Cathy Costa

Conder House: the return to cloth nappies

In today’s episode of Plastics Revolution, I’m chatting with Cathy Costa of the Conder House Laundry and Linen Services. They provide the only modern cloth nappies or diapers cleaning service in the greater Canberra, Australia area.

Cathy started this business originally as a side hustle to meet her own family’s needs.  However, in just two years, her business has also diverted an approximate 62,000 disposable nappies or 3.4 tonnes away from landfill. Her business is making it easier for environmentally conscious families and day care centres to switch to cloth diapers.

I hope you enjoy this episode of Plastics Revolution with Cathy Costa of the Conder House.

Companies, Organisations and Products Mentioned in this Podcast:

Conder House Laundry and Linen Services
Canberra Cloth Bums
CCN
Cathy Costa on Linkedin

Other Resources:

Australian Nappy Association
Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under
All About Cloth Diapers
Cloth Diapering Mamas

Credits:

Hosted by Tammy Ven Dange
Produced by Jonny Puskas
Theme Music by Joseph McDade
All Rights Reserved 2019


Podcast Transcript

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

KEY

T: Host Tammy Ven Dange
C: Guest Cathy Costa, Owner of  Conder House Laundry and Linen Services

Introduction

T: Cathy, welcome to the show.

C: Thanks for having me, Tammy.

T: I found out about your business through a forum that I went to where people were trying to convince future parents to go to a cloth nappy. And I know that’s a big thing right now because so many people are worried about the environmental impacts of (disposable) nappies or diapers for the length of a child’s use of these.

T: I understand that you’re the only cleaning service for cloth nappies here in the greater Canberra area, is that right?

C: Yeah, that’s correct.

T:  So tell me how your service works.

C:  Right. So we provide modern cloth nappies to our clients, as well as, doing all the washing, which is the bit that turns people off the most. So, we happen to deliver nappies twice a week. The client just checks them at their front door, and we swap them over up to twice a week and take them away and give them back a lovely clean bag.

C: We also, provide training on their first bag, and we can provide ongoing support for clients for as long as they need really. If they’re having trouble or if they’re experiencing extra leakage or anything like that, we can work with them so that they get a positive experience using the modern cloth nappies.

Cloth Nappies versus Modern Cloth Nappies

T: The difference between the old school cloth nappy and today’s modern cloth nappy, what’s the difference between the two?

C: So the old school was a terry flat. So it was just like a bath towel, but it was a square shape and you folded them up and clip them up with pins and then you put these plastic pants – PVC plastic back in the day over the top.

Terry Flat Nappy

C: The modern cloth nappy now is a breathable, waterproof fabric, which is called a polyurethane laminate. It was originally designed for the health care sector, and now they use that as the waterproof barrier on the outside of the nappy. And it comes in all pretty colours and patterns and prints. And it’s really quite cute.

Modern cloth nappy

C: And they’ve got all of these snaps so you can adjust them. And some of them have Velcro as well. But ours are with snaps so that you can adjust them to the shape and size of the baby. And on the inside you’ve got a fabric that draws the moisture away from the baby’s skin. And then there’s an insert, which is a combination of, in our particular case of bamboo and microfiber, that holds all of the fluids in there and elastic in the legs.

C: So it looks a bit like a disposable. It’s sort of shaped already like that. So it’s a lot easier to put on.

T:  And it’s also probably more complex to clean.

C: Yes. Yes, absolutely. Because when I was doing cloth nappies with my children, once you took off the solids, you just dunked the terry flats into a bucket of water with Nappy Sand (a laundry detergent in Australia specifically to wash cloth diapers) in it. But Nappy Sand doesn’t have sanitizer anymore. So that’s not what we do anymore. And obviously the modern cloth nappies can’t tolerate the extreme heat. So that’s where for us, in particular, that the sanitizer comes into play.

