In my business I’m constantly asked about organic clothing (especially for children) and whether it’s worth the extra money. My short answer is yes! Definitely. Let me tell you why.
Buying organic clothing for your children reduces their exposure to pesticides… and cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops out there. Cotton is sprayed with the highly toxic chemical called RoundUp because it is almost always genetically modified. Non organic cottons likely contain toxic dyes, like Azo dyes, that contain heavy metals and other damaging materials. Typical cottons also often contains formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals. The fabric manufacturers are even adding chemicals like Teflon and triclosan to clothes these days to make them antibacterial, waterproof, and wrinkle resistant. Triclosan is linked to antibiotic drug resistance and cancer, and Teflon is created with a chemical called PFOA that is highly toxic and enters your body and stays there..for years…. and potentially decades! Azo dyes are highly toxic and are linked to cancer and other health problems.
So now that you know what it’s in traditional cotton, let’s talk quickly about what in other fabrics. Synthetic fabrics contain such a long list of chemicals that we can’t possibly discuss them all in a short blog. But we will talk about a few here today. Some common chemicals that are known to be toxic in these fabrics are formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, toxic dyes, VOCs, flame retardant chemicals and chemicals called polycrylonitriles which are potentially carcinogenic. Many of the chemicals added are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive disorders and more.
So when I’m asked whether organic is worth it… it certainly is! Especially for children whose bodies are growing so quickly and are impacted by chemicals even more than adults. Now…I know not all moms can afford all organic clothing for their children however! If you can…great! Go for it! But for the moms who can’t, we recommend starting with PJs as they wear pajamas for the majority of the day. That can reduce exposure to chemicals for 12-18 hours a day! What a great start! The next step would be a few key outfits that they would wear often, or items like underwear and diapers.
NOTE: If you have a child like mine with eczema, allergies asthma or other conditions, organic clothing and bedding is that much more critical to their fragile systems!! We have chosen to buy less clothing but quality organic!
Clothing and fabrics are a tough category to navigate and the amount of options can be overwhelming. How do you know which companies are selling truly, safe, organic cotton and which are using “greenwashing” marketing techniques to sell you products that contain organic cotton PLUS other fabrics or other toxic chemicals. I once found an “organic” cotton shirt that only had organic cotton sleeves!! The rest was not organic!
It’s important when you’re buying organic clothing that you get what you pay for and organic costs a bit more. If it is cheap it is probably not truly organic. The best way to really know you were buying truly, safe quality organic cotton to look for the GOTS certification. This is a third party certification that ensures there are no harmful chemicals in the fabric. This is a much more stringent certification than other like Oeko-Tek.
Here at OBU, we have a brand that we particularly love called B Nature Organic. We love them because they only are not only super high-quality and chemical free, but they’re super cute and comfy for my little one. B Nature Organic are GOTS certified, members of the organic trade association, certified free of pesticides, insecticides, heavy-metal, dyes, and other toxic chemicals. They make an variety of rompers, tops, bottoms, and most importantly….pajamas. They’re super soft and reasonably priced, and last a long time. I love this brand and I personally I wanted to share with you since I know that the organic cotton clothing market can be misleading and confusing. There are so many new ones popping up all the time that it is hard to keep up!