Wholesome Diaper Co. is envisioning a franchised business model as the Milwaukee-based startup prepares its cloth diaper delivery service for future growth plans.
The company delivers diapers to families in the Milwaukee area who want the perks of a cloth diaper, but don’t want to manage the additional laundry loads.
For $24 a week, the startup will pick up, wash and deliver freshly cleaned cloth diapers to customers’ homes. Families with newborn babies typically use 50 to 70 diapers per week, but customers can customize their order based on their needs at the same price, said Abigail Austin, Wholesome Diaper Co. founder.
“We’re bridging the gap between the ease of disposable diapers and the health benefits and the eco-friendly benefits of cloth diapers,” Austin said.
Health benefits include breathability, which helps prevent diaper rash, while some customers have reported reduced leakage and “blowouts” with cloth diapers, Austin said. But customers also prefer a natural alternative, she said, adding that traditional diapers are made of synthetic plastics.
Austin says a baby will create up to two tons of waste over three years of using disposable diapers, which can take 500 years to decompose in a landfill. While raising twins of her own, Austin recognized the amount of waste created by disposable diapers, prompting her to launch the company, she said.
“I’m carrying multiple trash bags per week full of just diapers,” Austin said. “When you’re a parent, you see that it’s a lot of waste.”
In addition to cloth diapers, Wholesome Diaper Co. offers reusable swim diapers, waterproof laundry bags and portable bags for parents on the go. The startup has also partnered with local businesses for subscription box add-ons, like all-natural rash cream.
Wholesome Diaper Co. has generated $75,000 in revenue to date and provides its subscription box services to more than 40 families in the greater Milwaukee area.
Now the company has a much bolder vision after being featured in a March episode of “Project Pitch It” on WISN-TV Channel 12. Over the past several months, families have reached out asking the startup to extend their services to smaller cities around the state and outside of Wisconsin, Austin said.
“One of the things we’re working on is to franchise in multiple locations both in and outside Wisconsin,” Austin said. “We want people to have these resources because we really have seen an interest.”