Ethics, morals and diapers! Do they affect your shopping? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I was thinking yesterday about companies I don't buy from based on their politics or practices I don't agree with, and realized I didn't really do the same thing with diaper-making companies/WAHMs.

I like that I am supporting small business with WAHMs and that is really important to me. I haven't actively boycotted any WAHM but then I realized I don't do a lot of research about who I am buying from! Not like I do with a lot of other things. I don't know if this is good or bad and it has been bothering me a bit. As I said, I love that my money is supporting a mom and her family, but then I wonder if I should look at the bigger picture.

So, I want to know if you apply the same decision making when shopping for diapers as you might when shopping for other things. No naming names of course!

Mom to 4! Welcomed Aila Wren on Friday, February 25th!
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#2 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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I do, to a certain extent

I guess if something strikes me, I may not buy from them. Then, as far as the bigger picture goes, were I a purist I would have to boycott most people That would'nt get me anywhere!:LOL

I like that I am supporting WAHM's too. I think, for WAHM's, I am more forgiving. Because no matter what their beliefs, they and their kids have basic needs like all of us.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#3 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:16 PM
 
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You have a good point and I have thought about this before but never took action beyond that. I guess it is easy to assume that just because someone makes diapers they practice nfl or gentle parenting to some degree but that is a big assumption. How do you really find out otherwise? I have not bought from people that I am suspicious about their practices and I guess that can be unfair but I also don't feel comfortable asking them a lot of questions about their personal values.
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#4 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Ethics have a big effect on my diaper shopping. The main thing is, I CD primarily for environmental reasons. Therefore, I don't want anything in my stash that is environmentally destructive to care for - in other works, things need to get clean with a reasonable wash routine and be pretty quick drying. I would ideally like to only use organic dipes from WAHMs, but that isn't a financially feasible option for me. Also, one of my CDing goals is to convert other mamas to using CDs - therefore I tend to avoid CDing items that are hard to get, because this would totally turn off a newbie, IMO. So unfortunatley I have a conflict between my goal of converting others to CDing and my goal of supporting WAHMs, because so many WAHM items are hard to get.
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#5 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:26 PM
 
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Yes, there is a certain pocket dipe I will never buy b/c I didn't care for business practices. Other than that, I doubt I'd even know if I was inadvertantly supporting something I wouldn't want to support, kwim? Like, if a wahm donates her diaper money to some cause I'm against, how would I know? Beyond that, I buy hemp diapers b/c I'm very pro hemp.
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#6 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:32 PM
 
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I don't look beyond the fact that the person is a WAHM supporting her family (or helping to support her family) and doing what I believe in more than anything and that is staying home with her child/children
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#7 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by phishmama
there is a certain pocket dipe I will never buy b/c I didn't care for business practices.
How does one find out about the business practices of these SAHMs/comapanies?
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#8 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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I do.
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#9 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:42 PM
 
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I once saw that a WAHM donated a percentage of her proceeds to a rather radical environmental organization, and I must admit I haven't shopped there since.
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#10 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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I do consider business practices when I chose diapers to buy. I am probably more stringent with WAHMs that large corporations because I believe that it is easier for a small company to operate ethically than a large company, and it is easier to avoid a certain WAHM than to avoid a larger corporation in my daily buying decisions.

I have chosen to not purchased diapers made by WAHMs who are not AP. One of the benefits of belonging to the diapering community is that it is reasonably easy to find out personal information about them. Where and what they post tells me lots, and their websites give clues as well. You just get to know people from the boards.

I also have avoided WAHMs who appear to have stolen original designs, diapers and otherwise, from other businesses. Definitely not ethical in my book. I don't buy the "I am just a poor WAHM, it's ok for ME to skirt copyright issues, I need to feed my kids" arguement I've seen presented here.

I am trying to buy from WAHMs, big and small, when I can. I honestly find it frustrating. For example, I will look for t-shirts in size 18 mo and check with 5 WAHMs who sell t-shirts. Three will be out of stock in the size I need, one will be closed for babymooning, and the fifth will be priced out of my budget or require stalking. It makes it hard not to just hop in my minivan and run to Target, you know?

I am interested in reading what others have to say on this topic. I hadn't really thought it out before. I posted what I've realized I've done, not necessarily what I will do in the future after I think about it.

Good thread!
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#11 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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There are certain things that will turn me off on a WAHM. It makes me less likely to buy from them.

There is a WAHM who publishes a list of people who bought stuff from her and didn't pay for it. Now, why would I, a consumer interested in her products, care about that? It comes off as being very petty and self-righteous... and misguided.

