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REAL DIAPER ASSOCIATION NEWS: Issue 24, October 2006

As an all-volunteer organization, Real Diaper Association is what RDA members do. We want to highlight those RDA members who joined Board members Marie DiCocco and Lori Taylor at the Green Festival in Washington, DC, earlier this month. We also want to thank all of those business members who donated samples so festival attendees could see and touch a variety of cloth diapers. We used all of these diapers in our conversations in Washington, and the diapers will now travel the country between Diaper Circles as a trunk show. Thank you all for your support of cloth diapers.

Big Advocacy Shout Out!
Karen Amidon of Green Mountain Diapers

When Mothering Magazine requested that RDA bring a cloth diaper vendor to the Green Festival to make it easy for festival attendees to walk away with their babies in cloth diapers, we thought of one of our earliest business members, Green Mountain Diapers, a business member since the founding of Real Diaper Association in 2004.

We wanted a cloth diaper vendor. Karen Amidon had a different idea, though. Karen did not want to bring diapers for sale. Karen wanted to give diapers away. For any Festival attendee willing to take their child out of a disposable diaper right there and change into cloth, Karen offered a free diaper and cover. Did you read that right? Yes, Karen gave away diapers.

Karen estimates that about two dozen people took her up on her offer over the two-day festival. When conversations turned to "What kind of diaper is your baby wearing now?" and "Would you like to switch to cloth?" Karen talked the parents through the choices they had, helped them choose the right size and style diaper for their baby, and stayed with them as they made the change.

Would you like to giveaway diapers to help parents make a change? Karen has a few tips.

  • Offer a variety of sizes. (She didn’t anticipate so many newborns at the Festival.)
  • Make the changing area semi-private, with space around the changing table.
  • Let the parents change the baby’s diaper themselves.
  • Bring a doll so the parents can practice their diapering skills.
  • Have hand-sanitizer and basic cleaning supplies available.
  • Give out prefold diaper folding instructions and washing instructions.

Thank you, Karen for your strong ideas about what people need. It works!


 

 



Hand around
cloth diapers
to new parents.



 

 



Share your skills.
Volunteer to build RDA resources.



 

 



RDA will build
the movement
with your help.

Why We Choose Cloth.  Upon joining, RDA members are asked to respond to "Why I Choose Cloth." 

Business Member · Bryana Guckin, owner of Soft Cloth Bunz, Virginia Beach, Virginia, wrote:

"Initially I chose cloth diapers for the cost savings as I had two children in diapers at the same time. Afterwards I read about the impact that disposables have on the environment and baby's health. The information I found locked in my decision that cloth was best for us."

Individual Member · Krystal McDonald of northern Virginia, wrote:

"Safety for my child. Eco-friendly. Cost."

»» Read more testimonials.

Newest Real Diaper Circle Leader
Ann Maclean of northern Virginia

RDA is built on the assumption that local cloth diapering advocates can best determine solutions to local needs. We were thrilled to welcome our newest Real Diaper Circle Leader, Ann Maclean of northern Virginia, only a week before the Green Festival in nearby Washington, DC.

Did we ever need Ann at the festival! Local people had questions that Ann and Marie DiCocco, RDA Board member from northern Virginia, were able to answer because, between them, they knew cloth diapering resources in their area.

Ann learned about cloth diapers when she was living in Scotland earlier this year. She was introduced to cloth nappies through the active Real Nappy Network (a big inspiration for Real Diaper Association). Ann became convinced of the importance of using cloth diapers, and she got to know the styles and brands available in the UK. She wrote from the UK to say she intended to become a Real Diaper Circle Leader on her return.

Ann has been back in the US for a couple of months, and she is still adjusting to the resources available here. She is still diapering her baby with the (admittedly great) Scottish diapers she brought home with her. Ann needs U.S.-made diapers! She found the samples at the festival and the conversations with cloth diapering parents from DC, Maryland, and Virginia to be a great education. What did they want most? By far, they most wanted a diaper service. Ann helped them out.

Thank you for your enthusiastic beginning, Ann. We look forward to your great local work for cloth diapers. Members should look for an article by Ann Maclean on travelling with cloth diapers in the upcoming Quarterly print newsletter.

Newest RDA Business Member
Bryana Guckin of Soft Cloth Bunz

Our cloth diaper vendor at the Green Festival was RDA business member Soft Cloth Bunz from Virginia Beach, a few hours south of DC. Mothering Magazine had asked that she provide a small diaper kit with a few basics to start diapering right away. Bryana created a Grab ‘n’ Go Diaper Kit. She also showed off diapers and covers with great displays, including wall mannequins and moveable cloth mannequins for trying out different diaper styles.

When asked if the festival was a success for Soft Cloth Bunz, Bryana said they were "successful because we were able to promote what we love." She found that the experience of the festival changed her approach. Bryana wants to spend more time and effort on cloth diaper education in the future.

She offered a few tips for those who want to sell cloth diapers at festivals.

  • Consider this a promotion to build future sales because it seldom pays for itself.
  • Make the space visually interesting with hands-on display.
  • Keep it simple. Too much variety confuses people who know little about cloth diapers.
  • Explain that fitted and prefold diapers do same job, and both still need a cover.

Welcome, Bryana! Thank you for your hard work at the Green Festival, and we won’t ask again why it took you so long to join Real Diaper Association.

hanging prefold diaper

Cloth Diapering Advocacy Tip #15: 
Hang out a line. If you have a chance to attend a fair, farmer's market, or other public event, hang out a clothesline with a variety of cloth diapers. This makes diapers easy to see and touch for those attending the event. Show the simplest flat and prefold diapers as well as fitted diapers, covers, and all-in-one diapers. RDA members who have done this found that the simple visual image of diapers on the line is a great way to start conversations about cloth diapers.

Do you have more ideas for Advocacy Tips? Tell us all about it.


© The Real Diaper Association, 2006. All rights reserved.
Real Diaper Association | P.O. Box 156887 | San Francisco, CA 94115