I recently sat down with the gorgeous Danielle from Eco Tree Baby Boutique who has been a long time Baby Beehinds stockist in New Zealand (under the name Envirobaby). Lucky for you they have moved back to Melbourne & I took this opportunity for a coffee & chat!
Tell us a little bit about the history of Envirobaby in NZ & what made you decide to move to Melbourne & re-brand to Eco Tree Baby Boutique? I started Envirobaby in 2015 because I couldn’t quite find a store that sold a complete range of eco-friendly and reusable products for babies and families, I got sick of having to go to multiple sites and pay multiple lots of delivery fees so I decided to jump in and create something of my own which would cater to families who were wanting to be as waste free and eco-friendly as possible.
I am originally from Melbourne and my husband had also lived here for a few years before we met in the UK. We had always planned on coming back one day so it was just a matter of finding the right time. The rebrand was hard, I was just setting up all my business accounts when I discovered that the name Envirobaby had been registered and also had a trademark pending literally 4 weeks before I started to set up. I was gutted, the company that had the TM is a massive chemical manufacturing company in WA and had the name registered to manufacture baby bath products. After taking some legal advice, I decided I had to rebrand the business. This gave me an opportunity to really think about what the business meant to me and where I wanted to take it. I realised that I wanted to broaden the scope a little more down the track and branch out into a wider array of eco-friendly products.
What is your vision for Eco Tree Baby Boutique & what can customers count on your for?
My vision is still the same as it was: We provide young families with financially friendly eco-parenting solutions. We do this by sharing much needed information, tips and help, allowing you to make an informed and clear decision about what is best for your family.
I really want to expand the core range of products (think more nappies, menstrual and breastfeeding, clothing (all natural fibres), more household products, sustainable nursery furniture) and one day I would love to have a physical location where people could come to actually touch and feel the products and get good honest advice around how to use cloth nappies, food wraps, skincare and have the opportunity to attend information sessions about waste free and eco-parenting.
Our customers can always count on us to provide honest information, I really like info sharing and I probably ramble on a bit too much but I can’t help it!
Obviously NZ is a rather chilly .. What tips do you have for managing cloth nappies in the colder months? Managing cloth nappies in the colder months – yeah I live in Melbourne now I think it’s rained almost every day for a month! In the winter months in Christchurch it would take two days for our nappies to dry! They didn’t see the fresh air all winter because it’s just too cold to even get them started on drying. Plus I have a heavy wetter so most of my stuff had to be bamboo as well. Microfiber can be helpful as it does dry faster (although I don’t stock strictly microfibre nappies in store, largely because I feel natural fibres are a better investment, plus microfibre particles now ending up in the oceans) but if you have a heavy wetter like I did that won’t work…..so for us we made sure we washed every 48 hours religiously. I’d have one lot just dry and then the next lot would go on the clothes horse. Invest in 1 or 2 clothes airers/horses, use the water cupboard if you can, a heated towel rail. Our nappies would get placed directly under the invertor which was the main heat source in our house, in our new house they will go directly in front of the fire or in my stock room as it is a small room with a central heating duct and heats up nicely. You need to be able to find a spot with a decent heat source otherwise you will need to have at least 3 days worth of nappies in your stash to cover the winter drying time.
What is your favourite work-horse, most reliable cloth nappy? Our work horse nappies are prefolds, I love them and so does my husband. They are reliable, easy to use, can be boosted easily and are cheap to buy so are great to start out with or for boosting a stash and can also be used to boost pocket nappies and night nappies. Plus you can then branch out into fitteds easily because you already have the covers.
What can customers look forward to from Eco Tree Baby ? Customers can look forward to more videos from us – eventually once I get a tripod and some better lighting. It’s soooo hard to make a decision to buy something when you’ve never even seen how it works. I’m looking to doing some on the infant feeding range and possibly skincare. The other thing I’d like to get back up and running are some cloth nappy 101 workshops. I was running these in Christchurch every few months and it gives people the opportunity to talk to someone, find out how they all work and actually touch and feel them. The feedback I got from participants was that they were really helpful in getting families to make the decision to use cloth and also putting parents at ease about the investment and how to actually use the nappies. It’s so daunting when you are trying to make the decision and I get really sad when I see some families start out but give up quickly because they haven’t had the help and correct advice about using cloth nappies.
Tell us a little bit about your family & why did you decide to cloth nappy your little ones? My family consists of me, my husband our 2.5 year old and another one about to drop towards the end of September. I choose to use cloth because I couldn’t justify spending that much money on throw away nappies when there was an alternative option which only required me to load up the washing machine. The cost savings and environmental impact really got me over the line. But I’ll be honest actually buying the nappies was hard, I had no one to talk to about them and no idea if they would actually work. I think I spent at least 6 months researching and trying to decide what to buy.
What does your spare time look like?
I don’t think I have any spare time lol, but when I do I like to grow things in the garden. I’m super keen to have an edible garden one day when we buy our own place. Homegrown fruit and vegetables taste so much nicer and there is something really satisfying about seeing something come to fruition. I’m also really into netball and have been coaching and umpiring for about 15 years, hopefully I can get my ACL reconstructed in the next few years then I might be able to play again, I’d be hopeless though as I haven’t been able to step on the court in 10 years.
So there you go! Another fantastic, passionate cloth nappy company to try! We can’t wait to see more videos from Danielle & you can check out her online shop here or her YouTube channel with lots of great Baby BeeHinds reviews & videos here too.