In our monthly "Moms Who Made It" Q&A series, we turn the spotlight on a "mompreneur" who's building a brand while raising a family. That's not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination, so we're proud to salute these mamas and we hope you enjoy their stories as much as we do.
This month, we're talking with Janice Clarke of Australian-based Ecoriginals, the world’s first and only plastic-neutral diapers and wipes company. The diapers are 90 percent plant-based and up to 40 percent more absorbent than standard disposable diapers—and as of this summer, they're now available in the U.S.!
Every layer inside an Ecoriginals diaper is 100 percent plant-based, meaning everywhere that touches baby’s skin is made from all-natural materials. Ecoriginals wipes are made from 100 percent natural soft bamboo and completely compostable, biodegrading in as little as three weeks. (We're partial to the options infused with Manuka Honey and Goat Milk!) And as if that wasn't enough, the diaper packaging is 100 percent home-compostable, and the brand works with partner groups to plant trees and remove plastic waste from the worlds’ oceans to offset its carbon emissions.
Tell us a bit about your company and the products you’ve created.
Ecoriginals is the world’s only plastic-neutral baby diapers and wipes company, making more than 90 percent plant-based diapers and 100 percent natural wipes. [Our goal is] to give parents convenience and performance without compromising on quality or eco-consciousness. Founded in Australia, we’ve been making beautiful natural diapers for the last 10 years and recently launched in the U.S. in 2021.
What was the problem in the marketplace that you set out to solve, and how did you go about finding a solution for it?
Traditional diapers occupy over 20 percent of the world's landfill sites and have little to no ability to break down. Every year, more than 15 billion more diapers are sent to landfills, meaning this problem is only getting exponentially worse for future generations. Further, the material makeup of traditional diapers is a mix of plastics, oils, and chemicals that no parent would want near their baby's skin for 24 hours a day (and are often the root cause for rashes and irritation). Ecoriginals diapers and wipes are the most natural in the world and can biodegrade in as little as three months. The solution has been a work in progress for the last 10 years to ensure the performance of Ecoriginals would rival (and surpass) that of traditional disposable diapers.
Describe your business philosophy in a few words.
Offer parents the opportunity to make one small change with a long-lasting legacy for both their children and the environment.
What has kept you motivated throughout the journey of starting your own business?
Feedback from customers that our diapers and wipes offer a genuine alternative to contributing to the world’s growing environmental issues, plus a natural, healthy alternative to plastic diapers for their children.
When did you know you “made it?”
This year—when we can now see our diapers and wipes for sale in multiple markets around the world from Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, the UK, and, of course, the U.S.
Who is your mentor? If you don’t have one, is there a figure you look up to?
The biggest figures in my life are my little people. Although we have left diapers long behind in our household, my children are the reason and inspiration for all the hard work every day. I hope to inspire them to be the best they can be, and to understand their ’why’ in life and find fulfillment.
What’s your #1 tip for moms interested in starting their own business?
Nothing that was ever worth it was easy.
What does “me” time mean to you?
Being by the ocean or in the middle of the forest. I have always believed the power of nature is medicinal, and I crave quiet time away from the rush of everyday life to recharge my batteries.
Any favorite books or podcasts that you’ve found particularly motivating?
I enjoy immersing myself in stories of survival and achievement against all the odds. People who have set themselves goals, no matter how hard they were, and dedicated their lives to achieving them are a constant source of motivation.
What’s on your bedside table?
A book my mum got me for Christmas (our last Christmas together). It's called "Mindfulness: The Art of Finding Peace in a Frantic World." She was the calmest, bravest, kindest person I have ever met and always looked for the good in every day.
Share your favorite inspirational quote, if you have one!
"You carry the answers with you. Take a moment to find them and follow your instincts"—also from my beloved mum.
Ecoriginals diapers and wipes can be purchased on a one-time basis or through a subscription. Simply choose a subscription box; select the diaper size (up to two per order) and wipes; and select the delivery cycle. You can edit, pause, or cancel at any time, and subscriptions start at $56.24. For more information, or to order a free Trial Pack, visit the Ecoriginals site.