China Cloth Diapers: Manufacturing and Rebranding [Fluffy Fridays]

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China Cloth Diapers: Manufacturing and Rebranding

*Post Updated 7/2013*

Lately, I’ve been hearing lots of talk about cloth diapers that are manufactured in China. It’s not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, but there’s lots of disagreement out there on the topic! Here are some pros and cons that I came up with (some things fall into both categories depending on your prospective):

Pros of Made in China Cloth Diapers: 

  • Inexpensive
  • Bulk ordering (all for yourself or split up with friends)
  • Nice stash builder
  • Average quality
  • Wide range of colors and prints

Cons of Made in China Cloth Diapers:

  • Slow shipping
  • Often no tracking numbers on packages
  • Language barriers
  • Lower quality
  • The unknown: fair/safe labor practices, manufacturing processes, etc.

Any more that should be added?

China Cloth Diapers Image

Brands Made in China:

Sunbaby

Alva Baby

Kawaii Baby  (the company is located in Canada, but their factory is in China)

Rebranded China Cloth Diapers:

Now, here’s where things start to get confusing. Some Chinese diaper manufactures allow other diaper companies to buy and label their diapers as their own. This practice is called “rebranding” and is completely legal, and in my opinion, not such a bad thing, except when there’s no disclosure! While the diapers do cost a little more, you’re getting them from a US or Canadian company where shipping is faster and more secure.

These are the US/CAN companies that are rumored to be rebranded Chinese Diapers:

*Please remember that this list isn’t confirmed. It’s just my observations and research through the inter-webs :). I may be wrong.*

GoGreen Diapers (only their Mud Butt for Go Green is made by a WAHM in the US)

Lovely Pocket Diapers

Fancy Pants Cloth Diapers

Booty Buns Cloth Diapers

Rump Arounds

Green Bees

Jungle Roos (only their fitted diapers are made by a WAHM in the US)

Awesome Blossom (only their fitted diapers and trainers are made by a WAHM in the US)

Lotus Bumz (only their fitted diapers and covers are made by a WAHM in the US)

Baby Babu

Tender Tushies

Kids Eco-Friendly Bottoms available at Kebbie’s Diaper Bag

JustSimplyBaby

HipKiddo

Glow Bug Cloth Diapers (Made in China but the company says it’s their own design)

Chunky Munky Fluff

Love and Stuff (their pocket diapers)

Sweet Pea Diapers (Made in China for sure, but I’m not clear as to whether it’s a rebranded Alva.)

OhFancyBaby

I have several of these diapers in my stash and love them, so I’m in no way saying you shouldn’t buy them. Even though they may be rebranded, they’ve all been tweaked, so each company offeres a diaper that’s a little different and it may just be the diaper you come to love! The information above is just to help you make an informed decision before you buy, whether you want a cloth diaper made in China or not. It’s up to you! I just don’t want any of you to think you’re getting a unique WAHM design, when in fact it’s a Chinese diaper with a new label and a higher price. Just be aware of what you’re buying! :)

What’s your opinion of diapers made in China? Rebranding? The China Cheapie? Did I miss any on the list? Or do I have one on the list that shouldn’t be there? Let me know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this post. I think it is great you provided information for parents to make an informed decision. However, I do support local when possible.

  2. Lotus Bums are also exactly like GoGreen regular pockets and Awesome Blossom.

    I had no idea they did this until recently. As my stash started growing from winning giveaways I realized that I was starting to acquire diapers that were remarkably similar to one another. It’s frustrating from a review perspective because I am currently reviewing one of these now and it’s a perfectly adequate diaper, just like the others that I have just like it ;) I have no idea how to approach it in a review though.

    In general I don’t have a problem with it but wish there was disclosure. I would still buy the one from the US company so that a) I would get it faster, b) would be able to buy only one (I just did this for a Sunbaby argyle diaper), and c) by the time you figure in international shipping it might be a wash costwise (?)

