Category: Blog, Librarian Mom|August 29, 2012 11:15 am

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. 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.

In the interest of journalist integrity, here are some of the cloth diaper stores that sell some or all rebranded cloth diapers of which I am aware:

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? Do you know of any other cloth diaper companies that sell rebrands?

To purchase non-rebranded cloth diapers, please use my affiliate link to Nicki’s Diapers.


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