Cloth Nappies:Green Wash or Great Green Credentials?

Somebody mentioned to the team at NapNap that they thought that cloth nappies were a load of greenwash! Stephanie from NapNap H.Q dispels some of the myths surrounding cloth nappies:

The Numbers Game

When using cloth you use between 20 and 40 nappies per child. And you are using fewer with each child as you can reuse them. When using disposables it’s more like 4000 – 6000 per child!


Cloth nappies are made of, well, cloth! Although cotton farming can be highly intensive and damaging, you can easily buy organic cotton nappies which have far less of an environmental impact. And remember, even if not opting for organic (or bamboo), you are only responsible for 20-40 nappies whereas the paper alone involved in disposables amounts to a far greater impact before you can even reach for a wipe…. TriButylTin and Sodium Polyacrylate are used in disposables. The names should be enough to put you off.


The non-biodegradable Disposables – will take up an estimated 500 years to decompose. And they will decompose encasing contamination (poo). It does not vanish into thin air. It makes landfill highly contaminated. The biodegradable Disposables – decompose quicker but in landfill will release a lot of methane as they will be decomposing anaerobically. Unless you put them in your compost, this is no solution either. (And you still need 4000 per child!)


Yes, washing cloth nappies use electricity and water. However, do not be duped by reports that are based on cloth nappies being washed at 90 degrees centigrade and then IRONED! We would confidently give away a NapNap Voucher to anyone who irons their nappies! No takers so far – we are busy looking after babies!

So cloth nappies use far fewer resources, do not use enormous amounts of electricity, prevent the earth from being contaminated (send the poo down the loo!), and do not use nasty chemicals.

Take the plunge. NapNap Vouchers are gift vouchers that can be used in over 20 cloth nappy shops and that number is growing all the time. Ask for small denomination vouchers, buy a couple of nappies, and you’ll never look back. Cloth nappies are incontrovertibly greener than disposables, and they are also cheaper and prettier. Give them a whirl.

Top Tips for getting started
Go to a Nappuccino: that’s a “coffee morning” where you get information on cloth nappies. There will be samples to look at and feel, and “experts” (usually a mum passionate about cloth) to answer any questions and give advice. It will help you understand the different types of nappies so you can make an informed choice when buying.

Don’t stress about cloth from birth – ease yourself in. Buy a few different types of cloth nappies and try them out. Then see which ones you prefer and get some more.

It’s never too late. You can start using cloth nappies when your baby is 6 months old, a year-old, anytime.

Get some help to cover the cost: cloth nappies will save you lots of money but the initial cost can be high. Most councils offers some help (up to £50 cashback in some places) so check what’s on offer in your area. And if there is no incentive scheme, ask for NapNap Vouchers.

If you are looking for more information on cloth nappies (reviews, tips, competitions) or need help in finding your local Nappuccino, check our website or contact us at or 08454 63 63 27.

NapNap Voucher information can be found on our website, and can be purchased from Really Eco