Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 96
Cloth diapering in Sweden with brand owner Linnea of Lilbus
Today we are chatting with Linnea, the owner and founder behind Lilbus, a Swedish cloth diaper brand. We chat about her diapering journey, starting a business, and convincing her preschool to get on board with cloth diapering.
Lilbus creates cloth diapers, pads and other reusable products. They are a family based business in Sweden.
Bailey Bouwman 00:00
Welcome to show 96 of the cloth diaper Podcast. Today we are traveling to Sweden to talk to a cloth nappy is called Lilbus. I’m so excited to have Linnea on the on the show to share about her brand and some of the work she’s doing in the cloth nappy industry.
Bailey Bouwman 00:23
The cloth diaper podcast is a somewhat regular show dedicated to sharing stories of cloth diapering. And as we hit our almost 100th episode, we have so many great stories to share with you that is starting to get a little crazy.
Bailey Bouwman 00:36
My name is Bailey, I’ve been the host of the cloth diaper podcast for four years now. And I’m working with you on sharing stories from brands and retailers. I’ve been doing this because I think it’s so important for us to talk to brands directly and start to have some more leadership and thought and thinking in this community.
Bailey Bouwman 00:54
One thing that I would love to have you consider today is to start your own podcast, because your girl is getting overwhelmed. And if somebody else would like to help support us in recording shows and putting out some great content and changing up the narrative that’s going on out there. I would welcome you all on board. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, but honestly, I am still making it up as I go. And I’m not the best at podcasting to be great.
Bailey Bouwman 01:22
Anyways, today’s show is with Linnea from Sweden, and she has a podcast so if you are listening, she’ll share the information about her podcast – Lilla Fluff Podden – at the end of the show. But it’s so fun connecting with international guests, I get to put another pin on my map and you get to learn about another international brand, doing some local manufacturing. Don’t forget the show notes are always available at cloth diaper podcast.com
Bailey Bouwman 01:50
Today’s episode of the cloth diaper podcast is brought to you by Bungie Diapers. Bungoes diapers is a cloth diaper subscription service, you get three different options that help you build your stash and curve that fluff addiction every month your bungees subscription ships before the end of the month so you know when to watch your mailbox you’ll receive your bungees just in time to celebrate all month long with seasonal prints available wet bags, inserts and all sorts of incredible products. To learn more to subscribe to your bungees diapers monthly package you can go to www.bungiesdiapers.com those are definitely some words that I was having some trouble with. You can also shop some of their pre or like their past orders as well online and they have a wide selection and subscription. I definitely have some fans and followers who have a Bungies subscription and I always love seeing what they get.
Bailey Bouwman 02:46
So thank you for supporting us this past Black Friday and I look forward to seeing more in the future.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 02:53
Yeah, so yeah, I am 22 year old mom from Sweden. And I got my daughter when I was 20 and a full time students. And so I I didn’t really know about cloth diapers to begin with. And the my first contact with it was when I got to try out a pack of different models from my fiancee sister as a gift on our baby shower.Hmm. So
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 03:24
So when we got our daughter I actually I wasn’t even gonna try them out. Why not? I, I thought it was a bit scary and I didn’t know how to use it or washing with an apartment and all that but once the trash back started to fill up with all these diapers, I had to give it a try. And when it looked really cute on I had this smart bottom purple cool shell with some little lamp inserts in it. And once it looks so cute. I started to research about cloth diapers and I found out how much money you could actually save from using coffee. Then I was totally hooked.
Bailey Bouwman 04:19
What is the word for cloth diaper in Sweden?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 04:25
Bailey Bouwman 04:25
that is a big word for me. Yes, okay. Okay, I’m not even I’m not great with languages and sometimes it’s a simple word. It’s sometimes it’s not your sister in law gave you some diapers. And are you living in a city in Sweden or like rural area?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 04:45
and yeah, not in a big city but a smaller city .
Bailey Bouwman 04:53
The trash in the trash is always like, it adds up. Hey, like my mom. She only gets garbage pickup ever The other week. So if we go visit her and then we are using disposables, it’s like, suddenly overwhelming. And you’re like this is a bad idea should be using cloth right now wouldn’t have to worry about. And now it’s been two years and you have launched a cloth diaper brand in Sweden that’s manufacturing out of a Swedish factory. What inspired you to go from? Oh, this is a cute solution, a great solution to diaper waste into starting a brand. And what is your brand? And, yeah,
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 05:39
once I started to try them out, and I researched more about cloth diapers, I found out how fun it was and how experimental and creative it could be about trying different models and brands. So I started an Instagram account.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 05:59
And once on Instagram, I found this huge, amazing and loving community, which I fell in love with. I have so many friends, which I haven’t really had, as a child, a teenager, I’ve always been quite old, I always call myself 40. Even though I’m 20 Because I I feel so old. And now I have lots of friends that are way older than me. And I feel very comfortable in this community and everybody is so loving. So that’s kind of how I grew this.