  3. Justice Montgomery says:

    I do not support ‘rebranding’ of the china made diapers. It is pretty easy to tell which businesses are reselling dipaers from china that they got at a deeply discounted price. Co-ops get together on the regular bases and make huge bulk orders of these diapers. Lots of these people are getting their diapers through the co-ops and reselling them for a higher price. You can get an Alva diaper in a coop for around $3. Unfortunately some of the companies ‘rebranding’ or reselling the diapers are doing it for an OBSCENE amount and are NOT upfront with their consumers about it. I’m okay with paying $6/7 for a diaper I know cost $3. Shipping from china is usually FREE for them, so it’s not fair to factor that into the cost of each diaper. Their time to get it to the states (2-3 weeks), the time they spend cataloging, organizing, the diapers etc, and basically my penalty for being so impatient that I can’t wait 2-3 weeks because of the instant gratification people require now days….I can respect a $3 increase. I have ZERO respect for “companies” (IE the mom trying to make a quick buck off an uninformed consumer) that are taking a diaper that they got for $3 and charging $23 for it. Talk about hanging your customers out to dry. That’s nearly an 800% markup. You have GOT to be NUTS.

    As far as I know, while Glow Bug diapers are manufactured in China, they are EXCLUSIVE. I have not seen their prints ANYWHERE else.

    And I don’t know for SURE but I think you are incorrect on Booty Bums. While parts of her diapers are manufactured in China, they are just that, parts. The diapers themselves are assembled in California. She also claims the design to be her own. And with the unique snap configuration and label placement, I have a tendency to believe her, and that what she does isn’t rebranding.

    • I have a Booty Buns and a very similar GoGreen Champ and I tend to agree with you. The diapers are very similar, but there is an extra row of snaps on the BB, the outer fabric seems to be better quality (but I have a minky cow print GG so I really can’t say that for sure) and the back elastic on the BB is tighter. As far as Glow Bug, they are similar with the sleeve opening, snap in insert and inner gussets, but the quality is lower in my opinion. The inner flaps are a different material and the fabric is inferior to the other two. I sold my 2 Glow Bug diapers even though I loved the prints, but I really like my BB and GG. The BB are my husband’s first grab when they’re clean.

      I agree that I am against it in the sense that there isn’t full disclosure. Consumers need to know because some feel VERY strongly about not buying China diapers where some don’t care as much.

      • I noticed the same thing with my Glow Bug and my Booty Buns! Very, very similar which is why I put both on the list. I just wish there was disclosure, too! On some of the websites I checked, I couldn’t find ANY information about where there diapers were made. Very frustrating!

    • Justice Montgomery – You run a business and sell diapers for $6 ! Nobody is charging $23 for a $3 diaper. $3 diaper in China is not a quality diaper. SO what happens when elastics break and such (because $3 is not quality) and customers want refunds or replacements? Now your in the negative for that sale? That’s a good plan. And how will you market the diaper making less than $3 each? Oh I know … DIY website and maybe try and sell on Etsy!

      “Assmembled in California”! yeah right. Most everything is coming direct from China pre “assembled”. 99% of Chinese re-branded diapers are made in Chinese factories. These companies that tell you they have their own factory have their own diapers full of poop. Why would you open your own factory and spend all that money, training, distance, etc, when there are thousands of textiles companies waiting for your work? You would have to be crazy! And I know in many industries companies are now using this”assembled in USA” to try and get a step on the next guy or gal manufacturing next door in China. Maybe they snap the buttons on ins USA? Okay, so that makes them better.

      Be grateful for the opportunity for your fellow Americans to be able to gain a few bucks, and sometimes even make a living (not many people getting rich selling diapers) doing something positive such as clothing babies with reusable diapers. Wait until it’s norm to buy (any product that is not too expensive to ship)direct from China and all these Mom’s are scrambling to find a job and support their family. At least the money for that $15-20 sale they are making now is staying in your Country. There will be many “middle men” out of work in the next 10-15 years. Things change, not always for the better. What Alva is doing is only the beginning.

      I don’t like this post in general. It really starts to look like a post being paid for by a USA diaper manufacturer when you start “name calling” brands that manufacture in China and re-brand. You started out okay listing Pros and Cons, but then it turned ugly.

      • Thanks for your input. This post was not sponsored in any way – it is simply meant to be used as knowledge for the consumer. Whether someone goes on to buy rebranded diapers or not is their own choice.

        Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it!

