Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 66

The Great cloth Diaper Change

We last chatted with Karen in 2019 for Show 24 of the Cloth Diaper Podcast. I’m excited to chat with her today, again, to give you an update on what’s happening with the event admits a global pandemic.

Virtual events and a few in person small events are now made possible with changes and updates to this incredible global event.

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March 29, 2021 • 32:09


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change, Bailey Bouwman


Bailey Bouwman  00:03

If somebody hasn’t heard of the GCDC (Great Cloth Diaper Change). But what is it and what can we tell them about it?


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 03:09

Well, it’s like everything else nowadays, it’s definitely different than what it was because of COVID.


But I’ll tell you in general, the GCDC (Great Cloth Diaper Change) is a way to promote cloth diapering.


It was set up back in 2011, from a business owner in the United States, what she was trying to do is create an event around Earth Day where she could get her cloth diapering community together to sort of celebrate in cloth diapering, if you will, their choices and talk about how it was to be okay to be part time cloth diapers or full time or maybe shared tricks of the trade so that they could, you know, expand on their knowledge and stuff like that.


But then they got it into their idea into their heads that maybe they would like to try for a Guinness record. And again, they’re for hopefully promoting it more across the country and maybe into other countries. And sure enough, that is exactly what happened. And so the Great Cloth Diaper Change was created because they wanted to promote cloth diapering to cloth users and non-cloth users as an option in the world out there with young families. But what it became at that point was a record. So I should read that because of course I can never remember exactly what it was.


But in 2011, they set a record for the most people changing cloth diapers simultaneously because they set a time and literally around the world at the same time. Even if it meant to in the morning in some countries, they changed diapers at the same time making a huge simultaneous cloth diaper change. And so then the next year they had an annual the second annual event and they did it again and they broke that record. Ah yeah, we do have two different world records because in 2013 they set a new one. That’s because of some changes at Guinness. And so the next record was for most people changing cloth diapers in a 24 hour period. And that worked well for us. Because then we can incorporate some countries, everybody had to use the same time that was set locally. So I believe it was 10:30am, I’m not really sure, don’t count me on that 1030 or 11 in the morning. And then just whenever your timezone hit that number, the people in those areas would do their cloth diaper changes. And so again, it just kind of went all the way around the world in that 24 hour span. And that became our new record, which then we broke the following year.


But sadly, in 2015, we just sort of separated ways with Guinness.  


 And now as of last year, and this year, it’s a three day event. We have Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at the end of April.


Again, as we said, we moved from being in the middle of the night for some countries to at least a set time. Because the GCDC (Great Cloth Diaper Change) happens across the world, we’ve got participants from go Yeah, all over. It’s all over. This year, we’re up to 14 registered countries, but we’ve had into the 20s.


Over the span of this is our 11th year of the 11 years, there have been dozens of different countries participating in different ways. But what I was going to say about this year is and last year, we’re letting them choose their time of day. And that came out of in the hotter nations. So again, this is now all basically virtual, and we’ll get to that.


Bailey Bouwman 08:54

So it’s an annual diaper change that happens around the world. And now that we are living through a global pandemic, it’s gone virtual. Yes. What does that mean? How did that kind of roll out? A while did you learn from last year,


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 09:11

you say so like everybody else. Last year was crazy. But in my little world, it was very crazy. Because we were plugging along planning our 10th annual celebrations. We were very excited. We were hoping for large numbers because of the excitement of the 10th year and then as you can imagine, around this time last year in March in and the world was starting to shut down here and there and things were going on and we thought


All right, so we weren’t sure what we were going to do whether we were just going to cancel it full out. Or at again, people did talk about postponement, but at least I was aware enough to know that postponing would have been the reason we have it in April like I said as just it’s nostalgia first But she tied it to Earth Day for a reason to mark Earth Day.


And so it seems strange to respond even though there could be a possibility of doing that because of something like a pandemic, but knowing that when would we postpone it to if we moved it to June, we were still in trouble in June is, you know, do we postpone it to October? Nope. Everybody was still in. So here we already well, yeah.


Because now here we are here later doing the same thing.


Bailey Bouwman  12:18

So this year, it’s going to be probably predominantly virtual. I saw that, that maybe depending on our regions, yes. restrictions.


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 12:29

absolutely. So I will tell you, we have 185 events registered as of this afternoon. And I have 3% in person events. And so now I actually can’t remember what that was, but six or seven.


 And so obviously there are regions in the world.. So I’m not saying that these are going to be massive held events, because of course, everybody is still kind of waiting for waiting for their vaccines waiting for the Go ahead.


Yeah, it’s a very changing situation it is. But with the variance, I’m all aware that again, we’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants there too. So we allowed people to register and then they can try and book it and be in person. But of course if on the last week, they realize they can’t then of course flip into virtual isn’t going to be an issue. But yes, we’re at something like 96% already signed up as virtual events because why even chance it and so they’re just going that way. 185 so far, so we’re feeling pretty good.



