Can you imagine what life would be like without diapers? We all loathe them at times. But what on earth would we do without them?
Diapers have been around for decades but before them, things were even messier.
We celebrate badass people from history all the time. One name all the parents should know and throw a party for each year is Marion Donovan.
All hail the woman who decided enough was enough. There must be a better way to manage a baby’s bathroom habits.
Rubber pants were used before Marion knew there must be a better way.
In the 1940’s Marion was a mother and, as the times required, the primary (sole, really) caregiver to the children. At this point in time, men worked and women cared for children and kept up with the housework.
Who better to create a better way to diaper children than a mother? She was in the thick of it with a few children and knew it was unnecessarily messy and impractical. Rubber pants were uncomfortable for the child and often left tight rings on their legs.
Unfortunately, while it seems obvious that no one would know what should be used better than a woman in this time period, men controlled all the manufacturing and felt women had no place in that space. They didn’t see any reason to “fix” something that already had a solution. For them, diapers were not a part of their world and therefore wasn’t something to innovate in their factories.
Sick of soggy clothes, sheets and everything else they touched, Marion refused to accept the response men were giving her. She wasn’t going to stand by any longer and have unnecessary diaper waist and sore bellies from tight rubber pants.
She proceeded to cut and sew a waterproof shower curtain into a more breathable diaper. Soon after, her design was made from a nylon parachute material. In time she designed and termed her design the “Boater” and set out to get it manufactured.
She tried all the big manufacturing personnel and was turned down, again and again.
She knew there was a better way. She designed a better way. She wasn’t going to let men, who had no reference to the need for change, stop her. Marion then decided to manufacture the Boater herself. Before long, Saks Fifth Avenue couldn’t keep them in stock. The Boaters were a huge and instant success.
Marion took things one step further and set out to make a fully disposable diaper. She felt women had better things to spend time on than cleaning and washing the nylon outer liner and they deserved an option.
Marion was one of the only ones who saw this as a viable option.
Jokes on them. Today, women have the option to cloth or use disposable diapers. Women have the option to minimize their time spent with poo because Marion Donovan decided to make things better. She knew, as the primary caregiver, what women really needed. What she needed.
ABBY&FINN has that same mission. We knew there was a better way to get parents the supplies they needed. There needed to be an option that grew with their babies and delivered quality products at a better price, right to their door. Thanks to all of your support, we realized out hunch was right… there was a better way.