There is a growing number of environmentally conscious parents choosing clothes made from organic and/or sustainable fabrics and notions for their children. Some believe this is a fad that will soon go away and parents will go back to the cheaper option of clothing their children with conventionally grown cotton. However, aside from the sarcastic “trendy” label you may get, there are real benefits from purchasing clothes made from sustainable materials.
But why is organic cotton so much better than conventionally grown cotton? Let’s start with practical matters that everyone can understand and appreciate. It costs less to buy clothes made from organic cotton when compared to clothes made from conventionally grown cotton. Yes, you have read that right. The initial cost of buying clothes made from organic cotton may be higher, however, these clothes last longer. It has been shown that conventionally grown cotton takes much more abuse in the production sage due to having the fabric bleached, dyed, sprayed, and having flame and soil retardants applied even before it is shipped to be cut into patterns for a piece of clothing. This leads to clothes made from this fabric lasting about 15 washes before it begins to break down. This mean the fabric is much more sturdier and will last a lot longer than the conventionally grown cotton fabric.
Next up are the pesticides used to cultivate conventionally grown cotton. Land for the use of growing cotton takes up roughly 2.5 percent of farmland yet it uses 25 percents of the world’s pesticides and insecticides every year. To illustrate this stark difference, the amount of cotton used to produce one pair of jeans and t-shirt needs one pound of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
The effect that these toxins can have on our children can be detrimental to their health. Johnson & Johnson states, “A baby’s skin is thinner, more fragile and less oily than an adult’s. A baby’s skin also produces less melanin, the substance that helps protect against sunburn. It’s less resistant to bacteria and harmful substances in the environment, especially if it’s irritated. Babies also sweat less efficiently than the rest of us, so it’s harder for them to maintain their inner body temperature.” This translates into a greater health risk for children than adults as a child’s body may not be able to effectively fight off the toxins that are used to create the clothes he or she is wearing.
Just think of utilizing organic cotton clothing as another way you are protecting the health of your children. It is a small step but it could have huge benefits down the road.