More Parents Are Turning to Cloth Diaper Businesses Among Shortages

“If your diapers are reusable, you'll never run out, and I think that's really attractive right now."
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Mar 2020
baby crawling in blue pattern cloth diaper

Nationwide shortages continue due to COVID-19 outbreak. People are experiencing empty store shelves and cancelled online orders, and many parents are desperate for baby essentials, including diapers. With disposable diapers harder to find, many caregivers are turning to cloth diapers—an industry that’s seen some serious growth in the past few weeks.

Diaperkind, co-founded by Liz Turrigiano in 2009, is a cloth diaper delivery and cleaning service, while Esembly, a startup also co-founded by Liz Turrigiano a few months ago, is a line of organic and reusable diapers, as well as skincare and laundering products. Both have seen “skyrocketing growth” Turrigiano tells TODAY. “It’s just been like, ‘Holy heck, what is happening?’” she said. “In the past week everything’s been turned on its head… Our revenue has grown by 300% in the past five days.”

According to Turrigiano, some of her new customers have been unable to find diapers at their usual stores or buy them online. “We’re hearing, straightforward, from people who are reaching out to us,” she told the outlet. “People are like, ‘Tell us all about your system, how soon can I get started, because Amazon just cancelled all my subscriptions’ or ‘All store shelves are empty’ or ‘My baby goes through 70 to 80 diapers per week and I can’t stockpile that many.’ I think it’s really just the lack of availability of disposable diapers and the sheer quantities that babies go through.”

Tidy Tots Diapers, founded by Sandy Beck has seen a similar increase in growth. “We have gotten orders in that are over $1000, over $1500. People are stocking up for the long haul, absolutely,” Beck told the outlet.

In the past few weeks, many large retailers have faced supply issues. Amazon announced last week that, due to increased demand, the company would be limiting the orders shipped out to necessities. Now, according to an Amazon spokesperson, Subscribe and Save items might be currently unavailable. Customers will have until a week before their delivery arrive-by date to make changes to their orders. Out-of-stock notifications, as well as delayed shipment notifications, will be sent to customers through email. “We are working with our partners to get these items back in stock as quickly as possible,” the Amazon spokesperson told TODAY. “Future orders will not be impacted.”

Beck, however, is confident her company won’t face such issues. Tidy Tots Diapers are manufactured in upstate New York, she said, adding that her employees have been taking extra measures to protect against the spread of coronavirus. (Employees are tested before entering the building and kept at least six feet apart from each other.) “I’m doing baby products. I would not want anyone here, even with the flu, to give it to a baby,” Beck told TODAY. “Everybody is being very good about it.”

Similarly, Turrigiano isn’t worried about any supply chain issues. “[Esembly] does not anticipate having any trouble providing product to our customers, as our distribution warehouse is fully stocked with inventory,” she told the outlet. “We’re definitely ready. If your diapers are reusable, you’ll never run out, and I think that’s really attractive right now."

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