T: Yeah. I think it’s important for people to realise that the modern cloth nappy is so much different and so cute.  It’s kind of funny that we’re going back to this cloth nappy. I know that certainly when I was a kid and my brother was a kid, my parents definitely used cloth nappies and probably yours as well.

T: The disposable nappy, though, is so convenient. The cleaning process (described in) that forum is what made it so hard. Is the process you go through at your service, is that the same process that a parent might go through at home?

Cleaning Cloth Nappies at the Conder House

C: Yes, to a certain extent. But we’re in the industrial market, so it is technically a lot easier for us because we’ve got these ginormous machines that can wash 200 nappies in one go. And we’re using industrial chemicals and obviously we’ve got to meet Australian standards, which is not happening in the home.

C: But that’s okay in the home because they’re putting their nappies back on their baby. But that doesn’t work for us because a nappy might be used on one baby one day and then the next week it’ll be used on another baby. So that’s why we have to meet Australian standards so that we don’t pass on any germs from one baby to the next, and you get that satisfaction of sanitisation in every single load.

T: What do you do differently that ensures that you have that lack of cross contamination?

C:  So we’re actually of barrier laundry. So if you picture a big square room with a wall down the middle and then this ginormous washing machine sitting in the middle of the wall has two doors that opens on each side of the big square room and you can only enter one side at a time.

One side of the Conder House Barrier Laundry
One side of the Conder House Barrier Laundry

C: So what we call the dirty side – all the dirty laundry, including the nappies, goes in the dirty side and then it gets processed through the machine and opens up on the clean side through the door that’s on the clean side. So that’s how we can ensure that there is no cross contamination between clean and dirty laundry.

C: And our van is set up the same as well. We’ve got a vapour barrier in our van and only clean laundry goes on the clean side and only dirty laundry goes on the dirty side. But that’s how we ensure we don’t cross contaminate stuff. But the other mechanism we use is sanitisation.

Conder House Van
Conder House Van

C:  And with the modern cloth nappies, we have to use chemical sanitisation because we can’t do it thermally because we can’t wash the nappies to the temperature that we need to get to because they melt, because they’ve got a waterproof layer on them.

T:  And so you’re using chemicals to get rid of all the bacteria and other things. A lot of people say that the environmental impact of having to wash cloth diapers or nappies could be just as bad as the disposal cost or the landfill cost to the environment. What’s your view on that?

C:  There’s always going to be an impact. You can’t get around that. So it depends on which you consider to be the worst. I actually consider that washing of cloth nappies to be less of an impact than the landfill that we’re putting in with disposable nappies. So all of our chemicals are biodegradable. That’s a necessity for industrial laundries. But when you think about the landfill,  it’s tons and tons and tons of waste that is really going into landfill.

C: So, yes, we do use a lot more water, but we wash it 200 nappies in one go. So if you are looking at people doing nappies at home and everybody doing two washes to get the washing done, we actually only need to do one wash each time. So we cut down on water then there. And we also, as I said before, we wash 200 at a time. So we’re actually economising as much as we can.

A load of 200 nappies
A load of 200 nappies

C: And then when we scheduling our delivery runs, we’re also economising there as well because we are scheduling it in the most efficient route that we can do. So, we do try as much as we can to cut it down. Also when we’re supplying bags for these nappies, they’re all reusable, rewashable. So, the bags that our clients are using to receive their nappies and to drop them back to us, they’re not plastic bags either. So we cut it down as much as we can.

The Cost of Disposable Convenience

T: I ran some numbers the other day and tell me this is right. If the average baby uses about 12 nappies a day, especially when they’re first born, and maybe they need it up until about age two and a half or three.  It sounds like we’re looking at least 4000 nappies per child.

C:  Yeah, probably a bit more actually. I’d say it’s between 5000 and 5500 – around that figure.

T: Wow. And so, how many of the cloth nappies would see a child through until they no longer need it?

C: So if you would buy them and use them in your own home. Most people usually operate on about 30 nappies. It becomes a bit of a cult. And families tend to buy so many of them because they just come in beautiful patterns, and they really like to show them off. So there are families that have got a lot more than 30, but you really can survive on 30 if you’re operating on that in the home.

