New Shop set to boost
Hebden Bridge's eco-credentials

The Clean Green Nappy Machine

Monday, 8 June 2009

Clean Green NappiesThe Clean Green Nappy Machine, which sells a wide range of eco-friendly nappies, has just opened in Hebden Bridge.

Prior to this the company was based in London, but only sold their goods online.

Proprietor Esma Levendoglu said that she was delighted when the opportunity to rent a shop space at Croft Mill on Albert Street came up. “We’d been looking for a shop front for a while, and Hebden Bridge is the ideal place for us to base ourselves. We look forward to joining the lovely range of stores which make the town such a great destination for shoppers. It was important that we found a place with natural sympathies with our ethical outlook, and I’m delighted that we’re setting up shop in a town which has such enthusiastic green consumers as well as enlightened shopkeepers.”

Alongside cloth nappies (also known as real nappies, washable nappies or re-usable nappies) the shop sells a full range of real nappy accessories, and eco-friendly laundry products including the original EcoBalls and Dryer Balls, as well as new low-temperature washing powders.

Esma is keen to point out that modern nappies have come a long way from the terry squares of old. “We do sell terries, but modern cloth nappies are shaped – a little bit like a pair of pants, with side fastening tabs to make them easier to put on and take off. They also come in an amazing range of modern fabrics, including silky-soft bamboo and microfleece, as well as cotton.”

Clean Green Nappy Machine

Focusing exclusively on real nappy products means The Clean Green Nappy Machine can test everything that it sells, and they take great pride in stocking only the top cloth nappy brands. ‘We have a growing network of mums and babies who put the nappies through their paces for us and let us know the pros and cons of any potential new product before we stock it in our shop.”

The focus is on UK-based companies as much as possible. “Many of the top brands in the world are based right here in this country, so we can ensure that we source the majority of our nappies locally, meaning that they’re cheaper and greener for our customers. The few products we do import are stand-out brands that we feel we have to offer our customers – and all of them have very strong environmental policies in place.”

One major objective of the company is to let people know the cost-savings to be made from using real nappies. Esma believes parents can save over £1,100 during the time their baby is in nappies. “It’s common sense really – disposables cost up to £15 per week, with the average spend being £9.24. With real nappies, apart from the initial outlay, parents have minimal ongoing costs.” These include a very small amount on electricity and washing powder (or the eco-alternative), to launder the nappies, and even account for the depreciation in the value of the washing machine used to do so. These calculations show that in total, including all of these expenses, it could cost as little as £144.14 to keep a baby in real nappies for the average 33 months that he or she will be wearing them. The corresponding average figure for disposables is a whopping £1321.32.

But of course, the real motivator behind the business is spreading the word of the ecological benefits of using cloth nappies. Esma tell us, “We were so pleased last year that the government funded report from DEFRA showed that cloth nappies are 40% better for the environment than disposables. There’s no getting away from the fact that disposing of baby poo hygienically takes a heavy toll on the planet’s natural resources, but we want to make sure we minimise that impact, and the report bears out what we always knew.”

Clean Green Nappy Machine

The survey shows that by using best practice (including line drying nappies, and not washing above 60°C), parents will be saving up to 40% of the carbon dioxide equivalents of using disposables. It also points out that the main benefit of real nappies is that parents can choose, having purchased their nappies, how to care for them, and thus to ensure that their environmental impact is kept to a minimum. And with modern fabrics and detergents meaning that nappies can be washed for shorter, at lower temperatures, these benefits can be extended.

The company has been trading for almost 3 years now – and is the current holder of the BabyGroe Ethical Company award. “We feel our environmental credentials have to be absolutely solid”, said Esma – “there is no point in providing information which helps parents choose a more environmentally-friendly product if we don’t ensure that we are also keeping our own footprint to a minimum – which is why we have set ourselves stringent waste and recycling targets as well as monitoring our energy consumption and ensuring that our own promotional material is kept to a minimum”.

This obviously stood the company in good stead when competition judge Brigit Strawbridge (of the TV show “It’s Not Easy Being Green”) read their submission, as she said  “The Clean Green Nappy Machine impressed me in so many ways and on so many levels; they are absolutely committed to promoting a more sustainable and ethical way of living and demonstrate this in every area of their business from their policies on packaging and promotional material, to the information contained within their wonderful website. They are very deserving winners of this award”.

Esma says that she couldn’t wait to open their doors to the public in Hebden Bridge. “We’ve only ever sold online before, and it’ll be great to meet like-minded people who are keen to try something a little bit different in their quest to to help keep our planet safe for our kids.”

More info

Clean Green Nappy Machine
Shop 2 Croft Mill
Albert Street
Hebden Bridge

Tel: 01422 847733


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