Yeah, 185 events and virtual, there’s so much room even there to engage with people who feel maybe you don’t feel like they have the that in person community. So maybe we can make it something something big and exciting.


Bailey Bouwman  15:56

if somebody is listening, and they wanted to host an event this year, either virtually or in person, what do they kind of need to know? And what? Where can they go to get more information? Have a website? Yeah, on the website, that’s where you would go to register.


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 16:21

There’s four or five pages on our website, which just has general information.


There’s a listing of where you can find local events in your neighborhood. Again, that’s less of an issue now all of a sudden, because virtual if you’re willing to sign on to an event that’s to in the morning, because you want to be on there with them.


The website has lots of information, it has our past details, like I was talking about before all every information from the last 10 years. It has some smothering pictures, it links you to our social media, because we’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Bailey Bouwman  17:33

So and last year, or maybe the year before, one year, you had a lot of events in India, one of my Yeah, administrative assistant here for the Cloth Diaper Podcast. She is in Argentina.


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 18:30

Because of course, I wasn’t on the committee, even though I’ve been GCD. Seeing since it started, was not on the committee in 2011 to 13. And so I just don’t know for certain, but I really think they’re new.


Bailey Bouwman  19:05

Yeah, no, no, that’s fantastic. is so awesome. I just had a conversation like, one of my recent podcasts, it hasn’t aired yet. But it was with a woman from Malaysia, and I have a woman in my email from the Philippines.


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 19:52

and you’ll find the listing and find the event and you can just show up and participate. All you need is a baby and a dog



Exactly, you don’t even necessarily need to have a cloth diaper, I mean you do for the change. But if you are not a cloth diapering family, as long as you can loan one, borrow one from somebody or get one from a loan agency in your area or anything like that, maybe you buy your first one just for this event to see what it’s like.


Yeah, we just need you to change into 100% reusable cloth diaper. But you certainly don’t need to come from a family that regularly does. So. And again, that is part of it too. Just trying it out to see what’s new. But yes, our website is there. I was gonna say quickly, just if you google great cloth diaper chain, it definitely comes up to Google, it pops up, that website will pop up or you will find us on Facebook, all the links are to everywhere anyhow.


Bailey Bouwman  22:16

I’ve been to a I went to a breastfeeding challenge. That was like 150 that was a big event.


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 22:27

We try to mimic some of the big latch on stuff sometimes because those events are really well put together organized and again, have a good global reach. And so that’s an awesome, yeah, it feels very similar actually different. is very Yeah, it feels


Bailey Bouwman  22:43

like it’d be very similar. I had such big hopes last year too. And then the global pandemic kind of just kind of hit you. You know, you’re in Canada here too. And I have grass today but I’ve never seen grass in March. So for an April event is so hit and miss.


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 23:00

So I I my original one 2011 I booked for Canmore because we were going to be out there anyhow around the Easter long weekend was the first one and it was 18 degrees that day and I can remember going into this whole thing and then we should really be outside but of course the ground yes was covered in snow.


Bailey Bouwman  24:34

somebody wanted to support the event that maybe they couldn’t attend, and maybe they can’t host what are some Are there any ways that we can help the great cloth diaper change, make an impact and encourage cloth diapering?


 Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 24:47

Yes. Always and again, so we’re not the it used to be a fundraising event I will say what so once it started by this one group, tidy tots did get taken on by what was the real diaper Association and it was A fundraising event for years for those guys until a sadly they closed their doors a couple years ago. We’re not a fundraising event at all anymore. Now we’re just doing it to again, promote the awareness. And maybe one day we’ll link to something like the cloth option or something I keep thinking, she can touch it, she can touch because it is a wonderful way to use it right? As if you can.


Bailey Bouwman  25:19

What would you say, Karen, like in your 11 decade here of being involved with the great cloth diaper change? What do you think is like, what makes this event such an important part of a vibrant community? Why do we need this event? And what does the community gain from this event? Well,


Karen, The Great Cloth Diaper Change 25:38

I think knowledge and so again, like I said, if you’re already a cloth diapering family, or already wearing a cloth diaper business, it does not hurt to get out there. And again, hopefully in person one day, but virtually mingle with the people that are your clientele, or your resources and stuff, you can find out what’s new. And then in the cloth diapering world, if you will, you can find out what’s cheap, what other people have done, what works for them, what doesn’t work for them. And


Bailey Bouwman  26:01

I was thinking, I’m thinking here that our listeners have not heard of the part that I’ve now removed. But Karen and I just caught up on some few great ideas, just having a chat to sit down on zoom. So having a chance to sit down in a live virtual meeting or to go to it’s just an opportunity to brainstorm

Show Transcription

Professional Cloth Diaper Educator

Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.

Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.

Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.

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