The Bumpadum cloth diapers for babies can be reused between 100 and 150 times. It has many takers in Kochi
By Shevlin Sebastian
When the Kochi-based working mom Aarohi Sharma opened the Aviva Organic Cotton Diaper, her eyes bulged in pleasure. On the back of the pink diaper, there were drawings of a preening goat, a cactus plant, snails, leaves, tiny hearts, and a sunflower. Another diaper had red buttons all over it, a tree with leafy branches, an upside-down teacup, a house, a fish and small leaves. “It was so beautiful to look at,” she says.
These diapers have been brought out by the Bumpadum company, which is based in Bengaluru. A friend told Aarohi about it. And she is a very satisfied customer. “The diapers are super-trim,” she says. “I have a 13-month son. With boys, you have to make them wear shorts or trousers. Unlike disposable diapers, since Aviva is slim, I can use it beneath my son’s shorts.”
Aarohi is also happy with the absorption. “When I use it at night, my son sleeps right through,” she says. “Since organic cotton is used, again, unlike disposable diapers, my son has never suffered a rash.”
Bumpadum founder Anuradha Rao smiles when she hears this. The company will complete three years on July 30. She said she got interested in cloth diapers when she was using disposable diapers for her daughter Meera who was born five years ago. “I learnt that when diapers reach a landfill it will not decompose for 500 years,” she says. Anuradha also discovered that she was using between 8 to 10 diapers a day. These cost anywhere between Rs 10 to Rs 15 per piece. “Over a three-year period parents end up spending Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000 on diapers only,” she says.
So, she decided to make a re-usable cloth diaper. “It is not a new concept,” she says. “For generations parents had been using cloth diapers. But they were not waterproof and did not keep the baby dry. So I wanted to marry the convenience of a disposable diaper with that of a diaper that is available in cloth. Hence, it can be washed and reused.”
Bumpadum is using a fabric called hemp which is the most absorbent natural fabric anywhere in the world. “We import it just to make these diapers,” says Anuradha. “It has great absorbency without making it too bulky. The outer layer is laminated with a 20-micron layer of polyurethane. That provides the water-proofing. It is a breathable fabric which allows air to pass through. But it does not allow water to pass through. That way, the baby will not feel hot and sweaty.”
There is also a special fabric on top called microfleece and it becomes dry soon after it becomes wet. “After the baby passes urine, if you touch the fabric after six to seven seconds you will not feel any wetness,” says Anuradha.
As for the price, it ranges from Rs 699 to Rs 899, depending on the size and the features. “The diapers can be reused between 100 and 150 times,” says Anuradha. “So, if you buy 15 diapers, it will last three years and you only spend Rs 20,000. The initial investment is high but once parents make it, they don’t have to worry about buying diapers again.”
Business is booming. They sell through retail outlets in Bengaluru. And Bumpadum is selling its products online. “In Kochi itself, we have about 250 customers,” says Anuradha.
As mothers bought the diapers and felt happy with it, they kept asking Anuradha whether she could make similar menstrual pads. “That’s how the idea for Bhoomi came up,” she says.
The normal disposal sanitary napkins that you get is not breathable and very sweaty, and made of plastic. “Our pads are made of cloth,” says Anuradha. “They are water-proof and extremely comfortable to wear.”
The price ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per pad depending on size. “This can be reused 60 to 70 times at the very least,” says Anuradha. “Again, our customers told us that they are very happy with this product.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode)