Let’s talk a little bit about this. It’s a hard subject to write about, and I don’t want to shame anyone who has purchased these diapers. That is not my intent. Indeed, your diapers and your baby are probably fine. I hope your diapers last for a long time! I do want to give a bit of a warning to people who are thinking about purchasing these brands, or any grey market diaper. There are important things you need to know about that make these diapers less of a “great deal”. I will review each diaper in its own post, linked below, but I wanted to pass on some information that covers most of these diapers first.
What are Grey Market Diapers?
These are grey market because they aren’t specifically black market. They aren’t completely illegal, but they cut important corners that makes them not legal.
There are many laws in the US regarding children’s products. These laws are specific for lead testing, small parts, and sometimes flammability testing in products used by children under age 12. Here’s how it breaks down for cloth diapers:
- Cloth diapers are made with a laminated polyester fabric. Ordinarily, polyester is exempt from testing, but due to the laminate adhered to it, cloth diapers must be tested for lead.
- The snaps used on cloth diapers also must be tested and certified lead-free by a lab independent of the manufacturer.
- Every single batch of fabric and snaps used in making a lot of diapers needs to be tested. If it didn’t come from the same roll of fabric, or the same run of snaps, it needs a new lead testing certification. All different colors of fabric and snaps need to be tested prior to being sold in order to be compliant with child product safety laws in the US.
Grey market diapers are directly imported from China, where no such restrictions or requirements exist for children’s products. As a result, they can offer untested/certified diapers at a cheaper price point by bypassing child safety laws. They also offer many licensed prints that are stolen from the owner of the intellectual property – such as Disney, for example.
Some grey market diaper companies will occasionally test a diaper for lead. They will then claim that they are “compliant”. However, testing a random diaper does not make an entire product legal or safe, and often they only test one color, and they certainly don’t go to all the effort of testing all batches and colors.
What about Charcoal Bamboo?
I have been asked this question a lot. To this date and the best of my knowledge, there is not a legal source of charcoal-infused bamboo to be distributed in the US. I am not entirely convinced that CBIs (Charcoal Bamboo Inserts) are actually infused with charcoal anyway, I really think that may be false advertising, and it is just a charcoal-colored bamboo. I actually don’t even think they are bamboo, but I will have a post about this later. Grey market diaper companies are not required to follow labeling laws, so something that is labeled “bamboo” is often actually microfiber.
I hope that was enough of a soap box, let’s get on to the reviews.