Melissa Huynh, owner and creator of Lalabye Baby, with her first child, Leah.
"I started cloth diapering out of necessity. I wanted to stay at home, and going down to a single income home meant we needed to cut spending big time. So, I chose cloth diapers.
But once I'd chosen cloth diapers, I realized at once that I could never go back. The sheer amount of waste that disposables cause was apparent within the first three months after Leah was born. Changing her approximately 10-12 times a day for three months meant we would have gone through over 300 diapers already. Think about what 300 dirty disposable diapers would look like, wrapped up in garbage bags. And that's just 3 months worth. Most kids don't potty train for 2 or 3+ years.
Fast forward to the creation of Lalabye Baby, where I worked really hard to weigh the benefits of quality and cost with Eco-conscious choices." ~Melissa Huynh (Owner and Creator of Lalabye Baby)
- TPU breaks down more easily than PUL and contains less chemicals.
- Bamboo is easily cultivated and thrives without the use of fertilizers or pesticides, making it a sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable naturally “green” material, unlike microfiber, which is often made from non-biodegradable petrochemicals that contribute to micro-plastic pollution.
- Nearly 98% of our marketing and customer support resources are digital (read: paper free!) with the remaining 2% being vinyl banners and promotional materials that are reused for public events.
- Our business cards are made of 100% recycled cotton t-shirts that have been made into cotton paper.
- Our packaging has changed from minimal cardboard boards to nothing but an attached informational paper tag that provides wash and fit instructions.
- All of our retailers are natural-focused parenting stores: people we trust to pass on the spirit of Eco-consciousness when selling our products, with nearly half of our retailers online: further cutting down on storage and energy resources usually consumed in a traditional storefront.
- Rather than have materials printed overseas, shipped stateside, and then assembled, we save a lot of fuel use and transportation pollution by streamlining our production in one factory. We also ship by sea in bulk, which cuts down on air pollution.
- Instead of having every product we make made in every color we sell, we limit our production to what we know we can sell quickly, so as to not waste resources, energy, and time on products that will sit on a shelf and keep our retailers tied up in unsold product. This is the key reason why we are able to bring out new products, new prints, new colors as often as we are!
- Creating prints that appeal to many interests (by including lots of animals instead of just focusing on one or adding lots of little details instead of keeping things plain) helps to ensure that more people will love the print. Printing a design is a huge risk each time due to minimums we have to meet (this is especially true for a retailer exclusive- that is a definite investment for a retailer) so we want to try to please as many people as possible with each release. This also helps to allow for more releases so that we have less waste in unsold product and can keep things fresh!
- We reprint when there is a very high demand for something that has sold out rather than waste resources starting from scratch. Estimating how much to carry is a numbers game that is constantly changing. For example: during 2020, we sold out every single release and watched our numbers increase in real time, while we already had in hand the rest of the releases for that summer. We did our best to increase our numbers for fall, even surveying our retailers to make sure that we could provide them with everything they wanted, but what we hadn't anticipated before the season began was how hard the drop off would be once the world opened back up a little. We ended up with a lot more stock than anticipated, so we had to slow down our releases. We are constantly paying attention to what we sell so that we do not make more than we need and end up being wasteful.
- Offering a limited number of solids allows our retailers to carry everything we sell in a sufficient amount of stock, which keeps customers happy and gives them a better shopping experience, and it helps retailers from sitting on unsold product, which prevents further waste.
- We also retire solids as they become less desirable to bring out new product and to (again) prevent overstock.
- Making custom colors (Charming, Darling, Merrily Merrily) requires a very large minimum for rolls of fabric, which is why we do not waste our custom colors on only making OS diapers, but have expanded into pail liners, newborns, and covers in those colors to prevent excess while listening to customer's voices to extend our offerings. It's also why we do not choose to do custom colors very often. We don't want to make fabric that we know we cannot sell, and solids, while consistent sellers, don't require the larger purchase numbers that prints do.
- We put a new process into effect when we released of Pocketful of Posies in 2017. When we release new solids that will not be part of our regular line up, you'll us use the term Limited Conditional. What does this mean? It means we will be watching to see how they sell. If they sell well, we will reorder and keep it in stock. If it does not, we will nix it from the line up. This keeps unsold product from sitting and makes space on shelves and in budgets for new products.
At the end of the day, Lalabye Baby strives to make eco-conscious choices wherever possible while still doing everything we can to listen to our customers and ensure that we are keeping things fresh and new! We appreciate your patience when we experience growing pains in this very variable market, and we will continue to make changes to ensure that your experience with Lalabye Baby is, as always, Simply Convenient.
This blog post originally appeared October 13, 2017 at LalabyeBaby.blog.