C: And that can do three or four children if you’re looking after them properly and washing them correctly and yeah, they really can go quite a distance.

C: And my nappies, obviously, they’re not per child. But I’ve been using one set of nappies for two years. Obviously, my set of nappies is a lot larger than what they are in the home. I’m talking hundreds actually closer to the thousands, but we’ve been using those for two years. So they get used multiple times a week because they come and get washed and get sent out again. So, they really do last a long time.

T: If we’re talking about two years, and you have them in use maybe twice a week – that is a significant decrease in the amount of plastic disposables going into the landfill.

C: Absolutely.

T: So that is significant. The biggest challenge, I suppose, is people’s views about washing them.

C: Yes.

Cleaning Cloth Nappies at Home

T: I’ve heard people say, “Oh, it’s so gross.”  I don’t have any children, but I think about when I used to work in a vet clinic, and we used to wash all the dogs’ towels and such. And sometimes those had poo on them as well, but we had a special washer for that. There wouldn’t be any kind of human towels or human anything else with that. How do people get past that mental barrier of, “Oh, I got to wash these pooey diapers and in my washing machine with all the other things?”

C: Well, the bottom line is there are some families that just can’t get past that, and that’s where we come into play there because we put in our machine, not theirs. But in all reality, you’re not creating poo soup at home. You actually are scrubbing out the solids before you’re put into machine. And yes, there will be urine in that.

C: But in the home, they are doing a pre-wash which is just the nappies, and then they’re doing another wash on top of that, which is generally just the nappies. And you can put other little things in like bibs and gross suits and smaller items. You can put underwear in there as well just to fill up the machine so that you get that correct agitation. But generally people don’t wash their clothes in there anyway

C: But again, it comes down to, “That’s okay in your home when it’s your family, but that’s not something that we can do.” And that’s why we have to actually use sanitizer every single load.

T: The other day when I saw you, and you showed me some of your fancy nappies, like there are the cutest ones for Christmas and in all the different holiday ones which were so adorable –  I remember you telling me that since you’ve taken out of the your facility, that now they’re considered dirty.

Christmas Nappies
Christmas Nappies

C: Yeah.

T: And that you would have to take them back and wash them again because they’ve been exposed now to outside elements. I thought that was quite impressive to say that because obviously a baby hasn’t used them, but your view of what dirty is.

C: Yeah, absolutely. As soon as it leaves the laundry, it’s considered dirty in our mind. So anything that comes back used or not has to go back through the same process as if it had been soiled. So again, that’s part of meeting Australian standards and ensuring that we can meet those sanitisation standards, and we can’t spruik that we do when we cut corners – so we don’t.

Solving her own Problem

T: Cathy, I know that the nappy cleaning service is only part of your business. Do you want to talk about how you actually started your laundry linen service?

C: Sure. So it really started off as a side hustle. I set up the business because I have a disabled adult son who’s severely autistic and intellectually delayed. And I was desperate for someone to do his laundry – both bed pads and linen, but also his clothing because we just had so much foul laundry, as you call it. And I couldn’t find anyone to do it for us.

C: The big linen companies would only support restaurants and hotels and hospitals. They wouldn’t just support an individual in a home that just needed a few sheets per week and a few big pads and stuff like that. And they definitely wouldn’t do your own clothing. So, I decided I’d set something up because I thought, “Actually, I can’t be the only person that needs this service.” And as it turns out, I’m not. So that’s how it really started.

Adding the Modern Cloth Nappies Cleaning Service

C: And then the nappies just flowed on from that as I sat in in the laundry and I thought, “Well, what else can I use this wonderful equipment that I’ve now got?” Because it’s quite a substantial capital outlay to set it up in the first instance. So I was looking into what other opportunities exist. And I asked my sister, “What about cloth nappies?” Because she and I used the terry flat cloth nappies on our kids, and she turned around and said, “Nobody does that anymore.”

