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Reusable nappies and reducing baby waste

Find out about reusable nappies and how you can get some for free as well as other ways to help reduce waste from having and raising a baby.

Using cloth or reusable nappies instead of disposable nappies is both much cheaper and environmentally friendly by helping reduce household waste.

Try reusable nappies for free

Contact Real Nappies for London to claim a £70 voucher towards reusable nappies that you can use at participating retailers and nappy laundries.

The benefits of reusable nappies are:

  • saving money - the costs of real (change to) reusable nappies are cheaper than buying disposables in the long run.
  • reducing waste – a baby uses an average of 6,000 nappies from birth to potty.
  • reusable nappies do not contain any synthetic chemicals.


Think about whether you really need toys, games and cuddly bears. Always consider getting things second-hand - you might have a local parents networking group who will share reusable items for a fraction of the cost. Charity shops are also a good place to go.

Preloved clothes and equipment

Babies grow quickly so you can often find used clothes still in good condition. Ask family and friends, look in charity shops and go to monthly 'give and take' swap events at the Islington Ecology Centre.

For safety reasons some items should not be reused. The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has a list of what should be bought new and what you can safely get reused.

Once you know what you need for your baby, check second-hand sites like Freegle, eBay and others. You can pay it forward by passing on what you don't need anymore to someone else.

More sustainable suggestions

  • Use reusable wipes. You can buy or make them.
  • If you can breastfeed, feeding your baby this way generates no waste and can save you money. We have lots of breastfeeding support in Islington. We also have businesses who are helping provide safe breastfeeding spaces for parents.
  • Make your own baby food if you have the time and headspace. 
  • Ask for practical gifts - baby sitting, gift vouchers, real nappies or money towards a single larger item.
  • Pass on what you don’t need anymore.
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