6 October 2023

Mimi gives cloth nappies a makeover on Shark Tank Australia

| Joanne Griffiths
Lady in blue dress with blonde hair holding two white and orange floral nappies.

Founder and owner of Mimi & Co, Aami “Mimi” Mills pitched her business to the ‘Sharks’ of Shark Tank Australia. Photo: Aami Mills.

Canberran business owner and founder Aami “Mimi” Mills was both nervous and excited to pitch her reusable nappy brand, Mimi & Co, to Shark Tank Australia.

“It’s not something the average business owner gets to experience, so it was probably the most nervous I’ve been in my entire life but at the same time, probably the most excited that I have been in my entire life.”

Mimi was inspired to enter the nappy-making industry after struggling to find a cost-effective approach to nappies for her baby.

“My son was a teeny tiny newborn at 2.5 kilos and I found that with the premature disposable nappies, although they fit him OK, I would only get half an hour or one wee out of him before they would start to leak.”

When she approached her midwives for assistance, Mimi was told to use two disposable nappies.

“I realised that if I was to do that, I would be spending like $1 every single nappy change. A newborn has about 12 to 15 changes a day, so I knew that cost-wise that was not going to work and that’s when I started looking into cloth nappies.”

Mother, father and two sons sit on a white bed at Christmastime.

Mimi started her empire creating reusable nappies in her Canberra home for friends and family. Photo: Aami Mills.

Mimi began working at her sewing machine to create a reusable nappy that would be absorbent, cost-effective, eco-friendly and could be used by parents of premature newborns through to parents of children in the last stages of toilet training.

“We call it a one size fits more. My nappies fit babies from 2.5 kilos to 20 kilos. You don’t have to buy additional absorbency and you don’t have to ever upsize those nappies, you can use the same nappy throughout the entire journey.”

READ ALSO Canberra’s ‘POP’ app is already among the Top 100 for online shopping worldwide

Reusable cloth nappies are not a new invention, parents have been using terry towelling with a waterproof ‘boater’ and safety pins for generations.

“When I was born my mum used those old-school cloth nappies on me but by the time she’d had her last baby, she was exclusively using disposable nappies,” said Mimi.

“Cloth nappies are still functional with an absorbent part and a waterproof part. The difference is, these days reusable nappies are more like disposables in convenience, easy fitting but with the added advantage that you can adjust from newborn to toilet training and you can wash and reuse it.”

Baby wearing a beige sweater in wheat field with black and white striped reusable nappy.

Reusable nappies from Mimi & Co are made for premature babies (2.5 kg) to toilet training toddlers (20 kg), says Mimi. Photo: Aami Mills.

Mimi said washing a reusable nappy could be as easy as prepping the dishes for a dishwasher.

“You might wash most of the gunk off to get the best clean out of your dishwasher, in this case you prewash most of the poo and the wee into the toilet and do a main wash with fresh hot water, fresh detergent,” Mimi said.

When on Shark Tank, Mimi also pitched her nappies as an eco-friendly alternative to the 6000 disposable nappies going to landfill for each baby.

“Everything we do surrounds the idea of making gentle changes to support families to make suitable and sustainable choices to make a huge impact,” Mimi told Region.

“For some families that might mean they do one cloth nappy a day, one day to use cloth nappies or using cloth nappies full time.”

READ ALSO Why there’s more to a packet of seeds than meets the eye

While families are making those gentle changes, Mimi ensures her business practices are sustainable too.

“Everything we do is trying to minimise single use plastics, from our manufacturing all the way to dispatching orders,” Mimi said.

“We make sure that all of the fabrics are from ethical sources and sustainable, renewable resources.”

Mimi & Co products are made by Sedex audited and O.C.O Technology certified manufacturers in China.

“These two certifiers go into manufacturers to look at their creation processes and their staff to make sure wellbeing, pay, break and other entitlements are being met,” Mimi said.

Man in grey suit, woman with blue top and woman in pink suit stand in front of a lit background with a shark fin trophy next to them.

Mimi was told her negotiations with Davie Fogarty and Jane Lu on Shark Tank Australia were “very sharky”! Photo: Shark Tank Australia/Facebook.

Mimi was successful with her investment pitch on Shark Tank Australia, receiving $100,000 with a 30 per cent equity from Sharks Davie Fogarty and Jane Lu.

For more information visit the Mimi & Co website.

Original Article published by Joanne Griffiths on About Regional.

Original Article published by Joanne Griffiths on Riotact.

Weekly Wrap

Canberra is renowned for its restaurants, bars, arts and culture. If you want to know what's going on in and around the nation's capital, sign up for our weekly newsletter and have all the best of the Canberra community delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.