Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Oh, patents! PIWAPEE° sustainable diapers

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Disposable diapers are unquestionably practical! However, in a green perspective, they amount to 1 ton of waste per child, contributing to the volume of landfills and resulting emissions of greenhouse gases.

It is this environmental concern that prompted PIWAPEE°, an infant hygiene company, to develop panty-type sustainable diapers, with a patented moisture barrier, for infants 0 to 3 years of age. The PIWAPEE° panty type sustainable diaper consists of an outer panty type garment, including the special patented moisture barrier system and an inner 100 % cotton absorbent pad which attaches to the inside of the panty garment.

The patented moisture barrier aims to resolve problems with gusset-type moisture barriers, which tend to leak, and to simplify the manufacturing process which just consists of adding an extra protection strip, termed a “hammock”, running from the front waistline opening to the back waistline opening, and slightly offset from the outer edge of the outer garment, and then attaching it to the inside of the outer garment with two strategically positioned seams running the full longitudinal length of each side of the garment.  The offset seams create two small wings that prevent leaking, and retain moisture. An elastic, added to the outer edge of the wings, shortens the wings slightly, allowing them to wrap snugly around the infants’ thighs.

This patented moisture barrier is also added to swimsuits and swim trunks for water play and initiation to swimming activities for small infants. The PIWAPEE° line of products also includes two green-certified detergents for sanitizing and washing these sustainable panty-type diapers and absorbent pads. The company also estimates that a family’s diaper budget is reduced by one half when resorting to these types of sustainable products.

The company, founded in 2007, also boasts fair trade and equitable labor practices, setting up partnerships in Indonesia and Turkey where the cotton is sourced, and guaranteeing a payroll that is 20% higher than local minimum wages, with an 8-hour work day, and no child labor.  

Below the English abstract of French patent FR2949670, titled Article vestimentaire à barriers d’étanchéité (in English, Panty-type garment with moisture barrier) is included with a patent drawing as well as some images of the marketed products. 

Abstract FR2949670

The article (1) has a main panties body (2) including a front portion and a rear portion that are connected together by a crotch portion, and provided with an impermeable outer layer and an inner layer. A protective band (3) i.e. hammock, is extended longitudinally between belt opening edges of the front and rear portions of the body. The band is integrated to the body by longitudinal sewing lines (4) extended along longitudinal edges (31) of the band. Each line is spaced from one of the longitudinal edges to form a wing (33) that forms a sealing barrier. The inner layer is made of permeable material i.e. cotton fiber.


More at: www.piwapee.com

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