Is organic clothing for babies really worth it?


 We all have heard about organic products – organic food, organic clothing and what not!  What makes them organic? Why should we buy organic? I know there are many parents who wonder if it’s really worth to buy organic clothing for their babies. Even I didn’t know much about it till I started researching about this topic.  So, let me share with you what I found and why I feel organic clothing is important, especially for babies.

Let me start with an example of the most common fabric i.e cotton. Are you aware that the way conventional cotton is produced these days is way different than how it was around 50 years ago.
Here are some startling facts about current cotton production.
  • Conventionally-grown cotton occupies only 3%of the world's farmland, but uses 25% of the world's chemical pesticides.
  • It is estimated that less than 10% of the chemicals applied to cotton actually accomplish their task, rest are absorbed into the soil, air, water and eventually our bodies.
  • Nitrates from nitrogen fertilizers used in conventional cotton production have been known to cause what is called “blue-baby syndrome” in infants.
  • Organic cotton represents only 0.76% of global cotton.
Because of these troubling statistics, I decided to only have organic clothes for our infant range to do my part to protect the little ones, preserve our environment and to improve the lives of the farmers.

What should you know about organic cotton?

Organic cotton is cotton produced using natural processes rather than artificial inputs like toxic chemicals or GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
So, does that mean anything made with conventional cotton is a complete no-no? My answer to this is NO. While conventional cotton isn’t’ a great option due to the chemicals and pesticides sprayed on it, it is still better than many synthetic fibers because most of the residue of pesticides, dyes and bleach are removed from conventionally produced cotton before it is made into clothing whereas synthetic materials contain plastics and chemicals that are not removed during processing and this has adverse impact on our bodies when it gets absorbed into the skin.

Why I recommend organic clothing for infants?

Now, coming back to the question why it is important to use organic clothing for babies. That’s because they are the most vulnerable to the health risks related to pesticides. How? A baby’s skin is more porous and thinner than adults which means that their skin absorbs things more easily. It is also less resistant to bacteria and other harmful substances in the environment. Not to ignore the point that babies often nibble their clothes letting these chemicals enter their bodies directly.
So, how do we protect our babies? Using natural fiber fabrics such as organic cotton; organic wool, bamboo, hemp, cashmere, silk, etc. for your baby clothing will reduce their exposure to the nasty chemicals. Besides, the best way is to use certified organic clothing because they are not just eco-friendly but also more baby-friendly as they are hypoallergenic, more durable and super soft.
But replacing your baby’s entire wardrobe does not seem to be easy or financially feasible, right?

So, what should you do?

  • If you are planning to shop for your baby, consider choosing only organic for basic essentials.
  • Share this information with your friends and relatives. How will this help? Firstly, they will consider picking something organic when they are purchasing gifts for your newborn 😉Secondly, they will appreciate your sensibility and also start switching to organic, contributing to a better environment.
  • If you don’t feel the need to buy new clothes for your infant, dress them in natural fabrics as often as possible. And if you can buy a couple of new products, you should go for organic night suits/lounge suits and bed sheets/swaddles because infants spend more time sleeping. 
  • If your baby has extra sensitive skin or has experienced allergies or rashes, it could be due to chemical sensitivities and you might consider switching to organic clothes in that case.
  • Don’t buy any clothing or bedding that has a stain resistant or wrinkle resistant finish on it because they contain nasty chemicals.
  • If you are considering buying a crib mattress, buy a natural latex core covered in certified organic fabric. Because crib mattresses are often made of polyurethane foam enclosed in vinyl covers.
  • Make sure that baby clothes are washed before they are worn and always use natural laundry detergent otherwise even organic clothes can irritate their skin.
  • If you want to be 100 % sure that a specific clothing is organic and non-toxic from field to finish, look for certifications like GOTS, Oeko-Tek certification, etc.
 
So, to conclude I would say, although choosing everything organic all the time isn’t possible for most of us, we can make positive changes by choosing safer options whenever possible because this is the only way we can help our children grow up in a safe and healthy environment.

 

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only
legitimate hope of survival
.” -Wendell Berry


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