The Pampers #cheektest debacle
We have recently witnessed one of the most badly thought out marketing campaigns from a worldwide brand I can remember. In a time of climate crisis, mass extinctions and unsustainable plastic usage, Pampers have chosen to pay ‘influential’ bloggers to perform a wasteful test to promote their brand of single use nappies. The test involves pouring water on a supermarket brand and a Pampers nappy and holding it against their cheek to see which is the driest, and pose for a photo. That is two nappies that will end up in landfill, having never performed their intended use, and where they will stay for the next 500 years. Worse still – bloggers are asking their followers to do the same.
Choosing a different path
Our Instagram feeds were filled with these promotions and the mindlessness of it all resonated with those of us who are doing what we can to live a more sustainable life. Emma Reed took a stand and posed with her cloth nappies to demonstrate against such a ridiculous campaign – creating her own hashtag #TheCheekofClothNappies in protest. it wasn’t long before hundreds of parents using cloth had followed the call to action and posted their own humorous photos – with a very serious message to Pampers – waste is NOT ok.
We all make our parenting (and life) decisions based on the information around us – that can be from our parents, siblings, friends, health visitors, social media, ad campaigns, and influencers amongst others. Hopefully along with our own judgement we can come up with the decisions that are right for our own situations. This may be using cloth nappies exclusively from birth, using single use nappies, or a mixture of the two. What there is no room for is undermining parents decisions – we are not walking in their shoes. So what do we do to influence more eco friendly choices?
Myth busting and normality
Well, if I knew the answer I would be very wealthy and and the likes of Pampers would be a small dot in the nappy market. What I do know is that POSITIVITY breeds positivity.
People don’t respond well to having ideas rammed down their throats. What it needs is a drip drip approach on the smaller individual scale, with individuals being seen to use cloth, at their baby groups, nurseries, amongst their friends, and also on social media. There are myths abound with using cloth nappies – that we spend all our time washing – that it can’t be done if you work/have more than one child/ have a life – that the benefits of using cloth are outweighed by the washing (a single use nappy uses one cup of crude oil and 37 litres of water in its manufacturing process). openly discuss these myths, find out the facts, answer the questions with positivity and encouragement!
Cloth needs to be seen as the perfectly normal option that it is – not just some left field idea dreamt up by crunchy mums. This will in turn hopefully lead to a bigger reform on a national scale. Better awareness, support and incentives to parents to lead a less wasteful lifestyle. And there is growing support for this, change is happening and it’s exciting to be a part of it.