  4. Most of my stash are Chinese diapers. We’ve never waited 2-3 weeks for shipping, it usually shows up in about a week. I’ve had no issues with them, and they work just as well as the few name brand diapers we have. I haven’t deal with rebranding, but it seems like it has it’s pros and cons. It seems kind of…like a lie? for the companies to get the diapers for a few bucks then charge you an obscene amount for them, especially the ones who don’t tell you that the diaper was made/came from China.

  5. I thought the Title and pics didn’t quite fit. I also am a EBF Mama and it is a personal decision but agree with the above comments that the world has sexualized nursing. The child is not at fault that we live in a world that is so immoral.

  6. So sorry, please delete my comments I was replying to another blog’s article about the Time’s cover. I laid down with my daughter and just assumed I was on the same page when I started commenting, sorry!

    It is sad but rebranding happens all the time with all types of products. I do think that they are required to let you know where the diaper was manufactured. I prefer to purchase products made locally. I have friends that are missionaries in Macaw, right outside of China and they do not trust things from China. They tell us to avoid anything for our kiddos that come from there.

  7. I don’t like Chinese products because I like to support American workers and keep the money local whenever possible. But thanks for the unbiased info.

  8. This is a great post. I discovered the same thing lately as my stash has grown from giveaways as well. I am finding more and more that look similar. I think Baby Babu is also one of those diaper manufacturers as well! They look very similar to the others. I must agree with Regan, when reviewing diapers, it becomes difficult because they are pretty much all the same.

  9. I cloth diaper, but am not what I would call a cloth diaper expert. I know I like snaps, Aplix tears up too soon, I like inserts, but prefolds are great too and I just do it-THAT kind of cloth diapering mom. Here’s my take. I have both a Sun Baby Diaper and a Lotus Bumz, both in snap, both with a triple layer microfiber insert. Were it not for the label on the diaper. I would not know the difference. period. They are both made the same, except that Sunbaby adds a waistband of waterproof lining on the inside of the diaper, and both are equally absorbent at night. Sunbaby is $11ish a diaper and Lotus Bumz is $16ish a diaper. Sunbaby came with two inserts, Lotus Bumz came with one so I have to either purchase another or use a prefold for extra at nights. Honestly, for me, cost would be the deciding factor on THESE two brands. But I haven’t used any other Chinese brands at all so I can’t speak to the quality of others. I have a soft Bums which is awesome, but IMO Pricey when trying to build a whole stash…Just my two cents worth!

  10. Jenny – thanks for this informative article. I’ve been testing some of the made-in-China brands and appreciate the perspective you’ve provided, as well as the comments your readers have provided here regarding cloth diapers that are made overseas. The ethics of patents are challenging, for sure, but you’ve done a great job of broaching this topic!

  11. What about Tender Tushies (http://www.tendertushies.ca/tender-tushies-store/)?? (Just curious.)

  12. Please add Keebies Diaper Bag to your list. http://www.kebbiesdiaperbag.com/
    Her About Us Page says “That’s when I decided that in order to get the perfect diaper, I’d have to create it myself using the features that all of these other diapers were missing.” I don’t have a problem with diapers imported from China (as most things are) but I believe in complete honesty and this is an outright lie.

    • Are you referring to the Bubbz or the Kids Eco-Friendly Bottoms? It’s hard to tell from the picture of the Bubbz. I’ve never seen those prints before, but the Kids Eco is definitely an Alva. I’ll add them to the list. Do you have a Bubbz?

      Thanks! :)

  13. Don’t forget JustSimplyBaby! Although, they now have custom prints and are moving away from the “rebranded” diapers which are the same as Alva’s so I can’t say where their new diapers are made (still in China, I’m sure, but maybe it’s similar to GlowBug?). Most of my stash is made up of China dipes. I find that they are just fine. They aren’t the best but mine don’t usually leak either. I love WAHM brands but I just can’t afford to have every single diaper in my stash to cost 20+

  14. I would look at adding Hipkiddo http://www.hipkiddo.ca/ to the list too.

  15. Hello, I consider buying China made diapers but I am concerned about its safety. Don’t you worry that the material might be toxic as there is PUL included? Surely they are not that strict about what they can put in…

    • I think the quality of the materials is a concern. Buying from China does have it’s pros and cons, but you have to consider that MOST diapers (even big name brands) are made in China, just like most items in your home (computer, cell phone, clothes, etc). It’s not ideal, but sometimes we don’t have any other affordable options.

