Organic baby clothing
In the early days, all baby clothings were made from chemical free natural fibres, for only earth friendly means of cultivation and processing was known. Organic baby clothing is not just limited to clothing, but also extends to baby mattresses, crib bedding, cloth diapers, infant carriers and furniture upholstery.
Why should I be aware of this?
As we wait for the new arrival or when we see the bundle of joy in our arms, we want to give the best we can at every stage of their lives. We are extra careful about health and hygiene standards in the house and around the baby, protecting the defenseless new born from infection and discomforts.
Are we aware that, the soft baby clothing we have chosen from the best shops, might cause an allergy or discomfort to the new born child. The baby needs to be wrapped up in and surrounded by fabric which has been untouched by chemicals, making it safer and more comfortable to wear. More importantly, organic baby's clothes breathe much better, which is extremely important to the comfort and health of a child.
Most of us think that washing new clothes once before dressing the baby is adequate to minimize any allergic reaction to the fabric or dyes. but that is not so. We need to opt for baby clothes made from organic fabric.
All about organic baby clothing
Organic baby clothing is grown in a chemical-free environment.
- Organic clothing is made from natural fibres such as bamboo, hemp, jute, linen and cotton.
- It is grown in pesticide free fields
- No chemicla fertilizers are used
- No chemcals are usd for processing and bleaching.
- The cultivation and the processing of these fibres is heavily regulated and is highly watched to ensure that organic cotton is exactly what it claims to be.
It means using natural compost and manure in place of fertilizers, planting various crops along field borders and within the fields in the case of cotton. Crop rotation is used to replenish the soils.
The production of organic cotton into clothing is done using natural dyes and vegetable inks and with agents like potato starch and hydrogen peroxide to clean and build the fibers. Conventional methods use chlorine, formaldehyde products and solvent-based dyes and inks containing heavy metals. All these chemicals weaken and break down the cotton fibers, and labor standards are often poor and hazardous.
Organic baby clothing and health
Organic baby clothing are supposed to be safe and comfortable for the kids. Pesticides used in traditionally grown fibres are generally petroleum-based and have many serious side effects.
- The chemicals left in fabrics such as cotton can cause everything from allergic reactions to asthma to even cancer.
- Often manufacturers add dyes to the fabric which can also lead to reactions.
- In order to give baby clothing a "finish" it is often treated with flame and stain retardants, heavy metals and other toxic chemicals. These chemicals can not only irritate the baby's eyes, nose and throat, but they have been linked to depression, leukemia and cancer.
- The nitrates found in these fertilizers is linked to "blue baby syndrome" in infants, a birth defect resulting in poor oxygen blood flow to body tissues.
Organic baby clothing and environment
Pesticide sprayed on the crops and fertilizers used find its way into ground water and contaminates it. This can have a drastic impact on our health and the health of our children. Organic cotton is also beneficial to the environment because the methods used replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers and build biologically diverse agriculture. Organic fabrics protects our environment. It also protects water quality and the health of people who work growing it and manufacturing it.
What can I do?
You can go for organic baby clothing made from eco fibres such as bamboo, hemp, cotton and even soy. These are durable, comfortable and healthy both for your child and the environment. You can also use recycled natural fabrics.
- To make organic baby clothes an even healthier choice, many have nickel-free snaps or buttons made from nuts, which are hypoallergenic, further ensure that the baby clothes are the safest possible clothing for children to wear.
- You can also find natural fiber clothing made of untreated wool or hemp. Also keep in mind that clothing blended with natural fibers is a less toxic option than clothing made of all or predominately synthetic fibers.
- Handmade children's clothing may also be an option as organic yarns are becoming popular.
- For fancy party wear clothes, you could go for ahimsa silk instead of glossy synthetic fabric.
You can opt for shoes made from organic fabric. Most conventional shoes are made with synthetic fibers and glues. Shoes and the material they are made of assume greater importance if your baby sucks her toes or her shoes.
- Because of its appeal to a variety of insects, conventional cotton gets treated with pesticides more than any other crop except coffee.
- The pesticides used, cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite and trifluralin, are all known to cause cancer, and have been classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as the most dangerous pesticides.
- Formaldehyde is another common fabric finish. It should also be avoided, because it is a neurotoxin and carcinogen.
- Beware of synthetic fabrics, such as fleece which are derived from petrochemicals that off-gas throughout the life of the clothing. Benzene, Ammonia, Ethylene glycol are all common in fabric finishes of fleece, polyester and polyester blends.