Remember bringing your baby home from the hospital and that teeny-tiny onesie you picked out especially for the occasion? For many parents, finding adorable children’s clothing is one of the fun parts of the job, so most of us would rather not think about the fact that cute little outfit might have been made using pesticides, flame retardants, heavy metals and other harmful chemicals. But considering the potential health effects these chemicals could have on children, it might be worth a little more consideration.
Most of us know that organic materials are considered “better” when it comes to clothing … but do we really know WHY this is so? And when you consider that many organic products are a little more expensive than the items for sale at many major clothing stores, do you ask yourself if it’s really worth it?
Well, from research on the subject, we know that children’s skin is more porous, and, even though they’re smaller, babies actually breathe more air than adults, kilo for kilo. So when babies come in contact with toxins, they have a potentially more hazardous effect. For example, a lot of children’s clothing – especially sleepwear – is treated with flame retardants such as Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs), and these chemicals have been linked to everything from allergies and asthma to cancer and reproductive disorders. (Now you know what those “low fire danger” tags mean on your child’s pajamas…)
And when it comes to production, organic farming means the soil used for growing cotton and other natural fibres is free from pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilisers, and is generally more gentle to the environment. Conventional cotton farming does have a dark side, and once I did a little more research on the subject, it really had me thinking. For a great article revealing some fascinating facts about world-wide cotton production, click here.
Hmmm, when you consider all those chemicals that end up not only on clothing, but swirling through the water supply in the midst of production, suddenly spending a few extra dollars on organics doesn’t sound so bad. And the good news is there are so many great companies out there producing quality organic clothing that is adorable, safe and durable. Here are a few of my favourites.
Well Spotted is an Australian-made brand and their organic line of T-shirts is oh-so eco-trendy.
Far out brussel sprout.
Green-eyed Monster is a British brand making very urban and very cool garments that are 100% certified organic. All aspects of production, from dyeing, printing and production – right down to the buttons on those baby garments is certified non-toxic and they follow a fair trade ethos as well.
Check out their “arcade” baby grows – for that irresistable touch of retro cool (yay for PAC-MAN!)