Last year we were introduced to the DDL Flats & Handwashing Challenge. I was immediately excited to participate. At the time we weren’t making and selling flats in our shop, but I had some experience trying them with a newborn and was ready to give it a go with a toddler. I was already used to hand washing wool diaper covers and I felt the challenge would be a fantastic way to share how easy and awesome diapering with wool can be and Kim had told me they didn’t have a lot of wool-users blogging. I also knew the challenge would be a great way to draw attention to the fact that ANYONE, regardless of budget, lifestyle, or living situation CAN use cloth, which we truly believe is better for babies and for the environment and which we know beyond a doubt saves families thousands of dollars over using disposables. Even if a family doesn’t have a washer or dryer or access to a laundromat, they can use cloth. Not that there aren’t families living without the convenience of a washer/dryer in the United States, but I particularly thought of my time spent living and traveling overseas, where in MANY places having access to a washing machine was an incredible luxury. When it comes to hand-washing diapers, flats and wool are the way to go.
One reason wool is a great option is that wool doesn’t have to be washed as often. It’s nature’s most perfect diapering material because the natural lanolin in the fibers converts urine to salt water. It is self-cleansing and naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and hypo-allergenic. Most people that have an allergy to wool (do you think wool is itchy???) are actually allergic to the chemicals wool is treated with in the manufacturing process to clean it and to make it washable as well as pesticides that are sprayed on the sheep who wear it first. What people with wool allergies don’t realize is that they would not be allergic to certified organic wool because it has not been treated this way. GOTS certified wool must follow a strict process starting with the sheep being farmed organically. It means a lot to us that chemicals aren’t just removed from the fibers, but that they were never there in the first place. That is why we only use the highest quality, certified organic merino wool for our diaper products. Got off on a tangent there about organic wool, haha! It’s just something I feel so strongly about! But back to hand-washing, wool is great because it doesn’t have to be washed as often and flats are perfect because they are so easy to get clean!
So we sewed up a set of hand-made flats last year for the 2015 challenge and off we went into the unknown! Here’s the part I didn’t anticipate – I fell SO in love with flats. They are so incredibly versatile and they WORK! I couldn’t wait to start making them for the shop so we could offer a more economical type of diaper and I’d thoroughly tested them with our wool wrap and pull-on style covers, and loved them! After the challenge last year I figured we’d return to our regular diaper stash so I gave away the flats I made to a family in need. Guess what? I MISSED THEM. So much. I immediately made more for us! Flats are a permanent part of our diaper stash now and I honestly can’t say which I love better flats and wool wraps or our sherpa snap-in diapers and wool wraps. Both are super absorbent, both are one-size options, both are really simple to use and clean.