She is more than just a mother nurturing her children. She understands her role as an entrepreneur in fostering natural resources with sustainable products.

Her name is Cye Antonette Del Puerto Apalla and she is on a mission to save Mother Earth with every cloth diaper created with her delicate hands.

Cye Apalla displayed her cloth diapers during DTI Misamis Oriental’s Kahimunan Christmas Bazaar 2019.

The Cagayan de Oro City-based entrepreneur started to exclusively use cloth diapers for her second child after learning of its advantages from a support group of mothers using the product.

Her purchase reached 80 cloth diaper stash which inspired her to eventually make her own cloth diapers.

“What if maghimo nalang kaha kog akoang own cloth diapers? Mahimoan pa nako akong gusto na print (What if I make my own cloth diapers? I can even make the prints that I like),” she recalled at the start of her business.

Cye was no expert in sewing. But she still bought herself a small sewing machine and watched online tutorial videos to teach herself how to make cloth diapers. After many trials and errors, she finally perfected the process and created her first cloth diaper.

She began to sew for her own child’s use. Then she started to produce for her friends. Her market eventually expanded nationwide through word-of-mouth which prompted her to launch Sewthing Sweet PH on social media.

Cye creates colorful cloth diapers, oftentimes with a matching top. Her products are available in Facebook at Sewthing Sweet PH. From
Cye creates colorful cloth diapers, oftentimes with a matching top. Her products are available on Facebook at Sewthing Sweet PH.

Cye deviates from the ordinary colors and creates instead eye-catching cloth diapers made with captivating patterns such as animal prints, cartoon characters, florals, and even shiny, scaled materials to mimic a mermaid’s tail.  

Each cloth diaper is made to order and is priced from P200 to P600, depending on the raw materials, if locally sourced or imported. Some are sold with matching shirts or dresses for the babies.

Aside from being innovative, cloth diapers are eco-friendly and economical. “Unlike magdisposables ka, paghuman nimo gamit, ilabay siya. It will be thrown into the landfill. Disposables have plastics and madunot na siya hundreds of years pa (Unlik when using disposables, you will throw them after using then they will be thrown into the landfill. Disposables also have plastics which will decompose after hundreds of years).” Cye shared on the benefits of cloth diapers. “Makasave jud ka. If you use cloth diapers, you just need around 20 or 30 kabuok sa imong stash then kinahanglan lang ka og good laundry routine (You can save money. If you use cloth diapers, you just need around 20 or 30 pieces in your stash and just have a good laundry routine).”

Cloth diapers also do not contain chemicals but still allow more breathability which can result in less skin irritation and rashes.

Being one of the mentees of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program, Cye used her learnings to navigate her business in the time of pandemic.  

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, she used her scrap cloths to make washable face masks. She had to do this to keep her business from having no sales from cloth diapers because no raw materials were delivered.

Daghan kaayo nagpalit ato (A lot of people bought it).” she said. “Then later on, nagbalik na ang supply sa disposables and other masks, so naghungong ko make. Para lang to makalahutay sa season nga walay baligya na cloth diaper (Then later on, when the supply of disposable masks became stable again, I stopped making it. It was only to get through the season of not being able to sell cloth diapers).”

Cye is looking forward to exploring more product variants in her business to continue her contribution to the gradually recovering economy while still pushing for sustainable products.

Isa na siya sa pinaka-importante nga iconsider nga the products that you sell should be eco-friendly or dapat unta maayo iyahang mahatag sa kinaiyahan (In choosing the products to sell, whether its eco-friendly must be one of the most important considerations) Cye said on the importance of producing sustainable products in businesses.

“We just don’t sell para lang makaprofit or maka-earn. Mas maayo siguro i-consider nato nga dili siya makaharm sa atong environment (We just don’t sell to make a profit or to earn. It’s best to consider whether it can help the environment)” ♦

Date of Release: 3 May 2021