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About modern cloth nappies Cloth nappies have come a long way since terry squares and buckets full of bleach. Today’s modern cloth nappies use smart designs and innovative new fabrics, and require no pinning or soaking. They can be reused over and over, making them cheaper – and far less polluting ­- than disposable nappies. So modern cloth nappies are a great choice for parents – if only more parents knew about them! The challenge for the Australian Nappy Network is to raise the profile of modern cloth nappies, so that parents know there is a better alternative to disposables.

Introducing the Australian Nappy Network In 2006, cloth nappy advocates in Australia began work on establishing a national body – the Australian Nappy Network (ANN) – to formalise their existing advocacy activities. The ANN is a not-for-profit organisation, the goal of which is to educate the Australian community on the health, environmental and financial benefits of using cloth nappies. The ANN will be officially launched once the process of legal incorporation has been completed by our lawyers. The Australian Nappy Network Ltd was registered in November 2007.

Our flagship national event is Reusable Nappy Week, held in October each year. Reusable Nappy Week features events right around Australia, from capital cities to regional centres. Highlights include public information sessions, nappy displays, media events and community gatherings.ANN members also run regular community-focused events, such as classes at maternity hospitals, workshops, markets and expo stalls. Each State and Territory Coordinator in the ANN network has a nappy sample kit, used to provide hands-on education about modern cloth nappies.

The ANN work programme The Australian Nappy Network knows that the task of changing entrenched attitudes to cloth and disposable nappies is a large one. Around 95 per cent of Australian parents use disposable nappies, at a high cost to them and to the environment. In order to redress this imbalance, the ANN will:

COORDINATE national cloth nappy advocacy activities.

CONNECT healthcare professionals, local authorities, local businesses and parents.

INFORM Australian parents, through campaigns and local-level activities, using consistent, impartial information.

SUPPORT parents, the cloth nappy industry and researchers.

CAMPAIGN to have stakeholders in the community recognise and promote the financial, health and environmental advantages of cloth nappies.

INNOVATE to help reduce the ecological impact of nappy use at all points of the supply chain, from cropping to laundry techniques.

Towards the end of 2011 the Board of Directors decided to de-register the Australian Nappy Network Ltd. This was for several reasons, including that popular consciousness of modern reusable nappy options had reached such a great high, businesses were doing a great job of promoting their use in the community (which was overlapping with ANN activities) and there just weren’t enough volunteers available to service the in-person objectives of the ANN.

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