After Making Baby Food Healthier, Entrepreneur Is Targeting Toxins in Diapers

After Making Baby Food Healthier, Entrepreneur Is Targeting Toxins in Diapers

By  |  December 14, 2020  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

In a year when many businesses are struggling to survive due to the pandemic, entrepreneur Shazi Visram was plotting her next move.

After founding Happy Family in 2003, which became the largest and fastest growing organic baby food brand in the U.S., and then selling it 10 years later to Danone for north of $250 million, Visram saw an opportunity to apply her philosophy of creating healthier products for the home beyond food.

The result is Healthynest, which was officially launched in September and describes itself as a “brain-forward” personal care brand offering diapers and products for cleaning and skincare.

“This world today, we have to consider so many potential threats to our health because of the environment. That vigilance has gone into everything that we’re thinking and doing,” Visram said.

The brand’s aim is to help maintain children’s health by eliminating neurotoxins from the home environment generally, and child care products specifically.

That means the product is free of parabens and carcinogenic substances, and is instead made with plant-based materials in a carbon-neutral production facility.

“I realized that we just focus on nutrition, but there are so many other factors that affect a child’s health,” she explained.

After conquering the world of organic baby food, Shazi Visram is aiming to disrupt the category of diapers.

Just as Visram disrupted the world of baby food, she’s well on her way toward upending another consumer segment with the first Environmental Working Group-verified diaper. (The EWG is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that evaluates the chemical safety of consumer products.)

Visram noted that diapers are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, meaning manufacturers are not required to disclose the materials that go into their products or test their safety. That can be problematic for babies because their skin is thinner and more permeable than that of adults.

“Our early research found that babies are born pre-polluted, so we know that they’re already being exposed to chemicals while in utero,” according to EWG president Ken Cook. “We were shocked to find many diapers contain chemicals like pesticides and other substances linked to cancer, harm to reproductive development and other serious health issues.”

Since babies use diapers for the first three years of their life, Visram said they should be at the top of the list of personal care items that are free of toxins. “We’ve thought of every way to make them biologically and neurologically safe,” she said.

Not only do the diapers offer parents a tested alternative, but Healthynest also prioritizes a baby’s comfort, Visram explained: “Think of the diaper as part of the development. When you are comfortable, you’re more centered and far more able to learn.

“I think of them as the Tesla of diapers,” she said.

After selling Happy Family, Visram could have relaxed on a beach somewhere. But as she was building her baby food empire, her eldest son, Zane, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2.

That inspired her to better understand how the brain develops in utero and in infancy. In fact, one in six children has a developmental condition or delay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Visram said she is now harnessing the knowledge she gained, after experiencing the pain of watching her son struggle, to help other parents.

That personal experience not only comes across in Healthynest’s products, but also in its marketing.

About the Author: Richard Collings

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