Recently I was contacted by a wonderful brand called Sense Organics who produce some beautiful organic clothes for children of all ages. I loved their range so much that when they asked if I would share some of their top tips for shopping organic, I happily agreed!
5 Tips for New Mums Looking to Shop Organic Cotton for Their Newborn
We all want the best for our babies, and buying organic cotton baby clothes is a good place to start.
Your baby’s skin is naturally more sensitive and prone to irritation. This is because baby skin is thinner and more porous than adults, which means they can absorb things through their skin very easily.
Deciding what to dress your baby in is, therefore, one of the most important decisions any parent can make.
Everything that comes into contact with your baby's skin has the potential to cause harm, whether that be an allergic reaction, rash, eczema, or even respiratory problems like asthma.
This is where organic cotton comes in.
While many of us might think buying regular cotton clothes for our babies is enough (after all, it’s a natural product, right?), what a lot of people don’t realise is the sheer amount of harmful chemicals and pesticides that are used throughout the production process.
The effects of using these chemicals and pesticides are huge, not only for the environment but also for the workers handling the cotton, and even the end consumer.
Pesticides are toxic. They leach into the soil and surrounding groundwater, and sometimes residues of these chemicals remain on the finished items of clothing — clothing that we’re buying and wrapping around our baby’s sensitive skin!
Choosing baby clothes made from organic cotton, that is grown and processed without the use of harmful pesticides, will ensure you keep them protected from nasty chemical residues.
So, with all that in mind, here are my six tips for new mums looking to shop organic cotton for their newborn!
1. Do your research
There are plenty of retailers and smaller independents that sell organic cotton baby clothes. The key is to do your research before you part with your cash.
Find out a bit about the company. What do they stand for? Are their ethics and processes transparent? Are they certified organic? Do they give you good vibes?
If you like what you see, then happy shopping!
2. Check the label
So this may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s really important to check the label for proper authentication. Just because something claims to be organic, doesn’t necessarily mean that is entirely true.
Unlike food, textiles don’t have to be certified in order to describe themselves as organic. This means a product claiming to be organic might only contain a small percentage of organic cotton, or it could be made of organic cotton but dyed using toxic chemicals, which would never be allowed in certified organic products.
So when you’re checking that label, look out for either the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) symbol or the Soil Association symbol.
3. Watch out for sneaky dyes
We all love to buy bright, colourful clothes for our babies, but some of these colours come at a price and many of the brighter colours used to dye textiles are created with toxic chemicals.
So once again, be sure to check the label for those all-important organic certifications.
Any organic cotton baby clothes carrying the GOTS or the Soil Association symbol have not only been grown organically; they’ve also been processed organically, too.
According to the organic cotton initiative cottonedon.org, this means that “inputs such as dyes and inks have met strict biodegradability and toxicity rules and wastewater is treated before it's let out into the environment — protecting local ecosystems and communities.”
4. Spend your money wisely
Organic cotton baby clothes can be expensive which, in a world where we are driven by low prices and sale items, can be a tough pill to swallow.
But the increased popularity of fast and cheap fashion often means someone or something else is paying the price.
In the non-organic cotton industry, this is nearly always the farmers, with the vast majority living on the breadline in developing countries. Not to mention the damage to the environment, which is being slowly degraded and poisoned by harmful pesticides and fertilisers.
Organic cotton is not only safer for your baby; it’s also sturdier, more durable and so much softer. When compared to the cheaper, non-organic cotton products (which tend to last around 10-20 washes before they start to break down), organic cotton lasts for 100 washes or more!
So, while buying organic cotton clothes for your baby might pinch on the wallet slightly, it’s a great way to give a little something back, and you may actually end up getting more for your money in the long run.
5. Be a savvy shopper
You might be thinking ‘great, it’ll last longer, but I still can’t afford to buy everything organic!’ That’s totally understandable.
While many of us would love to be able to go completely green, for the vast majority that’s just not financially viable. So, instead, be a savvy shopper.
When it comes to your baby clothes, spend your money on the items that will be in direct contact with your baby’s skin. Buy organic cotton sleepsuits, vests, t-shirts and leggings, and go non-organic or partially organic for outerwear items to save some pennies.