Few people would knowingly subject their children to harmful chemicals. In fact, a large driver of the whole green movement is the elimination of toxins and chemicals from our lives. This has taken place in our food, cleaning supplies, and many other household living products. This trend has yet to transfer to the clothing we wear. This is about to change as more organic textiles make it to market and the choice of colors and fabric finishes develop.
One area of organic clothing that has grown tremendously is in newborn and infant clothing. This is largely part due to the particular concern of chemical exposure on babies and their developing nervous and immune systems. Infants are also particularly at risk because their bodies are more susceptible to the effects of chemicals through skin absorption and inhalation. Babies both breathe in more air and have more skin area per unit of body weight than do adults. This means that the same amount of exposure to chemicals increases contact where the situation makes it more difficult for infants to rid the body of toxins.
Organic fabrics and textiles use the sustainable and more eco-friendly farming practices used for centuries. It was only in the time after WWII where the use of pesticides and chemicals grew to sustain demand. The production of synthetic fabrics also grew during this period. It is only in recent decades through more thorough product testing that we know the minute chemicals, toxins and off-gasses are present in the fabric.
Cotton and hemp are the two fabrics most associated with organic clothing. In both cases, the organic seal relates to both the growing practices and material finishing. This can cause confusion in the case of hemp. The vast majority of hemp is grown organically as it is naturally pest resistant so pesticides are rarely used. The process by which hemp is made into fabric can negate this organic label if chemicals are used to break down the fibers. This also goes for bamboo and soy fabric. Marketers of these fabrics tout the eco-friendly nature and growing sustainability of the plants (which is true). But again, the process by which the plants are turned into finished fabric can be full of chemicals. The bottom line on all of this is to be a smart consumer. Be sure to double check labels when purchasing to ensure the clothing is truly certified 100% organic.
The good news is that there are plenty of choices in 100% organic infant and baby clothing today. Many top designers and young up-and-coming stylists have come out with organic clothing options. Styles in the past year have become more colorful and trendy; and as supply of the fabric grows, prices are being reduced. Finding organic clothing is becoming easier as demand grows. Currently, the best selection is found online, but many smaller specialty retailers are carrying organic infant and baby clothing too.
As the market for organic infant, baby, children, and adult clothing grows, more design choices are becoming available. Organic clothing is a great choice for parents. It is free of toxins and chemicals and it is much more durable than commercially-processed fabrics. Plus of course, it's good for the environment and human health.
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