C: So that’s when I sort of looked at the Facebook groups and started just stalking them and just listening and finding out all about it, and then came to the conclusion that I’ve got the equipment to do this, and I can do it easily. And it just provides another option to families who would like to do it, but don’t do it in the home. But it also provides another option for industry, for the childcare industry in particular.

T: You called it a side hustle.

C: Yes.

T: And what I find interesting is that – when did you actually start this business?

C: So, I started this business in November 2016.

Funding this Side Hustle

T: As a side hustle?

C: Yes.

T: But it’s not like a cheap side hustle. It’s not like you’re doing laundry in your own house for someone else.

C: No. It was a substantial outlay and went and got a loan.

T: You got a loan to pay for – what kind of facilities did you actually have to create for this?

C: So obviously we need to set up a barrier laundry and because I need to keep costs down because I was doing it as a side hustle, what I did is I had my garage in my house refitted into these barrier laundry. Yes, so I went and got a loan. I needed building works done. So, I probably spent about $50, $60 (thousand).

T: Just in facility costs?

C: Just on building works.  And then the machines themselves were in the vicinity of $50,000 or $60,000. And then all the other bits and pieces – a trolley. Just a trolley, a linen trolley can cost $1200. So now nothing is cheap  in this industry so. So I just did a gradually bit by bit, and as we expand I was cognisant of going too big too fast.

C: But the way we did it, having it in the in the garage as such meant I didn’t have rent. So it really kept the costs down for me so that I could continue working full time in the public service as well as doing this.

T: So you’re working in the public service?

C:  I was at the time, yes.

T: How many hours a week were you putting in this side hustle?

From Side Hustle to Full Time Work

C: Oh, I don’t know. If you ask any small business owner, they they’ve got to tell you that it’s just so many. And it got to the point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to make a choice.

T: What was that choice?

C: And I ended up leaving the public service. I ended up going on long service leave. And then I kind of doubled the turnover of the company during that period. And so I actually can’t couldn’t go back to work now.

T:  You’ve got too much business.

C: Yeah, that’s exactly right.

First Hire?

T: When did you hire your first employee?

C: Oh, that was probably within six months, and it just started off for a few hours a week. And then as the business grew, her time increased. And again, I’m really cognizant of going too big too fast. So, we did it in a very gradual approach, and I’ve now got three casual employees. And again, they’ve all come on really quite gradually.

Getting Started

T: Did you start off with people (clients) like yourself that were families with children with disabilities that needed some linen cleaning or was it like you started thinking right away, “I want to go ahead and look at childcare centres and actual businesses?”

C: No, at the beginning it was about families caring for elderly at home, people at home with disabilities, et cetera. It was purely focussed on that.

C: That really was the original mission statement. So with the NDIS now, it’s a lot more affordable. To be honest, without the NDIS, it’s probably not something that people could afford. And that really has created wonderful options for them, and they can choose to use us rather than having to slave away at home for hours and hours and hours.

T:  So the National Disability Insurance Scheme is what that stands for.

C: Yes. Sorry.

T: NDIS for those who are not from Australia, that actually came in about the same time that you started your business, didn’t it?

C: It did come in earlier than that. It was about five, six years ago in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory).

T: Oh, yeah. Depends on what state.

C: Yeah it does because the ACT was part of the trial sites, it came in a little bit earlier.

T:  Okay. So, you already knew that there was a potential source of income for these families where they had choices that they could make about how to use some government funding to pay for a service like what you’re offering?

C: Mm hmm.

T: That was a great business opportunity because what I saw instead from the outside looking in was just a lot of people that were scrambling – or charities especially that were scrambling to figure out how to work within that new NDIS scheme. It sounds like you found an opportunity instead.

C: Yeah. And again, it was just purely because I had a child with a disability. So, I knew what I was looking for, and

I designed the service to be completely around what I would want as a customer.

