Two companies that deal in diapers have attracted notable funding within the past week, leaving Dan Primack of Private Equity Hub to muse about the rise of a "diaper bubble."
gDiapers, which makes eco-friendly diapers, announced yesterday that it raised an undisclosed sum from 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners and Golden Seeds angel investors. gDiapers' hybrid diapers, perhaps the Prius of the Pampers world, consist of a flushable, compost-ready insert that fits inside decorative cloth panties.
Online marketplace Diapers.com raised $7 million in Series B funding last week, mostly through Bessemer Venture Partners. The Web site sells the landfill-bound disposables that gDiapers' founders aim to replace, as well as chlorine-free options from Seventh Generation.
Various studies of consumer behavior have shown that people seek eco-friendly products once they become parents, which might make diapers the gateway product to greener shopping habits.
gDiapers could be considered the Prius of the Pampers world. The "g" in gDiapers stands for "green." They are free of plastics, dioxin, perfumes, and dyes that are linked to cancer and can pollute ecosystems.
The husband-and-wife team that runs gDiapers forecasts they will double this year the $1 million in sales made in 2006. More than 300 natural foods stores including Whole Foods carry gDiapers, the first consumer product to be certified by the Cradle to Cradle sustainable design label.
The 18 billion diapers thrown away each year may take 500 years to break down in a landfill, according to the National Association of Diaper Services, a trade group for the cloth diaper industry. Although cloth diapers create less material waste, however, their ecological impact includes copious amounts of water and detergent for laundering.