I was able to chat with both Christy Turlington Burns, who founded Every Mother Counts, and the founder of gDiapers, Kim Graham-Nye, about this amazing collaboration — and what it means to moms around the world.
SK: Why did you start Every Mother Counts?
Christy Turlington Burns: I endured and survived a childbirth-related complication after delivering my daughter Grace in 2003. I was fortunate to be in the care of a competent team of providers that included a doula, midwife, nurses and ultimately an OB who together managed the situation. Unfortunately, millions of other mothers, here in the U.S. and around the world, don't have access to the care that I received that day. Soon after my delivery, I learned that hundreds of thousands of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth occur each year — and that most of them are preventable. Once I knew about these shocking statistics, I had to do something about them. I asked myself what I could do to raise awareness, which then led me to make my first documentary film, No Woman, No Cry. The film documents pregnant women in four countries: Tanzania, Guatemala, Bangladesh and the U.S., in the final days of their pregnancies and through labor and examines barriers women face when in need of critical maternal healthcare.
This film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010. Every Mother Counts was born then. I wanted to create a resource for others who wanted to learn more and contribute in some way. Today, Every Mother Counts is a campaign that is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. We raise awareness about the critical issues surrounding maternal health and funds that we invest in programs that link mothers to lifesaving care in Haiti, Uganda, India, Tanzania, the United States and Nepal.
You can learn more about our work here.
SK: How did the collaboration between EMC and gDiapers come about?
CTB: I met co-founder Kim Graham-Nye at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business Summit in 2011. Since then, we have been talking about ways that Every Mother Counts and gDiapers could partner to raise awareness and funds to improve access to maternal healthcare. While we continued the conversations about a potential product partnership that could benefit Every Mother Counts, Kim and Jason, her husband/co-founder, have become some of our biggest advocates and have run several races around the world in support of Every Mother Counts. We participate in races around the world as a team effort to raise awareness about one of the biggest barriers women face when bringing life into the world: distance. Most recently, Kim visited Tanzania with Team EMC to run the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon and visit some initiatives these efforts have raised funds to support. Here is a short film Every Mother Counts created about that experience.
SK: How will the sales of the 'Gentle Giants' gPants benefit EMC?
CTB: With every Gentle Giants gPants sold, gDiapers will donate 50% of the net profits from the sale to Every Mother Counts' portfolio of programs, which address three critical barriers to maternal health care around the world: lack of education, transportation and supplies.
SK: What was the inspiration behind the 'Gentle Giants' gPants?
Kim Graham-Nye: gDiapers Gentle Giant gPants were designed in collaboration with Every Mother Counts. They feature prints of mama and baby elephants, inspired by the beauty of Tanzania and the mothers and babies the gTeam and EMC met during their time there. The gTeam then layered in the Every Mother Counts color palette and worked on keeping it both gender neutral and appropriate for newborns through to toddlers.
SK: Can you give me some background on gDiapers?
KGN: When I was pregnant with our first son in 2002 ,my husband Jason and I came across the statistics that 50 million disposable diapers enter landfills every DAY in the U.S., and that each one will sit there for up to 500 years. We were taken aback by the insanity of it all. We set out to find a better way, and in our search came across this brilliant technology from a biochemist mum who had created a diaper that could be not only flushed down the toilet, but the wet ones could be home-composted in our own backyard. The company started because of the product, but we were as much drawn to the notion of "doing business differently" as we were to the product itself. We both believe business has a social obligation to the communities it serves, the people it employes, and the planet we all live on. We believe business and families can go together better and were excited about creating a company based on these values. gDiapers tied everything together.
SK: What does this collaboration mean to you as a co-founder of the company?
KGN: g — Every Mother Counts — Tanzania: These are not random social responsibility programs created for marketing ROI, but rather the manifestation of people, places and causes that have been close to my heart for decades. As the co-founder, I am lucky that I am able to bring my passions into my work, but what is really exciting about this collaboration is that it is resonating with our gCommunity. We had one mum email us right away and ask if she could create gKeyChains and donate 100 percent of profits to EMC. Another mum asked if she could create gMum mugs by hand and sell them — similarly with 100 percent of profits going to EMC. These mums are finding creative ways to support the gCommunity and EMC — how awesome is that? I love that we are able to help create awareness for maternal health issues globally and support the amazing work of Every Mother Counts. I equally love that we are helping (in some small way) to make mothers feel connected to other mothers around the world. The more connected we feel, the more power we collectively have. And I find that energizing.
SK: Why would a mom choose gDiapers?
KGN: gDiapers is a brand that aligns with parents' values. For some, it is about designing products that don't have to end up in landfill. For others, it is about the values of the company itself and how we treat both people and the planet. And for others, it is as much about the community they find at g. We recognize it takes a village to raise a parent.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!