It is not easy being a mom, and mind you, this is coming from someone who is juggling taking care of a baby, house chores, cooking and work in this pandemic. My baby will be turning one in a few weeks and to be honest, this has been a year of being utterly anxious, nervous and going entirely bonkers at the same time. The reasons? There is a long list but one subject that I want to focus on today is baby care. It easily takes a gazillion Google searches to get to the right product — one that won’t harm your baby’s delicate skin, and does the work at the same time. If the products are organic, then it’s a certain win-win for us mothers. Biodegradable/all natural baby products, although expensive, are the new revolution in baby care and are on my list too, considering the environmental emergency we are facing. So, in order to do my bit, a random online search led me to Heyday diapers — diapers that are all natural, 100% rash free, organic and biodegradable.
Created by Deepanjali Kanoria, Heyday is a natural personal care brand. Launched three years ago when Deepanjali returned from Columbia University, Heyday aims at empowering women, one product at a time. She started with biodegradable sanitary napkins that did surprisingly well in closing the gap of natural, organic and safer personal care. Her second product that has created a successful buzz in the baby care industry right now is organic diapers. Deepanjali tells us more about it.
2017 was when you first created a product to solve the important problem of sanitation, while keeping the environment first. Heyday sanitary napkins were biodegradable and organic, the first of its kind in India. How do you think the market reacted to it? Do you see Indian women adapting to organic living now?
When we initially launched Heyday with a completely new and innovative product proposition, we were confident that it would be well received by Indian consumers. However, much to our delight, there was already an existing unserviced demand for natural, organic and safer personal care and Heyday came in and closed that gap. In these past two and a half years, we have created a niche category within the broader personal care segment that is reserved for eco-friendly and chemical free products. This niche category occupies close to 10% of the sanitary napkin segment on certain popular e-commerce portals due to the huge off-take. We see a huge potential in the baby diaper category as well and hope to grow steadily, thanks to rising awareness about better, safer alternatives among Indian consumers.
Do you think we are doing enough when it comes to solving important environmental issues?
The volume of waste generated and dumped in landfills without a source of decomposition for centuries is heart-breaking. We are definitely not doing anywhere close to ‘enough’ when it comes to safeguarding the environment and being conscious consumers. The problem can only be solved through education and innovation wherein consumers are made aware of their choices, and companies do their best to minimise the use of plastic or other toxic components by using other innovative raw materials that are less harmful for Mother Earth.
Please tell us how you’re planning to create a revolution in baby care?
Heyday Natural Baby Diapers are India's first all natural, 100% rash free, organic and biodegradable diapers. One of its kind, Heyday diapers safeguard a baby's body from harmful chemicals and allow a rash free experience for the little one. Mothers are using anti-rash creams on their baby's sensitive bottoms but have they ever wondered why the baby is reacting to the diapers in the first place? Close contact with plastics, parabens, toxins and chemicals can be directly absorbed into one's bloodstream, causing a host of issues and also being carcinogenic. With Heyday, mothers can now be completely at ease, the baby sleeps better being comfortable, and the environment does not suffer tirelessly. The diapers also come with certain unique features, we have introduced something called a wetness indicator where yellow lines on the baby diapers turn to blue every time the baby pees, to enable easy diaper changes without constantly disturbing the baby to check. We have not let the lockdown slow us down and have launched our new baby diapers and seen a great initial response. We hope to constantly reinvent the wheel and revolutionise the personal care category in India.
Tell us about the process of product development.
Heyday products are manufactured in a state-of-the-art factory, with twelve production lines using our highly specialised innovative technology. We have combined the softness of corn fibre with the super absorbent and antibacterial qualities of bamboo fibre in Heyday diapers, pads and liners. The production process requires chipping, smashing, pulp-making, extracting cellulose and using our patented non-woven spun-lace technology to weave the corn and bamboo fibres together. After this process we conduct a final testing, packaging and distribution till the product reaches our consumer's doorstep.
What challenges did you face in the process?
The natural raw materials that Heyday uses are definitely more expensive to procure as compared to the synthetic counterparts. Coming up with a new technology to manufacture plant fibres, while ensuring optimum quality and features was a challenging process which took over two years to perfect. Creating all natural baby diapers was a difficult task, as synthetic fibres have a high absorbing capacity as compared to natural fibres, but we can surely say that the hard work has paid and Heyday products provide a completely new and unique experience by being super soft, comfortable, rash free, highly absorbent and most importantly, eco-friendly.
How are you planning to enter this extremely tight market of baby care and make a mark?
When we launched Heyday sanitary napkins, there were a handful of players that monopolised the market and similarly with baby diapers, there are few big giants that rule the roost. With e-commerce sales booming and every potential customer using social media, raising awareness among the right customers has become easier and digital marketing to secure conversions has become possible. We have a distribution network with 300 elite retail stores pan India and a sizeable customer base, created over the past two and a half years to tap into. We ensure a unique product offering of quality, comfort and sustainability, and the market has its way of reaching us through word of mouth, coupled with marketing. We aim to amplify our reach to inspire more and more consumers to make more responsible choices for their bodies and the environment in the years to come.
The grave pandemic has made us ask important questions about our way of life. How has it affected you and as an environmentalist what changes should we abide by?
The pandemic has raised a number of questions for all of us, more than ever before. I believe that above all, we are learning to be grateful for what we have. Today, we are faced with a global medical pandemic, tomorrow it could be an environmental pandemic. This is nature's way of telling us that something is gravely broken and we must step up to fix it. It is high time that as conscious citizens and consumers, we slow down and see where we are going wrong and make small changes in our everyday lives, which could prevent a future disaster.
Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani