In the last couple of years, organic baby clothing products have exploded in popularity. Considering how much time and effort parents put into choosing the best products to go in our babies’ bellies, it’s no surprise that organic cotton babies’ clothes have topped the list of organic cotton offerings.
But what is organic cotton? And does it really make a difference when outfitting our babies and toddlers?
According to the Organic Trade Association, organic cotton is “grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, expand biologically diverse agriculture, and prohibit the use of synthetic toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, as well as genetically engineered seed.”
As one of the most common and chemically intensive crops in the world, raising consumer demand for organic cotton has a direct impact on the environment and the health of people in areas where it is grown. And once the plant is grown and harvested, safer methods are used to treat the textile, including peroxide whitening (over chlorine bleaching) and low-impact, fiber-reactive or natural dyes to color it. While organic cotton initially comes with a higher cost to consumers, the long-term benefits far outweigh the difference—especially when it comes to clothing for babies and toddlers.
That’s because while most pesticides are removed from cotton during processing, treating and dyeing traditional cotton often incorporates other dangerous chemicals, like fire-retardants and synthetic dyes, which have been linked to everything from skin sensitization to some cancers. Because baby skin is thinner, more sensitive, and more absorbent than adults’ skin, it’s especially important to consider these materials. Organic cotton, on the other hand, uses non-toxic and often eco friendly dyes without chemical finishers, meaning you can slip it on with more peace of mind. Certified organic cotton is also super soft on your baby’s skin too.
And organic growing methods don’t only have an impact on textiles. Cottonseed oil, a common ingredient in cookies, chips, vegetable oil, and livestock feed, also benefits as a by-product of organically grown cotton.
Ready to try out organic cotton for your child? Click here for two of our favorite organic baby clothing companies.
By, Justine Lorelle LoMonaco
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