Bailey Bouwman 06:40
Did you find a Swedish community or an international community online? Or what kind of people did you discover?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 06:48
It was both international, I listened to this podcast. And I also various Facebook groups for Swedish cloth diaper users. Okay, and it’s quite, you just have like, 10,000 members.
Bailey Bouwman 07:04
That was my question is what does that Swedish cloth diaper community look like? What is that?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 07:09
Yeah, it’s there. It’s quite big online. It’s very active, and it has many new people coming in every day. So we get questions in the group, fluently. Maybe like 1020 from new people every day, one a way out. And it’s also very big, get pre lemon markets, which is really good, because then you can try different models and brands very cheap. If you don’t have that much money and want to find a diaper to use for you and your kid.
Bailey Bouwman 07:45
Would you say that cloth diapering is kind of mainstream? Like Do people know about it in Sweden? I mean, you you talked about how you didn’t know about cloth diapering. But your sister in law had given you some diapers. So if you were to ask a new mom, like what’s kind of the feel how many parents know about cloth diapering? Or what’s that general gist that you get?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 08:06
I feel like it the generation above us and knows about cloth diapering in that they use it for their kids and for us. But I don’t feel that that many young moms know about diapering. I have asked people and they don’t really know. And there’s always that stigma that it’s much laundry and it’s gross and smells and everything. And it’s nothing like that. So I don’t feel like that many people know but it’s growing, I believe. I mean, to know,
Bailey Bouwman 08:42
growth is awesome. So hopefully in a couple years, everybody knows, right?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 08:47
Yes, we actually, this year it started a preschool but only use both diapers. Oh,
Bailey Bouwman 08:54
that’s cool. Very cool. Very cool and phenomenal for everybody involved. That’s something I we could probably embrace around the world is how can we offer cloth as a solution for preschools and daycares. So but you’ve started a brand here. Why? Why did you start a brand? What Tell me about your brand and about your products that you sell? Was this what were you looking to do in launching a cloth diaper brand this summer this past summer?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 09:27
Hey, yeah, and my brand is called the Lilbus. And it creates 10 made by me mostly for papers called pads and useful products, such as fish cloths and coffee filters and stuff. Like
Bailey Bouwman 09:44
and I was on your website today Linnea. That’s it diaper isn’t what I thought it might be. It’s not a traditional. I call it what we call what a snap diaper traditional. It’s a little bit different. So do you Yeah, describe it to somebody over the phone here.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 10:04
Yeah, my brand, just kind of my creative space. I discover different types of diapers with it that I wish I had for my daughter. So we haven’t really diaper subsisting on the markets. It’s funny. I usually like to make products for older kids or for those who practice elimination communication, so I like to function a lot. So, my oldest diaper is the all in three. G diaper, I would describe it, and like with a pouch that you put in sets in, but it’s only pull
Bailey Bouwman 10:44
- So, which is what my understanding is that it was like a Yeah, it was a few l pouch that snapped into like a pull on cotton bloomer. And you would put an absorbent insert into the PUL pouch. So very much like the G diaper system, but a little bit different because you’ve, you’ve adapted it to work with a pull on shorts. And then my understanding is that would be advantageous for anybody who’s looking at cloth diapering, but especially those who are considering elimination communication, correct.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 11:20
Exactly. And all kinds of my diapers go in that style. Like I have some snaps pocket diapers as well. Which one of them is I believe the first pocket diaper we’d line and so natural material inside.
Bailey Bouwman 11:34
With what sorry?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 11:36
Bailey Bouwman 11:37
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 11:38
Bailey Bouwman 11:39
Sorry? No. It’s cool. I was trying to make sense. Linen. Yes. There’s not much pocket with linen at all in the market. Why did you? Why did you choose that textile.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 11:54
And it’s it’s a very environmentally friendly fabric that doesn’t need that much water to produce. And also it feels as cool as athletic work in Jersey does for baby’s skin, but it feels wet instead of dry. And it’s also a very neat material. So it gets a very slim and trim diaper on the bottom.
