Canadian Dollar Impacts Cloth Diapers

If you’re a Canadian who has bought something from the States recently, then you know that the Canadian dollar is in the toilet.  At the time of writing this post, $1 US = $1.18 Canadian.  That’s awesome if you’re in the States and you’re buying Canadian merchandise.  (So, Americans, this is a great time for you to load up on AppleCheeks, AMP, Bummis, and Funky Fluff from stores north of the border.)  But if you’re in Canada and your favorite cloth diapers are imported through the States, it’s a little less awesome.  $1 Canadian = 85¢ USD.

Canadian Dollar Impacts Cloth Diapers (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

What a Weak Canadian Dollar Means

When the Canadian dollar is weak, it hurts the small cloth diaper retailers who order from the States.  The wholesale price to buy a case of bumGenius 4.0 doesn’t change… it’s still the same price in USD, but the diminished value of the Canadian dollar means that it’s costing your local retailer a lot more to buy.

We’re losing Canadian distributors because of the increased import costs.  The Canadian distributor of Charlie Banana has severed their relationship.  We no longer have a Canadian distributor for CJ’s BUTTer or TotsBots.  We’ve just lost our Canadian distributor of Rockin’ Green.  All of these things mean that retailers will have to make some decisions.  And those decisions will impact you.

Order more to save on the shipping costs

Making larger orders to compensate for the weak Canadian dollar to save on shipping means that they’ll have to tie up more of their budget.  They’ll have to let their stock run down more so that they actually have a need to order.  It means more items will be out of stock.

Raise the prices

If stores continue ordering as they used to, before the Canadian dollar tanked and we lost distributors, they’ll find that it’s going to cost them a lot more.  It’ll cost more to ship.  They’ll have to pay more in duty.  And they’ll run the risk, of course, of their orders getting caught in customs.  But in order to continue running their store as they had in the past, they’re going to have to pass these increases on to you by raising their prices.

Stop carrying some products

A lot of retailers may find themselves saying good-bye to some brands that are not their top sellers.  They might find themselves in the position that they can’t afford to import lukewarm sellers; they may trim down their selections… which means less selection for you.  Some stores may even close down without your support.

What Can YOU Do?

Be understanding.  Remember that while the price of gas dropping is fantastic and wonderful for you (unless you live in Fort MacMurray or your partner works in the oil sands), there are other aspects of running the stores that go beyond shipping.  If a retailer increases her prices, it’s not because she’s out to milk you.  Raising the prices by 50¢ to a dollar per diaper will not suddenly make her rich… but it may help offset the decreased Canadian dollar enough to help her continue selling the cloth diaper brands that you love.

Have you been impacted by the Canadian dollar?

Image credits: worradmu | FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. This is such a great article, and brings up so many points that tend to be forgotten. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Canadian distributors – this will make it much harder for smaller retailers to carry these brands.
    Celeste recently posted…Making Cloth Diapers Mainstream: An Industry in ChangeMy Profile

  2. I hadn’t realized the impact of the dollar difference. I knew it existed but it wasn’t something I had really put to paper to really grasp. Thanks for all this information that I will definitely be taking advantage off 😉

  3. I work at a Canadian bank and I keep telling our client that this rate change is ok. I remember it was 1.50 not too long ago and when the dollar is around 1.10 – 1.50 it’s actually good for us. Our American neighbours will want to do more trade with us which will boost our economy. There are pros and cons but at 1.18 I am not worried. Good tips.
    Katrina recently posted…Hot Chocolate CookiesMy Profile

    • It’s good for tourism and for having folks south of the border take advantage of our low dollar… but it sucks when it’s the other way around for those who are importing from the States.

  4. The economy confuses me. Why is the value of the Canadian dollar so different from the American dollar? I honestly would think that the American dollar is worth less.
    Heather Johnson recently posted…Breastfeeding My Second BornMy Profile

    • I’ve never really been sure on the why it’s so much less, particularly since we actually have natural goods to export. But it is, and it makes it harder for wholesale purchasers for sure!

  5. iTunes, automobiles… food, cloth diapers! And when the Canadian dollar was HIGHER than the American dollar, we saw ZERO extra savings. BOO.
    Lindsay recently posted…Dry Shampoo for Dark HairMy Profile

    • Because there were still customs and shipping fees that are astronomical. 🙁 I really wish that we were on the same currency with the same shipping. (Just, you know, leave my Canadian health care, social safety net, and environmental policies alone because those are the good parts of living here.)

  6. Like so many economical reality, it’s almost always bad news for some and good for others. Maybe it’s time for me to try AppleCheeks size 1 on Ingrid…..

  7. Being in the US, this doesn’t really impact me much, but it’s interesting to see how much it does impact Canadian retailers.

    • It may have a positive impact on you. Some Americans are starting to look north for some products for a cheap exchange rate.

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