Swimming and Sustainability

From supporting cardiovascular health and improved body awareness and coordination, to building confidence and self-esteem and a trusting relationship between swimmer and caregiver, to fostering a connection to nature, the benefits of swimming for growing kiddos are many. Beginning lessons as early as four to six months helps children learn comfort and safety in the pool before they’ve had a chance to develop any fear of the water—after all, baby has been practicing floating and kicking for the nine months before they were born! But as with nearly everything families enjoy today, considering the impact that any activity has on the environment has become increasingly important. Finding sustainable solutions for the littlest swimmers helps protect our natural resources, so that swimming can be enjoyed by future generations. 

One of the first considerations for the youngest swimmers is mess protection, particularly when swimming in a public pool; making sure that baby is wearing a diaper that will keep accidents from affecting the health and safety of other swimmers is essential. When waste ends up in the water, pools are forced to close in order to clean their facilities and prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. An average-sized pool requires 18-20,000 gallons of water to re-fill; an Olympic-sized pool can require 660,000 gallons or more! That’s just one way a little bit of waste from a leaky diaper can lead to a whole lot of waste of a precious resource.

Did you know that disposable diapers account for over 4.1 million tons or 1.4% of landfill waste every year? The convenience of a disposable diaper comes at a hefty cost for the natural world—and for families’ budgets. 

Back in 1991, Green Sprouts pioneered the first swim diaper: a reusable diaper that provides dependable mess protection in and out of the water and reduces the strain on our natural resources, without sacrificing babies’ comfort or the convenience caregivers need. Our patented triple-layer design helps keep pools open, with a wicking inner liner for little swimmers’ comfort; an absorbent layer to capture accidents before they become disasters; and a waterproof outer layer for lightweight splashing and playing all lesson long. Our swim diapers are machine washable and designed to last for generations, reducing the strain on families’ wallets.

Protecting the natural world begins with reliable mess protection, but we’ve pursued sustainability much further. Our swimwear textiles are certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, which means that every element is tested for harmful additives, including AZO dyes and formaldehyde, as well as both regulated and unregulated substances, to standards to that often exceed national and international requirements. OEKO-TEX certification helps protect babies from the potentially harmful effects of these materials when worn and re-worn, and prevents their further leaching into the surrounding environment. We also partner with BSCI-compliant manufacturers to protect the rights of workers in the global supply chain, extending our sustainability efforts to the essential workers helping make our products available to the world.  

As with any physical activity, staying hydrated while swimming is important; we’ve taken the environmental costs of single-use and petroleum-based plastics used in most standard water bottles into consideration. To begin with, hormone disruptors like Phthalates, BPA, and melamine are carcinogenic and used in most plastics; on contact, these additives leach into our food, drink and surroundings. In addition, 99% of plastics are made from non-renewable fossil fuels and produce toxic fumes, and 380 million tons of plastic products are tossed after a single use each year. That’s why we’ve spent the past decade perfecting Sprout Ware®, a plant-plastic that is both free of harmful chemical additives and as durable and convenient as traditional plastics. From our award-winning Sip & Straw cup, to our big kid-style Straw Bottles, to the stacking and floating toys little swimmers love to splash with, Sprout Ware® makes swimming healthier and safer. 

Each year, new developments are made in manufacturing processes and material development that make sustainability a more and more achievable goal. We have exciting sustainability initiatives on the horizon and can’t wait to explore how else we can contribute to protecting the health and wellness of the families that use our products and the natural world.  

pioneering design for over 30 years

Becky Cannon developed the Original Swim Diaper in 1991 to support safe swimming and provide a clean, comfortable, non-toxic solution for families. 

The Green Sprouts swim & sun wear collection has since expanded to include head-to-toe coverage in a rainbow of coordinating colors and styles. As the go-to source for safe fun in the sun, we now sell 1 million of our patented UPF 50+ swim diapers and 500,000 sun hats each year.

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Empowering families to experience the joy of life with ease and confidence through intentional design and safer materials

safe fun in the sun

Head-to-toe sun protection, featuring the Original Swim Diaper with our patented triple-layer design

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everyday care

Muslin bibs, burp cloths, and blankets made with 100% organic cotton—non-GMO and softer with every use

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Sprout Ware®

Earth-friendly, non-toxic plant-plastic a decade in the making, tested to the highest global standards

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Introducing: The Pocket System

Pockets are designed to simplify life for new parents while growing to meet the evolving needs of families. Made of pure, durable, squeezable materials, Pockets are a safer and healthier bottle for little ones and the planet—and they're a lot of fun, too. 

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our swim diapers are endorsed by the
United States Swim School Association

Our patented triple-layer protection design is trusted by parents, swim instructors, and public pools to prevent pool-closing accidents, while still keeping little swimmers comfortable.

We share the USSSA's belief that babies and toddlers should participate in swim lessons and provide diapers and swimsuits with built-in protection to help make safe, fun swimming a possibility for children of all ages and abilities.

Sip & Straw Cups

Most sippy cups are used for a short time and thrown out—creating waste that hurts the environment as well as your wallet. Our Sip & Straw Cups, available in Sprout Ware® plant plastic, glass, stainless steel, or as a silicone Pocket, include a soft silicone straw spout and straw as well as a sippy spout, making them dependable, convenient favorites that last for years.

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