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Buyer Beware: Rebranded Cloth Diapers

As my readers may know, I have been pretty happy with my inexpensive cloth diapers from China. I have thus far liked all of the various Alva Baby diapers that I have tried. With about a dozen different styles available from Alva Baby, even a parent on a tight budget can find a workable cloth diapering solution. I am also a big fan of Sunbaby diapers. I love the wide variety of prints as well as the design of the diaper. I also love the Sunbaby bamboo inserts, which are super thin but super absorbent. For a mere $168, you can buy twenty-four diapers with forty-eight bamboo inserts from Sunbaby, enough to last from birth through potty training.

With my liking for China cheapies well established, however, I must also offer a warning about rebranded cloth diapers.

Rebranding occurs when a diaper company purchases inexpensive cloth diapers from another company (most often Alva Baby), slaps a new label on the diapers, and sells the diapers as a new brand. For example, here is a Swirly Twirly diaper from Lotus Bumz:

Lotus Bumz Swirly Twirly

And here is the original diaper from Alva Baby:

Original Alva Baby Diaper

My biggest problem with branded cloth diapers is not that domestic diaper companies buy diapers from Alva Baby for resale as another brand. Alva Baby offers its diapers for rebranding. If you are a fan of Alva Baby diapers but do not want to wait two to four weeks for shipping, then you can buy the exact same diaper from a more local diaper store. I, however, do not like that many rebranded Alva Baby diapers are marked up in price by as much as 400%. Alva Baby sells its solid color diapers for about $5. I have seen the same diapers rebranded and sold for $20. Yes, running a rebranding diaper store costs money and these business owners (who are oftentimes WAHMs) must recoup their costs, but a 400% markup is outrageous.

I would also like to address the concern that buying directly from China hurts the American and Canadian economies. Some fans of rebranded cloth diapers claim to buy the diapers from domestic diaper stores to help out a local economy. Although a great sentiment, the diaper store is still buying the diaper from China originally, so the local economic benefit is negated. You can also purchase so many wonderful cloth diaper brands fully or partially made in the United States and Canada, brands that have a direct economic benefit on North America. Plus, did I mention the slightly unethical 400% markup?

Do not get me wrong: I am all for WAHMs who want to make some extra money. However, something about rebranded cloth diapers just rubs me the wrong way. I would be more apt to buy an Alva Baby diaper for a little more from a local store; I will not buy a rebranded cloth diaper. I also prefer WAHM diapers that have actually been created by the WAHM business owner, not simply purchased from a manufacturer in China and resold.

Finally, I am not saying to never buy rebranded cloth diapers from a local diaper store. I just personally will not buy rebrands when I can buy the original product for much cheaper straight from the manufacturer. I am willing to wait a little longer for shipping in exchange for a cheaper price. If you prefer to buy rebranded cloth diapers from a domestic store, then that is your prerogative.

How do you feel about rebranded cloth diapers?

To purchase non-rebranded cloth diapers, please use my affiliate links to Nicki’s Diapers, Buttons Diapers, Diaper Junction, Kelly’s Closet, and Diaper Safari.

Update: On Tuesday, November 25, 2014, I received a request from Jessica MacKenzie regarding a comment left by a reader regarding Easy Peasies. Note that I have not mentioned Easy Peasies in my original post. At first I suggested that Easy Peasies issue a reply to the comment, but Easy Peasies then threatened to take legal action against The Parenting Patch. I have thus hidden the comment from the comments section.

    • Amber Olivia

      You used to own the only CD store in Southern Louisiana. Now you’re mad you have competition. But mainly pissed bc you push Rock n Green. And no one buys that anymore.

      • Leanna Tribideaux

        Agree. Blissful Bums is amazing quality. A SAHM, Miltary Wife, with an amazing client base (I am a CD Admin for the greater Southern States Region). We appreciate all that Blissful Bums Donates to charities, locally as well as world-wide, and contributes to the local Military families. If they are rebranded, then so be it. However, the quality cannot ne beat. She passes along savings and superior quality to her faithful clientel.

  • Adawn

    I feel like this is slightly inaccurate. Yes some of these retailers may deal with manufacturing companies in Hong Kong. But at the same time design them themselves and design fabric. My hip huggers feel way different then my alvas and have way different prints. Hip huggers charges 14$ Canadian when for a Alva with upgraded inserts it’s almost 10$ no 400 percent markup there

    • http://parentingpatch.com/ Heather Johnson

      Alvas sell for around $4 to $5 from the Alva Baby website. When a retailer in the US or elsewhere charges $20 for a rebranded Alva, then the price is marked up 400% to 500%. The price of other diapers has nothing to do with the markup on rebranded Alvas.

    • Amanda

      Hip huggers are rebranded AnAn diapers. A little different from Alva…still $4-$6 a piece. Exact prints/style.

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