C: Pick up and delivery was a major component of that. And that set us apart from other people, laundromats in particular because they didn’t necessarily pick up or deliver.  And people with disabilities don’t necessarily have a car or aren’t able to drive. Don’t have the time and all those things. So that’s why I went down that path.

T: When you’re first starting off though, and you have a delivery service – the Canberra community is fairly contained compared to maybe some cities – I can imagine you could end up being on the road the whole time.

C: Yes, it certainly could. My son John, who is autistic, intellectually delay. He actually does the deliveries with a support worker. So that’s another part of our business that whilst we aren’t a social enterprise, we’ve got a bit of a social enterprise feel and we create an employment opportunity for him.

C: And in all reality, it’s not really about him earning money. It’s more about giving him something meaningful to do for four days a week. He actually works for us. So, he actually does a delivery run four days a week. We don’t do it on the one day because we need to keep the van available in case we need to get it serviced.

T: But is he enjoying the work? Is he actually fully participating in that?

C: He fully participates as much as he can obviously. He’s carrying the bags in and out to clients. He actually comes into the laundry, and he’s engaged the whole time, and he loads the van with his support worker, obviously under the support worker is guiding him as to what order we put the bags into the van. And he then carries them out to the client, and then swaps them over and says goodday. Some of the clients just love it when he comes to visit.

T: Yeah, I bet.

C: They really do enjoy that. And he stops off every now and then, like for lunch and he goes and plays on the swing at a local park. He has a great time.

T: I think we should all do that. That would be a great lunchtime break for all of us I think.

T: So, you have now, though, moved on from just clients within the linen service, moving into the nappy service.

C: Yes.

T: Are you dealing mostly with individual families now or are you starting to build more of a business clientele?

C:  Well, it’s working both ways, really. The home-base clients is really starting to grow. And the number of those clients fluctuates because some clients in the home are just wanting for a short period of time while they get used to cloth nappies, or when somebody buys them a gift voucher as a baby present. They just use it for that period of time. Others have used it more long term, so our home base clients really is fluctuating.

Cloth Nappies in Childcare Centres

C: But where I feel that we can really make the most impact is encouraging childcare centres to be using them because the figures on their usage of disposables is really phenomenal. So, we do have a few business clients and obviously that’s where we are focussing our effort at the moment. I anticipate that the usage of cloth nappies in the ACT  will end up being regulated, but we’ll see whether my prediction comes through.

T:  I think that will be challenging knowing that there’s some parents that just refuse to move into a cloth nappy, if nothing else, because the time.

C: Yeah.

T: And I think that will be challenging. But there’s certainly a more and more people that are up taking this from an environmental conscious point of view.

C: Absolutely..

T: We’re talking about childcare centres, do you have any numbers in terms of what they’re actually going through right now in terms of nappies?

C: Yeah, I do, actually. So, generally a room in a childcare centre is about 20 placements. So I have actually crunched the figures on 20 placements. And a lot of childcare centres have multiple rooms that have 20 placements that are using disposable nappies. So if we just work on one room with 20 placements, that’s 500 disposable nappies per week, 2000 a month or 22,000 per year that are all going into landfill. So if we look at what that is:

From a waste disposal point of view, that is 22.5 to 27.5 kilos per week, 90 to 110 kilos per month, 990 kilos to 1.21 tonnes per year. That’s just for 20 placements in one childcare centre per year.

T: That’s huge. That’s absolutely huge.

C:  Hence the reason why I feel we can make the biggest difference through childcare centres.

T: Yeah, for sure. And if there is only regulation within the childcare centres themselves, not within families, that alone would make a huge difference.

C: Absolutely.  And you know, minimal impact for families at home because childcare workers are paid to change nappies. That’s part of their job description. So, it’s not an impact on the home. It’s also not an impact on those who are managing people with disabilities at home and still using continence aides that are well beyond the normal appropriate age nappy usage.

