10th Annual Flats & Handwashing Challenge
2020 Flats & Handwashing Challenge is being hosted by the Cloth Diaper Podcast. #FlatsChallenge
Starting: Monday, May 25, 2020
The challenge lasts one week.
About the Challenge
10 years ago, Kim Rosas from Dirty Diaper Laundry was frustated that the conversation around diaper need never talked about the possibilty of cloth diapers. She started the Flats Challenge as a way to bring advocacy to cheap, simple, easy ways to cloth diaper – that anyone, regardless of access to a washing machine can do if they are willing and able.
The Flats Challenge recognizes that handwashing cloth diapers isn’t for everyone. But it can be a life saver for some.
This is an opportunity for you – members of the cloth diaper community – to talk about simple, easy, cheap ways to cloth diaper. And to think about how we can cloth diaper if access to washing facilities are not readily available.
This is an opportunity to learn the talk we walk.
This challenge is about the conversation of Diaper Need – and the practicalities of repurposing materials, buying cheap or used, and washing without regular access to electric washing/drying facilities.
Let this thought shape your conversations, your intent, and your passion behind this year’s challenge.
To go one week handwashing cloth diapers without the use of electric washing machines or dryers.
To consider accessible and affordable options to cloth diapering for parents around the world.
To be a better advocate and cloth diaper mentor.
If you know me, you know that I am not much for rules. Please let the guidelins below support you in this challenge. Don’t get caught up in this or that, or one particular facet of this challenge. I would you focus on achieving the mission and goals set out by this challenge. I feel we should acknowledge that cloth diapering is about imperfections and shades of grey. #FlatsChallenge2020 #FlatsChallenge
I want you to talk about these shades of grey, and reflect on your experience.
The challenge will start on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Every day an email to a blog post will be sent out about the topic of the day. Participants are encouraged to share their experience in the comment section of the blog post and/or in the Facebook Community. This includes links to videos, blog posts, or social media posts you create.
The following items may be used during this challenge. You may notice that I have made the supply list this year a little lax – because I want you to participate.
- Any flat cloth diaper – store bought or homemade.
- Night time cloth diapers.
- Cloth diaper covers or shells (pockets) – PUL/TPU or wool/fleece.
The reason we use flats is because they are easy to wash. But, if you want to use a fitted or prefold for nights and wash it. Please do. If you use disposables part time, sure – talk about that.
As you gather supplies for this challenge think about the practicalities of recommending that diaper to another low-income family.
Is it accessible and affordable? Will it clean without a washing machine?
- Liners or sprayers (yes, you can use disposable liners this year)
- Hand powered washing tools (wash boards, bags, non-electric portable machines under $100, camp style washer, etcetera).
- Detergent or soap (including softeners such as vinegar).
- Cloth diaper fasteners.
Remember this challenge is about diaper need and how to support families in clean, healthy bums for their babies.
- You cannot use your washer or dryer for cloth diaper laundry starting Monday, May 25 and ending at midnight on May 31, 2020.
- You must handwash all your cloth diapers used starting Monday, May 25 and ending on Sunday, May 31.
- There is no limit on the number of flats/covers you can use on this challenge – but be reasonable.
- Disclose the exceptions, the hiccups, and the troubles you have in your conversations and on the final survey.
- You do not have to cloth diaper full time to particpate. If you only cloth diaper part time, you can still participate. Please talk about this and how it works with your lifestyle. Disclose this during the survey.
- Bloggers/Influencers – Please avoid direct sponsorship for this event. See additional rules below.
There is no price for participating or completing the challenge. This is about advocating for another way to provide clean diapers to your baby.
Please do your best.
If something happens, something happens.
Start again the next day, or call it a week.
I can't participate, but I want to support...
If you can’t participate but you want to support the Flats & Handwashing Challenge, I urge you share about the Flats Challenge, diaper need, and accessibilty of modern cloth diapering.
Share articles about diaper need.
Share blog posts about cloth diapering.
Share the public stories being shared and written as part of the #FlatsChallenge.
You don’t need to participate to be a cloth diaper advocate.
You can also consider donating to your local diaper bank, or cloth diaper programs.
Bloggers & Influencer Guidelines - including Brand Reps
Help me by sharing and promoting this event pre-event. If you would like to help me or have something to contribute, I love collaborating and supporting other bloggers/creators – email me, DM me, find me online.
If you identify as a blogger, vlogger, instagram parent, influencer, or you are a brand rep or ambassador – Please review the following guidelines.
– As per the FTC and transparency, please disclose all past and current brand relationships. This means if you received a product for free, I want to see a clear disclosure at the bottom of you IG post, the top of your blog, or wherever that says “I am a brand ambassador for ABC brand and was gifted the diaper covers” or “ABC brand gifted these covers in exchange for a review I wrote last year”
– Do not seek out sponsorships or reviews for the intent of the challenge. I’m okay with you using products you currently have because of relationships but this challenge is not about you – it’s about cloth diaper need.
