Sustainability is an incredibly important topic, now more than ever. That said, given all of the decisions we need to make as parents it’s difficult to make sure everything we buy is environmentally friendly. The good news is that Diaperkind, an online business that sells cloth diapers, is a brand whose mission is both good for the environment and easy to use. And, as a bonus, it has just expanded to Hoboken and Jersey City. We spoke with owner Nina about what’s kept the company in business since 2009, what makes this business different, and why sustainability matters so much to her.
HG: We’re pumped to learn more about the woman behind the brand, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
N: I’m Nina, and I own DiaperKind. I’m originally from Canada, but have lived in and around the New York area for almost a decade. I moved here to work in publishing and ended up going to grad school here too. My boyfriend and I met in high school, reconnected after college, and have been together ever since; we moved here just a few months apart. We’re the parents of an almost-three-year-old boy and a two-month-old daughter. We love spending our weekends outside.
HG: Where do you live?
N: Right now we live in Brooklyn. Like a lot of people, the pandemic really made us consider how we were living and we contemplated moving to Maine or even California, but in the end, we’re really glad we stayed in the New York area. I’m so grateful for all of the people I’ve met who are as passionate about the environment as we are. Beach clean-up days have been an amazing way to connect with other families who love to spend time outside, and we can often be found at one.
HG: Tell us more about your business!
N: Diaperkind is a cloth diaper service, online shop, and resource center. We try to make it as easy as possible for parents to choose cloth diapering by doing the laundry for them. We’ve been in business since 2009 and received requests to expand across the river multiple times a week. We’re so excited to now be offering our services in Hudson County. It’s been amazing getting to know the parenting and sustainability community in Jersey City and Hoboken.
HG: Why did you create Diaperkind?
N: I actually took the business over from the original owners. I was a Diaperkind customer and loved it because it is incredibly easy. So when they said they were interested in selling, I decided to take the leap into small business ownership.
HG: How does your business stand out?
N: We’re the only cloth diaper service in New Jersey and New York. I believe one of the best things we as individuals can do to help the environment is to reduce our dependence on single-use items. But I also understand not wanting to do all the laundry or concerns about hygiene. Using a service means that every load of laundry is cleaned in industrial machines and tested for cleanliness, as well as hand-sorted to make sure there are no stains.
HG: Why does sustainability matter to you?
N: I grew up spending a lot of time outside, but it was really after moving to the States and getting to spend more time at the beach that we started to prioritize living more sustainably. Every year we kept seeing more and more plastic in the water and it just made the issues more real to us. Having kids too was a game-changer. Thinking about the world they’ll inherit is a huge motivator for me.
HG: Do you have any advice for parents?
N: Don’t feel like it has to be all or nothing! Switching to a more sustainable lifestyle can cause a lot of decision fatigue and be discouraging because there are no perfect solutions. But taking small steps adds up to big change. And then every step makes things a little easier. For example, carrying cutlery in your bag so when you get takeout means you don’t have to throw away plastic knives and forks is a little thing that is really easy to do. Also, rather than putting worn-out clothes in the garbage, finding a local textile recycling drop-off that will keep them out of landfills is a great way to get rid of clothes that can’t be passed on.
HG: Where can we find your business online:
HG: Any last piece of advice for readers?
N: If cloth diapering feels overwhelming, join us for a class. We do them online once or twice a month and it’s a great way to meet other parents and ask questions too.