I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ron Vigdor, President of BornFree, LLC, who are the makers and distributors of the BornFree baby bottles and drinking cups popping up in stores such as Babies R Us, CVS and Whole Foods. BornFree’s products are all Bisphenol-A, phthalates and PVC free, right down to the higest quality medical grade silicone bottle nipples. They have taken great care in providing consumers with a safe alternative that is of the highest possible quality.
How did BornFree get started? Mr. Vigdor stated, “Several years ago, I was running an e-commerce business with my partners – my brother, Dan and our friend Gil Lemel – when we were approached with the idea of bringing BPA-Free baby bottles to a mass market. Being fathers ourselves (currently of eight children total and one on the way!) we became extremely concerned about the safety of our children, and all children, when we learned about the potentially dangerous effects of BPA-infused plastics. We realized that we could give society something worthwhile – a safe solution to feeding our children – while creating a business model. The bridge from e-commerce to baby bottles was intuitive because of our interest in how technology interacts with our daily lives and mass market.
Over the course of two years, we have expanded our business from one that started in my home, to one with distribution in Whole Foods, Babies R US, and other brick and mortar stores across the country as well as many online resellers – a growth driven by the increasing demand by parents for safe feeding options for their children. We’re now looking to grow from the BornFree™ Feeding System of baby bottles, sterilizers and training cups to a larger product line that promotes a BornFree™ lifestyle.”
Having read varying information about the plastic BornFree uses to make their bottles and drinking cups, I asked him about Polyamide, the material once used in their product line. “We’re using polymers such as PES (Polyethersulfone) which has a stronger resistance to heat so it will withstand microwaving and sterilization without any issues.”
I’ve gotten numerous emails from parents saying “This is all just a ploy to get people to spend more money.” I know my stance on that claim but I wondered what Mr. Vigdor would say to a skeptic parent. So I asked… Mr. Vigdor says, “I understand the concerns parents have about expenses. I have two kids myself and know how bottles, clothes, diapers, food all add up. The truth is that our BPA-Free bottles are just more expensive to produce. We hope this always isn’t the case, but for now, like most new technology, it is. I know it is sometimes overwhelming to know what the right thing to do for your child is. It has been shown that people most affected by BPA exposure are unborn infants and children under the age of three. So, if at all possible, why take that chance? Here is a range of products that are a safe alternative, made of the highest quality materials and we’re putting it out there as an option. It’s up to the parent to make the decision.”
As for plans to expand their product lines to other baby items he says, “We can clearly see through the past scares, that parents worry about unsafe toxins in much more than just bottles. In six months we plan to add products to all areas of baby care; from dishware and pacifiers to breast pumps and eating utensils. Eventually, we will have products like toys and clothes. BornFree™ is all about safety for our kids and for the environment. We shouldn’t limit that to just bottles.”
BornFree products are available at Babies R Us, CVS, Whole Foods and hopefully in other online retailers very soon. I’ve said this 100 times but it’s nice to see companies like BornFree sharing shelf space with the products I now look at with a jaded eye. I hope one day we can walk the aisles of baby items and not worry about what is lurking behind the plastic, but until then, we have some solice in products like BornFree who’s first priority is the safety of our children.