Pampers Innovation and Bloggers On A Plane!

A week ago and I was jetting off to, err, Manchester for the day with my lovely friends Katy from Modern Mummy and Alice from An Essex Wife! Those girls have fast become good friends of mine and make blogging even better because not only are they pals but also colleagues to bounce ideas, enjoy trips and work together with. I am so pleased I have them and last week, when we were all of us invited to the Pampers Factory, we felt as though we had a bit of a Wonkaesque Golden Ticket!

Child free for the day all three of us, not something which regularly occurs and usually we love that because our older ones are all girls of a similar age who get on very well and our younger ones aren’t too far behind their bigger sisters when it comes to enjoying each other’s company. But for once in a while a day out just grown ups is really quite inviting…

We all left home super early to meet each other at Heathrow airport where we were Manchester bound on a Virgin Little Red service. Flying Virgin means none of that no frills malarky (although the price of tickets was cheaper than the train it has to be said) and when this is the case there’s only one thing for it. It might have been 9.30am but our blogging breakfast to start us on our day out had to be a Bloody Mary!

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A blogging breakfast on the Little Red to Manchester!

I think I have to tell you that most of it was medicinal! For me, a terrified flyer, a little Dutch courage to help steady the nerves and for my companions a snifter of something to brace themselves for Ruth on a plane… Even my own husband doesn’t want to sit near me when we fly he is so embarrassed. Mind you, I have been known to shout out ‘I want my Mummy’. Thankfully on this flight I didn’t do that and only supplied mild humour in my actions…

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Katy, Alice and I enjoying breakfast on the plane. I calm down a lot once we’ve stopped all the banking malarky but take off and landing makes me shake with nerves!

There were more giggles when we entered the arrivals hall and looking for a man with a card saying Pampers we thought we’d been forgotten about but then a man holding a placard for a Ruth and David turned out to be us… (I was later known as David with plane tourette’s for the rest of the day!)

And on to the factory we made our way. As we drove up to the 80 year old Proctor and Gamble site, the company who not only make Pampers but a whole host of other household products like Olay, Aeriel and Fairy, we didn’t know what to expect at all? We just knew that we were to wear no jewellery and take no photographs… See, told you it was a bit Wonkaesque!

Friends and fellow bloggers Kip Hakes and Sabina from Mummy Matters were also among the bloggers at the factory along with Dr Ellie Cannon who is just a little bit famous for writing her health column in the Mail on Sunday, speaking regularly on Sky News and of course presenting the entertaining channel 4 show Health Freaks! I met Dr Ellie at another Pampers event because she is also one of their experts for the Love, Sleep and Play campaign. She’s terribly sensible and normal in her views and I really like what she has to say so it was fab to see her again and hear more of what she thinks about Pampers.

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Dr Ellie and Me!

So… Why were we all there and what were we doing? We were there to hear a bit about how they make their nappies, not just the new design due to come out in April but the process the designs in general have gone through over the years and also to see first hand how they are made. IN the factory!

Frank from Frankfurt, a top pampers scientist, gave us a VERY visual demonstration using chocolate spread, to show how the nappies work and showed us what they use inside them to make them so absorbent. I asked him why Pampers don’t make eco friendly nappies and the answer was VERY interesting.

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Top Pampers Scientist, Frank!

Frank explained that Pampers could make their nappies biodegradable and would, even though the process would be much more costly, IF there was a way the nappies could be left to biodegrade… ALL nappy waste in this country goes to landfill and that’s whether you are using Pampers or the most eco friendly knit your own yogurt pot nappy you can find! They may technically be able to biodegrade (as can Pampers as they stand as it goes) but they don’t because they are stored in landfill and when covered over they will last just as long as any other… So. Why are people wasting money on these nappies that do a worse job, cost more and sit at the bottom of landfills next to every other nappy on the market? Good question don’t you think!

Frank also explained that Pampers are made using over 20 raw materials, it takes just 4 seconds for a nappy to be made and 5 million nappies are produced in the factory daily! That’s amazing!

I never knew a trip round a factory could be so interesting but it really was and it was also very good to see everyone looking so proud of their work and happy to be there. Mind you, if their canteen food churns out lunches like the one we had I don’t blame them for being happy to work there, we had an amazing lunch with delicious food! Apparently the average length of service is 17.4 years, now you’ve got to be happy if you stay the best part of two decades haven’t you and it can’t all be down to the food!

It was a great day, very interesting and full of fab people. I’m so intrigued about their factory in Frankfurt which Frank told us a little about. It has a skin clinic which doubles as a children’s play area; now THAT sounds like an even more interesting factory! Thanks Pampers, can’t wait to try the new nappies!

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The Golden Ticket Factory Gang!

And then it was time for the plane home. What do Bloggers on a plane do? Well we order G&T’s that’s what we do…

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Little Red supper!

And then at the end of the flight a stewardess brought round some love hearts. At the very bottom of my pack I had one which said…

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Pamper Me! The perfect sweet ending to a day at the Pampers Factory!

Pampers invited me to come and see their factory in Manchester.

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