By Linda Baker
Six years after launching gDiapers, a privately held Portland company that manufactures reusable and biodegradable diaper products, co-founders Jason and Kim Graham-Nye are expanding to the United Kingdom with a new brand, gNappies.
Setting up shop in Great Britain, where “the markets are more sustainable than the U.S.,” was a logical next step, says chief executive Jason Graham-Nye. Many local governments in the U.K. give families who use reusable diapers a subsidy of about $100 annually, based on the fact that it costs about $400 per baby to manage the solid-waste problems created by disposable diapers.
The U.K. expansion marks the second international development for the Graham-Nyes, who emigrated from Australia so they could build gDiapers in a country that valued entrepreneurship, Graham-Nye says. Today gDiapers, which employs 18 people at its Portland headquarters, is growing 65% annually.
In the U.K., the company is selling its products, including fashion coordinated diapers and tops, through Amazon.com.uk. “Starting online rather than in physical stores as we did in the U.S. is lower cost, more profitable and ties neatly with online marketing and social media efforts,” Graham-Nye says.
Graham-Nye praised the U.K.’s “wonderfully efficient distribution system” and said the country’s eco-friendly incentives are in sync with gDiapers’ family-friendly workplace practices in Portland, which include four weeks’ paid vacation and an on-site day care serving 75 children of employees and families in the neighborhood.
With a soft launch in France, a third gDiapers expansion is also under way. But Graham-Nye is proceeding cautiously. “There’s strong demand in England. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin.”