During Zero Waste Week, there is so much great advice to families about reducing their household waste with children in tow. Reusable nappies are the ultimate way to reduce single-use nappy wasteand for Zero Waste Week we would like to talk more about reusable nappies and the beauty of pre-loved, second-hand nappies. 

For a start, reusable nappies are easy to use. They save you waste – by using just one reusable nappy a day in place of a disposable nappy, can save 912 disposable nappies from landfill or incineration. Even the most expensive, brand-new nappy will save you hundreds of pounds over the years that your baby is in nappies. With preloved nappies, you can go even further and completely eliminate that upfront cost. 

It’s common for families to receive, or buy, second-hand clothes for children to reduce their outgoings and keep perfectly good textiles in circulation for longerReusable nappies are no differentThey are made with high-quality, natural materials that last for years and, when looked after properly, they can be reused on subsequent children or passedon to new families 

Where can I pick up/donate preloved nappies?  

If you want to donate preloved nappies, it can be as simple as passing on to friends and family expecting a baby, along with old clothes and baby toys. Alternatively, you can share preloved nappies online via apps such as OLIOor on FacebookGifting preloved reusable nappies is also possible via a local Cloth Nappy Library or food bank that accepts baby products 

Over the years Facebook buying and selling groups have grown in popularity providing easy opportunities for families to source second-hand nappies, wipes, boosters and other accessories, helping to close the textile loop and connect socially with fellow parents.  

To ensure you are receiving good-quality reusable nappies when looking online, we always recommend you ask two things:  

  1. How long have the nappies been used for(i.e – how many children have worn them previously?) 
  2. How have the nappies been cared for(i.e. – how have they been washed? Did they tumble-dry often? What is the quality of the PUL and elastic in the leg and waist?) 

Online groups usually have regulations in place to ensure that sellers post useful and honest information about the nappiesHaving an open conversation with the sellers is a good way to check that the nappies will still be absorbent and waterproof and you may learn a tip or two along the way.  

When you receive pre-loved second-hand nappies, it is always recommended to put them on a temperature wash at 60°C to kill any bacteria. They will then be good to go for your little one. 

Before lockdown, Real Nappies for London organised Give & Take events – an opportunity for parents to donate or pick up preloved nappies for free, as well as receive advice. We hope that we can provide these in-person events again in the future, so it’s always good to check our Events Diary for face-to-face meet ups.  

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Online Facebook groups for buying / selling / swapping reusable nappies

Hackney Reusable Nappy Give/Buy/Sell Group

The Nappy Lady Buying & Selling Group 

Cloth Bum Mums (CBM) Sales (UK) 

Cloth Nappies for Sale/Wanted UK 

Waltham Forest Cloth Bums