Top 5 reasons why organic cotton is better for babies
Every parent wants the best for their baby but is organic clothing really necessary for your baby? Here is an attempt to simplify the answer into top 5 reasons. These reasons were also very instrumental in articulating the vision and philosophy of my organic baby clothing brand Bébénca Organics.
It is important to first get an overview of what is wrong with non-organic or conventional cotton.
What is wrong with non-organic, conventional cotton?
Non-Organic Farming Practices Hurts People and the Environment
Conventional cotton is grown with GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds, insecticides, pesticides that poison people and the environment. 77 million agricultural workers suffer due to pesticide poisoning.
Conventionally grown cotton crop has high energy and water consumption. The soil quality is destroyed due to non-organic farming methods. Higher levels of CO2 is released in the atmosphere with conventional farming practices.
Use of Harmful Chemicals Without a Check Causes Health and Environmental Hazard
During the production process of the clothes, there is widespread use of harmful toxic chemicals in the washing, dyeing and printing stages which have known to cause allergies, rashes and, respiratory problem. Tests have revealed these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin. Babies are the most vulnerable to such chemical exposure.
Without any mandatory checks, these chemicals have ended up polluting the waterways, that makes its way back into our lives with hazardous and hormone-disrupting chemicals. Labor is usually exploited as the end goal is usually mass production that is fast and cheap.
What is GOTS?
The Global Organic Textile Standard
(GOTS) is a standard for Organic in the textile industry, recognized and trusted world-wide. It ensures socially and environmentally responsible process of manufacturing through its strict regulations and inspections throughout the supply chain of a product. Its logo serves as a trusted and credible assurance to the consumer. GOTS logo with the license number on a product is a sign of an end to end authentic and genuine organic product. It is a good practice to verify the license number on the logo or the QR code on the GOTS database.
Why is organic cotton better for babies?
The top 5 reasons:
1: Safe for the baby's skin
Baby’s skin is very sensitive and absorbent in the developmental stage. Their skin being more porous than adults, it absorbs more of everything it comes in contact with including the harsh chemicals from the clothes. Organic clothing certified by GOTS goes through a stringent process that regulates the use of chemicals on the organic product. No harmful carcinogenic chemicals are used on GOTS certified product. The processing units are held accountable during surprise inspections. Organic cotton protects and nurtures baby's tender skin.
Cotton is a natural fiber with soft, natural and breathable qualities. Organically grown cotton is the closest match to the organic skin of the baby as it preserves the natural properties of the cotton fiber. It is nature’s protection to the baby’s developing skin
2: Peace of mind for an affordable price
Due to organic methods and materials, fair wages and inspections, the certified organic clothing maybe just a slightly higher priced but affordable when you buy from a responsible brand of organic clothing. It certainly is value for your money for all the benefits GOTS certified organic product delivers. The stringent standard and inspections throughout the supply chain provide peace of mind to the parents knowing that GOTS has made sure of the integrity of the organic processes and materials that right from the farm until it reaches you.
3: Protects Environment (Air, Water, and Soil)
Organic cotton farming methods are safe for the environment. It uses less energy and water. The soil is nurtured to health making it fertile for longer period of time. The farming methods lock carbon dioxide into the soil. Organic cotton farming produces 94% less greenhouse gas emissions. Strict regulations of GOTS prohibit hazardous chemicals and mandates processing units to treat all wastewater to protect the water supplies.
4: Social, Health and Economic benefits to the farmers and factory workers
Farmers enjoy much better health due to the ban on toxic pesticides in organic cotton farming. As the farmers use saved seeds instead of GMO, they are free from being locked in contracts. This gives them the freedom to grow food alongside cotton to feed their families. Better crop cycles bring better income to them. Factory workers have better working conditions with fair working wages. There is no child labor or forced labor under GOTS standards.
5: Helps bring awareness and change the course of the clothing industry
By switching to GOTS certified organic clothing, we reduce our carbon footprint and show our support for our environment, health, and social issues. We form a bigger community of aware and conscious consumers that cares and understands the importance of doing the right thing. The growing awareness amongst consumers creates a demand and a need for more conscious clothing designers and manufacturers. More responsible clothing companies may avert our climate change crisis and warrants a better future for our children and our planet.
With all the research and statistics available on the harm caused by conventional cotton to the baby's health and our environment, certified organic clothing is clearly the best choice - considering its far-reaching benefits for the baby, our environment and the workers. It is only our collective effort to do our bit will truly secure the future of our children.