As Parasol makes its debut, it’s tapping into a market where consumers are increasingly scrutinizing ingredients in personal care items, and where they’re sourced, by being more transparent; something internet retail giant Amazon attempted—and failed—to do with its short-lived Elements brand of diapers. Parasol lists its diapers’ materials and wipes’ ingredients on its website, www.parasolco.com, and also stresses the importance of responsibility and sustainability in baby care; the company uses significantly less wood pulp from sustainably managed forests in its diapers, and also uses less packaging material, thus reducing shipping waste.
“Parasol was borne of a personal need,” says the company’s CEO Lisa Hom, a mother of three. “I couldn’t find any baby or family brands that combined style with comfort and performance. I saw a huge opportunity in diapers, and when I met our cofounders—James Guo and Jessica Hung—I knew this was my calling. They had been working on Parasol behind the scenes for a number of years, developing a newly imagined diaper that they understood was missing in the American market.”
The Parasol team’s diligent work delving into the baby diaper market resulted in a partnership with Drylock Technologies of Zele, Belgium—maker of the first fluffless baby diaper—to create an ultra-soft, low-fluff diaper. Parasol diapers, which are manufactured at Drylock’s facility in the Czech Republic, feature an extremely soft three-dimensionally embossed topsheet made through the air bonding process. This will be the first time Drylock-made diapers will be available in the U.S., according to Drylock founder and CEO Bart Van Malderen.
Hom says: “We spent a long time developing a topsheet that was softer and more luxurious to the touch than anything else in the American market because we know that although modern parents are demanding safe and responsible materials, they’re still forced to settle for the rough and bulky quality of eco brands. We knew there was an opportunity to fill that gap, and we wanted to do it right.”
Hom adds that transparency has been one of its core values, and they sought to work very closely with its manufacturers to maintain a high standard of quality.
“From the beginning, we’ve considered Drylock a partner because they share the same passion for innovation, safety and integrity as us,” she says. “Collaboration is in Parasol’s DNA, and we actively sought a company like Drylock that understood the future of family care products isn’t in traditional supply chains, but rather in sharing insights and advancements among all stakeholders. We want to bring the process closer to the consumer.”
In the future, Hom says the brand is planning to offer diapers featuring Drylock’s patented fluffless technology.
Parasol also differentiates itself from the typical character-clad diapers available on the market by offering whimsical, modern and playful designs. It’s introductory line of diapers feature six different hand-painted drawings from Portland, OR-based artist Ashley Goldberg. The diapers are broken up into three collections: Delight, Dream and Discovery, featuring hearts, trees, waves and other abstract designs. Hom says Parasol’s collections will be seasonal, designed from up-and-coming artists from around the globe, and will be voted upon by parents to select the final prints.
“We didn’t want to do the usual baby-centric prints,” she says. “We wanted Parasols to be a real expression of style and fashion, something that parents can see as a reflection of their own personal brands. Modern parenting is about the experience, not the product, and every little detail - from preserving the brushstrokes on the backsheet, to making sure our safe inks still capture the vivid colors in the artist’s original work - elevates that experience for our families.”
The premium diapers and wipes, which are available as a monthly diapers and wipes subscription or a diapers only subscription through the Parasol website, come at a premium price tag. For the $85/month diapers and wipes option, parents receive four giant packs of diapers (size 1 comes with 264 diapers total), three bulk packs of wipes and two travel packs of wipes. Parents can adjust shipping preferences and cancel easily through their account online.
Before making the investment into these stylish premium diapers, parents can score a free sample from Parasol, which includes eight diapers and a 20-pack of travel wipes (for a shipping fee of $6). The company is also promoting a “refer and save” program where subscribers will earn $20 off for each friend or family member who starts a subscription. Hom says the company plans to offer individual packs of diapers soon, as well as products through other online and retail channels.
As Parasol gets off the ground, it’s not just focusing on the tiniest members of the family. Its sights are set on the whole clan. “Baby care was a natural place to start and we have diaper bags, skin care and new wipes products in the pipeline, as well as other essentials for parents and family members,” Hom says.