Organic baby clothing gets all the buzz, but does it really live up to the hype, and is it worth the extra investment? We did some digging and came to the conclusion that, yes, it really is the better choice. Read on for our top four reasons why you should choose organic when it comes to cotton -- yes, that includes tampons, cotton swabs, sheets, washcloths and towels too!
Conventional cotton is one of the most toxic crops on the planet. It is chock full of nasty chemicals and dyes that can absorb into baby’s skin, and the pesticides used to grow cotton pollute the groundwater and soil that is often shared with our food crops. A few chemicals include benzidine-based “azo dyes” (a dye that is thought to be cancer causing by some scientists), formaldehyde (yes that substance the frogs were kept in during your high school biology classes!), perfluorochemicals (under the right conditions, these can break down into a toxic blood contaminant called perfluorooctanoic acid), nonylphenol ethoxylates (they can act as hormone disrupters), and phthalates (children are at significantly higher risk than adults when it comes to phthalate exposure).
Organic cotton isn’t subjected to the same chemical processing and dying that conventional cotton goes through so it retains more of its softness. Babies haven’t been exposed to weather, sun, and other elements that toughen skin, which is one of the reasons why their skin is extra soft and sensitive. Comfortable babies are happy babies, so the softer the fabric the better.
You’ve probably heard about the chemicals used on conventional cotton, but did you also know that the conventional cotton industry is notorious for violating human rights? Yes, it’s really that bad. “There are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today; many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world and roughly 85% of all garment workers are women. The human factor of the garment industry is too big to ignore; as we consistently see the exploitation of cheap labor and the violation of workers’, women’s, and human rights in many developing countries across the world” - The True Cost Movie.
Aside from human rights issues, did you know that we are filling landfills with fast fashion waste and polluting the environment with toxic chemicals? The fashion business is complicated, and involves lots of different companies for manufacturing, sourcing materials, and shipping. All this carries a massive carbon footprint . In addition to this, there are the harsh processes used in farming cotton and producing the toxic dyes used in most fast fashion clothing that are terrible for the environment.
Buying organic cotton clothing not only ensures the safety of your baby, but it also helps protect the world they’ll inherit. And it helps ensure the safety and well-being of the farmers and factory workers who made your baby’s clothing (which is often women with young children and babies of their own to care for).
If you’re worried about the extra cost, we have some suggestions.
Choose Quality Over Quantity: Purchase quality items that will stand up to multiple washes (and multiple babies!). Instead of buying 5 pairs of conventional cotton, poor quality footie pajamas, you may be better off buying 3 organic cotton ones instead.
Use the ‘Skin Test’: Choose organic if the fabric will be touching your precious baby’s sensitive skin (or go in their mouth). That includes; washcloths, onesies, cloth diapers, socks, mittens, hats, blankets, leggings, lovies and even cotton swabs! You can opt for conventional when it comes to jackets, sweaters, and dresses worn over onesies and leggings if it’s just not in your budget to purchase a fully organic wardrobe.
Register for Organic Cotton: People love giving thoughtful gifts and what’s more considerate than buying clothing that’s non-toxic, socially responsible, environmentally friendly, and super soft?
Look for Certifications: GOTS is the most trusted certifying body for organic cotton textile products. In 2011, the USDA made a rule that all textiles labeled as “organic” should have third parties certify their claim. Over the past few years, GOTS became the certifying body credible manufacturers relied upon. Avoid scams and false marketing claims by making sure the hang tags on the clothing have both the GOTS certification stamp and the OEKO-TEX ® certification (which offers protection against harmful substances & dyes used in textile products). Both certifications are traceable back to the source and uphold strict standards for transparency and reliability.
Buy from a Trusted Source:
Read all about our favorite organic baby shop in this “ Top 5 Baby Stores ” blog post, or you can contact us for a free style session and we’ll happily help you find outfits that fit your budget and needs.
Text 📲 your very own personal stylist for FREE at (415) 799-2053