If you’re a new parent, I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz over Honest Diapers at some point or another. I know I’ve totally bought these diapers from time to time even though they’re significantly more expensive than your standard Huggies and Pampers. Along the same lines as other “green” diaper brands like Seventh Generation and Earth’s Best, Honest Diapers is a company started by actress Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan. They’ve become trendy for their adorable patterns and how eco-friendly and chemical-free they are, making parents feel good that the extra money they spend to get these diapers are preventing their precious babies from absorbing tons of harmful chemicals from traditional diapers. Or… so they say. According to this recent Slate article, it’s all just a great marketing scare tactic.
By comparing their own brand to other traditional brands using phrases like “What are they trying to hide?” and “volatile organic compounds,” it’s easy to see why modern-day parents would feel scared that non-green diapers are poisoning their children and contributing waste to our already deteriorating environment. But according to research, the chemicals that most parents are scared of finding in traditional diapers – dioxin, a carcinogen that’s a by-product of the chlorine used – is found in such minuscule amounts that it’s significantly less than the amount of dioxin found in breast milk and food.
Then comes a host of other allegations in the argument against your Huggies and Pampers, all of which are debunked throughout the article by science and research. Not that there’s not tiny grains of truth in each one (yes, some kids can have allergies to the chlorine in regular diapers, and that very small percentage of babies would probably be better off in a greener version), but overall, all major brands of diapers currently out on the market are allegedly safe for parents to be using, and Honest is just preying on the fears of overanxious parents to really sell their products. Is that fair? Is it ethical?
At the end of the day, it’s really nobody’s responsibility but the parents to make sure they do the proper research and make a decision that they’re comfortable with – and that includes looking through dramatized marketing tactics. I mean what product out there today isn’t heavily marketed to tug on the heartstrings, your fears, or the desire to just have more than the Jones’? It’s best to just take it all with a grain of salt and go out there and discover the facts for yourself before rushing to a snap judgement.
But then all those marketing people would be out of work, wouldn’t they?
– Esther Carlstone