Bailey Bouwman 12:22
Yeah, well, and so that’s what I’ve heard about let him from other manufacturers as well. And it’s always like, why are we not using this more? Sounds like this great fabric? Did you practice elimination communication with your child?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 12:36
Hey, yes, we did. From five months, I believe we started to elimination communication with her and she stopped with it. poopy diapers immediately. So we had only pee in our diapers. And for just about now. One week ago, she is completely dry. So oh, we don’t have diapers
Bailey Bouwman 13:02
into the world of continuing to sell cloth divers without a baby and cloth. Oh, congratulations, as well on that potty training or like completion of learning to use the bathroom is awesome. It’s like one last thing to do. It’s it’s interesting. I this conversation of elimination communication has really picked up in the last couple of years. And yeah, the products that are being made are so cool. I follow Heidi or EC Peesy. And she also right talks a lot about EC and the products being designed and it’s it’s so cool. Like, I definitely would have been more curious to try it with a pull on options and with options that were like easier because really the modern cloth diaper is not easy to pull on or off a child. Like some of the elimination options are.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 14:01
Yeah, exactly. That’s why my most recent because not all people are comfortable with all in three systems. They are more like on the go. Types of diapers. That’s why I created the pull up all in one diaper recently, which is on pre order right now for me. So it’s just a pull up all in one diaper with bamboo on the inside. And it’s really soft and it’s really cool.
Bailey Bouwman 14:32
Oh, and you were making all of your products. Are you still making all of your products? yourself? You talked about transitioning into factory. How has that gone? What’s that looking like for you
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 14:43
right now? Yeah, it’s, I really want to have my diapers made in Sweden so they are so that they are local and made nearby. The factory I’m trying out is still practicing on making coffee. diapers? Because there’s not any manufacturers in Sweden that has made diapers before. I have looked everywhere. I
Bailey Bouwman 15:10
t’s not it’s not common internationally at all besides like China, in the United States, and the United States work at home parents who, who kind of go through the story that you are, there’s no factory option. So it was really cool to read in your email that you would have were working with a factory to see if you could bring cloth into it. Was it easy to find a textile manufacturer or a factory that was wanting to give it a go? Or did you spend a little bit of time in that wrestling finding someone I
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 15:39
spend some time I am a several people. And just because I’m quite a small business as well, they’re sweetened coffee, it’s not mainstream, they want me to order very large amounts cannot afford. But I found a manufacturer, but they think the PUL fabric is quite hard to practice on. So they are still practicing on that. And we’ll look into it more. And in the meantime, I’ll continue to make diapers on my own until they have practiced.
Bailey Bouwman 16:17
So you’re still doing it. You’re still a one woman operation until you can get it kind of gotten. But it’s so cool. And it’s so exciting to hear that you are looking into local manufacturing like congratulations, Lonnie, I like that. It is thank you amazing accomplishment and so awesome for your community. Are you you talked about linen and you’ve talked about PUL? And a lot of textiles that sustainability factor? Are you able to source your fabrics locally? Or are you been getting them from elsewhere? Just like general you don’t have?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 16:49
I generally only buy from European fabric manufacturers. There’s not many textiles made directly in Sweden, it’s the line and fabrics and wool you can buy Swedish Oh,
Bailey Bouwman 17:07
okay. Generally, it’s interesting to learn what a country manufacturers talking with a lot of Americans recently, apparently a lot of people buy textiles out of Canada, I didn’t really realize that even Canada made a huge textile industry. So I’m always kind of curious about where these products come from. Because you never know. I was chatting with somebody else. And they said, Yeah, there’s no textile. Oh, in Israel, there’s no textiles in Israel at all. Like there’s no textile manufacturing. But I don’t know what Sweden is known for or what kind of manufacturing they do, apparently have textile factories of sorts. So you got that people can sell for you. But I’m just being nosy about your manufacturing industry as a whole.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 17:52
Yeah, it’s not the that great we it most of the fabrics are just bought in from other countries. But I’ve read about it in line and can be produced this way, then not many of you, but there’s possible and who is very popular Swedish. Oh, it’s called the…
Bailey Bouwman 18:14
Wool, it’s very popular, like, wall is very popular throughout Europe. I think a lot of us source our role out of the European Union generally. Yeah. That sheep , I guess maybe easier than growing. cotton or linen or bamboo.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 18:31
Bailey Bouwman 18:37
What has been one of your biggest challenges throughout your, your journey of becoming cloth diaper parent in Sweden and launching a brand or what’s something that you say you like? Maybe been really challenging, but you’ve overcome in
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 18:51
for us Since we started cloth diapering, it hasn’t been very hard. What I think is because our daughter has always practiced elimination communication. So I’ve never had any leakage problems or fitting problem, we could have turned the diaper upside down on her and it wouldn’t be a problem. But as I thought about it, the hardest part, I think has been other people’s thoughts about what diapers are, especially preschool has been very hard for us and in the community. We hear often questions about and the story is about parents that being denied cloth diapering and preschool and we were one of them. We had a meeting with one of our preschool teachers and I nervously brought up cloth diapering and she was fine with it and accepted it but her men, other the other preschool teachers did not. So we needed to have this awkward communication with a principal by email, and I see okay, there It was like this awkward, tense feeling leaving our daughter at preschool because they were a bit annoyed about it. And yeah, that was the hardest part. Now they are fine with it. She’s even dry. And they were very pleased that you could get dry that fast with both diapers.