C: And families can make a choice to if they don’t want to actually use disposables at home. But they’re worried about their environmental footprint. They can choose to use a childcare centre that supplies cloth nappies.

T:  You just said something that made me think about bigger market there. You were just mentioning about incontinence pads and such.

C: Mm hmm.

T: Are there cloth adult type nappies available?

C: There absolutely are. We don’t supply them. And I’ve definitely used them with my son in the past. He doesn’t need them anymore. But yes, you can. But without grossing everybody out, adult poo is very different to a child’s poo. And it’s a lot harder to clean.

T:  Yeah, I think anyone that’s had to change a newborn will know that even a child’s poo changes over time as well.

C: Absolutely.

T: As I confess that from my one year old nephew.

T:  The numbers you just said for the childcare centres is just phenomenal.  I know based on speaking to other people in the recycling industry for plastics, that in Australia right now, there are no solutions for recycling dirty nappies.

T: There are in some countries, and there’s certainly a number of companies that have tried to do it here, and there’s at least one organisation or a company that’s trying to create some sort of recycling process for nappies. But right now, there are basically are no options for recycling disposable nappies.

T: So unfortunately, the numbers you’re telling us right now is something that’s been happening for years. And it will continue to be a sore spot in the No Waste goals that both government and individuals have.

C: Absolutely. And each disposable nappy takes 200 to 500 years to decompose in landfill. So we are putting all these nappies into landfill, but then they’re not decomposing in a year. It’s 200 to 500 years. This is an enormous amount.

T: Which is incredible to see.

Business Growth

T: So, the kind of customers that you’re picking up now, I mean, there’s certainly more and more interest around cloth nappies at the moment. And people are getting over this poo issue to the point that they’re say, “Look, our parents used to do it. Obviously, we can do it, too. It’s not that big a deal.” And if they really don’t want to handle it, or they don’t have the time to handle it themselves, they can use a service like yours.

T: What kind of growth have you seen in the last, say, 12 months?

C: Oh, there’s actually been quite a lot of growth in the last twelve months, particularly for us. Just awareness of our existence is really been quite a significant thing. And even in the ACT. I’m not quite sure how long Canberra Cloth Bums –  that Facebook group you mentioned earlier (note: hosted forum I attended), how long they’ve been running for, but they have contributed significantly to the awareness in Canberra.

C: They’ve got a huge number of followers – 600 plus just in the ACT and there are other Facebook groups, etcetera, that are really opening it up so that people understand all about it. But yeah, the awareness is increasing dramatically.

T: So I imagine that could impact your business as well.

C: Yes, it could. I need to do something about that to be ready for it.

Future Plans for Conder House

T: OK, well, let’s talk about future plans and future goals. What do you have planned?

C: Now I’m looking at expansion because as I alluded to before, I anticipate that cloth nappies will be regulated in the city for childcare centres. And if that happens, I need to get postured to be able to cope with that, because obviously it’ll be a demand that I just can’t meet as we are at the moment.

C: There will probably a few different options. The big linen companies will probably provide just the terry flat option. But if businesses are looking for a modern cloth solution, those companies probably aren’t interested in the extra work that’s going to be required with them.

C: So, I’m now looking at what we can do to expand not only machinery, but obviously in facilities. We’re gonna be far, far too big for our little space in my garage. So we’ll have to look at a warehouse type solution full of lots of machines and more staff, obviously.

T: Well, another investment, though.

C: Yes, absolutely. And again, I’ll have to work out how I’m going to fund that. But again, it will be something that I fund. And again, it’ll have to be a gradual process and quite well planned and thought out.

T: Have you thought about bringing on investors?

C:  No. Yes, I have looked at it, but I’m hesitant to lose control of ownership etc. of the company.

T: Yeah, I think a lot of people that think about investors forget that element sometimes.

C: Yeah. And that’s what discourages me the most in all fact, in all reality. I’m just not keen to hand over ownership.

