In 2018 our founder, mum-of-two Laura, decided it must be possible to design a range of genuinely eco-friendly nappies and wipes that didn't mean compromising on performance or quality.
Less than 2 years later Mama Bamboo was voted 'Best Performance Disposable Nappy Range' by Mother & Baby, and had scooped a “Best Wet Wipes” award from MadeForMums. In both awards, every other product shortlisted was made from plastics.
11 billion (mostly plastic) wipes are thrown away every year in the UK. There are lots of alternatives, here's why we believe our bamboo wipes are the best, for both baby and the planet.
What are normal wipes made of?
A bit like tea bags, wipes don't 'look' like plastic. But big brands typically use polyester, an oil-based plastic that won't biodegrade - it will either sit in landfill, or worse get flushed down the toilet and end up as a 'wipe-berger'. But, that's only half the story - the manufacturing process for creating plastics is also damaging.
What should wipes be made from?
The best environmental choice is a natural fibre which will naturally decompose (kinder to babies' delicate skin too!).
However, not all natural materials are equal. Cotton farming often causes huge damage to our planet due to the amount of water it needs to grow, it is a very thirsty crop. And forestry can require significant fertiliser use and lead to huge soil erosion if not managed sustainably.
Bamboo on the other hand grows fast enough to meet human demand without false irrigation, pesticides or fertilisers. During its peak growing season you can actually see moso bamboo grow at a rate of almost 15cm a day! Bamboo forests are also one of the best carbon sinks on the earth. Bamboo soaks up 3x as much atmospheric carbon than any other tree.
Bamboo wipes are the kindest solution for Mama Earth, and they're better for your baby too.
What’s different about Mama Bamboo wipes?
Water Content: Midwives and Health Professionals advise that the degree of purified water content is a key indicator to ensure the wipes are kind to baby’s delicate skin. Ours contain 99.4% purified water.
Packaging: Our packaging contains eco-friendly recyclable RPET. It used to be plastic bottles! You can recycle ♻️ with your normal household recycling kerbside collections.
Sustainable Bamboo: Our wipes are made from sustainably certified natural bamboo fibre – not only the most sustainable material but also best for baby's delicate skin too. Over 70% of bacteria can not grow on bamboo - it is naturally anti-bacterial.
100% Compostable: This is better than oxo-biodegradable, which requires special conditions to activate. You can simply pop our wipes into your food waste or a home compost.
Carbon Offsetting: Our wipes are made where the bamboo is grown in China, so we offset our freight carbon emissions by planting more bamboo, through the Bamboo Village Programme.
Cruelty Free & Vegan: Certified by The Vegan Society. We do not test any of our products or ingredients on animals.
But, are they any good?
Awards and eco benefits to one side, Laura designed the wipes to fix the issues she had experienced as a mum.
- They are 'just the right amount of wetness'
- They won't rip but they are soft
- They are interleaved folded, meaning they come out one-by-one (so no wasting handfuls!)
- They do not contain harmful chemicals and toxins
- They do not contain any hormone disruptors
- And, they smell clean and fresh without any added fragrances or lotions.
“Mama Bamboo held their own against more conventional brands in the category, securing a Silver Award. Our home testers found them durable and very capable of cleaning up a variety of messes. They held their shape and strength and made a very welcome eco-friendly option in the category.”
MadeForMums Tester Katie, said: “I had no issues with the wipes ripping and only used a minimal amount even in messy situations."
What ingredients do you use?
Every ingredient we choose is with you and your baby in mind - whilst being sure it's a good decision for our planet.
Our wipes contain 99.4% purified water.
So what is the 0.6%?
Whilst it is true that baby wipes should contain a high degree of water, it must be noted that water alone is not enough to effectively remove stubborn residues and prevent the growth of microorganisms or maintain a healthy skin pH
All baby wipes should contain a detergent or foaming agent to reduce friction and remove residue, preservatives and antibacterial agents to ensure the product does not become contaminated.
Most should also contain a moisturiser and a pH balancer to ensure healthy skin.
Mama Bamboo ingredients are as follows:
- Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate - Coconut oil and recommended for sensitive skin
- Propylene Glycol - moisturising ingredient
- Aloe Barbadensis Extract - Aloe Vera
- Sodium Benzoate - a safe preservative
- Potassium Sorbate - stops the growth of mold, yeast, and fungi.
- Tetrasodium EDTA - a foaming agent to reduce friction
- Citric Acid - lemon juice to balance pH levels
We like to be transparent. You should be able to easily understand what is, or isn't in a product, especially when it's in contact with your baby's delicate skin.
Wouldn't old fashioned cotton and water be better?
Well no actually!
Several independent clinical studies* have demonstrated that the use of modern baby wipes were superior to using water and cotton to clean delicate skin.
In all trials babies skin was visibly improved by using wipes:
- Better cleansing without scrubbing leading to a decrease in the severity of nappy rash in the folds
- Improvement in water loss and hydration
- Significantly lower pH balance (Higher alkalinity is linked to dryness)
- Better barrier function due to the moisturising impact.
Also cotton itself is highly polluting.
Cotton is one of the most water intensive crops to grow. And unless its organic cotton it uses a significant amount of pesticides as well. And most cotton wool and cotton pads are bleached in chlorine.
Ultimately, at Mama Bamboo we know that most people will only choose the most eco-friendly products if they are good enough. As Mums, we know what parents and babies need and what they don't need on their skin, then we replace those 'unfriendly' materials and ingredients with 'friendly' ones. Finally, we think 'what else' - and that's where we get creative and go further than any brand we know.
*Referenced studies and articles:
1.Ehretsmann C, Schaefer P, Adam R. Cutaneous tolerance of baby wipes by infants with atopic dermatitis, and comparison of the mildness of baby wipe and water in infant skin. J EurAcad DermatologyVenereol. 2001;15(Supplement 1):16‐21.
2.Lavender T, Furber C, Campbell M, et al. Effect on skin hydration of using baby wipes to clean the napkin area of newborn babies: assessor‐blinded randomised controlled equivalence trial. BMCPediatr. 2012;12:59.
3.Adam R, Schnetz B, Mathey P, Pericoi M, de Prost Y. Clinical demonstration of skin mildness and suitability for sensitive infant skin of a new baby wipe. Pediatr Dermatol. 2009;26:506‐513.
4.Visscher M, Odio M, Taylor T, et al. Skin care in the NICU patient: effects of wipes versus cloth and water on stratum corneum integrity. Neonatology. 2009;96:226‐234.