Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
Dhivya Sidharth from Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore, was a professor at a college until her son was born. Due to personal reasons, she had to leave her job, but being an ambitious person, she did not want to sit idle.
Although this sounds like a common story, hers is one of its kind. When her son was 5-month-old, a friend of hers gifted a reusable cloth diaper, and once she began using it on her son, she realised how convenient it is.
Talking to The Logical Indian, she said, “Babies have very sensitive skin, and the disposable diapers available in the market are extremely harmful to them. It took me time to realise this, but when I did, I decided to do something about it.”
Since there is hardly any awareness on disposable diapers, she began a venture by getting cloth diapers imported from foreign countries and then reselling them. But the trouble was, these were not as easy to use as the disposable ones are. Naturally, mothers would back out and buy what was more convenient for them.
“That is when I decided to design my own diapers. To be honest, I tested my designs on my son, who is now two years old, and also on some of my friends’ babies. Soon, I felt satisfied with my designs. The outer layer of the diaper is waterproof, and the inner one is a stay-dry layer, ensuring there is no wetness. As a plus, it is adjustable according to the size of the baby. It can actually be used as easily as disposable diapers are used,” said Dhivya.
But the venture started in 2018, did not run without difficulties. A single diaper that Dhivya sells costs Rs 850 to Rs 900. While disposable diapers could be bought at a remarkably lower price, why would mothers want to spend so much money?
“A single diaper that I design and sell can be used from when the baby is born to when he or she learns to use the bathroom themselves. Above that, a cloth diaper is eco-friendly and easy to use. Thinking logically, buying one of these cloth diapers and buying several of those disposable diapers over the years would not really have much difference in cost. Besides, the usefulness of cloth diapers cannot be paralleled with anything else. Initially, mothers would hesitate to spend so much money on one diaper, but with time, they would understand, and today, my products are loved by all,” said Dhivya.
Dhivya’s Facebook page ‘Kiddiehug’ now has more than 1,800 followers, and her products will soon be available on Flipkart and Amazon. For the diapers for newborns who weigh 2.5 kg to 4 kg, flats and prefolds can be used. Once they weigh 4 kg to 5 kg, they can shift to one-size diapers (pocket diapers and ready-to-wear diapers).
An upcoming global event called The Great Cloth Diaper Change will have Dhivya participating in it, raising awareness. This event is celebrated every year as a part of Earth Day.
“I have one assistant for packaging and inventory management. At the back office, we have a team of three mothers who use our products and help newbies in our Facebook group. We work from home. All the packaging and shipping are done in an eco-friendly manner, without using plastic but only cloth and cardboard boxes. Kiddiehug is now a trademark and a registered brand,” Dhivya said.
While there is always a lot of discussion on menstruation and how sanitary pads are harmful to the environment, most of us never think of how harmful these disposable diapers might actually be, both for the babies and the environment. Dhivya is also planning to design sanitary pads made of cloth in the near future.
“These diapers look very cute on the babies, unlike the boring disposable diapers. Babies do not really need pyjamas or an underwear over it, but can happily flaunt their cute diapers,” Dhivya smiled.
The Logical Indian appreciates Dhivya for thinking differently and creating a difference.
To contact Kiddiehug for queries, you can call on 9745092806.
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