Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Spotlight: Seventh Generation Diapers

Not all spotlights shine so brightly....

When it came to choosing diapers in the beginning (ages ago it seems) the most logical choice to me was Seventh Generation Disposable Diapers. They are chlorine-free, hypo-allergenic, and most importantly, contain no fragrance, latex or TBT (tributyl tin)-

Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..

Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. -Real Diaper Association

Since I didn't have a washer or dryer at the time, disposables seemed the most logical thing, the next best thing to cloth.

I used the diapers for about 2 1/2 years. Around September/October '06, every once in awhile I began to notice a package would have one or two diapers that were defective in some way; i.e. the closure tabs had lost their elasticity or they would just be missing entirely, making it difficult to actually use them. At this point, though, I didn't think too much about it because it was only one or two. Nothing a little diaper tape wouldn't fix. But then, as the weeks went on and more diapers inevitably needed to be bought, I noticed three, four, five defective; and twice, half the package (15 diapers if using the size 5, 13 if using size 6) had the same affliction (shoddy elastic all around, no closure tabs and/or tabs but lack of elasticity).

At some point the store I usually got the diapers from began not carrying the size my daughter wore for lack of shelf room. No problem, I'll just go online at drugstore.com. This was great-I got the diapers delivered to my door for the entire month, each month, as a result of good planning.

The thing I did not expect, however, was the increasing regularity at which these packages would arrive with-you guessed it-defective diapers.

The problem, then, wasn't contained within the store I usually bought them-no matter where they came from (Internet: drugstore.com, the other grocery store), it was the same thing.

I also came to notice that all this 'defectiveness' coincided with their 'new look' they promoted so heavily. Perhaps they were working all the kinks out, but try and do that before selling your product to the public.

Rather than put more money into this company, I switched to different diapers (Tender Care) and have been using them ever since. I am aware that this was a year ago, and that the diapers may have improved yet again since then. But because of this experience, I would never go back to their diapers, and it's very likely I won't recommend these. I do not, however, have any problems with their detergent or baby wipes.

I wrote a letter to the company but never sent it. At the time, more dominant and important circumstances came up and took precedence over a piece of paper. But now, better late than never, I suppose-here it is:

November 19, 2006

To Whom This May Concern:

While I enjoy the fact that the diapers are chlorine free, absorb well and are some of the more decently priced ‘natural’ diapers around, I found myself increasingly disappointed with the product over the last few months.

I bought a package of diapers earlier this month and found them defective in the way that the elastic tab closures have actually lost their elasticity and by the time morning rolled around, the elastic tabs had actually come off, leaving half the diaper on my child.

This is not the first time I’ve had problems with this brand of diaper. About two months ago, I again bought the diapers. The elastic tabs weren’t attached properly and would, in fact, come right off while trying to fasten the diaper.

I noticed this change when the company came out with the new and improved look recently, with new, better fitting elastic tabs. I must say, I was disappointed in the newly tabbed diapers from the beginning. The original diaper seemed sturdier then the new and improved. With this new product, it seems, is when the problems with the tabs falling off and not fastening properly, began.

I love and trust the Seventh Generation products and would choose this brand’s diapers over any other. But, if this shoddy manufacturing continues, I will surely move on to another. Also, the fact that I will have to pay postage to mail my complaint doesn’t make me too happy.


Kris Underwood

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  1. I have never heard this about plastic diapers. Oh my goodness! I think I am going to spread the word on my blog. I hope you don't mind if I link to you...

    p.s. I am also going to be posting occassionally on the Moms Speak Up blog! Nice to meet you :)

  2. That's awful. I think along with the quicker, faster, cheaper, shinier appetite of consumers and producers of toys there is also a growing apathy in general, from shoddy diapers to lackluster performance in people. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Amanda-Yeah, I was so disappointed about this because Seventh Generation is really a decent company.