Your baby eats organic food, you make sure of it. But does your baby need to wear organic clothing? To answer this question, you need to ask “What is wrong with non-organic cotton?” This overview will give you a firm understanding of why you may want to switch to organic cotton.
Here is a quick breakdown of the non-organic cotton industry:
● Non-organic farming harms the environment and the community
Before mass-commercialization and the industrial era took over, cotton, just like any other natural element from fish to farming, minerals to meat were all produced and harvested the way nature intended- in small quantities and in ways that had minimal impact on the earth. It was the organic way. But with mass production, increased demands, and growing population led to mass-scale farming. Commercial cotton is now grown with GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds, pesticides, and insecticides to meet increasing demand. This has poisoned the environment and the community that lives around cotton farms. Commercially grown cotton also consumes high amounts of water consumption and energy, leading to detrimental effects on the climate.
● Non-organic farming causes more chemical use
Cotton processing from its natural state to something wearable goes through plenty of stages. From washing, dyeing, and printing, each of these stages brings its set of chemicals known to cause rashes, allergies, and respiratory issues. Recent tests have shown that these chemicals can be absorbed by the skin and babies are the most vulnerable.
Unregulated chemical use in the cotton or any farming industry will pollute waterways and the soil. This pollution will eventually find its way back into our lives in the most dangerous ways.
● It causes exploited labor
When unregulated processing happens, the likelihood of exploited labor is high. Without mandatory checks and regulations in place, companies will do anything to ensure that their costs are kept low while profits and demand remain high. In these cases, labor will also be exploited. Wages are paid far below the minimum requirement and, these will lead to even worse problems.
So what can you do as a consumer?
Making better purchasing decisions by switching to more sustainable sources is a start. You will not only reduce the demand for commercial cotton, but you will also create a healthy foundation for your baby.
Here are reasons why switching to organic cotton is beneficial for children:
● It is safer on the skin
A baby, toddler, or young child’s skin is very absorbent and sensitive during the developmental stages. It’s more porous than adults and, it absorbs more of the things it comes into contact with, which includes harmful chemicals from clothing. The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has determined a stringent process for companies and brands on the organic banner to follow. These processes regulate the use of chemicals- what, when, and how much should be used. In GOTS-certified products, the use of harmful carcinogenic chemicals is forbidden.
● It protects developing skin
Organic clothing and bedding such as onesies and blankets are the closest match to the organic skin of a baby. It preserves the natural properties of the cotton fiber, considering cotton is a natural fiber. Cotton is soft and breathable. This is why it is the premium choice for baby clothing- it is nature’s protection for our skin!
● It will give you peace of mind
There are millions of other things to worry about as a parent to a newborn. If you can do something to give you more peace of mind, you would do it. While organic clothing can be a little heavier on the wallet, it offers better value for your money. The benefits of GOTS certified organic clothing means that you are purchasing from responsible brands. Brands that have gone through inspections, that offer fair wages, and whose processes do not harm Mother Nature.
This stringent standard is ensured throughout the supply chain down to the very consumer that wears and uses it- your children. You can sleep a little better at night knowing that your children will not wake up with rashes.
● It protects you and the people around you
Making eco-conscious choices to switch even one item in our daily lives can have wholesome and beneficial results to our lives at home, the community we live in, and the environment we thrive in. The push towards organic farming methods, be it for cotton or any natural fiber contributes to less energy and less resource use. It also means nurturing healthy ways to keep the soil fertile for a longer period. All of this makes your life healthier and safer in the long run.
● It brings more benefits to farmers and factory workers
While the soil thrives and grows healthier vegetation, the people that grow and harvest them benefit from healthier practices. Farmers can enjoy better health expectancy due to less use of toxic pesticides. They are also less likely to be locked in commercial contracts since they would be using more saved seeds instead of GMOs, giving them the freedom to grow other crops alongside cotton to feed the earth with different nutrition and to feed their families. Crop cycles are better managed, leading to better working conditions for workers on the farm, with better wages. GOTS standards also prohibit child and forced labor.
● It will change the course of the clothing industry
Your penny will take you a long way whenever you purchase organic clothing and bedding. Carbon footprint will be reduced plus, you will be contributing to causes that support the environment, health, and social issues. You and your family directly create a larger community that promotes awareness and consciousness in the clothing industry for more sustainably sourced materials and fair trade.
It is time clothing companies made this change and, they will only do so if consumers demand it. With all the research and benefits that organic baby clothing brings to you, it’s the best choice that has far-reaching benefits for you and your child. Set your child up with conscious choices right from the very beginning, starting with the clothes on their back.