Brooke Summerville is an Australian Nappy Association supporter member and is the mother of two little ones. Brooke writes an informative blog about creative sustainability. If you’re after an eco-parenting hit, based on real life advice and experience, we highly recommend visiting Eco Parents Australia. Our thanks to Brooke for compiling this guide.
If you have finished the cloth nappy journey with your own children you might find yourself with a stash that may still effectively cover a little bottom. Others might be ready to retire. There are a number of options you can consider.
Give them away
Perhaps you know an expectant mum that might appreciate some cloth nappies to get started. Of course your advice will be super valuable too.
Who would have thought the second hand market for preloved cloth nappies was so popular? There are the usual online sites such as Gumtree (note – eBay has a policy whereby only new cloth nappies can be listed). Or you may prefer to sell to a specific nappy group or buy/sell/swap group. There are a number of these on Facebook created by location (country) or by manufacturer.
There are many things you can do or make from old school terry flats. Many families continue to use them as cleaning cloths.
ANA Founding Member, Fiona from Darlings Downunder, put together a blog post about some of the many ways to reuse a terry flat.
Natural fabrics can be composted. Remove any snaps/clips, labels or materials that are not compost friendly.
If you would like to donate nappies it is worth contacting the group or organisation first to check on shipment dates or specific needs.
Some things to consider when donating nappies
- Be realistic about their condition. Ensure they are suitable for reuse. It is a waste of energy, resources and time to donate cloth nappies that are full of holes (which mean leaks are likely).
- In addition to cloth nappies, some organisations accept monetary donations.
- Most organisations distribute to third world countries (or are based there) because that is where the overwhelming need lies.
Organisations that accept donations
Located: Glendenning, NSW
About: Lavenderia NappyCare run nappy drives and donate through a large local church who then send the nappies to communities in the Philippines. This is done every 2 – 3 months or so depending on donations collected.
Recipients: Communities in the Philippines.
Donations: cloth nappies
Nappies on a mission
Location: Based in Northern Territory, Australia this group sends nappies to East Timor.
About: Donated nappies are repaired (if needed) and sent to third world countries.
Recipients: Children homes, villages
Donations: Cloth nappies
Contact: Robyn Sage
Located: Chiang Mai, Thailand.
About: Agape Home is for babies with HIV/AIDS. Many of the children who come to the Agape Home to live are, or are at risk of being, HIV positive. Many of them have already lost their parents to AIDS.
Recipients: Babies and children in Agape Home
Donations: Cloth nappies, money
Cradle of Love Baby Home
Located: Tanzania, Africa.
About: Many women die in pregnancy or when giving birth leaving a needy infant. This home cares for orphaned or abandoned babies with HIV.
Recipients: Babies and children in the care of the home
Donations: Cloth nappies, money, monthly sponsorship, food, clothes, formula
Located: Based in Victoria, Australia, this group has collection points everywhere. They provide items to Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Bali, New Zealand, Kashmir , Australia.
About: The main focus of Uplift Project is to provide bras to women in need all over the world. Often these women are mothers with children in need to.
They accept bras, books, odd socks, sanitary products, underwear, baby blankets, and swimwear. Check the website for current needs.
Recipients: Women, girls, children
Donations: Clothing, cloth nappies, money
All Things Diapers – MN cloth diaper donation center
About: This organisation has a drop in cloth diaper donation center that lends cloth diapers to lower income families.
Cloth for a cause
About: A group of Canadian mothers striving to provide quality, sustainable cloth nappies to struggling families. They call themselves a cloth lending service – lending to families in the hopes that they will return them to us in good condition when they no longer need them so they can continue to help other families. They also provide information on how to use them and help parents troubleshoot cloth nappy use.
Donations: Cloth nappies, cloth nappy repair equipment/fabrics, volunteer time, money, sponsorship
The Nappy Collective
About: This is a collection organisation that accepts disposable (not cloth) nappies. Sometimes cloth nappy users have a number of disposable on hand with no real need for them.
Recipients: Families in crisis.
Donations: Disposable nappies, money, storage space, volunteer hours