Bailey Bouwman 20:21
Before What do you think? What do you think was the cause of that? Do you think it’s just miss misinformation myths, bad experiences? Just general No, how likely?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 20:35
Yeah, I think it’s quite a lot about the myths. I think that people that doesn’t know about the cost I bring today believes coffee personalities like cloths that you put on, still be like gems or stuff to hold it tight and that you need, I don’t know, like this plastic on top of it to make it work. And that they see cloth diapering as it was maybe like six years ago.
Bailey Bouwman 21:04
It’s It’s so frustrating. It’s so frustrating, because it’s like 60 years have come and gone. we’ve reinvented it. This is so much better. Yeah.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 21:14
So I think that, that we need to bring out more information about cost to bring in people to new come parents to parents, that has older children that need to diapering
Bailey Bouwman 21:31
- Yeah. It’s, it’s what am I trying to say? I’m trying to say it’s frustrating that this conversation and the struggle with the preschool is international. I think a lot of parents listening can understand. And it’s amazing that you were able to somehow persuade them to let you do it. What kind of what do you think? Why do you think they let you try it? I mean, you talk about it being tense at first, but they still said yes, then say no and shut you down completely.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 22:06
Pretty simple. Was very okay with my brain. Once we started to email her about it. I think it was more of the school teachers that weren’t a fan. The principal even talked to this staff and told them that it was completely okay. And she came up to me later on and talked to me about it. I said that I didn’t have to worry and need to be sad about it. She She was great to principal. And no, my preschool teachers are great in other ways. But just that part,
Bailey Bouwman 22:37
that’s hard for them. Yeah, I am. It’s probably just I mean, the learning curve, you even mentioned a little bit yourself a little bit of that learning curve when you first experience cloth diaper. And when you first got the handle package and learning how to use it, and sometimes, once we get over that hump, it gets a lot better. Hey,
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 22:56
yes, yeah. And that’s also what I’m a part of I am in the Council of the Swedish organization blue brought it. And it works a lot with bringing information about cloth diapers and elimination communication out to the country. And we also have competitions and events and mingles and stuff like that.
Bailey Bouwman 23:18
Ah, cool. I love it. Yeah.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 23:22
It’s very fun to work with.
Bailey Bouwman 23:24
That is, that’s awesome. And I would you guys I am totally tangent from this show is do you? Could you send me a link? Do they have a website with
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 23:36
a very outdated one, but it’s,
Bailey Bouwman 23:40
well keep me in touch, I would be very interested in staying in touch with it from an international perspective, because right now we are working on trying to form an association here in North America, and just wanting to connect with other like associations to just connect, because I think we should all be kind of on the same page rooting for each other. So be sure to stay in touch Linnea about that, and let them know, to watch out for what’s happening in North America.
Bailey Bouwman 24:10
And I would love to follow and watch what they’re doing even though I mean, it’s gonna be in Swedish. But the good thing about 2022 is that it’s called Google Translate. translate text translate so well, so I can try to figure out things really well. That is so cool that you have a council that is working on trying to do some of this advocacy work, because I’m sure that you found out and I’m finding a lot of advocacy work, like working with preschoolers and parents and preschool teachers. It’s like, you can do it one to one, but it’s, it’s tiring, and it sucks that every parent has to go through it. And it’s like, there’s got to be a better way to do it. Like there’s got to be a way we can come together and do it. What are you going to school for?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 24:55
I’m going to be a middle school teacher.
Bailey Bouwman 25:00
In the future!
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 25:02
Quite a while left
Bailey Bouwman 25:04
it’s quite a while still, I mean, you’ve got a cloth diaper brand that you’re growing right now. What does that look like? Are you hoping to maybe one day, continue this business and be a middle school teacher?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 25:15
I hopefully I can do my brand full time after I finished school as long as I like and love it. So, and often that’s when I’m obviously older and maybe aren’t as into the community. Maybe my kids don’t have diapers for a long time anymore, then I can start being a middle school teacher.
Bailey Bouwman 25:40
You’ll have your fallback plan. That’s okay. I went to school for things to that I’m not doing right now. Who was it? Oh, I think Luludew. Luludew is a brand off the coast of California. And she is also a teacher. She was a teacher 12 years ago, and now she’s not. It’s the interesting world, or the interesting places that the world takes us, right?
Bailey Bouwman 26:08
What has been, how has managing your wash routine gone? It sounds like you don’t deal with poop. So that might make it easier for you. Have you had any struggles with that? And do you have any advice for parents especially I have a lot of European parents listening, who are looking to start cloth diapering an anxious about washing.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 26:34
Washing is not that hard as people think our teen has always been to, even when we had through, we just washed it off with the shower. And then we poured it into the toilets. And often that we saw them in wet bag in three days until we started to do laundry. And before that we dried them because we were living in an apartment where we shared laundry room. So then we may be washed our diapers every fifth or sixth day. Right now when we live in another apartment with our own laundry machine we did every third day and we wash them in 60 degrees. In my mental friendly. What’s that called?
Bailey Bouwman 27:30
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 27:31
. Exactly. And yeah, I did a long program.
Bailey Bouwman 27:36
I think our tagline really should be it’s not as difficult as you think. Right? Yeah,
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 27:41
Bailey Bouwman 27:44
Not as difficult as you might think it might be
Bailey Bouwman 27:45
. And I’m sure that’s I mean that in North America. I know wash routines is what hangs people up the most is like they’ll buy the diapers, they’ll be excited about it. And it’s like figuring out how to wash them is like the stone what blocks on the path. And they’re like, ah, but it really is not as difficult and you can find a routine that works for you because it just sounds like you’ve experimented with different things depending on your living situations. Right. Used to wash once a week ish compared to every couple of days ish and elimination communication is definitely a great tool in supporting that. I yeah, I just I love it. I just because I think oh, we should shout it from the rooftops Linnea. Because if I had known about it when I had babies. Yeah, just like there’s a lot of people who don’t know about cloth diapers. Do you have anything else that you’d love to share about your journey in cloth diapering in Sweden that we haven’t talked about today?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 28:47
I could mention for the Swedish listeners or for other listeners that wants to listen to Swedish for about 40 minutes. Me and my companion Frieda was also having a cloth diaper business in Sweden we have a podcast
Bailey Bouwman 29:03
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 29:05
Yeah, it’s called the Lilla Fluffa Podden or little fluffy podcast in English. I love it. And there are also talking about these kinds of styles, washing routines, different brand reviews, and what companies are doing in the world right now and stuff like that. So if you are into listening to that and or wants to learn Swedish come along.
Bailey Bouwman 29:29
You should have told me about that right from the get go girl Hi, love it. Okay. are probably lots of listeners even in North America who are of Swedish descent and maybe they know Swedish.
Bailey Bouwman 29:40
We can connect people up that’s fantastic and it fills my heart with so much joy to hear that you’ve started a Swedish podcast and I love the name. What did you say the little the little fluffy. What did you say? A little fluffy.
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 29:56
Lilla Fluff Podden
Bailey Bouwman 30:00
It’s just it’s like I feel like I should change the name of my podcasts become the fluffy thank you for joining me we can find you online right like if we wanted to look for Lilbus Lilbs your brand it’s on Instagram and as well on the internet and how do I spell that?
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 30:23
Lbus? Like a rapper called little bus but it’s Lilbus
Bailey Bouwman 30:32
Lilbus Oh, yeah. Okay, so you find her on Instagram LILB u s.se. @Lilbus.se.
Bailey Bouwman 30:41
I love us. And you’ve got all your great products that you’re making in Sweden. You’ve got not just cloth diapers, but we’ve got menstrual pads. We’ve got all sorts of things right because you make everything if it’s a textile pretty much were usable. Hey,
Linnea, Lilbus Diapers 30:56
yeah. Everything. Everything.
Bailey Bouwman 31:00
Everything eco friendly. Well, thank you so much for joining me Alinea and taking the time to share a little bit of your story. I really enjoyed learning about Sweden from you today and about your journey in cloth diapering. I really do wish you all the best
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.
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