You are hereHome > About Us
Kijani is a cloth diaper business in Kampala, Uganda with 2 main goals:
- To provide positive employment opportunities as a way to empower Ugandan women
- To provide a high quality, affordable, environmentally friendly alternative to disposable diapers in the local Ugandan market.
“Kijani” is a Swahili word that means “green”, which is a reflection of our desire to introduce earth-friendly products to the local market.
There are several good reasons to use cloth diapers, but the three most compelling reasons are that cloth diapers are:
* Better for your wallet
* Better for your baby and
* Better for the earth.
BETTER FOR YOUR WALLET – With disposable diapers, you are literally throwing money away. One of the most compelling reasons for using cloth is the amount of money that can be saved. Because Kijani diapers are adjustable, the same set of diapers can be used until your baby is potty trained, and even with subsequent children.
BETTER FOR YOUR BABY – Cloth diapers are made with soft fabrics that do not contain any of the dangerous chemicals that can be found in disposable diapers. Disposable diapers are actually filled with toxic chemicals. Many babies are exposed to these chemicals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the first few years of their lives when their rapidly developing body is even more sensitive to negative effects of these chemicals. Some chemicals that are in disposable diapers are:
Dioxins – disposable diapers contain traces of dioxins, which are a by product of the chemical bleaching process. Dioxins are extremely toxic, and there is no safe level of exposure to dioxins, which have been linked to cancer, infertility, hormone disruptions, and developmental delays. Dioxins are listed as one of the most toxic cancer-causing chemical and is banned in many countries.
Sodium polyacrylate – this is a super absorbant material that makes disposables able to hold so much liquid. If you’ve ever noticed some “gel like crystals” on your baby’s skin after changing his or her diaper, that is the sodium polyacrylate. Sodium polyacrylate has been linked to skin irritation and respiratory issues.
Phthalates – many disposable diapers contain fragrances to mask odors which contain phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor.
Tributyl-tin (TBT) – is a toxic pollutant that is known to cause hormone disruption in humans and animals
Because of these chemicals, disposable diapers often cause diaper rash in babies, which can sometimes be severe and cause bleeding and a lot of pain. Cloth nappies are very soft and comfortable against the baby’s skin, and rashes are very rare in babies that use cloth diapers.
Disposable diapers are also linked to infertility and increased testicular cancer in males. A research study done at the University of Kiel in Germany showed that disposable diapers raise the temperature of baby boy’s scrotum by as much as one degree Celsius, which can affect their development and can lead to infertility later in life. Baby boys who were wearing cloth diapers did NOT have a similar rise in scrotum temperature. As a result of this study, some researchers speculated that disposable diapers may be responsible for declining fertility rates among Western men.
BETTER FOR THE EARTH - An average child will use between 4000 and 8000 disposable diapers by the time they are potty trained. The environmental impact of these diapers is huge – from the trees, plastic, chemicals, and water used to make the diapers, which eventually just end up as waste, and then the packaging and transportation of the diapers from the factory to the market. The disposal of these diapers is also a big environmental concern, especially in Uganda where many people do not have trash disposal services. Diapers are fire retardants, so they do not burn easily. Burning diapers releases toxic chemicals, increasing air pollution, and the human waste in the diapers can soak into the water stream and contaminate the water.
With cloth diapers, a baby can use only 15-20 diapers total, which can also be used for subsequent children. When you compare this to 4000 to 8000 disposable diapers, it is clear that cloth diapers are FAR better for the environment.
More resources on why to choose cloth: