**We have a winner: #28 Ashley**
**Comments will stay open for a few more days if you want to give your 2 cents**
You asked (well at least one of you did) … and I listen ;)
Question: Why should you use Organic Cotton for your baby and your clothing?
In this post I will try to provide you with interesting and disturbing, information and statistics concerning conventional cotton farming procedures – as well as outlining the benefits of organic cotton. If you ever needed a reason to use organic cotton, read the rest of this post!
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a very little impact on the environment. Here are some facts and figures that show the damage that is done by conventional cotton farming to the environment, livestock and humans.
Cotton provides almost half of the worlds fibre needs, and is perceived by most people as a “natural” product. Although cotton crops worldwide use only 2.5% of the available agricultural cropped area, it uses nearly 25% of the all the insecticides used, and 11% of all the pesticides used. (Allan Woodburn)
Problems caused by pesticide use include the following:
- reduced soil fertility
- frequent water pollution
- reduced biodiversity in the surrounding areas
- wild animal and livestock poisoning.
Even more distrurbing: 20,000 people in developing countries die (yes, I said DIE) every year from poisoning by agricultural pesticides and 3 million suffer acute or reproductive after effects. (PAN-UK) I find these statistics very alarming!
In the U.S., it takes nearly a third of a pound of chemicals to grow enough cotton for one t-shirt. It is estimated that less than 10% of the chemicals applied to cotton are accomplishing their tasks, the rest are absorbed into the plant, air, soil, water and eventually, our bodies. (SCP)
The Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in 2000 in the United States as “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin). (EPA)
Additionally, cotton seeds are used for cotton seed oil, a cornerstone of many processed foods. Many of us will eventually EAT the carginogens mentioned above.
“Working with, not against,” nature is the principle behind organic farming. Grown without pesticides and spun without chemicals, organic cotton farmers rely on organic fertilizers, manual crop rotation and integrated pest management. Organic cotton fields are naturally fertilized, insects are used to naturally control crops, and weeds are removed with hoes, as well as manually. Farms earn the organic label by using soil that has been free of synthetic pesticides for at least three consecutive years. Beneficial insects, natural cattle manure, chilli, garlic, and alfalfa are some of the ingredients used in organic farming.
Organic Cotton is best for your children because:
- The rapidly developing bodies and immature immune systems of babies and children can benefit greatly from pure, organic cotton products.
- Organic cotton feels softer, because the cotton fibres are left intact and not broken down by the chemicals used in the farming and processing conventional cotton.
- Organic cotton smells cleaner because it is not finished with formaldehyde.
- Organic cotton is less likely to trigger allergies through the absence of harmful chemicals and increased breathablity of organic cotton.
I think that we can all agree that the polutants all around us, surely play a part in the alarming and seemingly increasing instances of cancer, asthma and allergies (one of my children has severe and life threatening allergy). Using organic cotton products can and will make a difference not just for our planet (it’s taking a huge beating), but for animals and humans too!
By choosing organic you are providing your Children with the healthiest, softest clothing you could possibly buy!
More importantly though you are:
- helping the environment
- helping to save lives
Allen Woodburn Associates Ltd./Managing Resources Ltd., “Cotton: The Crop and its Agrochemicals Market,” 1995.
Sustainable Cotton Project, “Cleaner Cotton Campaign Tool Kit,” Oroville, CA.
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, “List of Chemicals Evaluated for Carcinogenic Potential,” 2001.
Pesticide Action Network (PAN UK) – Organic cotton – A practical guide to the UK market
Today I am giving away an Organic Baby Romper from Parade. The rompers are part of the new PURE collection by Parade. They are made using certified organic cotton and produced in sweatshop free enviroments using fairtrade.
One piece heaven. So comfy for baby at home or out on the town. Available in pear green, dirt brown or mandarin orange with natural pocket and trim. Cost $26.50 USD / $28.00 CAD (This price is in line with many of the leading designer brands and quality manufacturers).
To be eligible to win please leave a comment AND let me now how you feel about organic cotton now, is cheap (often means sweatshops) still more important?
Note: ALL Parade Rompers have been added to the June Jive / May Madness coupon promo so if you don’t win’em you can buy’em … cheap like!
I’m giving away a FREE product every day until the end of June. Read more here: Contest Details
Visit www.thebabymarketplace.com for a great selection of baby shoes and baby clothes, cloth diapers too, and don’t forget the baby toys!
