For discerning new parents who want to learn the difference between organic baby clothes and conventional, mass produced baby clothing, these are several facts to review and understand before shopping and committing to either one.
Non-organic Conventional Clothing
Conventional cute baby clothes are made from cotton that has pesticides, which protect the crop from insects like loopers, spider mites, and cutworms that are often attracted to cotton. Although the chemicals are effective at protecting the crops, the toxins cannot easily be washed from the fibers of the clothing, let it be an onesie or coverall.
Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides and is healthier to wear or breathe in. According to the Organic Trade Association, shopping for organic baby clothes online has increased by 35 percent in 2008 and 2009 due to more consumers who have become more health-conscious.
Organic cotton is grown from non-genetically engineered seeds and without the use of fertilizers or herbicides that are toxic. Farmers who produce the organic cotton must abide by strict regulations to obtain U.S organic certification. Laborers who help grow the organic crops also have more rights and have access to humane working conditions with fair wages collective bargaining rights, making it beneficial for both the workers and consumers.
While organic cotton is known to be healthier for children who wear clothing made of organic cotton and play with toys made of organic cotton, it's also in most cases more comfortable for them. Organic cotton is softer to the touch because it is often of much higher quality and it is not contaminated with harmful chemicals or toxins when it's manufactured.
Over 12 million acres of non-organic cotton are grown each year in the U.S. with 8.5 million tons of chemicals used. This can make it difficult to protect your baby from breathing in the pesticides and avoiding rashes that can form on their skin with contact.
Non-organic cotton often contains phenols, formaldehydes, and chlorine bleaching agents. These are all known to increase the risk of birth defects, cancer, allergies, and toxic reactions. Children can be more susceptible to suffering from the pesticides compared to their adult counterpart because their immune systems are more vulnerable and weaker.
Synthetic fibers are known to act as irritants and can be extremely harmful to those who are more sensitive to the pesticides. Producing non-organic cotton is not only harmful on children and adults but can significantly affect the environment. The pesticides and chemicals that are used can easily seep into the ground and atmosphere.
Some research has even shown that the chemicals can cause ADHD and weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illnesses and diseases. This makes it important for each parent to consider the benefits of supporting organic baby clothing to protect the health of her children and the environment that they will grow up in!