Before I had babies, I was a social worker and advocate for women living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. This neighbourhood has long been known as the “poorest postal code in Canada”, and it’s notorious for its open drug scene and high incidence of poverty, sexual exploitation, and violence.
This is why I was so intrigued by a new Canadian social enterprise, Earth Tribe Baby Company, and the mom behind it. Krista is the creative soul behind Earth Tribe. After the birth of her first child Makeda in 2012 (ma-KAY-da), her love for cloth diapers and other unique baby items collided with her true life’s purpose. Krista has a dream of helping to build strong, healthy communities across Canada through flexible employment and sustainable income. Earth Tribe makes pocket diapers, all in 2 diapers, full coverage bibs, and cloth diapering accessories. All products are made in Canadian communities by stay at home parents, individuals with disabilities, or members of disadvantaged communities.
We are one people, sharing one home. We must be responsible, nurturing caretakers of our earth and one another. We are one clan, one tribe, one love, umoja.
Children are agents of change. They are hope untainted. Through demonstrating good global citizenship, we create the world as we wish it to be.
We’re different. Earth Tribe Baby Company follows a new approach to doing business. As a social enterprise our success builds stronger families and healthier communities.
I received a sunny yellow scrappy pocket diaper plus a set of blue snap blockers for review. Snap blockers are little snap covers in contrasting colours that cover up snaps when they aren’t being used. They’re a great idea for daddies, babysitters, or daycare providers who may not remember which snap configuration goes with with diaper.
Anatomy of an Earth Tribe Baby Company Diaper
Earth Tribe diapers come in one size fits most pocket diapers or all in 2 diapers. Each comes complete with a five-layer petal-style insert. The inserts are made from two petals sewn together giving you 2 layers each of heavy hemp and bamboo fleece, plus a layer of cotton velour on top to spoil your baby’s bum.
Look at this gorgeous, bright blue cotton velour inside the pocket diaper I received. It’s so squishy and soft! The pocket opening is in the middle of the diaper and is designed to allow the insert to agitate out by itself in the washing machine.
The outside of this Earth Tribe pocket diaper is a beautiful yellow waterproof PUL and colourful Skelanimals print woven cotton. The PUL is nice and thick. The diaper has a flat front and elasticized back. There are a lot of snaps to adjust the fit to your baby. This diaper has 3 rows of 4 snaps on the front to adjust the rise and size of the diaper. There are 2 rows of 10 snaps across the front to adjust waist and leg hole sizing, and an extra snap on each side of the waist to fit the hip snap on the largest setting. Each wing has 2 waist snaps and 1 hip snap, plus crossover snaps for the skinniest babies.
Here’s how the sizes compare. To adjust the diaper to its smallest size, snap the top row of rise snaps into the bottom row. Use the middle row for the medium size, and leave the snaps undone for the largest size. The leg elastic is wide and very stretchy so there’s lots of give in the leg holes.
Diaper Fit & Performance
I really like the fit of the Earth Tribe pocket diaper. Kay’s currently 14 months old and 22 pounds. This diaper is nice and trim and the wide elastic fits my little girl’s waist and legs snugly without leaving red marks. Despite its trimness, stuffing the diaper was not difficult at all.
One afternoon Kay fell asleep in this diaper and ended up wearing it for three and a half hours. I was happy to find she didn’t leak at all! You can see in the pictures above that the PUL is sewn so that it rolls in on the leg holes which prevents the inside velour from touching or wicking liquid to her clothes.
The insert that came with this diaper is made from bamboo and hemp. As with any insert made with natural fibers, I had to wash and dry it at least three times to remove the natural oils before using. Absorbency will continue to increase with a few more wash and dry cycles. I like that hemp and bamboo are less likely to cause irritation, and I like that they don’t hold stink the same way your typical microfiber insert does. The insert is designed to agitate out in the wash, and I was super impressed that it actually worked as advertised in my front loading washing machine!
Now about these snap blockers… I’m in love! This is such a simple yet genius concept. Once you’ve determined the best fitting snap configuration for your baby, you just pop the snap blockers onto the unused snaps and leave them there until you need to size up. Now there’s no question about which snaps to use, and cloth diapering just became a little easier! I put this diaper through the wash with the snap blockers on, and none came loose. In fact, I had to use a butter knife on some of them to get them off so there’s no worry about losing one.
Hubs especially liked the snap blockers. Our stash is full of many different brands of diapers, and he can’t always remember which diaper uses which settings. He said it was nice to know at a glance which snaps go where and not to have to worry about doing the diaper up too tight. I see snap blockers as a huge convenience and time saver, especially if you have a mixed stash like ours. Snap blocker kits come in boy mix, girl mix, and gender neutral mix. Each kit has enough snap blockers for at least 6 diapers (or more if your diaper has fewer snaps).
The only thing I wish I could change on this diaper is the pocket opening in the middle of the diaper. I’m not a fan of this placement because it’s smack dab in the middle of the mess if baby poops. Luckily for me, Kay never pooped in this diaper during our testing period, but the problem I’ve experienced with pockets that open in the middle is that bits of “stuff” get inside the diaper when I use my sprayer. A disposable or reusable liner would definitely help, but they rarely provide 100% coverage if you know what I mean. I’m used to unstuffing my diapers so losing that feature in exchange for a pocket opening in the front or back is worth it to me. Of course this is moot with the AI2 version.
Cloth using mamas who are interested in supporting Canadian families and social justice initiatives should take a look at these. Yes, you can find cheaper diapers out there, but this price is not at all unreasonable for a high quality WAHM-made diaper that comes complete with an all natural fiber insert. It’s trim, has gentle yet snug elastic, and comes in some pretty fantastic designs. Krista makes diapers with ruffles on them too! You can feel good that your dollars are going to create skilled manufacturing jobs, meaningful work for those with disabilities, and flexible work arrangements for stay at home parents.
Check out some of the other items Earth Tribe makes.
Are you excited yet? Come back next week for my giveaway in the Natural Bump & Baby Giveaway Hop where you could win a $35 store credit to get an Earth Tribe diaper of your very own!
Go shopping at Earth Tribe Baby Company for one of these beautiful diapers. Pocket and AI2 diapers come with a 5 layer hemp/bamboo insert and retail for $35.00. A set of snap blockers is just $8.00 and ships for free in Canada.
Lucky you! Krista is offering a special 15% discount code to my readers. Just enter code WESTCOAST at the Etsy checkout. The code is only valid until November 30 so don’t miss out!
Disclosure: I received sample items for review purposes. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.