      • I know that it’s always problem, but suppose that if I buy chinese product in Europe or USA it should be safe as there are some controls and regulations what it can include – especially when it’s for kids. But when it comes from China straight to me they can put in whatever they want, don’t they?

  16. Wish I would have read this before, I bought Fancy Pants diapers because I didn’t think they were made in China..seems like I was wrong :( Really, really disappointed. :(

    • I’m so sorry! DId you just by them or have you had them for awhile. Not all of them are that bad and you still might be able to make due!

  17. What a great post!

    Thank you for shedding light and taking time to gather some facts on this somewhat inflammatory issue.

    In Australia, this is a significant concern amongst suppliers and customers alike.

    Like you, I do not necessarily think that what we Aussies call ” China Cheapies” is a bad thing because it does open up a broader market and forces all businesses to be accountable for their product’s efficacy.

    It can cause issues when, as you say, there is non-disclosure about it and customers pay through the nose for a knock off product.

    Well done for your research and perceptive, balanced aporoach to the issue! :-)

  18. Just FYI, I think the old style lotus bumz were maybe rebranded sunbabys, but they have come out with a new design, which is much nicer than they used to be. I have purchased over ten of these and find them to be much higher quality now than the sunbaby. The new design has square tabs where the snaps are, not rounded anymore and they also have an extra row of snaps for sizing.

  19. Susan Howard says:

    I love the GoGreen diapers – they fit amazingly on my nearly 3 year old. I’m glad to hear the Lotus Bumz are similar because I’ve got two on the way and couldn’t find any decent reviews before I ordered them.

  20. I have several Alva Baby diapers in my stash. I got 12 from a co-op and at least 5 that are re-branded from Lovely Pocket Diapers, Green Bees and Baby Babu in giveaways. So far they’ve been great. I really like the bamboo pockets I got in the co-op. They’re trim, cute and extremely absorbent. I did have some trouble getting them from the girl that ran the co-op and I ordered two wet bags, one of which the zipper broke the first time I opened it (thankfully I don’t need that pocket in the wetbag, otherwise I’d have been really upset) but otherwise the regular and bamboo Alva diapers are great. I do have to say I was a bit disappointed in the Alva color snap dipes. They don’t fit my baby well however I love not having to un-stuff them before tossing them in the pail. I have a couple of Lovely Pocket Diaper’s version and they fit my baby better. If I ever want more like that I’m going to LPD instead.

    The Alva diapers have been much less disappointing than my GroVia diapers. I just keep running into one problem after another with the GroVias. My newborn AIO leaked, my OS AIO takes forever to dry, it’s getting rough around the edges of the soakers and it’s getting tiny cracks in the outer waterproof layer. My hybrids fit great but the edges of the organic soakers are getting extremely rough and even gave my baby an abrasion and the elastic in the soakers’ gussets is stretching out. To top it off, I’m having a bad night tonight and since my baby suddenly developed a bad diaper rash I decided to use the BioSoakers that I’ve been saving for emergencies- you know, those times when life is hectic and you need cloth diapering to be easier? So I use the first one and secured it with the single sticky tab in back so it wouldn’t shift. At first I was impressed because it seemed pretty easy but when I went to change her almost the entire sticky tab ripped off the pad and stayed stuck to my GroVia Shell! I can’t get it off!!! That’s extremely upsetting to me. The sticky gunk is stuck in the snap and I’m now worried I won’t be able to use my snap-in soakers anymore!

    Then, since obviously the sticky tabs are faulty I didn’t use the tab the next change and the diaper shifted and the shell was completely soaked. I had to hand-wash it so I can try and use it in the morning. How is this supposed to be in any way easier?

    I just put baby to bed with another BioSoaker pad in a Flip cover so I hope the flaps on either end of the Flip will do a better job of keeping the Biosoaker in place because the GroVia brand isn’t cutting it.

    Sorry for the rant but all that was to say this- Chinese cheapies, for me, have been a way better value and work much, much better than one expensive well-known brand of cloth that costs a ton more. Not only that, but GroVias? Made in China. How’s that for ironic?

