I have been feeling a lot of love for WAHMs as of late. Of course, my diaper dealer, Kerri of Cozy Bums, is a WAHM. I’m also enjoying cloth diapers made by several WAHMs as of late: Diapers by Chris, Ella Bella Bum, and Tadpole Jones Diaper Supply (among others). There’s one important thing about all of these ladies: They are ethical WAHMs.
One of the best things about ordering cloth diapers from ethical WAHMs is that you can often get custom diapers. In fact, Diapers by Chris and Tadpole Jones Diaper Supply pretty much exclusively do custom cloth diapers in lieu of setting up a store with weekly stockings. It’s pretty easy to get a unique, one of a kind diaper made to your specifications from them. It takes longer, of course, than ordering a ready made diaper from a weekly stalking, but that’s one of the trade offs of getting a completely custom diaper.
Ethical WAHMs take great pride in their work and building their fan base.
That being said… remember that ethical WAHMs do have standards that they won’t violate. In the case of Cozy Bums, Kerri won’t have anything in her store that isn’t ethically made. A lot of her diapers are made in Canada and the US. (Or, in the case of TotsBots, made in Scotland.) She only carries higher end, premium diapers from a wide variety of manufacturers with good warranty support. In the case of ethical WAHMs who craft diapers, they will not send out second rate diapers. Each diaper will be made with love and pride in every stitch.
With that in mind, there are things that ethical WAHMs will not do.
Ethical WAHMs will not alter another WAHM’s diapers for you.
I don’t mean a basic repair, like you had a snap break. Sometimes an ethical WAHM will do that for you when she’s local just because she’s nice. I’m talking about the big things, like “I like the colors, but I don’t like the shape of the wings or the width of the crotch. Can you change that?” Or how about “I have this Ella Bella Bum diaper, and the print is pretty, but can you change it to a wing to wing?”
No. Ethical WAHMs will not do that for you because it’s destroying someone else’s creation. It would have been like Pope Julius II contacting Botticelli and saying, “Yeah, I don’t like the shape of Eve’s breasts in ‘The Fall of Man’ on the Sistine Chapel. Can you come and fix that?”
Okay, the scale isn’t quite the same in terms of historical or cultural significance, but the idea stands. Truly talented WAHMs are artists in their own rights, and that artistry deserves to be respected. If you want something changed about a diaper, then you either a.) ask the WAHM who made it for you or b.) sell that diaper and find another WAHM who makes diapers that better fit your child or your style.
Ethical WAHMs will not lift someone else’s design
You found a WAHM that you’re partial to. Maybe she’s local, maybe you’ve heard good things, or maybe she’s just in your budget. You want cloth trainers made… but she doesn’t make them. You like these cheap trainers for how they fit your kid, but they’re ugly and cheap. So can she just copy that design?
Or how about you really like a diaper that’s in another WAHM’s stocking, so you send a link to another WAHM and say, “I really like this diaper. Can you copy it for me?”
Ethical WAHMs will say no.
Sure, two ethical WAHMs may use the same basic pattern. They may have bought it from the same place and then each made tweaks to suit. Maybe one prefers rounded corners instead of square. Maybe she wanted the tabs to be narrow or to have a different number of snaps. Whatever. Either way, those two ethical WAHMs working off of the same pattern may have diverged.
But to ask a WAHM to just plain copy someone else’s design is slimey. It hurts the WAHM who spent the time to develop the pattern if she’s using her own. If the WAHM were unethical and did copy someone else’s design, then she could be facing copyright infringement issues. Plus, asking ethical WAHMs to deliberately rip someone else off is just plain offensive. And, really, do we want to sacrifice our ethics over fancy poop catchers?
Ethical WAHMs May Have Similarities
Sure, you might find that some WAHMs are using the same fabrics, following the same trends, or what have you. Even if they independently make diapers that can be quite similar, there’s still a massive difference in “similar stuff” and “copied stuff.” Even if they look the same, the ethical implications are completely different.
Appreciate Your Ethical WAHMs
Ethical WAHMs don’t have an easy road. The market is oversaturated. If the WAHM is not a skilled seamstress from the beginning, making diapers can take excruciatingly long, which makes her time become worthless. There’s also competition with the bigger manufacturers… and with moms looking for a deal going to co-ops.
If you’re a WAHM, have you ever had anyone ask you to do something regarding another WAHM’s diapers? How did you respond? Moms, have you ever asked a WAHM to make changes for you? What kind of changes did you ask for?