Husband and wife team Leanne and Richard Sexton never planned to go into business together but after their son, Ted was born, their lives were to change forever. Ted suffered from extremely sensitive skin and developed chronic skin conditions after using supermarket nappies and wipes.
The previously carefree couple were shocked to discover the number of harmful chemicals they were unknowingly exposing their baby to 24 hours a day.
The more the couple investigated, the more they learned about the failings of many popular brands in the sector.
“We discovered an industry dominated by powerful pharmaceutical company’s where brands aren’t always honest with false marketing claims and questionable ingredients as the norm,” says Leanne.
“We didn’t mean to co-found a baby wipes and nappies brand. It was never part of our life plan to be in business together, and before children we never bothered to read the ingredients on the back of labels.”
To assist with Ted’s skin condition, the couple switched to organic and natural brands but found the price to be prohibitive now that they were surviving on one salary.
“After trying most of the wipes and nappies on the market we couldn’t help but think ‘That could be a little different’. Or ‘I would love it if they were more this’.
“When you consider wipes and nappies are in almost permanent contact with a baby’s skin, and the growing suspicions among the scientific community about certain ingredients accused of being harmful to health – we believe it’s a parents’ right to know whether the nappy contains harmful chemicals that could migrate through urine, and absorb into their baby’s skin and organs.”
When French safety agency ANSES broke the news that a range of chemicals waso found at unhealthy levels in nappies the couple were spurred to act.
“In a moment of pure madness, we decided to design our own dream brand which we as parents selfishly would want to use.”
Leanne says JOONYA – the moniker they chose for their nappies and wipes – was very much a garage set up in the early days.
“Our guest bedroom was our office, the garage was our storage facility and our two rambunctious toddlers would greet the courier every morning and afternoon.,” she recalls. “Sales calls were made at nap time, strategy meetings whilst cooking the dinner.
“Fast forward three years and things look a little different – sort of. We are trying to shake up the baby care industry with every business decision that we make. We want to lead the category by being the first Australian brand to publish the chemical tests carried out by an independent laboratory.”
JOONYA is the first Australian brand to be audited and granted our own licence by the Forest Stewardship Council.
“This ensures that the pulp used in our nappy is responsibly sourced and helping to save our world’s forests for future generations.”
Leanne says in today’s world the ability to trace the origin of a product is essential.
“JOONYA’s ability to create products that reflect the real needs of Aussie families so they can make informed decisions on behalf of their child and the earth is the key to our success.”
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