Disposable nappies are a large part of the UK’s plastic problem. They are one of the top contributors to landfill waste every year and a new business aims to combat this by selling cloth nappies.
Freya Buckley-Stait founded the The Friendly Eco Bristol in October 2019, alongside her business partner Kate Holbrook.
Bristol24/7 relies on your support to fund our independent journalism and social impact projects. Become a member and enjoy exclusive perks from just £5 per month.
“Our campaign is to open Bristol’s only dedicated modern cloth nappy shop,” says Freya, who is mum to seven-month old Finley.
“I noticed whilst pregnant with Finley that I could only find cloth nappies online which made it really difficult for beginners to know where to start. I had the idea that I could be the one to open up a cloth nappy shop locally and give parents better access to reusable options. “
The Friendly Eco Bristol will be the city’s first permanent cloth nappy store
By using cloth nappies, parents can stop around 5,000 disposable nappies per child from ending up in landfill. Freya, who is 23, admits that she was unsure of how to turn her idea into a business.
However, after conducting some research, she discovered Back Her Business, a helping hand for those who identify as female to start their own companies.
To open a permanent store, Freya and Kate have launched a Crowdfunder to fund initial startup costs of the shop, such as the first few months rent, stock, a till system and shop fittings.
“We realised that a lot of parents don’t use cloth nappies simply because they don’t know about them,” says Freya. “We want to give parents a place for all things cloth related, offering a smooth start into cloth nappies.
The Friendly Eco Bristol are collaborating with the already existent Bristol Cloth Nappy Library to offer the best impartial support possible, with the hopes of becoming a venue for their various classes so that new parents have an easy way to start using cloth nappies.
Kate and Freya hope to stock brands such as Bambino Mio, Tots Bots and Little Lamb, as well as products from local work-from-home mums.
“Old-fashioned stereotypes of terry squares, safety pins and wool pants are long gone,” says Freya. “We need to give modern cloth nappies a home in Bristol.”