The History of Diapers

Before disposable diapers, all babies in North America were diapered in cloth. It was during World War II that the diaper service was introduced to deliver fresh, clean diapers to working mothers. Proctor and Gamble introduced the disposable diaper in 1961 with the launch of Pampers.  Kimberly Clark later became the second largest disposable diaper manufacturer with the Huggies brand.  Disposable diapers were absorbent and easy to use, and the marketing budgets were enormous.

In the early 90’s, the disposable diaper manufacturers released the first in a series of studies to show that cloth diapering uses up another resource: water. The studies argued that the benefit of using cloth in a home setting is negated by the consumption of electricity and water necessary to launder the cloth diapers. Water is a consideration, but the large scale of industrial laundering makes the water and electricity consumption efficient while ensuring proper grey water treatment.

Within 10 years of the arrival of disposable diapers, the number of cloth diaper users quickly dwindled1. In the 80’s, with hundreds of news stories on environmental concern, and numerous studies, there was once again a growing demand for reusable cotton diapers, and usage peaked by Earth Day 1990.

Proctor and Gamble fought back in the early 90’s, with hundreds of millions of dollars of lobbying and advertising to consumers. Consequently, the cloth diaper industry suffered once again.

In the last few years, however, as people become more aware of their individual impact on the environment, there has been a trend reversal and reusable diaper use is once again on the rise.

For these reasons, BabyAuric has created a customer-focused and efficiently run cotton diaper service in Montreal that allows the environmentally conscience parent to reduce their and their baby’s ecological footprint.

1. EnviroZine, Issue 45, August 5, 2004, Environment Canada.