The Naty Story
The idea was conceived when Marlene Sandberg was pregnant with her second child and was reading a newspaper article about the high levels of waste that conventional nappies produce. The newspaper article was a wake up call to change the way she lived. Marlene knew that in order to make a disposable nappy work for the environment and for busy new mums, she needed to reinvent the disposable nappy from the inside out. By opting for materials that would effectively biodegrade and leave out the worrying list of plastics and chemicals used in conventional nappies. When Marlene came up against a brick wall, because there were no environmentally friendly materials for nappies, she didn't give up. She carried out her own research and development into alternatives, and found a small factory in Sweden prepared to work with her, and Naty was launched onto the market in 1998.
Naty is tiny in comparison to the nearest, conventional competitor, which reach billions in annual revenue. But what Marlene has achieved with intelligence, drive and the heart of an entrepreneur is remarkable. Not satisfied with the early prototypes for the Naty nappy, she is constantly striving to improve the environmental performance of the nappies and their reliability for time-poor mums. Marlene says: "I am very proud of the fact that our nappies compete with conventional nappies both on performance and price; for the simple truth is that if we didn’t, no one would buy them." This approach has remained the same for the last 23 years. When there is no available plant-based material, Naty refuses to follow the market's rules and challenges suppliers to create a new material. Naty is finding new ways to approach customers. Being a small company, it does this through a program for loyal customers and by spreading the word of mouth creates a big customer base among conscious parents. Many retailers now recognise the consumer power and increase an assortment of ecological products.
Marlene says “it’s a complete waste of time doing something mediocre” and this combination of entrepreneurial approach with excellence is a key to being successful in the competitive market.