Are disposable cotton baby diapers good for the environment?
Cotton is a preferred fabric because it is natural, soft, breathable and absorbent. These are the same qualities we looked for in the Kudos baby diaper design to reduce diaper rash. Kudos took the time and effort to develop DoubleDry Tech™ to make sure your baby’s bum can touch 100% cotton without sacrificing performance.
At the same time we made a commitment to make our diapers sustainable for Mama Earth. Below we will examine the chemical, water, and greenhouse effects of cotton production which are used in Kudos cotton diapers for babies.
Common fibers such as synthetic polyester (used in most disposable diapers), semi-synthetic rayon and bamboo (used in many “natural” diapers) require a highly intensive chemical process in order to be transformed into fabric.
The wood pulp that viscose (including bamboo) is made with requires chemical treating, a polluting process that releases toxic chemicals into the surrounding air and waterways. The chemically treated pulp is filtered and spun into a fine thread. Carbon disulphide, a toxic chemical, has been linked to heart disease, birth defects, skin conditions and cancer.
Cotton has the advantage of being a completely natural product that doesn’t require intense chemical processing.
Cotton is grown in arid climates and requires a lot of water to grow. Due to high water consumption, the US cotton industry has taken steps to be more sustainable.
A case in point is U.S. cotton producers who have over the past 40 years embraced new methods and innovations that have reduced pesticide applications by 50%, reduced irrigated water applications by 45%, and increased fiber production without expanding acreage. -Cottonworks
Many water consumption statistics include the water used for dying of cotton and water used in pesticide production. Kudos plant based diapers use 100% pure natural cotton without dyes.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Kudos makes the ONLY baby diaper with 100% cotton top liner. When accounting for the carbon absorbed from the atmosphere (biogenenic carbon) cotton is considered as carbon neutral.
The cotton industry is still making further GHG emission improvements by higher yield with efficient use of nitrogen and carbon capture from cover crops and no till (a farming method). Cottonworks predicts that by 2025 they can decrease GHG by 30% from the current emission level. So overtime our diapers will just keep getting better for the planet.
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