If a WAHM's web site was really religious (a lot of WAHM's quote the bible or make references to their religion, and that doesn't really turn me off - I'm talking about an overtly religious site) it would really turn me off to their product. When I'm shopping online and I come across a really religious site selling stuff, I feel that their target demographic is other people of the same religion, and that person is not me. Like I said, though, I'm not including just a few references like a lot of WAHM's have. I can't think of any diapering sites I've seen that are religious enough to make me feel weird.
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#12 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 02:52 PM
 
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Thought about it more and nope, nothing would keep me from buying from a WAHM.
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#13 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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I guess I'm pretty layed back :LOL . Unless I know of a WAHM that neglects/abuses her children, I'd buy from her (even if it's a religious or "radical" site). As long as it's not from a big company, I'm cool.
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#14 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawoof
I don't want anything in my stash that is environmentally destructive to care for - in other works, things need to get clean with a reasonable wash routine and be pretty quick drying. .
Keep in mind that "environmentally destructive" (wow!-strong choice of words) is relative. Any laundering (short of beating items at the river with rocks) is not enhancing mother earth for subsequent generations, but in terms of a cloth diaper care routine being classified 'environmentally destructive' , I think even thick internal soaker fitteds are much kinder on the earth, even with more rinses required than say, flatfold diapers, and longer drying times, than the damage done to the earth via disposable diaper production and disposal. Just wanted to say I felt that your wording was rather harsh, and that mamas who believe strongly in helping the environment but don't only use flats & hang to dry, might take a slight offense at what you said.
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#15 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:05 PM
 
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I like that I'm supporting WAHM's. I feel like even if they don't have the same practices/belief system that I do..I like that I am helping them stay at home w/ their babies. If I didn't support any body unless they were just like me, then I'd better get real good at sewing/canning/farming/accounting/ etc. I'd rather give my business to a WAHM who I don't have one single thing in common w/ than give my $$$ to gerber for cheap prefolds made in China.

Jesse, wife to DH , mama to DD 13, DS 11, DS 8, DD 6, DS 3 & bean EDD 12/18/13
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#16 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danahen
I guess I'm pretty layed back :LOL . Unless I know of a WAHM that neglects/abuses her children, I'd buy from her (even if it's a religious or "radical" site). As long as it's not from a big company, I'm cool.
SAME HERE! I'd just rather the money go to the family and the WAHM for her (underpaid) hard work. I could care less what religion or whatever someone is, we all have at least one thing in common To each his own I guess
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#17 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Danahen
I guess I'm pretty layed back :LOL . Unless I know of a WAHM that neglects/abuses her children, I'd buy from her (even if it's a religious or "radical" site). As long as it's not from a big company, I'm cool.
You said it much better than me!

Jesse, wife to DH , mama to DD 13, DS 11, DS 8, DD 6, DS 3 & bean EDD 12/18/13
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#18 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KristiMetz

There is a WAHM who publishes a list of people who bought stuff from her and didn't pay for it. Now, why would I, a consumer interested in her products, care about that? It comes off as being very petty and self-righteous... and misguided.
Yes, I would be turned off by that as well. But (maybe I am just being dumb here, but) I dont understand how they can buy things from her without paying? I mean, you pay first, right? Then the wahm sends you your items AFTER you have paid. I'm confused. (so whats new! lol!)
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#19 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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To answer the original question, I don't try to find out about the WAHM's personal philosophies and match them up with what I believe in to see if she's 'ok' to buy from. Nope. The only thing that turns me off about a WAHM is if she seems to be dishonest in any way, and if I'm even suspicious about that, I won't buy. I know that sort of crosses the line between 'customer service' and 'ethics', but honesty is honesty and falls into both categories, IMO, so is perhaps relevant to this discussion.
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#20 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok so I thought about it some more and read the posts. And yeah, I don't think I want to buy from people who aren't AP. I mean, I would hate to buy from someone who advocates spanking their kids, etc.

I am not Christian and have shopped with Christian WAHMs (and I have lots of friends that are Christian and always appreciate prayers, etc) but DH prefers if I didn't. We disagree there.

I would not shop with somone who gives money to a cause I do not agree with.

I feel more drawn to WAHMs who live a similar lifestyle, definitely. But learning all this takes a lot of research and online time and learning about them as a person.

I do trust MDC WAHMs more than others!

Mom to 4! Welcomed Aila Wren on Friday, February 25th!
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#21 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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Keep in mind that "environmentally destructive" (wow!-strong choice of words) is relative. Any laundering (short of beating items at the river with rocks) is not enhancing mother earth for subsequent generations, but in terms of a cloth diaper care routine being classified 'environmentally destructive' , I think even thick internal soaker fitteds are much kinder on the earth, even with more rinses required than say, flatfold diapers, and longer drying times, than the damage done to the earth via disposable diaper production and disposal. Just wanted to say I felt that your wording was rather harsh, and that mamas who believe strongly in helping the environment but don't only use flats & hang to dry, might take a slight offense at what you said.
Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone. What I meant is that when choosing cloth diapers, I try to chose those that are more environmentally friendly - compared to other cloth diapers and compared to disposables. I agree that there is "environmental destruction" associated with any diapering choice. But I have to disagree with you, from that studies I've seen, that *any* CD choice is necessarily more environmentally friendly than disposables. A Union of Concerned Scientists review and a recent UK study both found little if any environmental difference between using cloth versus disposables, and I assume these studies were averaging across the kinds of cloth that people use. To me this implies that some cloth choices might be better than sposies and some might be worse. For example, I think that for people who live in places with extreme water shortages but lots of landfill space, disposables may be a better environmental choice, but for people who live in places with lots of water and little landfill space, cloth would be an better environmental choice. Also, if a diaper takes 1/2 a day in the dryer to dry, that's a lot of energy being used and I'm not certain that would be less than the impact of disposables. All of this said, I find it hard to make environmentally ideal cloth diapering choices. I don't line dry because I live in an apt without a clothesline and it takes more time than I have available. I use hemp flats to stuff our pockets overnight because hemp is pretty environmentally friendly to grow and nothing else has been absorbant enough for us. But an environmental cost is that I have to occasionally bleach the inserts due to stinkies. Everything is a trade-off and I'm not trying to point fingers at anyone - I apologize if my original post came across that way. I'm just saying that environmental ethics are huge factor in my CDing choices.
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#22 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:22 PM
 