42 comments… add one
I have a question…how difficult is it to find? Believe me, as an a mom to a little one from China..I know all to well about sweatshops so I would not want to support them. thanks for the info
Great and informative post! I have never minded spending a bit more for organic cotton clothes for M, when I could find them, or buying as close to free-trade as I could. It’s just easier to find for infants than it is for preschoolers!
It’s not in Walmart and Target but becoming more and more available in specialty stores. I myself have been seeking out natural products for http://www.thebabymarketplace.com as I feel it is important to start healing the earth and our own health. I am worried though about ordering (I have several great lines (with cute, funky, hip clothing) thinking it won’t sell (after reading the previous posts comments).
Prices are definitely in line with most quality, boutique childrens clothing. But as I said you aren’t going to find it in discount stores yet.
If more people start demanding it, I am sure prices will go down.
I dunno.. I’ve been wearing “regular” clothes for a while now and I’m fine…
Yes, Richard … you are fine, but 20,000 other people aren’t, they’ll die from pesticide and insecticide poisoning this year, and 20,000 more next year, and the next. Just a something to think about …
Maybe if they were easier to find. Hard enough to find cute boys clothes-although these are an exception!
That was very informative, I certainly learned a thing or two, and totally agree we all need to do what we can to heal the earth! Unfortunately for me, I simply can’t afford to buy clothes that cost so much more – 3 little ones under 5, who grow very quickly….which would mean I would have to buy a lot less clothes, and do much more laundry…using much more energy and cleaning supplies (which go out into our septic system….into our land). It gets so overwhelming when you think of all the small details…
I think organic clothing is a very good idea, but like Deanne, I can’t really afford it. Your post was very informative though. Thank you. : )
Thank you very much for your article on organic clothing. It has been something that I have been thinking about for a while and I would definately like to try it for my children.
I love the colours of the parade clothing, they will be great for my newborn but what about my 4 year old – do you know where we can get larger sizes?
These are absolutely stunning. I try to go organic as much as I can, but the decision does sometimes come down to cost!
Well, I totally don’t want to support sweat shops and I must admit I know very little about this. But price is a factor when I have 3 kids and a very tight budget. For me hand me downs from friends is what I rely on.
Thank you for the info you gave though, I feel more knowledgable now.
Thanks SO much for the info! That’s very interesting/alarming. I have to be concerned about price, but I would be willing to pay a bit more for organic if they’re also as cute as these rompers. :) I’ll have to give the organic clothes a try. Thanks again!
Those rompers look adorable and babies can where them guilt-free for Mommies. I think affordability is always an issue with fair-trade and organic products. Some can afford it and don’t buy it, others can’t afford and wish they could. I think the information you gave shed light on the issue and will help us all make more informed decisions.
OMG they are so cute!!! I try to buy organic whenever I can!!! I have learned much more about it though!!! THank you!!!
It’s definately something to consider. Thanks for educating us. I had no idea.
I would love to be one of those people who can afford to NOT support sweatshops, but it’s just not in the budget for me. I wish I made enough money to truly buy products that are great for the environment and also watch out for the little man.
Those rompers are so SWEET – I love all the colours!! I am totally a fan of organic – I actually have been working on changing my lifestyle to become more natural and organic (ie. food, mama cloth, no plastic bags, stainless steel water bottles, etc). But it’s a slow process. Again, this is where price comes in. I will pay more for something I believe in, but I can only do it in little bits at a time. (My 3 new water bottles cost me $60, so that will be my only splurge this month; dh doesn’t know about these yet….) So yeah, cheap is important to me in some ways – and in others, I would be willing to pay. Am I making sense?
I had never really even thought about organic clothes before. I really appreciate the information regarding the organic cotton. I feel like I have a lot more information. I would love to be able to afford organic but for me it comes down to cost. Is organic clothing more durable than regular? With three boys it has to be durable, in hopes that at least one or two of them can wear it after the other.
Well, yes..within reason. I mean, I don’t mind spending around 15.00 for a romper – I have seen them that price, but I canNOT for my family’s sake spend, for any reason – sad I know, 30.00 or more for a romper, which I have also seen. That is just one piece of clothing for a baby. I have 3 kids and cannot ever spend that much on one article of baby clothes. If I worked out of the home and had a free daycare, then maybe, but in reality.. I know it is sad, the things that go on, but I have to provide for my family first and spending outlandish amounts is not an option with our income.
