My light bulb moment: Eco-nappy pioneer Laura Crawford reveals the inspiration behind her business

  • Laura Crawford, 40, founded eco-nappy brand Mama Bamboo in 2018
  • Mother-of-two lives in Hertfordshire with her children and civil servant husband
  • Here, she reveals the motivation behind launching her own business 

Laura Crawford, 40, founded eco-nappy brand Mama Bamboo in 2018. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, a civil servant, and their daughter, seven, and son, five. 

I used to work in the City as a management consultant, but took redundancy when I was pregnant with my daughter — working an 80-hour week simply isn’t compatible with being home more. 

After my son was born, I realised I couldn’t find a biodegradable, eco-friendly disposable nappy that fitted well. Most disposable nappies and wet wipes are made from non-recyclable plastics that stay in l­andfill for an estimated 500 years before breaking down. I wanted to be more sustainable. 

Initially, I tried the cloth nappy route, but managed only three weeks with a two-year-old and a colicky new baby. Then I tried the eco-disposables on the market. But while on holiday our little one was sleeping in our bed, and every morning we had to ask (in bad S­panish) for fresh sheets. 

Laura Crawford, 40, founded eco-nappy brand Mama Bamboo in 2018. The mother-of-two, from Hertfordshire, reveals the motivation behind launching her own business

Eventually I bought him some conventional nappies from the hotel shop — and poor Alexander had the worst nappy rash ever. I was talking about it with a friend who lives in Singapore who told me that bamboo nappies are c­ommon out there. So I spent nine months researching natural alternatives and found that, yes, bamboo can be used instead of polypropylene. 

In the end I opted for Forest S­tewardship Council-certified, fully sustainable, 100 per cent Moso bamboo fibre from China, a material that is naturally antibacterial. 

I invested £1,000 of mine and my parents’ savings and designed the nappy myself. I kept in the elasticated back panel and leg ruching (no leaks) and as much super absorbent polymer (SAP) as possible, so the nappy performed well. 

Her company is the first in the UK to sell nappies and wipes made from organically and sustainably grown bamboo

My father’s job is developing and importing electronic components, so he had experience working with China and helped with supplier sourcing and quality testing. 

We are the first UK company to sell nappies and wipes made from organically and sustainably grown bamboo, and the only firm in the world whose nappies include fully compostable linings and packaging — meaning every element is compostable and biodegradable. 

Ocado came on board after the first year. A pack of nappies costs £9.50, but through our online subscription service we have got it down to around £7. 

We hit our £1 million milestone this year. I love it when even the greenest parents tell me our nappies work for them. 

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