Kids grow like weeds. Maybe faster. When back-to-school shopping rolls around, it’s all most parents can do to find affordable clothing to fit their family that week, let alone for the year. Which is why it’s understandable that — unlike organic food or BPA-free water bottles — organic clothing has yet to become a hot topic for parents. It’s hard to find the time to think about where your kids clothes come from when your four-month-old suddenly outgrows her nine-month-old sized clothing or your teenager goes through his second growth spurt of the month.
Switching to organic clothing may seem costly and daunting. While it’s true that organics tend to carry a heavier price tag, there are many benefits that are worth weighing against the cost. Let’s talk about What You Need to Know About Organic Kid Clothing and why it may be a good idea to consider.
Cotton Is a Crop
When you hear “organic crop,” what do you think of? Pesticide-free peaches? Eco-friendly eggplants? Why not cotton? Fruits and veggies tend to steal the organic stage while many forget that cotton is a crop as well. What’s more, it’s a big one.
Cotton makes up 35 percent of the world’s fibers. In the United States alone, cotton is a 25 billion dollar industry.
With so little of the industry currently committed to organic processes, thousands of pesticide and insecticide related deaths plague farmers, factory workers, fish, birds and other animals affected by runoff. Pesticide residue has even been found in breast milk and has been shown to be responsible for neurodevelopmental defects in children.
Cotton that is grown by organic standards, however, is both safe for use and for the environment. Like all organic agriculture, cotton must be grown and processed under strict guidelines in order to receive the organic label. In addition to being free of pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals, organic crops must also be free of GMO’s and grown in a manner that leaves the soil as good or better than it was at the start. This means crop rotations, measures against soil erosion and a ban on field burning.
Organic Is Different Than Natural
Organic material is more than just “natural.” There are little, if any, regulations about what goods are labeled natural, whereas the organic label requires strict certification, testing and enforcement.
While natural clothing alternatives like hemp, soy and bamboo are gaining popularity, not all adhere to the true organic standards that organic cotton and organic wool do. Bamboo is particularly problematic, as its sustainability and other virtues are touted in a manner that seems calculated to distract from the harsh chemical process needed to convert the woody plant into fabric.
Despite the numerous environmental and health benefits of organic fabric, the price of organic products is understandably difficult for families with a limited budget. Those looking to begin investing in organic pieces may wish to start with the clothes that will have the biggest impact: baby clothes.
The Importance of Organic Kid Clothing
Although babies seem to outgrow their clothes at a rapid pace, that pace is also indicative of their rapid neurological and physical development. Organic clothing is the only clothing that will not put their developing mind and body at risk of toxic side effects from chemicals. What’s more, organic cotton kid baby clothing is breathable and hypoallergenic, which keeps baby’s sensitive skin protected from rashes and other irritations.
Organic clothing is available in all shapes and sizes, custom or wholesale. Although the price is currently prohibitive to some, the hope is that increased awareness and demand will make affordable organic clothing a reality for all families in the years to come.
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