Each day you must link back to the following: the rules post, Cloth Diaper Podcast, and also explain about the challenge. I realize that linking may be difficult on some Influencer channels. On Youtube, you can put it in your description. On Instagram, you can mention Cloth Diaper Podcast. On Facebook, you can put links in the description. On Twitter, please mention @SimplyMomBailey (I don’t have a specific Twitter account, just personal).
This isn’t a hard/fast rule, just a way to help people find as much information as possible if they are interested.
– The official hashtag is #FlatsChallenge or #FlatsChallenge2020
– You may use any official graphics for the challenge found on this site or on the group.
Cloth Diaper Brands & Retailers
Each year this event sees an increasing amount of interest from stores and manufacturers who often offer discount codes and incentives for flats and covers.
If you are a company planning to offer any sort of special promotion or discount related to the challenge, or your company is blogging along, please email me beforehand to discuss opportunities.
I would be interested in giveaways during the challenge to support moral. I believe giveaways are a great way to get people into cloth diapering for the first time. Let’s talk about how we can shape a giveaway that supports somebody in their cloth diapering journey.
Please let your brand ambassadors know they can participate, but don’t make it make spammy. This isn’t about you. It’s about cloth diaper need and accessible, affordable, diapering options.
And yes, you can participate too – as long as your information is not about you and your brand but about cloth diaper awareness.
Frequently Asked Participation Guidelines
I’ll keep adding questions and answers as I get them.
Can I use pocket cloth diapers?
Yes, you can use the shell of a pocket cloth diaper to put flat diapers inside – leave the inserts for machine washing.
Why can’t I use inserts or prefolds?
Because they are more difficult to clean and less ideal for hand washing. Please stick with simple to clean products for this challenge.
But I can hand wash ABC product just fine?
Is ABC product accessible and affordable to parents? Would you feel comfortable suggesting it to someone who needs to handwash full time? Email meto chat about options – I do think that many of us could hand wash 2 layer prefolds or pre flats during this challenge but I worry about affordability and accessibility.
Can I use disposable diapers?
If you regularly use disposable diapers as part of your cloth diaper routine, then yes, please just swap your cloth for flats and handwashing. Disclose this. Talk about this. Talk about the finances.
If you can try to go all in cloth.
Can I use luxury flats?
Yes, please use your existing stash – just the way it is.
Do I have to build a brand new stash?
No. You can use whatever set up your currently have – you can repurpose things – you can buy new things. Consider the mission of this challenge in your stash decisions. What do you want to achieve/learn?
What about potty training pants?
Sure…. I’m not sure how well they will wash up. But maybe you want to talk about that. Maybe you help shape some of the conversation about how we can support potty learning without relying on disposables and without a washing machine.
I want to share my story but I’m not a blogger or creator?
Tell your story on your Facebook posts, in other Facebook groups, on TikTok, on your private Instagram – share and talk wherever you want, whenever you want.
I know that I have made some of the rules and guidelines less strict. That might upset you. But I think in doing this we can make cloth diapering feel more attainable and welcoming.
The last three years of the Flats & Handwashing challenge taught me that handwashing could be a great way to ease the financial burden of disposable diapers and diaper laundry. This could mean handwashing diapers once a month – handwashing every day – handwashing just weekend diapers – or any other sort of part time situation. Handwashing just the diapers used at home – after work and on the weekends – could mean mom gets to eat that month.
I would urge you to try the challenge full time – but I don’t want you to get caught up in that and welcome you to just incorporate flats and handwashing into the cloth diaper lifestyle you are currently use.
What to Expect
Flats & handwashing will integrate into your life, just like your current diapering schedule.
You will likely need to wash every day, or every second/third day.
Every day we will have a topic of discussion and theme.
I will send out a daily email with a link to the blog post discussing this topic.
You are encouraged to post about it on your personal or public profiles and account.
You can leave a comment on the blog post with a link to your content, or your experience.
You can also join the conversation in our Facebook community.
#FlatsChallenge #FlatsChallenge2020 @ClothDiaperPodcast
Sometimes, things will go askew.
You can choose to quit.
You can choose to start again tomorrow.
This is okay – in the final survey, let me know that this happened.
If you can’t make it work the entire week – that is okay.
I want to you try. I want you to learn.
I want you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses.
The sign up form will close on Sunday, May 24. You can still participate after the sign up form closes. Please join the group to be sure you get the right information about the challenge, prompts, and survey links. If life happens, and you are unable to participate please unsubscribe the next time you get an email from me.
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is located in Prince George, BC but this challenge is for everyone.
Email Me to make that happen.
About the Cloth Diaper Podcast
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is a somewhat regular podcast sharing stories from cloth diaper parents, brands and retailers from around the world.
The Cloth Diaper Podcast is not affiliated with any school of thought of diaper laundry but instead focus on the power of peer-to-peer story telling to empower you to make your own cloth diaper journey.
Cloth Diapering is not this or that, but rather many different experiences.
Cloth Diaper Podcast is located in Northern BC, Canada.