A while back I blogged and vlogged about my trip to Frankfurt, Germany with Emma’s Diary to meet the Pampers team. Aside from the 4 hour plane delay (wahh) and the crazy morning traffic (thanks public transport strikes); it was a wonderful trip! I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about what we did at the centre as I know lots of you have asked me how it went.
We arrived at the centre first thing and I was immediately amazed at how huge the building was. It took about ten minutes just to get to our first meeting room and felt like we were taken into secret uderground passageways just to get there! I felt a little like a V.I.P!
Myself, Emily from London Mummy of Two Girls and a fab team of Emma’s Diary, Pampers and NCT peeps had a packed agenda. We started in a conference room with a presentation on the timeline of the Pampers nappy. They’ve been going since 1961 and the innovation in the development is just amazing! The centre has had $90 million investment over the past 3 years and with over 30 nationalities working there across 20 scientific disciplines it’s no wonder Pamper’s are the lead in the industry!
The team were keen to share their purpose – ‘caring for every baby’s happy, healthy development’ and this became evermore evident as the day went on.
After the presentation we were taken to their testing lab. Now I use lab is the coolest term possible. Every week over 1000 babies are brought in with their mothers to try on nappies and play! Some are tested there, by having the temperature of the nappy area taken in comparison to another area of their body. Some babies stay and play with the nappies on and then the nappies are left there to test and others simply come and collect a weeks worth of nappies, complete simple surveys at home after each nappy change and then drop in their results (and sometimes used nappies) afterwards.
The area looked like a baby group, many mums came there regularly to meet with each other; let their kids play with the awesome soft play and most importantly have a bit of a natter! The mums were happy, the babies were super cute and the team got to compile results and build on their brand in a happy and safe environment.
After this we headed for a tour of the factory side. No pictures were allowed and it was all very top secret but we got to see the process from start to finish. We saw everything from women in lab coats picking apart nappies and testing fine details to huge pieces of machinery that take numerous people to build and operate just to make those tiny gentle nappies we use every day!
We met a wonderful man named Rolph (I hope I’ve spent that right) who was just so passionate about his role. He’d been there for many years and was extremely proud to share that of all the Pampers units across the world, major innovations were made right there in Schwalbach.
After a delicious lunch – this team gets fed extremely well – we went onto my favourite part of the trip, the nappy lab demonstration. We were shown in detail what the nappies are made of, how they work and even got to do the good old comparison test! We were shown how the micro pearls absorb and lock in 30 times their weight in liquid and can’t even be rung out! We got to pour blue liquid onto a Pampers nappy and a competitor nappy to show just how ‘above the rest’ they really are (of course I spilt mine on the side so I didn’t get the full effect but I saw others haha!
The detail that go into the production of these seemingly simple everyday products is just incredible. It’s not just about making a product that is safe, fits and prevents leakages; oh no. They focus on every little detail to make the nappies the most economic, comfortable, and productive that they can be. Each nappy is built into layers, each having their own function; each that would not work to the same standard if it were a fraction different. Did you know they even have a meteorologist in their team – yes that’s right! Climate changes are a huge factor in the productivity of a nappy, so ensuring that the nappy is breathable enough yet still absorbent is key to ensuring baby has no nappy rash or uncomfortableness.
I was so so amazed when I left that building and I’ve never looked at Japsy’s nappies in the same way! Everytime I change his nappy I (geekily) remember the history behind the tabs, the fact that the very first nappies were filled with cotton wool – how heavy must they have been!?
Did you know that nappy rash isn’t actually caused by nappies, it’s about the acidity in your babies urine and poo and the climate created in the nappy area.
Did you also know that cloth nappies aren’t actually anymore environmentally beneficial over disposable ones? Or that even if advertised as so, no nappy is actually biodegradable or they wouldn’t do their job.
I really learnt so much and am proud to have been invited into such an awesome brands home. Thanks for having me Pampers!