says do not wash over 40 degrees, then you’ve got to question whether or not they’ve actually…
Vicki: The quality of the PUL.
Vashti: …done any testing on their products, and stuff like that. PUL should be fit for up to 60 degrees, and any reputable brand will have that. So I’d also be concerned, while I always wash on cold, that’s what worked for me, and I’m cheap and nasty, a lot of people prefer to wash up to 60 degrees. Yes, 40 degrees will work fine, but 60 degrees for those really deep, intense cleans. But it should also be what works best for you family. But PUL should cope with 60 degrees.
Vicki: A quality PUL will. It won’t delaminate at 60.
Vashti: Yeah, and if you put your nappies through a 60 degree wash and they come out and they’re all bubbled and peeling and stuff like that, that’s a manufacturing issue.
Andrew: So if you see washing instructions that say warm machine wash, not above certain, then you know…
Vashti: I’d be emailing and saying, why?
Andrew: How do you get it clean?
Vashti: Yeah. Well no, you can get it clean at 40.
Andrew: You can get it clean at cold, too can’t you?
Vicki: The episode Amy was on goes right into…
Andrew: Last month. Oh hang on… no, sorry this is January, two months ago.
Vicki: Two months ago, yeah. So Amy goes right into the washing instructions and stuff like that.
Andrew: And she is a washing machine.
Vashti: She is a washing guru.
Vicki: Amy is a washing guru, and she was great on the podcast a couple of weeks ago. A couple of months ago, who knows, I’ve lost track.
Andrew: She was good, we’ll have her back.
Andrew: I think we’ve had her four times now?
Vashti: We’ve had her a few times.
Andrew: She’s rivalling Jenna with the number of times she’s been on the show.
Vashti: Really? Keryn’s got to have the top one though, she’s our top guest.
Andrew: Yeah, she is. That’s what happens when you go on maternity leave, you don’t get on the show anymore. So if you’re touching and feeling the fabric, what are you looking for?
Vicki: Generally I suppose the thickness. You can tell… you go to the shops and feel t-shirts, as soon as you feel something, you can pretty much tell the quality.
Vashti: You can tell the difference between a $2 t-shirt and a $10 t-shirt, nine times out of ten. So if you’re in Kmart or Target and you pick up the $2 t-shirt, and you’re like, that’s really thin and I can see through it, I can see stitching…
Vicki: I can see why it’s $2.75.
Andrew: That’s when you decide, that would be good for my girlfriend.
Vashti: That would be good for my two year old for kindy. But you know, you pick up the $10 t-shirt and it’s thicker. You can’t see through it. The stitching is straight, and there’s no threads hanging off it and stuff like that.
Vicki: Yeah you can see there’s been QC done it.
Vashti: QC means quality control, for those at home.
Vicki: Oh, sorry.
Andrew: I thought it was quietly contemplating.
Vicki: What’s with the dad jokes?
Vashti: You can see how a nappy is made. It’s the same with anything. You can tell a Super Amart couch, compared to a La-Z-Boy couch. You can see the quality in them.
Andrew: Which one is better?
Vashti: I don’t know actually.
Andrew: Excellent, we can’t get sued.
Vashti: It’s sort of like Fords and Ferraris. You know.
Andrew: Good, can’t get sued.
Vashti: Just ask lots of questions. If you’re shopping online, just ask lots of questions. Look at reviews. Ask in your mums’ group. Ask your friends if they’ve used them.
Vicki: Also see how long the brand has been around, too.
Vashti: Yeah, that’s another good one.
Vicki: Like, I mean, I’m going to plug us. We’ve been around for 16 years, but you’re not around for 16 years if you’re not making…
Vashti: Good quality products.
Vicki: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: Yeah, if you get a bad reputation, that ends the brand.
Vicki: Oh, 100%.
Andrew: Doesn’t matter how much advertising you do, you’re pretty much ending your brand.
Vashti: I’ve seen brands come and go over the years, and you see people pop up and decide to open up and start selling cloth nappies while they’re on maternity leave and stuff like that, and more power to them, but generally with six to twelve months, they work out it’s not as easy as just building a website and throwing some nappies on it. There’s a lot more involved. So yeah, if the business has been around for several years, you can be pretty much guaranteed that they know what they’re doing, they’ve got a good idea.
Vicki: They’ve had the time for feedback. That’s not to say that new businesses, you should steer clear.
Vashti: You can’t become a long term business if nobody goes to you in the first few months.
Vicki: Exactly, that’s not what I’m saying. It was just another indicator.
Andrew: Actually, I’ll give a plug to a book I’m reading at the moment. I’m reading a book called The E-Myth…
Vashti: I heard about this from you.
Andrew: And if you’re thinking about starting a nappy business, it’s a good read. Actually, if you’re thinking about starting any business, it’s a good read, a really good read. And he’s, the author is just, he’s discovered all these vertical ways to sell the book. Like there’s the original, The E-Myth book, but now he’s got E-Myth for Accountants, E-Myth for…
Vashti: We saw one the other day for nutritionists.
Andrew: Nutritionists, something like that.
Vashti: Hairdressers, retail, accountants, lawyers, doctors, dentists.
Andrew: Yeah, he’s rewritten the book, so if you can find your specific field you’re going into, buy that one, otherwise buy The E-Myth.
Vashti: Maybe we should talk to him about making one for nappies.
Andrew: Yeah, we could, yeah, we could, yeah, we could. That might be confusing, but yeah. Reading the book, I can see Bubblebubs’ history in this book, it’s a fascinating book.
Vicki: Actually you’ve mentioned that, you can see the process. I’m pretty sure you were trying to get into my head.
Andrew: Not your pants?
Vicki: I knew you were going to say that. No, I think you said you were reading this book and it was eye opening for some of the experiences that I’ve been through that I’ve, I suppose, shut you out of, or wasn’t, you weren’t part of it.
Vashti: It wasn’t intentional…
Vicki: It’s just that you weren’t part of the business.
Andrew: No, it wasn’t shut me out of, basically decisions that I’ve seen you make, I’ve seen in this book were the correct decision, and the other decision was the wrong decision. That’s what I’ve seen. And some of the decisions that you’ve made were make it and break it, and you’ve chosen the right one. If you’re fantastic and making nappies, that’s not the only skill you need to sell nappies. So read this book. I’ve got nothing else girls, shall we finish up? I’ll have to make sure I get some payback from that author. Thank you, Vashti.
Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Thank you, Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Bye everybody.