We sat down with Emma Farnen, founder of the Coco Alexander diaper / nappy clutch to unpack the bag, the brand, and why she developed it after many frustrating baby change moments in Hong Kong.
- Hi Emma, what is the Coco Alexander nappy clutch?
The Coco Alexander nappy or diaper clutch is a baby changing bag that looks like a chic fashion bag but has all the practical elements any new mother needs. It unrolls to reveal multiple pockets that hold diapers, wipes, and creams etc. It is made from a gorgeous, wipe clean, faux leather which is certified as recycled making it a great stylish and sustainable option for the mamas that want to make responsible choices about what they consume and the products they choose in relation to protecting the environment for generations to come.
- Why did you create the nappy clutch?
I created the nappy clutch because, as a new mother, I wanted to look chic and stylish when out and about in Hong Kong with my gorgeous baby girl in tow. As a working mother in Hong Kong, I wanted fuss free and style all rolled into one and I also wanted to be able to change my baby anywhere without carrying around an enormous bag. Raising a baby in Hong Kong comes with many perks, such as great help but it also comes with its drawback including the lack of changing facilities. I was fed up with the only option being a dirty floor in a dirty bathroom, so I set about finding a solution. Coco Alexander was born about 5 months after my eldest, Coco, was born. I developed the bag so it could be used to change my baby on my lap. The easy access pockets are essential for lap changing and the net fabric means everything is visible so no more rooting around looking for the items you need to change your baby. Soft and warm to the touch fabric was so important for me, I didn’t want Coco laying on a plasticky fabric that’s cold and uncomfortable. I wanted her to be changed in comfort and style!
- What are your sustainability goals for the brand?
Sustainability is so important for me, yet, as a small business with limited resource, I know there’s a long way to go for the brand. When starting out, it’s hard to hit all the minimum order quantities for some of the best choices of sustainable fabrics and trims. So, I started with the faux leather as this is the key component of the diaper changing bag and the lining that protects the inside of the faux leather. Both fabrics are certified recycled which makes me feel easier about the (lower) impact they are having on the earth. The next step was ensuring the bag to be plastic free; the packaging is all paper, no plastic in sight and the packing tape is compostable. I hope soon all components will be recycled and that’s what I’m working towards now. Eventually I want to find materials that leave no impact on the environment, this part of the fashion industry is improving and growing so quickly, and I want to make sure Coco Alexander is part of the change. I believe that sustainability is a journey that starts in consciously making better choices and then being committed to continuous improvements as we go along. I see a lot of brands afraid to make sustainable switches for fear of being criticised for not being perfect. Imperfect action is better than no action, and I’m committed to working towards being as sustainable as we can be, while accepting it won’t be a perfect process.
- Who are your customers?
A CA mama is a mum who wants to look stylish and retain her style after having children, she’s proud to be a mother and enjoys showing off her gorgeous baby. She loves to find accessories or in this case a diaper bag that matches her OOTD. Raising a baby in a city means less ability to carry everything with you and the CA mum gets that so wants a bag that makes it easier for her to take what she needs rather than the kitchen sink! The CA mum loves to look great, enjoys fashion, and wants life to be made that little bit easier, she loves the fact she can throw the diaper changing bag under her arm, in her tote or under the baby’s stroller.
- What’s it like to be a mother in Hong Kong?
In a nutshell, chaotic and amazing! Life seems to go at 100 miles per hour in Hong Kong and raising a baby in in the city doesn’t seem to slow it down! Maternity leave is super short here, around 14 weeks for most mums, so you’re thrown into trying to find the balance between work and motherhood very quickly. That said, being a mum in Hong Kong has allowed me to advance in my career, develop Coco Alexander, and nurture amazing children that I hope will be very international in their outlook on life and will live anywhere they want and do anything they set their minds to. Hong Kong is home and we are very blessed to live here.
- Where can people find out more about Coco Alexander?
You can head over to www.coco-alexander.com, IG/FB @CocoAlexanderFashion or drop us a question on WhatsApp on +852 9737 7364.