Made in China: something to be proud of!

Happy Naps has a clear mission: a better alternative to the disposable diaper, to save the environment. At the same time, we do not want to compromise on quality and safety. It wasn’t easy, but we managed to find a way. The building blocks of our sustainable business model are Dutch design and production in China. The latter might set off alarm bells. Allow us to briefly explain to you why we are so proud of our conscious choice for a Chinese partner.

When it comes to environmental friendliness, China has an image problem. It is still perceived as being a production country with low wages, child labour and poor quality. As with many sustainability topics, the reality is a lot more complex. Made in Europe is not always a good thing and Made in China certainly is not always bad. Ultimately, it depends on the manufacturer and the agreements you make with them as a company.

China is the largest and most experienced export country of diapers. Because the local manufacturers produce side by side in so-called 'clusters', a long tradition of knowledge sharing, and innovation has developed over the years. Especially for a new product, such as modern cloth diapers for frail babies, such fast, up-to-date learning processes are very important. The skin is a baby's largest organ, and it is 33% thinner than adult skin. Any product that touches a baby's skin must therefore be designed with care: cushion-soft, protective, breathable, and non-irritating. Our choice for a Chinese manufacturer with experience in the market takes this into account.

Our choice for China also makes sense from a sustainability point of view. Happy Naps are made from 100% vegan materials. For example, we use bamboo and hemp for the inserts. These raw materials originate from China. Both undergo a complete transformation from plant to baby-friendly, soft fabric. We'll spare you the technical details, but it requires a complex infrastructure. Companies in China are experts in the required techniques and they are constantly on the lookout for optimisations to meet the latest standards. We have a special arrangement with our manufacturer to keeps plastic inputs to an absolute minimum. They also comply with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which excludes the use of harmful substances.

Growing bamboo and hemp in Europe is possible, but it is an expensive, time-consuming investment. In addition, brand new (unsustainable) production facilities must be built for processing. And then there is the problem of lower quality inputs. In China, huge, healthy bamboo forests grow naturally. That is something the European climate could never match. The case for hemp is different; it could be grown closer to home, but because we work with a mix for the best functionality of our inserts, it is a greener option to 'assemble' our hemp and bamboo locally.

Just as parenting is a mix of hard work and receiving much in return, a production country is not unequivocally bad nor harmless for the environment. At Happy Naps we are constantly tracking the most functional, sustainable solutions available. Our own research led to our current Chinese manufacturer. For us, Made in China is something to be proud of!

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