    I also have to say I have one GoodMama I bought for $25 pre-loved and I really don’t like it at all. It’s stiff and bulky and no where near as soft as I imagined it to be. That was really disappointing.

    Of course, I love some of my other name brand cloth diapers. My OS Rumparooz are nice. They fit beautifully. I wish I’d had them when my baby was a newborn because with the newborn soaker they probably would have fit from day one. And I ABSOLUTELY ADORE my itti bitti d’lish diapers. I’m in LOVE! I wish I would have known about them sooner. I have one Chelory I bought pre-loved and it’s nice and trim. Takes forever to dry but I still like it.

    The Alvas can’t quite measure up to those I just mentioned but they’re still a good diaper for a great price. It was nice to read your post as someone in the cloth blogosphere who uses them and isn’t angry at those of us who do use them. Thanks. :)

    • Thanks for the wonderful comment! You’re exactly right on with my post. I just want readers to be aware of what they are buying. Different diapers work different for all babies and we all just need to remember that at least we are all using them! :)

  21. For me, as long as people are CD-ing, means they are reducing the landfill waste. That’s good enough. Some people are able to afford the Made In USA brand name, others can only afford the Chinese Cheapies. Thing is, do whatever works for you. You need to save money and save the environment. I mostly use prefold & cover, but also own several Chinese Cheapies such as Coolababy and Babyland. I don’t like them so I don’t get more.

  22. For me personally, I prefer to support US based companies. Even if their diapers aren’t all made in the US (like how many Bum Genius diapers are made in Egypt), at least they have a company set up in the US and employ people in the US.

    The thing that really bothers me about China diapers aren’t the diapers or the companies themselves. It is the companies that rebrand them, then sell them for $20 a diaper to people who are new to cloth diapering. And despite what people will say, the china cheapies I own, though super cute and functional, are not the same quality as other diapers I own.

  23. Trisha W. says:

    One thing I’ve read that is of concern regarding Chinese diapers is when a Chinese company steals an American company’s diaper concept and/or custom fabric/print and then makes knock-offs. This can confuse the buyer. If it’s an outright patent infringement situation, I can totally understand not buying a ‘stolen’ diaper from China.

    Regarding re-branding, I wish the companies were upfront about that. I bought a GoGreen Champ 1.0 a couple years ago. While it is a decent diaper, I think the mark-up may be a bit much.

  24. Hi everyone, I’m trying to make a nondiaper product in southern california, but can’t find a manufacturer with an automatic plastic snap machine. Anyone know a manufacturer that is driving distance from LA. Seems most snap products are made overseas because our factories don’t have the equipment to do the job.

    • Judith Martinez says:

      I have no idea what kind of facilities they have but Thirsties makes snap closure diapers in CO so obviously they have some sort of snap setting equipment.

  25. Love & Stuff (http://www.loveandstuff.ca) is another online shop with rebranded diapers from Alva (For their pocket variety.)
    They also carry Sweet Pea, which is a popular brand carried in many cloth diaper retail shops as well. Sweet Pea is also manufactured in China. (www.sweetpeadiaper.com)

    I bought a bamboo Alva and a couple of Sunbabies through a coop. For the price, especially with the coop, they were the best diaper for the dollar but I ended up not loving them, and giving them away. (I’m sticking with my AIO favourites (BGE & BGF.))
    I found the quality of the PUL to be somewhat lacking in the Alva, Sweet Pea, and Sunbaby; the Sunbaby was also lacking in absorbency and was a bit bulky; and the Alva (bamboo) was very absorbent but VERY bulky.
    They weren’t for me, but I’ve heard others swear by their Sunbaby’s, Alva’s or Sweet peas and many even prefer them over expensive brand names. Each to their own I guess!

  26. I think Oh Fancy Baby diapers are also rebranded Alvas

  27. Hipkiddo diapers are not rebranded. Their older style may have been, but their Intelligently Hip, Naturally Hip, and Wee Baby Diapers are exclusive to them.

  28. I love the new brand of Mewbaby for my little girl, i have used for several months, it is great!

  29. very good.said it clear.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] According to Jenny buying cloth diapers made in china, cheap cloth diapers, chinese cloth diapers, made in china cloth diapers [...]

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