November 18, 2016 4 min read
We at GroVia want to offer an apology regarding a lack of acknowledgement of the efforts of Black Women Do Cloth Diaper in a recent blog post.
Black Women Do Cloth Diaper is a group of women—smart, impassioned women of color with diverse backgrounds and approaches to parenting—women who have given their time and energies to call the cloth diaper industry as a whole to the carpet and challenge us all, including GroVia, to make highly visible changes to approaches to diversity and inclusion. We also want to express our gratitude for the work these women have done to challenge, inspire and mobilize other women of color to both begin using cloth diapers and to call on brands to represent women, families, and babies of color in advertising.
GroVia will continue to take actionable steps with future lifestyle photography, ad campaigns, social media campaigns, and social media outreach efforts. This is about doing right by the diverse families who support our brand and the diverse cloth diapering families of the future.
Kim Ormsby and Team GroVia
Hippies? ‘Granola moms?’
These names are all associated with white women and rarely include women and families of color.
I am here to tell you that families of color love to cloth diaper. But between advertisements and community events, it has been difficult for me to find representation that included babies and families that look like me and my children.
So where does my story begin?
I started cloth diapering to help my family save money. My family had relocated to a new city, and for the first time, we were living off one income. A friend of mine recommended cloth diapers, and I immediately turned up my nose. “Why would I touch poop ON PURPOSE?”
After a week of leaky disposable diapers and poop, I decided to give it a try. Let’s just say… we have not looked back. When I decided to cloth diaper, I applied for a cloth diaper loan through my local cloth diaper bank, and I received one GroVia Hybrid diaperin Blackberry. It instantly became my favorite diaper, and every time I found one I purchased it.
Something was missing.
I still did not see other women of color in my community that used cloth diapers, so I began a journey to get the word out! First, I became a GroVia Advocate, and then I became the coordinator for my local cloth diaper bank. But something was still missing. It came to me when I read a response on Facebook regarding representation and the very brand I so deeply loved. “Why are there no pictures of babies of color in the advertising?” “How can such a great company NOT include us?” “Can I still continue to use these products and support this brand?”
I never understood why representation mattered until I had children of my own. Raising Black children can be tough. I want to teach them that they ARE important! That they ARE beautiful! That they ARE represented! I spent days in reflection, wrestling with what my next steps would be in the cloth diaper community.
There were conversations in the African American cloth diapering social media community about no longer purchasing GroVia, about only purchasing blacked-owned, stay-at-home mom products, about selling off brands that did not support the Black community. There was also opposing commentary that was disturbing. There were mothers asserting that Black families do not use cloth diapers, that representation is not necessary, and that they had never even noticed that models of color were not included.
I wanted to scream, “WE NEED REPRESENTATION! IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME, MY COMMUNITY, MY CHILDREN!”
This has gotten us to this very point.
Where do we go from here?
I am so excited for this company and for the partnership I have been able to form with each and every staff member since I joined the team. I was lucky enough to have more than one conversation with different departments about how we can DO better for our customers. All customers are important, and it is my personal mission to speak for those who may feel they have been overlooked.
I once read, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” I know change will not happen right away, but I want to be part of steering change and growth in the right direction and as quickly as possible. I know that there is a possibility for negative feedback in response to this new direction, and progress is never easy, but is necessary.
About Sabrina:I am a mom of two, and a football coach's wife. I love helping people and my community discover the wonderful world of cloth diapers. I am an outspoken science nerd who loves to end ever day with a dance party with my little girl. I grew up in the north, but just love living and raising my family in the south.
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