We are proud to introduce a new eco friendly, baby and childrens brand Mama Bamboo. Providing an affordable, eco friendly solution to disposable wipes and nappies, reducing our impact on the environment by using a bio degradable material made from bamboo. The range includes a cute range of baby and kids bamboo tableware (such a better alternative to the plastic ones!) and wipes and nappies which won’t spend hundreds of years in landfill.
We had the pleasure of meeting the founder and busy Mum of two, Laura Crawford who like us is also based in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Here is a Q&A with Laura as she tells us about juggling motherhood and her exciting new sustainable business Mama Bamboo.
My world revolves around my two beautiful children. They bring me unbelievable joy and happiness but are also extremely challenging and exhausting. As with all Mummies I want the best for them and as a very stretched Mummy I need the best for me; high quality, affordable, reliable, convenient products. Like most Mums when my little ones were born I reached for the obvious trusted brands of nappies and wipes; Best for Baby; Best for Me….right?
As time went on I became more and more aware of how damaging this was to the environment. Friends from Australia and the Far East opened my eyes to alternative products and I hunted them down here in the UK, but they were quite pricey.
After a lot of research and design I developed a range of my own using bamboo. Bamboo is incredible. It’s really fast growing, self regenerating, and pesticide and fertiliser free. It can be used to make everything from hard wood floors to the softest baby towels.
Our aim is to offer these alternatives at a more affordable price making it easier for the average Mum to make the switch to green and thereby make a choice that is best for Mama Earth as well as Baby and Mummy.
The tableware range is really cute. Each set features a little character and comes with a certificate which tells the child a bit about their characteristics and why they are endangered. Each character has a geographically appropriate name. Our panda is Ping. Our rhino is Ruandi. Etc. Their ‘story’ page will make great talking points for parents to engage their child in learning about their world; geography, environment, biology, human activity, etc.
We’re really excited to launch the Ping & Friends range in time for Christmas. They’d make gorgeous gifts. And we make a donation for every set sold to WWF so hopefully we can make a size able Christmas present to them this year.
What did you do prior to starting Mama Bamboo?
Before this I had two careers; I worked in the city as a management consultant and then I became a full time mother. Both were challenging and fast moving and had an equal number of highs and lows but by far and away the second was the most rewarding.
My children are still young and I couldn’t bear to return to full time city work just yet. I want to be there for pick ups, ballet class, impromptu trips to the park after school, etc. I also wanted to do something positive and impactful. If I’m going to spend time away from my little ones, then I better put that time to good use.
What have you found the most rewarding?
Having my daughter (she’s 5) asking me more about the environment and wanting to learn about the animals in our range.
To have her understand a little more about her impact and responsibilities in this world is a huge reward.
What have you found the most challenging?
Time. The most precious and non renewable resource. If I had magic time between bath and bedtime and the early morning wake up to get done all my ideas, Bamaboo and Mama Bamboo would be a household name by now and we’d have enough own- and guest ranges to fill our own department store.
What are your top tips of juggling being a Mum and starting a business?
Prioritise. You’ll never get everything done. Be as organised as possible and make every hour spent in the office really count. I swear working parents with a school or nursery pick up looming at 3:15 are the most efficient human beings on earth.
Leave it in the office. As hard as it is, try to leave work in the office when you’re with your little ones. You’re probably juggling this part time self employed gig instead of returning to work in order to be with your kids more, so do whatever you need to do in order to be present with them. I know my two hate it if I check emails in the middle of a game or sneak a phone call whilst we’re at the park.
And finally, go for it. I procrastinated for at least a year before starting Mama Bamboo. I felt terrified of going it alone. But it’s so worth it. Even if the worst happens and you fail, at least you’ve tried. No regrets.
Hopefully our Bamaboo range will have taken off and have a strong recognisable presence in the market and be making a real impact on the environment.
For every baby who swaps from standard disposables to Bamaboos that’s 6000 less plastic pants lying in landfill and 7000 less wipes clogging up the waterways. If we can persuade 1% of new parents to go green it could reduce the nappy pile by 18 million a year!
I also really want to grow the homeware range. I have quite a soft spot for Ping and Friends. I’d love to see a full range from bedding and towels to bamboo toys and books.
If you could change one thing on this planet what would it be?
Every baby and child would be safe in their own home. In addition to the donations to WWF we support the NSPCC. Our client base is made up of caring, loving parents who want the best for their baby and are willing to make choices to guarantee them a better future in a green world, but not every little one is so lucky. Too many tiny people suffer harm and neglect from the very people who should be protecting and nurturing them. The NSPCC has been working tirelessly for many years to identify and rescue these children. We will support them through Mama Bamboo. As their strapline goes “every child deserves a childhood”.