BABY BOXES – THE LATEST SCANDI IMPORT

Last week, Mothercare announced its plans to launch a Baby Box with mattress makers Eve. Inspired by the äitiyspakkaus (maternity packages) that the Finnish government have been giving to expectant mothers and adoptive parents for 70 years, the cardboard box is both a place for baby to nap and is packed with newborn essentials including snow suits, muslins and nappies. Launched to combat child poverty and a relatively high infant mortality rate in Finland in the 1930s, the boxes are available to both lower and higher income families, so that regardless of social standing every child will have a good start.

The egalitarian ethos captured the imagination of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who implemented a pilot baby box scheme in two regions with the goal of rolling it out nationwide by the end of 2017. The commodification of this Scandi social care practice was inevitable, and smaller start-ups such as Ekatot and British Baby Box have been making babyboxes available to UK customers for a while.

Eve’s tagline is ‘we believe everybody deserves the #perfectstart’ which fits snugly with the ambition behind the original Finnish baby boxes, but with the RRP of their Baby Box a not insignificant £99, the product might not fit everybody’s budget…

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Via @motherofdaughters on Instagram

The campaign around the launch of Baby Box by Eve has thus far been limited exclusively to social media channels, primarily Instagram and Facebook live, and the product ambassador is the much loved midwife, author and Instagram influencer Clemmie Hooper (@Motherofdaughters). With her expertise as a midwife and experience as a mother of four, Hooper certainly has the credentials (and the followers) to make this a smart partnership. Proof, if it was needed, of the clout of Instagram stars over traditional celebrity endorsements.

Whether Mothercare and Eve’s collaboration will find a way to honour the altruistic origins of the Baby Box remains to be seen but there is certainly scope for both brands to engage with the democratic ethos, whether by giving a portion of profits to a children’s charity or simply by making the product as cost effective as possible.

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