Continuing with the Businesses that Green Our World series, I’d like to introduce gNappies, the world’s first hybrid nappy range. Not only are they eco-friendly nappies which help the environment, they are fashionable and colourful too. We spoke to co-founder, Kim Graham-Nye to find out how she started gNappies.
Tell us about you and your story
I am a married mom of two, living in Oregon in the US and running gDiapers with my husband, Jason.
I was pregnant with my first son when Jason and I were casually reading a Sunday newspaper over breakfast which included some shocking statistics about disposable nappies and their contribution to landfill – namely that not only do disposables contribute to a third of the world’s landfill but that they can take up to 500 years to decompose. This prompted us to research other nappy options and we found that there didn’t seem to be anything other than disposable or simply cloth options. We then happened to stumble across a third option – a hybrid nappy system that consisted of an outer pant that could be used with a cloth insert or disposable insert.
We were living in Australia and this seemed like the best kept secret! We wanted to ensure the rest of the world knew about this option and so we decided to bring the concept to North America and relocated to Oregon because of its reputation as the greenest city in America. We created the gDiapers brand, launched in the US where it went from strength to strength and then just over a year ago introduced it as gNappies to the UK, using a retail partner. This allowed us to test the ground, gaining an insight into the anomalies between US and UK consumers and adjusting our approach accordingly. We then launched a dedicated UK website in October last year.
Tell more about your products and what they do
gNappies is a hybrid nappy system comprising ‘gPants’ which can be used with gCloth inserts or gRefill inserts. gRefills decompose on a home compost in just 50-100 days. They can also be disposed of in domestic waste. gCloths are washable and reusable. The gPants come in a variety of colours and patterns and are super-cute – constituting fashionable clothing as well as being functional.
gNappies have no elemental chlorine or perfumes and have been designed using the Cradle to Cradle design principles of Bill McDonough and his firm MBDC. This means that everything that goes into the gRefills gets reabsorbed back into the eco system in a neutral or beneficial way.
The gCloth is made of soft microfleece and hemp/cotton, with no folding required. The gRefill is made from cellulose fibres from sustainably harvested trees. The gPant is made from 100% cotton and refills are held in place by a breathable pouch.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
The whole success of the gDiapers and gNappies brands and where they are today makes me feel very proud. The fact that for every parent that chooses to use them, the mass carbon footprint is reduced. However, something we’re equally proud of is our company ethos which is centred entirely around family life. We are parents ourselves, so we understand the importance of work/life balance and the fact that children just don’t fit into a 9-5 schedule. We wanted to ensure gDiapers offered a flexible work option and we have on-site childcare for employees. We feel this has been instrumental for us in us attracting and retaining high quality employees.
What has been your biggest success to date?
Establishing the brand in the US and securing the position as the hybrid of choice.
What are your plans for 2012?
Our focus this year is to work on the successes of last year, profiling our products and brand and educating consumers on the benefits of gNappies and ease of use. Like any consumer brand we want to make strong sales and raise the profile of gNappies in the UK and then throughout Europe.
For further information on gNappies, the eco benefits and the product range, visit www.gnappies.co.uk.
Finally, Kim has kindly offered us gBaby Bundle worth £120 as a competition prize. This includes 12 tiny gPants with cute ‘g’ word design, 6 little gPants, and 80 biodegradable gRefills, for your chance of winning, just complete the box below.