Totsbots Reusable Nappies
Thursday, 23 February 2017
TotsBots is the best known and biggest UK manufacturer of cloth nappies. TotsBots started back in 2000 and was created by husband and wife team Fiona and Magnus Smyth. TotsBots has grown substantially since these early days and now employs 63 people all still led by Fiona and Magnus. All TotsBots products including their nappies, wraps, boosters, carriers and sanitary wear products are made in Scotland in their own factory.
Key TotsBots Products are:
Bamboozle Stretchy, Easyfit, Teenyfit, Peenut and Classic. TotsBots no longer just make nappies but also produce a baby sling called the Papoozle and cloth sanitary wear under the name Bloom and Nora.
TotsBots Mission Statement
" To design and make the best reusable nappies in The World to enable parents to make choices that have positive environmental impact for future generations. We do this with the absolute commitment to creating jobs in what was once a thriving industry by making all of our nappies in our home-town of Glasgow. Reduce, Reuse, Regenerate!"
How It Got Started.
Fiona - "I couldn't afford to buy cloth nappies as we were unemployed at the time and decided to make my own. A friend asked me to make some for her and after using them encouraged me to contact The Nappy Lady. I very nervously phoned up and we did a month's trial with Nappy Lady Advisors. I got her first order a few weeks later for 100 nappies and panicked! The first TotsBots nappies were made at our kitchen table in October 2000 on a sewing machine bought at a car boot sale for £25."
Did you ever expect TotsBots to become the brand it is today?
Fiona - "Honestly, No. I just wanted to do something different that I believed in and to have a job that was flexible so I could work around having a family. Neither of us had ever run a business or factory before, neither of us have degrees or previous experience in product design! Today around 60,000,000 nappies are diverted from landfill by TotsBots users each year which is truly staggering."
What is the number one most important thing to TotsBots?
Magnus - "Quality. It is the only way you can ensure the best performance and durability. Our nappies are build to work hard and to last. Cheap, poor quality components just don't cut it."
TotsBots products all carry the Oekotex certification. What does this mean?
Magnus "Oekotex certification is an international standard that gives you the reassurance that no harmful chemicals are present in a garment or fabric. Often companies will claim to use Oekotex certified fabrics, but with TotsBots the entire product, right down to the thread we use is Oekotex 100 (class 1) certified. Class 1 is the strictest testing standard and is specifically for baby products. It's pronounced oh-ee-ko-tex!"
Fiona and Magnus what are you're memorable nappy moments?
"I accidentally bumped into a long lost school friend in a play park with the kids and she started raving about these nappies she was using. They were TotsBots!
- The stress of getting our first ever export pallet into the back of our van to take it to the Logistics company. It was heading to Australia.
- Winning our first ever Mother and Baby Gold award for the original Bamboozle and Silver for our Fluffle. All these years later our Classic nappy is still based on the original Bamboozle design.
- Finally putting our own baby in a TotsBots immediately after he was born in 2007. We'd used disposables on our first baby in 1997, terry squares on our second baby in 2000 so that was a special moment. As was finding 2 Lego men tucked inside his Easyfit nappy a year or so later when he was toddling!
- The limited edition Royal Flush Easyfit nappy (designed for the birth of Prince George) selling out in a few hours and causing absolute mayhem on nappy forums. (The Nappy Lady remembers it VERY well too- craziest 3 minutes sales EVER!)
- The hilarious thread on our Facebook page asking fans what was the most unusual thing in their nappy bag. We had ALL sorts.
- Getting an out of the blue call from the Tesco buyer and not taking the guy seriously as we thought it was one of our friends winding us up."
Thank you to Fiona and Magnus for taking the time from their fluffy nappy factory and answering our questions. The Nappy Lady is proud to have been their first customer all those years ago and continues to sell all the whole TotsBots range.