20 June 2011
By: Laura Trotta
As avid users and lovers of Baby BeeHinds cloth nappies, we've been eagerly awaiting the release of their new prints for some time. And the wait has been worth it!
The three new styles are available as wetbags ($13.40), PUL nappy covers ($10.40) and the improved Magic-All Multifit Nappy ($31.75) which has a smooth cover and much trimmer design than its predecessor.
The Ladybug print is my personal favourite but with no daughters in our household, we're giving the Monkey Fun Multifit a test run. With this popular style fitting from newborn to 15kg, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value modern cloth nappy out there!
10 June 2011
By: Bree Galbraith (B.Sc (Env))
Ever wondered what you are going to do with all those beautiful bunny rugs that hold so many memories of your little treasure? Don’t throw them out, turn them into rags or even pass them on – Up-cycle them!! That way you’ve got true value for money, can remember those swaddled cuddles forever and have a new sustainable product, all in one!
Angus as a baby swaddled in his bunny rug
Only basic sewing skills are required to make a “shaggy” quilt as it conveniently disguises any mismatched edges with its out-turned seems. You can make any size quilt and use just about any material type, even mix and match if you choose! Use pure wool fibre wadding for maximum warmth and sustainability and browse through your local opp-shop if you're short on fabric.
The pattern can be random or organised and the construction of the “Shaggy Quilt” is easy:
- Cut your material into square pieces all of the same size ensuring you have enough for front and back.
- Cut wool wadding about 2cm square smaller than your material squares (eg if material squares are 15cm in length, your wadding should be 13cm) ensuring you have enough for each patch.
- Sandwich a smaller wadding square between a front and back material square ensuring the wadding is evenly centred within the sandwich and the fabric pattern is facing out on each side.
- Sew diagonally from one corner to the other corner and again to make a cross – joining all three pieces together.
- Continue step 4 for all patches.
- Join all patches in their designated lines then join all lines together (as per pre-determined layout/design), ensuring that raw seams are facing to the front side.
- When all together, snip along each out-turned seam (every 5mm or so down towards the stitch so as not cutting too close to the stitching) – this provides an extra “shaggy” edge and soft look along each seam.
- Wash and dry – your lovely up-cycled shaggy bunny quilt is complete!
Angus' bunny rug quilt on his 'big' bed
8 June 2011
By: Laura Trotta B.Eng (Env), MSc (Env)
Green parenting, eco parenting, natural parenting. Call it what you will, but like planking and texting, these terms simply didn’t exist three generations ago. Back then, the home thrift skills learned during the Great Depression ensured that green parenting was the norm.
Somehow between then and now, the influx of products to make our lives more convenient has also made our lives more wasteful. Disposable nappies and wipes, baby food jars, formula tins and cheap plastic toys are all consumed in astronomical daily quantities. Common products used in and around the home expose our children to chemicals early in their lives. Our family budgets and the health of our children and environment are paying the cost of this throw-away culture.
Improved environmental awareness, and perhaps the GFC thrown in there for good measure, has provided catalyst for the growing trend towards green parenting, and what perfect timing. With Australia’s birth rate hitting a record 296,600 births in 20081, the need for a shift towards eco parenting is now.
For those unfamiliar with the term, green parenting is simply rearing a child or children with consideration of the environmental impacts. Green parents may be more likely to use cloth nappies, make their own baby food (often from home-grown produce), breastfeed where possible, wear their baby in a sling or carrier, dress their children in natural fibres (including second hand or handmade clothing), actively reduce their children’s exposure to chemicals and rely less on a large quantity of toys to entertain baby.
Over time Sustainababy will continue to take a look at many of the everyday aspects of parenting and endeavour to provide some eco-friendly alternatives. See how you go at incorporating some of these ideas into your lifestyle. You may be pleasantly surprised at the positive impact on your family’s finances and health!
As published in The Monitor Newspaper, 8 June 2011.
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics website http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/F57D30403E4EBD9BCA2577CF000DEFBD?opendocument
3 June 2011
By: Laura Trotta
Sustainababy is thrilled to announce that one of our favourite products, the FLATOUTbear has been crowned Australia's Favourite Toy in the Australian Women's Weekly Product of the Year 2011 awards.
"We are so thrilled to have won this award as it shows how much people love the bears all around Australia and the world" said Sarah Novati when we asked her just what winning this accolade meant to her.
FLATOUTaustralia was started by sisters Prue and Sarah in 2002 when they started selling their gorgeous bears online. Such was the popularity of FLATOUTbears, that they were soon supplied to shops in Sydney, then around Australia and are now exported to the USA, UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan, Korea, Singapore and New Zealand!
It's no surprise given their upbringing that Prue and Sarah would develop a successful retail business. They spent many a childhood hour in their Dad's antique shop and their Mum's homewares store in Balmain. Says Sarah, "It seemed only natural that one day we would start our own small business together." And start it they did! Congratulations ladies from all at Sustainababy.
Available in an assortment of delicious colours in both the baby and standard size, FLATOUTbears retail for $36 and $50 respectively.