Ethical and sustainable are just buzz words, right? Wrong. They have real meanings and real consequences in the world. When sustainable and ethical baby clothes are used, they’re good for the world and what’s good for the world is good for you and your baby. We've collected 3 reasons why you should use ethically and sustainably sourced baby clothes.
Safer for your baby and the environment
Making sure that the clothing you pick for your baby is safe is just as important as making sure their surroundings are safe. You wouldn’t let your baby play in a raw cotton field with freshly sprayed pesticides. So why would you let them sit with those same harmful chemicals pressed to their skin? Many parents know of the need for organic food, but don’t think about how clothing, especially for a baby, is made from the same treated crops. When babies are young, their skin is at the most sensitive stage in their entire life, being pressed up against traces of dangerous chemicals can cause rashes and trigger eczema.
Pesticides don’t just effect humans, they decimate natural wildlife. The top contributor to the decline of the bee is pesticides; this has a knock-on effect of reducing pollination of wildflowers and not only does it affect insects it also effects fully grown animals. Cotton is one of the most chemically treated crops in the world, yet cotton hulls are used as cattle feed, out of dozens of pesticides used on cotton crops, almost half of them have been named as potential carcinogens by the EPA and these, through cattle, find their way into our diet.
Doesn’t use slave labour
Your baby is precious, but other mother’s babies are too. In some other countries, some people aren’t as lucky as us. Unfortunately, in these places' mothers have no choice but to send their children to work, often making clothes for rich western manufacturers at an absolute bare minimum pay to live. This is called slave labour and it’s not a thing of the past. Even today, this happens all over the world; often, western consumers don’t know where their clothes have come from and who has been involved in making them. This is why it’s important to look for clothing that specifically states it’s ethically sourced, meaning the labour used to make the clothing was fair. Ethical pay ensures that workers are paid decently and under ethical labour laws young children aren’t allowed to work.
Recycling reduces waste!
A lot of parents make the mistake of thinking that just because a fabric is recycled, it’s somehow tainted or unclean. The fabric used to make recycled clothing is completely cleaned and repurposed, and, as it’s made from discarded clothing, that would otherwise be thrown away, it takes less processing and therefore energy to be made than clothing made from raw cotton/plant material. Sustainable baby clothes save landfill space and the energy needed to harvest new crop. This doesn't make the fabric less durable or safe, but it saves resources and is great for the environment, keeping it pretty as a peach for when your children grow up!
Recycled fabric is not only better for the environment, but also cheaper, many buyers who can’t afford virgin material clothing can now afford safe, cheap, environmentally friendly and comfortable high-quality baby clothes. Any unused or wasted material during the manufacture process, or old clothes that no longer fit, can be put to good use and reused as sustainable baby clothes for the next generation.