After the birth of her son Lizzie McCracken, 22, of North Charlotte realized how much money she was wasting on disposable diapers and the increased trash being created. In response to these concerns, Lizzie started EcoMcPlanet in spring 2011 and began selling baby products including cloth diapers. Recently she expanded her line of products to include wet bags, napkins, reusable cloths, lunch bags and more.
Q. How did EcoMcPlanet begin?
A. After one month of changing disposable diapers, I realized how much money we were wasting and how much trash we were creating. We decided to cloth diaper our son, against our families approval. Everyone still thinks that cloth diapers are just rags held together by safety pins and rubber pants. After buying a few diapers I decided I could probably learn to make my own, so I did. I loved sewing diapers. Soon my friends were asking me to make some for their kids and suggesting other products that I should make and sell.... so I did!
Q. What does EcoMcPlanet make?
A. I make products that help reduce your carbon footprint with every use. I make different sizes of reusable, water-resistant bags that replace disposable Ziploc bags for packing lunch.Reusable, water-resistant Wet bags, and amazing bamboo cloths, like Bamboo wipes, NotPaper towels and everyday napkins.
Q. How are they different?
A. EcoMcPlanet uses quality materials and each item is made with love, care and attention. Our bags have hidden seams so that you never have to worry about thread in your food. The thin Velcro closure is strong enough to keep everything contained but easy enough for little hands to open. The bamboo towels are heavy duty and can absorb the biggest messes but they are the softest towels you will ever own. I also allow my customers to choose their own fabric from a large fabric album that is always changing to meet everyone's needs.
Q. What types of materials are your products and why did you choose them?
A. I use materials that I would feel safe using with my own family. The PUL (the lining I use on my water-resistant bags) is free from metals, phthalates and latex. It is produced in accordance with new PUL application standards. There are no VOCs emitted during production. A hot melt adhesive system is used to bond the fabric to the film. This system is also considered a green way of lamination!
It is made with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, a globally uniform testing and certification system for all stages of textile production. This certification ensures that products are free from harmful substances. There is no finer certification than the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. It goes beyond the organic label!
Q. Whats coming in 2013?
A. As always, new fabric will be coming to keep up with current trends. I am planning on designing a few new things next year, but don't want to spoil the surprise.
Q. Where can we find your products?
A. EcoMcPlanet is available at Ruby's Gift NoDa, The Baby Grocery Store and Ivy's Diaper Service.
Q. What has been your biggest lesson during your first year in business?
A. I have learned that my business has the power to slowly change the world. All I really care about is the end result. I see my business as a doorway to show people that one small act, like using a reusable bag to pack your lunch everyday, can create a passion for bettering yourself and the world.
Q. How are you able to balance family with EcoMcPlanet?
A. EcoMcPlanet is run from a small office in my home, so that gives me the ability to be home with my family all the time that I want. I love owning my business and I am really grateful for my customers for supporting a work at home mom.
Q. Are there any other projects you are working on?
A. I have currently taken the position of assistant brand operating director at The Baby Grocery Store (www.thebabygrocerystore.com). I am really excited about this opportunity.
Q. Tell us more about that!
A. The Baby Grocery Store is an all-inclusive baby shopping experience that will forever change how parents shop for their baby essentials. Toaday's baby stores are all "boutiques and carry furniture, clothing, toys and sometimes they will have a box of food on a shelf. The Baby Grocery Store concept is focused on knowledge, community, choices and convenience. This store is definitely out-of-the-box. We have a kiosk at SouthPark Mall, while we await the opening of our brick and mortar store in the fall, around October.
You can find EcoMcPlanet online at www.Ecomcplanet.com facebook.com/ecomcplanet firstname.lastname@example.org