Babies are more sensitive than us adults, that is why when it comes it baby needs, we as parents are on the lookout for safe products from food to skin care. But have you ever thought about clothing?
It’s one thing to find a cute looking outfit, where big chains offer cheap and trendy clothing that is so hard to turn down. It’s another to be a little more mindful about these choices that are better for the young one and the planet.
Did you know that baby and children clothes we find in retail stores or online are usually made of cotton, polyester (and other synthetic fibers), or a combination of the two. Conventional, non-organic cotton is often considered the “world’s dirtiest crop” as it uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides. Polyester and other synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are derived from petroleum and treated with thousands of potentially harmful chemicals during production.
Yes, clothing can be harmful, too, both for our health and the planet.
Did you know that the fashion or clothing industry is the second most ‘thirsty’ industry in the world! A pair of adult shirt and jeans can take up to 20,000 litres of water to produce.
Not to mention the other problematic factors that directly affects our health as humans.
That is why there is no wonder as to why more and more people, particularly parents, are now gaining awareness in shifting to a more earth and baby friendly option: organic clothing
Why is organic clothing better for your baby?
Mainstream brands often contain potentially harmful compounds, many that are toxic and carcinogenic. Some of these compounds are there from the very beginning of production. Toxic pesticides are used when growing certain crops, and polyester, nylon, and acrylic are made from petrochemicals.
Then there are the various processes such as scouring, bleaching, dyeing, and finishing. These are all chemically intensive, and it has been proven that problematic chemical residues are left behind on the finished product. These can cause contact issues such as allergies and rashes, or even worse they can be easily ingested.
Babies naturally have a more vulnerable skin than adults, thus they are more at risk of absorbing chemical residue from conventional clothing choices. This can pose lifetime risks that can hinder with their physical and mental growth and development.
Also, organic clothing are naturally durable as the raw materials are pure and doesn’t disintegrate fast in the absence of chemicals. Babies being babies like to chew on almost everything but you wont have to fear them taking in residues, microplastic and other non-biodegradable debris from the cloth if they are wearing their cute organic and baby-friendly jumpsuit.
Many natural and sustainable fabrics are actually moisture-wicking, antibacterial and hypoallergenic!
Why is organic clothing safe for the planet?
The traditional clothing industry is known for their intensive use of toxic chemicals and pesticides to grow raw materials, treat or dye fabric and even print designs on clothes. Cloth production is one of the most water-intensive industry. A single piece of cotton shirt requires water that is enough to supply a person’s drinking water needs for 3 years!
Furthermore, this resource consuming process also contaminates water sources with microplastics and chemicals. And then the talk about the soil. Unsustainable practice of cloth production is the very thing that is ruining our farmlands – striping it of its fertility and ability to further produce resources for us, like food.
Let’s not forget the people who make are clothes. About 77 million agricultural workers suffer poisoning from pesticides each year growing conventional cotton. Sustainable, organic clothing is biodegradable and it’s reassuring to know that when your kid’s clothing has reached it’s final mile, it will break down naturally.
So are organic clothing really worth the fuss?
SHIFTING to organic baby clothing might still be a hard or unrealistic choice for some parents. Factors like the expensive price tag, limited availability and the challenge of finding the perfect piece can make a parent step back.
But bearing in mind their quality and durability, cost per wear, comfort and safety – these could also be enough to consider investing a bit more dime into an organic clothing for your baby. As for availability, try to look for slow fashion brands or eco-friendly stores that offer sustainable clothing options. Despite limited availability due to small scale production, there are a lot of brands nowadays who are choosing to offer only baby-friendly and earth-loving items.