The Friendly Eco: A Brand New Cloth Nappy Shop for Bristol?

We love cloth nappies and we love supporting the local community so when I heard that crowdfunding had begun this week for a project that combines both of those things, I couldn't wait to find out more.

Thanks to two local mums, Bristol could be about to get its first ever dedicated cloth nappy shop but they need your help to make it happen!

Meet Freya and Kate, who are on a mission to open up an eco parenting shop that enables families in Bristol to shop locally and give cloth a go. Freya has a 7 month old called Finley (great name!) who has been in cloth nappies since the day he was born and Kate is a mum to Tom who's been in cloth full time since around 3 weeks old. Between them they've saved a whole lot of disposables from going to landfill!

So what made you both decide to start using cloth nappies?
"Myself and my partner Joe decided to cloth nappy Finley after discovering just how many disposables go into landfill within the first 3 years of a child's life - it's around 5,000 disposables per child! Kate and her partner Chris began for similar reasons (not to mention the cost savings!)"

How did the idea for a cloth nappy shop come about? 
"We teamed up after realising that there was nowhere to buy a range of cloth nappies locally in Bristol or the surrounding areas. Sadly, a lot of parents don't know that cloth nappies are an option, let alone where to buy them from or where to go when they need advice. Many that do try cloth end up giving up as they can't get the support they need, so we want to give parents a place to browse, buy and get friendly advice on cloth nappies."

Bristol is known for being a very green city - surely it must have loads of shops like that?!
"That's the thing - there currently isn't a single dedicated cloth nappy shop in Bristol, despite the thousands of Bristol parents active on various cloth nappy groups across social media. The Friendly Eco would be the only one of it's kind (not just in Bristol, but the surrounding areas too) and would provide local parents with access to everything they need right on their doorstep."

What will people be able to find in the shop?
"We want to show people the fun, eco-friendly, and most importantly EASY world of cloth nappies! We'll be stocking well known nappy brands such as Tots Bots, Bambino Mio, Close Pop In, Little Lamb and more. We are also teaming up with Bristol Cloth Nappy Library to offer the best impartial support that we can, with the hopes of becoming a venue for their various classes."

Can parents of older children visit too?
"Yes! As well as a large selection of cloth nappies, we will also stock ethical clothing from bright and colourful scandi brands which are perfect for kids and adults alike. There will be a section for other eco parenting products such as cloth wipes, shampoo bars, reusable sanitary products, wet bags, sustainable wooden toys and wax food wraps (to name just a few!)"

Sounds great! So when does it open?
"Well this is where we need your help - it may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a city to start a cloth nappy shop! We need to raise money for the initial startup costs of the shop, such as the first few months rent, stock, a till system and shop fittings."

The crowdfunding target is £15,000 - that's a lot of money!
"We'd need to have a few months rent upfront to keep our prices competitive whilst we are still finding our feet. Stock is our biggest expense (around £6,500) to fill our shelves with a good selection of various nappy prints, types and brands. The rest of the money will be used for shop fittings, a till system, a comfy baby feeding area and all of the little things in-between that we need to open the perfect shop."

How can I do my bit to help?
"To help us open The Friendly Eco Bristol, you can donate via Crowdfunder and share the page on social media so that your friends can get involved too. You can also claim rewards such as free shopping bags, metal straws, cloth wipes and nappies in return for your donation, so spread the word!"

The boys and I will definitely be visiting when the shop eventually opens. In the meantime, you can follow The Friendly Eco Bristol's journey on Instagram or Facebook and, most importantly, donate to this amazing project here!

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