Thursday, 19 February 2009


Ambaba is a company who are designing environmentally sound re-usable nappies that intend on lasting a child from birth to potty. This is to hopefully cut down the impact that the disposable nappy market is having on the environment with around 400 tonnes of them being sent to land fill every year.

I found Mel Woods talk about her company which she runs with partner with Roz Henderson very interesting, as it is something I am very interested and concerned about too. I spent a year working at a nature nursery, where the children were in real nappies so I understand the practical issues of sizing, folding and all the different layers that go into a reusable nappy that Mel talked about. The comfort and movement issues of these nappies also concerned me, while I believe re-usable are better for child and environment alike, they are at least three times bulkier than their disposable counter parts. For the early crawlers especially, it was a mission for them to get around, not to mention the elastic being too tight for the 'chubbier' of babies, or the ones that were 'between' sizes, and I wont go into the leaking issues if everything wasn't secured or folded correctly!

I think that the ambaba nappies are fantastic, especially if they are simpler to use than the ones on the market at the moment. Lots of parents I spoke to wouldn't use the reusable nappies at home because felt they were too complicated and bulky to fit under their babies clothes. Aesthetics are everything, even to a 10 month old baby it seems. So if ambaba can solve all the problems of the current reusable while injecting a seance of style and fun into the look I think that they can achieve their goal of bringing their nappies to mums across the country and persuade them to choose re-usable over disposable.

This company works well and their ideas are so successful because they take in to account all of the practicalities of a nappy. Mel and Roz have a lot of experience in the field of changing nappies, they are both mothers, due to this knowledge and having the passion to realise their vision they have the motivation to succeed.

Ambaba could be developed for use at the other end of the life scale proving that you never no who your market could include.

**Update on Ambaba - Mel is no longer with the company as she has taken up a full time position at Dundee University and Roz is now going it alone. In my above post I talked purely about Mel, as I had met her and herd her talk about the company. I have now had the opportunity to find out a bit more about Roz so here is her vital statistics Roz Henderson is a designer and fabricator with a background in film, theatre and animation. She previously lectured at The University of Northumbria and Dundee University, and was costume fabricator and sculptor on the films ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Mummy’. Roz is also the driving force behind New Leaf Naturals - the Perthshire based ethical grocery store.

I wish Roz well with the project and I cannot wait to see Ambaba products in stores.

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