Organic products are good for the environment and good for the people who use them. This is especially important when thinking about the clothes we put on our children. By their very physiognomy, infants are more susceptible to the dangers of clothes that have residual pesticides and other fabric finishing chemicals on them. Going green is not only good for the environment, but it will have a positive impact on your children's long term health.
Going organic keeps dangerous pesticides and fertilizers out of the environment, but organic baby clothing's primary benefit is for the baby herself. The skin of an infant is very sensitive and fabric is in constant contact. Any chemicals in the fabric transfer to the skin and can leach into the body. Even thorough washing cannot remove all traces of some treatments. These fabrics can also off-gas noxious fumes that infants and children inhale.
Most baby clothes are made from cotton or synthetic blend materials. Cotton grown before the 1940's was a fairly organic process. Harsh pesticides and fertilizers were not in heavy use and farmers relied on good farm management and crop rotation to keep yields high. After WWII however farming began to rely heavily on chemicals to help boost up yields in over farmed fields. The production boom of the war also saw the cost of pesticides and fertilizers drop tremendously so it was a cheap and easy way to farm.
The chemicals used on cotton today are safer than those first versions, but they are still chemicals and they do linger on fiber all the way to the finished fabric. These traces in and of themselves are not dangerous, but constant contact, like wearing clothes has been associated with higher health risk. This is why many are turning to organically grown and Eco-friendly finished material. This means the crops are not chemically treated and the tried and true farm practices of soil management and crop rotation are used. These methods are also safer for the environment and the field workers and farmers.
Organic can be a confusing term as it has now become part of the marketing vocabulary for many products. One must look for products that are certified organic. This means the field producing the crops must be pesticide-free, for at least 3 years. In the case of fabric, the processing (turning raw cotton into fabric) must also be certified organic. The finishing process for fabrics can be harsh in its use of chemicals and dyes that are full of heavy metals.
In response there has been a great demand for organic cotton and hemp baby clothes and bedding. Whereas even just a few years ago finding organic baby clothing was very difficult, it can be found more readily and at some major retailers. The other good news is that the price is dropping. With demand growing, manufactures have integrated the safer organic process into their modern manufacturing process. More efficiency means lower costs to consumers.
Designs and style for organic baby clothing has grown too. The muted colors and stiffer fabrics that were once associated with organics has fallen away as new safe dying techniques and pigments are discovered. Many top designers have organic lines available.
Like most clothing there has been a big uptick in online availability. Online is great for baby and infant clothing as the sizing and fitting is less of an issue than for adults. Be sure to thoroughly read the company's information on their organic process to ensure the clothing is in-fact 100% certified organic.
There are many benefits to organic baby clothing. The health of the child benefits as the fabrics eliminate direct exposure to harmful chemicals. Plus it is much better for the environment, which has long-term benefits for today's children as well.
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Article Added on Friday, June 1, 2012
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