By PHILIP CHANDLER
A Queenstown entrepreneur’s taking on global brands with a nappy range she claims is better for babies and the environment.
Bridget Bodie-Healy’s founder and CEO of the Noopii range which is stocked by New Zealand’s major supermarket chains, and has already cornered 2 to 3% of the market in 15 months.
The disposable nappies contain cotton for softness and manuka hydrosol to prevent nappy rash, and are made of 70% renewable and sustainable plant-based materials.
To date Bodie-Healy, whose business partner is Christchurch-based Charlotte Rebbeck, has donated $7200 from sales to four environmental charities.
She claims her product also outperforms conventional brands for its absorbency — ‘‘no parent wants a leaky nappy’’.
Bodie-Healy got into nappies, so to speak, after creating NZ’s first 100% organic cotton tampon and pad brand, Oi, which she sold in 2016.
She says conventional nappy products ‘‘have remained largely unchanged for 50 years’’, and she’s already had pushback from ‘‘the big boys’’.
‘‘We just tell them they’re best just to get on with their own business and leave us to get on with ours.’’
Bodie-Healy admits niche eco products are typically dearer, but hers aren’t, even if it means cutting her margin, as she’s chasing mass market penetration — she’s aiming for 40% of the NZ market.
In other measures of success, Noopii won ‘best eco-nappy brand’ at the International Mama & Baby Awards in London last year, and its packaging, depicting lesser-known endangered NZ native species, picked up silver and bronze NZ design awards.
As well as nappies, the brand’s also spun off into natural, biodegradable baby wipes.
Bodie-Healy says her attitude to business is you should only get into it if you’re contributing to your community and doing something to create positive change for the world.