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I, personally, am very concerned with how environmentally friendly the WAHMs I buy from and the products she/he produces are. I've been wanting to start a similar thread recently, but didn't want to divide the diapering board in a huge arguement. I hope this thread doesn't get that way.

I love being able to help support WAHM's... it's such a great thing that people can do this these days! That being said, I would prefer to shop with WAHMs that are *more* environmentally friendly than the others. I wish I knew which ones were more of my thinking. It's hard to tell on peoples sites sometimes. I know that I do stay away from *one* company because I found out that they were conservative.

I am really anti-bush/war/conservative-repubican, so I suppose that I am in the minority thinking that it's great if a WAHM chooses to send her money to a radical environmentalist movement. More power to her. I wish I had know of that particular auction so I could have bid. :LOL

Well, I probably just insulted half of the diapering board with my anti-newworldorder comments, just don't flame me too bad.
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#23 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:26 PM
 
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I am really anti-bush/war/conservative-repubican, so I suppose that I am in the minority thinking that it's great if a WAHM chooses to send her money to a radical environmentalist movement. More power to her. I wish I had know of that particular auction so I could have bid.
I tend to agree, though I'm picky about which environmentalist groups I support, because I think some are wonderful and others do more harm than good by alienating people with their extremism. I'm not sure how I would know which groups WAHMs support anyway??
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#24 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:32 PM
 
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I love supporting WAHMs
But I agree with one of the PP, if the site is full of religious stuff I will probably shy away. Same with the published list of non-paying customers.
Another thing that has kind of turned me off recently was something that a WAHM posted on "the Walmart thread" totally defending them.... I don't support Walmart and don't really want to buy things from someone who proudly purchases most of their supplies from them KWIM? I can understand running out of sewing thread at midnight before a really big order, but can't understand the big Walmart advocate thing.

(edited to change the word "deadbeat" Ebay reffers to non-paying auction winners as "deadbeat bidders" and it sticks in my brain soup, I wasn't trying to offend...
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#25 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by *Mamajaza*
That being said, I would prefer to shop with WAHMs that are *more* environmentally friendly than the others. I wish I knew which ones were more of my thinking. It's hard to tell on peoples sites sometimes. I know that I do stay away from *one* company because I found out that they were conservative.

I am really anti-bush/war/conservative-repubican, so I suppose that I am in the minority thinking that it's great if a WAHM chooses to send her money to a radical environmentalist movement. More power to her. I wish I had know of that particular auction so I could have bid. :LOL

Well, I probably just insulted half of the diapering board with my anti-newworldorder comments, just don't flame me too bad.

I totally agree with this, even though i'm sort of ashamed to admit that I will shy away from overly conservative companies :
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#26 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:35 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but I have to say there is a HUGE difference in supporting an independently owned business where the product is made locally and a large multinational conglomerate that exploits it's workers.

For one the independent business is likely pouring any surplus money back into her own community. Heck - even if it's a right to life campaign (which I disagree with) that's a HECK of a lot better than supporting fat white guys in some corporate office with their own PAC! The more middlemen, the more removed they are from the consequences of their actions.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#27 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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I'm not sure how I would know which groups WAHMs support anyway??
Just ask . Most WAHMs will specifically state where your money is going if it is a charity auction.
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#28 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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A person's ethics and morals mean a lot to me. Actually ethics and morals go hand in hand to me. A mom trying to do the best she can and stay home with her children says more to me than anything else. By reading their reviews I can usually tell if they run a biz with ethical/moral practices.

Their religion, political views, etc, IMO are none of my business. I have no way to know the full story and cannot judge others for doing the best they can. If someone is running a charity donation sale that I don't support then I may not buy until the donation is done with, but I would never write them off or judge them based on that.
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#29 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:42 PM
 
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overly conservative companies
What is an overly conservative company?
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#30 of 236 Old 07-18-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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I would love to know more about the WAHMs that I buy from. I am with those above who avoid overly religious sites, and would definitely buy from those who are more into environmental causes, liberal politically, etc, if I knew who they were.

But since I don't, I am just happy to be supporting a WAHM to help her stay home with her kids.

I do avoid large corporations whose policies and politics I disagree with, as much as possible (or whose top executives' politics I disagree with). Wal Mart and Safeway come to mind...
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