T:  Do you think that cloth nappies or the revolution back to it? Do you think it’s just a trend or do you think this is something that’s more long term?

C: I think it will be more long term.

I think people will just realise what we’re doing is not sustainable. We’ve had a good run with it, I suppose. It’s coming to an end. You know, where do we put? Where do we continue to put all this landfill? It’s just not sustainable.

T: And if a company does come in with a recycling solution, is that going to impact you?

C:  I don’t think so, because it just gives the families another option, which is great. I would say, there are certain people that just aren’t going to use cloth. It just doesn’t work for them. So those would be the families that would potentially look at a recycling or a composting option. But then there’s others that go the whole hog and don’t want disposables at all. So, it’s just another great option.  I encourage it.

T:  Well, they always say to refuse, reuse first, right? Before you try to recycle? Because that’s the best the best option for the environment in the long run.

C: Absolutely.

T: Would you like to share anything else with our listeners or do you have any request from them? 

C:  The only thing that I really would like to share is that modern cloth nappies, well cloth nappies in general really aren’t for everybody. You either want to or you don’t. And sometimes you just can’t. It’s a personal choice.

C: Services like ours give you a different option. And again, as I said before, if you don’t want to do it at home, but you feel that you need to be responsible in some way, shape or form,

You can always choose a childcare centre that uses cloth nappies and then it doesn’t have a direct impact on you. But give it a go. You don’t even have to do it full time. You can do it on weekends or you can just do it Monday to Friday. You don’t actually have to do it full time either.

C: There’s lots of families out there who only elect to do it on a part time basis because full time basis is just a bit too much for them. Or they just can’t get the support they need overnight – cloth nappies aren’t absorbent enough for them. So they use a combination.

There’s plenty of help out there but just go look for it and you can always give us a call and we’ll help you along on that journey.

T: I think that’s a good point. I know someone right now who only does cloth nappies on weekends because their child centre won’t accept cloth nappies. So that was her compromise to say, “OK, while they’re at a childcare centre, they’ll go ahead and use the disposable ones. But when they’re in my house and I have control over this and I could do it, then on the weekends I’ll use the modern cloth nappy.”

Other Resources

T:  I know that you’re only servicing people within the Canberra community. If we look broadly speaking, if somebody who hears this is perhaps even another country, where can they go for resources to learn about cloth nappies?

C: So, there are multiple Facebook groups. CCN is one of the big ones and I can’t tell you what that acronym stands for. If all of the top my head. But if you just googled “modern cloth nappies”, you would find a whole lot of information would pop up for you.

T: Or “modern cloth diapers?”

C: Oh yeah maybe diapers for US listeners and potentially Asian listeners as well. I think they call them diapers there too.

T: So what we could do is put some resources on the show notes so that if people want to go to some sites, we can give you a couple to start with then.

C: Absolutely.

How to Reach Cathy or the Conder House

T: And then that way at least they’ll have some resources for them. Locally if somebody wants to use your service, Cathy, how else can they reach you?

C: They can reach us on Facebook, Instagram, on our website. www.conderhouse.com.au. We’ve got our phone number plastered everywhere. So they’re welcome to phone or an email.

T: Cathy I think what you’re doing right now is a huge service to start with when you’re looking at people that had perhaps disabilities and needed some sort of cleaning service that nobody else would provide, and obviously (you were) scratching your own itch there.

T: But the fact is you’ve gone beyond that, and you’re providing a service now that is actually reducing the amount of dirty nappies that are going into the landfill is a huge option for the environmentally conscious consumer parent out there. You’re the only one in this area. Melbourne, I think, only has one too.

T: The service you’re providing right now is the only option for some parents. So, thank you so much for extending your reach and recognising the environmental impact you can make within families, but also especially day-care centres to reduce the amount of plastic that they’re consuming. Because without someone like you providing these services, there’s a lot less people that could even think about doing it.

C: Thank you.

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Tammy Ven Dange

Purpose Driven Entrepreneur Be kind to animals and mother nature!

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