Friday, August 31, 2012

Same Diapers, Different Label?

There has recently been a lot of talk within the cloth diaper community about the "cloth diaper clones" or "China diapers". I have even had some people inquire about the diapers I sell privately and respectfully as well as publicly and disrespectfully. I would very much like to address the topics placed before me and clear up any misconceptions.
First, a little background. After all, wouldn't you want all of the information prior to screaming out a guilty or not guilty verdict?
I had my first child in November of 2010. The moment I laid eyes on her, I was a goner! In the first 2 weeks of my maternity leave I began to panic at the thought of returning to my 45+ hour a week job as a manager in the financial industry. I searched desperately for a way to earn money while still being with her. Many of you know this feeling. I am a very strong believer in God. I believe in praying for miracles. So, I began to pray for mine. After researching HARD to find affordable cloth diapers I came across a bunch of manufacturers in China. I tried as many as I could and finally found a manufacturer that I fell in love with. I ordered my personal stash from them and used them daily. I remember telling my husband that I wished more people could have affordable diapers without having to do all the leg work and research. I considered doing something about this but prayed first. I asked God to either open every door or slam one in my face so I know whether or not I should proceed. Well guess what? Yup, every door opened. I was very cautious, but they just kept opening. So I walked through each one and every step I took I had total faith in God that He was leading me in the right direction. I quit my job about 1 year after I started my company because the hubby and I just happened to pay one of our big loans off so my income was no longer needed to support our meager lifestyle. I could quit and we'd still break even! All I've ever prayed for is just enough. That's what we have and I am SO grateful!
So, on to the issue at hand. I have mentioned many times in various places that I personally found and tested a TON of cloth diaper manufacturers in China. Just about every single one of them used the same PUL patterns, but almost everyone of them had differences in their designs.( I SO wish I had not donated these diapers so that I could include photos to prove my point.) Two thirds of them were low quality and out of the ones I did like, only one had safety certifications and could prove a great work environment for their employees. I was sold! Do they have a standard pocket diaper that they manufacture with any companies label? Yes. Do they manufacture for other companies as well? Of course they do. Most, I believe, sell their diapers for significantly more than I do. (They also most likely pay themselves because of it.) Can you buy a diaper that is practically identical to my "Classic" style for $2 less? Yes, and it will take 4-6 weeks for you to receive it because it's coming directly from China...where it's made. Which is most likely why they can sell it for $2 less than I do. They aren't paying for shipping fees, customs fees, taxes and duties so they can charge a bit less. Do I make any money on my "Classic" diapers? Not hardly, but I will NEVER raise the price on them because I believe everyone should have access to affordable fluff. Since I'd like to stay in business and you can't operate a business without some form of profit, I designed the Rave, the LPD Cover and the soon to be released LPD Newborn diaper. These cost more to manufacture since they are not "clones" and therefor I have to charge more. However, they are still considerably less than others on the market with similar features. I also offer a bunch of accessories like prefolds which look shockingly similar to other prefolds on the market but nobody complains about those.
I'm not out to cheat people or lie. I've always been 100% honest with people. Yes, my diapers are all made in China. Yes, they have been tested for chemicals and lead and fully comply with all CPSIA regulations. Yes, I sell "clones", but I sell them for less than any other company that operates from the US and you'll get them within 5 days or less. I also sell other styles that are not clones, as well as a heap of accessories.
I understand that it can be frustrating to see the same diaper on different sites for $5, $7, $10, all the way up to $29! (That one made me laugh too!) I know it bugs that some say they designed the "clone" diaper. I agree with these points! I never claimed to design my "Classic" style. I have however sent in the specifications for the other styles I sell, as well as my soon to be released newborn design, and had them produced according to my requests.
I just needed to put this out there so that everyone would know that I'm not trying to hide anything or pull the wool over your eyes. I've always answered the questions that have been asked honestly and will continue to do so. I have had so many people show such gratitude for what I provide and it makes it an absolute joy to do what I do! I can't tell you what my customers mean to me! There just aren't words to express how very much every single one of them mean to me. Seriously!!
I am just a mom who has had her prayers answered. I do my very best to provide quality diapers at rock bottom prices with fast shipping times and exceptional customer service. If you don't like my company or products, don't support or buy. It's that simple. There are enough people out there that do, and "enough" is all I prayed for.
(I hope I haven't offended anyone. It's a touchy subject for many.)