Here is what I don’t get.. When Harlie was a baby, I bought organic carrots, squash, etc for her food I made – it was always more expensive… Why is organic more expensive – They are growing the stuff ALL naturally, you would think that they would save money on not using the pesticides, etc and it would be cheaper – Well, of course I know the answer to my own question – supply & demand &&&& the small amount of organic crops out there – If an organic crop is lost, it may be a companies only crop, as opposed to non-organic huge companies.. But, it still seems a bit silly to charge a HUGE difference – like 9.99 for a romper at WalMart or 35.00 from an organic site online.
I would definately buy the one from earthhopenetwork for only 14.00 – probably more for a gift than for my own child, but it is a great price.
Oh..and the ones above are just too cute!
AHH!! Example – or whatever!! Just saw a site that has “Notify Me if price drops” beneath each organic product.. Crazy! I can see why though, a little baby tee and pants for 39.00 and it is just plain stuff. Although all organic stuff looks SUPER soft, I must say.
Wow. What great information. I am much more informed than I was 5 minutes ago. I would love to be able to purchase only organic products. We use organic vegetables in the summer (from our garden).
Great information. Thanks for the awesome write up.
…feeling a little bad for being cheap…..
Leslie: your comment made me laugh!
jw4mkc: Why is it more expensive? Well, in part you answered you own question, however, I am not positive of this but organic cotton probably doesn’t have the same yeilds as conventially grown cotton. With out the chemicals there are weeds etc to deal with, labor (people pick and hoe the weeds) to pay for, and they do use natural products for fertization and insect control (manure and other insects) and I’m sure they aren’t free.
As well, most people who care about the environment care about the labor source too. Much of the cost of organic products is the labor in manufacturing both the fabric and then the garment. Most organic clothing is produced in fairtrade meaning the person working is going to be able to sustain themselves on their wage, be safe at work, and be an adult.
Generally, they are also manufacturering small quantities, the fewer pieces produced, the higher the cost per piece.
Tracy: Is organic clothing more durable than regular?
Yes. Because it is less processed, organic cotton is often more durable than conventional cotton. Organic cotton is not treated with harsh chemicals that can wear down its fibres.
**A little story about durability**
When Lizzy was born I purchased 6 Organic Cotton gowns (were beautiful in a natural color and embroidered dragonflies) and 4 regular cotton gowns (from a leading retailer (3 letters starts with g ends with a p). I used this style of clothing on my babies nearly exclusively for about 6-8 weeks, mostly because it is comfy, easy and with cloth diapers I like changing often and these garments facilitate that. Even with 10 they were washed every couple of days. I am careful with my baby clothes (I love baby stuff), so when Lizzy was done with them all 10 of them were in terrific shape and I put them away for the next baby. Sam came along soon after (14 months)and out came the gowns. Sam was smaller than Lizzy so we used them a bit longer with him. Towards the end of his use the regular cotton gowns were starting to show some wear around the snaps, the organic gowns were still perfect.
Sam was to be our last baby, so I put two of the gowns away (organic ones) to keep. And gave the other 8 away to a friend for her new son. She used them and gave 4 of them back (organic), the regular cotton had not made it through :( they went to garment heaven.
A year or so later my nanny had her first baby and she gladly accepted the 4 organic gowns. I had made her a cloth diaper convert and she was happy to have the perfect clothing to go with the diapering products.
Again they came back in good condition and I packed and shipped them off to Ukraine to needy orphans (http://www.aidforophans.org).
All this said, organic clothing for size 2+ is nearly impossible to find. I have one supplier that I love, but it is pricey. I would buy it for Lizzy, Georgia and Sam, but I am concerned about stocking it for sale @ http://www.thebabymarketplace.com.
Yes, you’re right – I’d rather pay more for something that I know wasn’t made in a sweatshop but sometimes it’s harder to find organic clothing in stores…
wow, great info, i never knew. I guess I should pay more attention deffinitely something to take into consideration next time I’m shopping for my tribe.
