Reason 19: Because it really it one big community working together for the cause! Meet the Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA) – a trade association for manufacturers, retailers, diaper services, and info sources.
This past week I had my first experience with the cloth diapering community from the inside. As part of my new employment I journeyed to Texas to participate in the All Baby & Child (ABC) Spring Educational Conference and Trade Show. While we were setting up our booth we were welcomed by a member of the RDIA and a fellow cloth diapering manufacturer. I was looking forward to meeting some of the other brands I’ve heard so much about (and those that I’ve used personally) but I didn’t know how strong the community really was. Not only were we welcomed so warmly we were invited to get to know the rest of the RDIA.
Now normally the ABC Show is held in September and is 10 times as large as their spring show but the spring show is more educational. Retailers are invited to attend workshops on the first morning that will help them build their businesses. Different sessions included how to use social media for your business, how to build a team, and my favorite “Cloth Diapers, the Emerging Category.” The session was taught by members of the RDIA – all from their unique companies and stores. The goal of the session was to explain to retailers (who may not currently carry cloth diapers in their stores) why they should consider stocking cloth diapers.
Later that day was even more exciting – retailers who knew nothing about cloth diapers (other than what they learned in the session) were stopping by our booth wanting to learn more. They were touching our diapers, they were asking questions about how to use them, and they were genuinely interested in adding cloth diapers to their stores. The next day was just as exciting as retailers continued to stop at our booth to learn more about cloth diapers.
The RDIA also had a booth at the Trade Show so they could continue to educate retailers on the industry and each of the companies that were present played a role in further educating people on cloth diapers. After each day the cloth diaper industry could be found mingling with one another in true friendship. It was interesting from my perspective because many of the people there already knew who I was – or at least had heard of me. It was as if I was already part of the community and we had all ‘met’ before – of course I had ‘met’ many of them online.
Projects of the RDIA:
- Consider Cloth Kits – for $25 midwives, doulas, child birth educators, etc can have a complete demo kit to introduce cloth diapers to their clients.
- Guide to Washing Cloth Diapers – a simple resource to explain the basics of washing cloth diapers.
- Cloth Diaper Service Information – are you interested in starting a cloth diaper service?
- Cloth Diaper Day Care Directory – a resource to help parents find a cloth diaper friendly day care in their hometown.
- Cloth Diaper Detergent Determinator – a list of detergents and how they rate for use with cloth diapers.
Many of these projects are joint projects with the Real Diaper Association.
While I’m not yet a member of the RDIA (on my list to do for my blog and my profession) I’m truly inspired to see how well the community works together to further the growth of the cloth diapering industry. If you are interested in learning more about the RDIA or any of their projects please visit their website at http://www.realdiaperindustry.org/.
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