Sustainability in Kids Clothing: Hand Picked Baby Booties

If you want to get Hand Picked Baby Booties for your little one, then you might want to check an independent baby store or boutique that carries one of a kind items. The clothing industry is a billion dollar industry that’s growing continually. The kids clothing industry which is a subset of the much bigger clothing industry is still very large and also growing at a rapid rate. Big brands like Zara and H&M all have kids line and release now designs ever so often. There has been a lot of uproar and complaints about the ethics of the fashion industry, producing clothes with materials that pollute the environment and also using questionable labor sources. The continued pressure from environmental groups and human rights activists have led companies to pay more attention to the ethics of their business and make sustainable clothing even on the kids clothing line.

As more clothing companies move towards sustainability, it has become a buzzword as people start to stick on to everything they produce without actually following the sustainability guideline. There are many ways that clothing companies can be sustainable, one of the most effective ways is by reducing the environmental effects of the production process of clothing. A lot of harmful chemicals are used to make clothes and reducing the use of these materials is a good step towards sustainability. Making clothes sustainable does not mean that companies should compromise on quality. The brands that get it right, make sure their sustainably made clothes also have longevity. For example in kids clothes, brands often incorporate features that allow garments to grow with your little one, the likes of roll-up hems and adjustable shoulder straps. For mums and dads, sustainability means quality too. It means buying long-lasting, robust clothes for kids, with the potential to be handed down to future siblings.

Organic Materials

For kids clothing, it is important to also take note of the kind of fabrics. Some fabrics are just better for kids clothing is they are softer and airier and keep kids more comfortable. Kids have delicate skin and so fabrics made with chemicals could cause irritation to their skin. Because of this, sustainable brands, use organic cotton, produced clothing without the use of the pesticides or chemicals that can irritate skin or exacerbate allergies. The absence of chemical fertilizers in the organic farming process also helps minimize harm to the environment.  

Ethical Workforce

Ethics is a priority for sustainable clothing brands and if it’s not then they are getting it all wrong. Factory workers need to have a fair wage and safe working conditions. A common terrible type of labor brands use s using child labor in factories in developing countries. Companies need to have a hands-on inspection process in the factories all over the world that produce their products. It goes beyond just having a questionable and non-regulated inspection body say that all is good. For example, organic cotton clothing is recognized by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) or Oeko-Tex, which means no chemical pesticides or fertilizers can be used in production and farmers must work under safe conditions with an agreed minimum wage.

Cotton

Cotton is one of the most sort after type of material and it is used to make clothing of all kinds. Cotton makes airy and comfortable clothing and it is very popular. However, cotton is a plant that uses the most amount of chemicals when it is grown. Cotton accounts for about 25% of the insecticides and 10% of pesticides worldwide even though it makes up just 3% of the total farmed land area. This makes cotton one of the most chemically treated crops in the world and thus a big contribution to pollution. Sustainable clothing companies elect to use organic cotton instead to make their clothes. There are dozens of pesticides used on cotton crops and about half of them have been named as possible or probable carcinogens by the EPA.

Startlingly, only about 10% of the pesticides used on cotton crops are thought to actually accomplish their job and the rest ends up in the air and water supply. The EPA estimates that up to 2 million birds may be killed annually from just one of the insecticides used on cotton. Most pesticide residue is removed from cotton during processing and at the end of the production process, there is a lot less left, but small amounts remain and the environmental impact is still tremendous. Speaking of processing, even though most of the pesticides are removed, other chemicals are added such is bleach and coloring. The long process of turning raw cotton into fiber that is then used to make clothing. Cotton can also be used to make chemical materials. Cottonseed oil, though not technically considered an edible oil, undergoes a long chemical process to become a usable food oil.

 

Synthetic Fabric

Though cotton has its advantages and disadvantages, the disadvantages of cotton do not compare to that of synthetic fabrics. A lot of synthetic fabrics are made with petrochemicals, plastics, and other substances that have been linked to endocrine disruption, hormone imbalance, and even potentially some types of cancer. Having those chemicals come in contact with the human skin consistently and repeatedly is not a good idea. Another chemical used in making fabric is flame retardants. Adding them to clothes means one more chemical to worry about. Though there is an advantage to having clothes that are fire retardant especially for kids.  However, the chemicals used in this process, including PBDEs, have been linked to various problems including hormone disruption, early onset of puberty, and developmental delays. Over 80% of children’s items tested (including clothing, bedding, and cloth toys) contained these chemicals and these chemicals were found in blood and urine samples of most children and even in breast milk. THAT IS SCARY!