Lots to think about. I am with suzieq “Some can afford it and donâ€™t buy it, others canâ€™t afford and wish they could.” Very well said. That being said, I rarely buy new clothes for my kids, (or even me for that matter) so, I think of it as a way of recycling. Goota love Goodwill. I was thrilled to see Costco carrying organic cotton shirts (for mommies) for really reasonable prices. If the demand goes up, the price will go down, and we will save some lives (20,000 wow, did not know that) and that would be a really good thing.
Please enter me into the contest.
To me cheap is more important than organic. At least in this stage of life. You don’t want to hear my whole story so I will spare you but hubby is in school, and I stay home. So basically I buy hand me downs most of the time. Garage Sale. :)
Wow! That was fantastic. I’ve always wondered what the big deal with organic clothing was…thank you for sharing. I will definately be searching some out for my little girl to wear. Why not be behind keeping our babies and our planet healthy!
I have found, having seven children, that cheaper clothes doesn’t necessarily translate into cheaper in the long run. Spending a little more money now for well made clothing that can stand up to washing and wearing and handing down is by far better, at least from my own experience. But, sadly, that doesn’t mean I buy organic cotton. Truth be told I haven’t really thought about it. Which is strange considering how much I love cloth diapers and the benefits it has for babies, the environment, etc. You would think I would carry the same consideration forward as my children grow. Now you’ve got me thinking. . .
Part of the price of organic cotton must come from the manual labor involved in picking it. And, here (USA) at least, you will be hard pressed to find people who will work that hard, partly because of the history slavery has had in cotton production.
I love the Parade rompers, what gorgeous colors! That said, it would be a splurge for me to buy most organic over $20 or so unless I was totally in love with the item.
Thanks for the info. I had been thinking about what would be best for baby, not even beyond our little world.
I guess since we do try to buy a lot of organic food, it makes sense to start buying organic clothes. And I am aware about sweatshop issues, too, regarding a variety of products.
This outfit is so cute!
thank you for your information on organic cotton, I would love to be able to commit to buying only organic, but the cost is a major factor for me especially when I have been given most of my sons clothes as gifts. However it is a good thing to keep in mind when I am looking to purchase myself.
Great post about organic cotton – definitely want to support that!!
And thanks for the heads up on the MAGIC ERASERS… I had NO CLUE! I appreciate the link… here I am actually excited the little guy likes to use them. Although, I must say – I am a germ fanantic, so I always make him wash his hands about 100 times after touching them… not that it’s much… but something, right?
But thank you again, I forwarded that link to my husband to read!!!
ANd again… great post about organic cotton – I wish more people knew about this!!
Pinks & Blues Girls
Great post informative and interesting. Those rompers are adorable and perfect for boys or girls. We would get lots of use out of one of those
I think organic clothing is great but the cost is something that’s harder to swallow. Since I cloth diaper I would LOVE to get my hands on some organic fabric to make diapers from but it’s harder to find than stuff from the fabric store. As for clothing I was going to get some EcoBaby clothing at one point but the thought slipped my mind (and my daughter has a fair amount of clothes already). I think organic is great if you have the extra bit of cash to spend on it; right now I don’t though.
And just to let you know, on your store site the banner still says that you’re giving away free stuff in MAY.
Like all previous posts, I wish is was more affordable and easier to find. I can’t afford “boutique” prices for me or my baby other than a few select pieces. Not to mention that most of his clothes and linens were gifts.
I did hear that Walmart started carrying some organic baby clothes awhile back. I wonder if they still do.
I’m afraid it’s a cost issue with me as well, of course I would love all organic cotton clothing for children but at this time in my life it’s just not a realistic option… appreciate the info though!
In my opinion, the organic items I have bought/come across are much softer and more “baby friendly” to use. The Parade rompers are just adorable!
Thank you for posting this information!
Very interesting, thank you the info, I will definitely give it a try !
I just wanted to respond to Kilikina. There’s no shame in buying garage sale – in fact the cardinal rule of environmentalism is “reduce, reuse, recycle!”
And if you do buy new, it is great to try and buy or be given organic. Put organic things on your registry and explain why – you’ll be getting better things for your kids and spreading the word. Speaking of which, those rompers sure are cute!
Cute romper. I’ve never really given any thought to organic cotton because price was always more important.
These are good reasons to use organic baby products. The reason I want to use organic and biodegradable baby products is simply because it is healthier for my baby. There are no chemicals or toxins in it, so it is much better.
Thank you for sharing!