The Issues with Conventional Cotton
Cotton makes up 50 percent of the world’s fibre needs, mainly for our clothing production. Even though it only uses 2.4% of all cultivated land, it consumes 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 10 percent of the world’s total pesticide use (according to the Organic Trade Association). Conventionally grown cotton thus uses more pesticides than any other crop in the world and causes major environmental damages as well as it harms humans directly.
Since Cotton is still mainly hand picked, pesticide poisoning cause up to 20 000 deaths each year among farmers in developing countries (according to the World Health Organization). Pesticides dissolve into our groundwater and end up in our drinking water. The level of the toxins has been discovered in animals, their meat as well as in other food and some traces have even been found in breast milk (according to PANNA).
Toxic chemicals not only get in our drinking water through infiltration from farming, but also through waste and run-off from clothing production processes. Harsh petroleum scours, softeners, brighteners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia and formaldehyde are just a few of them. Nearly 20% of all water pollution happens through the production phases. We should think twice about the impacts of conventional clothing manufacture to the environment and the worlds future. We are digging our own grave and leaving a mess for our children.
Advantages of Organic Cotton Baby Clothes
Luckily more and more people are aware of the environmental and health related impacts of pesticides, and are gravitating towards organic foods and clothing. Organic clothing is not only better for flora and fauna, but brings some other advantages. For one thing, organic cotton products are softer and nicer on your skin. Products are manufactured without all the chemicals and thus the fibres undergo less abuse and will last longer. Instead of breaking down after approx. 20 washes, organic cotton materials last for 100 washes.
Organic (baby) clothes might cost more initially but save you money in the long term. Of course Babies are most likely to have grown out of their clothes by then but that just means that you can keep the item for your next child our give it away to friends and family, to whom it still might look as new. Last but not least, organic cotton production uses a lot less water in the process because the harmful chemicals do not need to be washed out. 100% win for everyone.
Anything left to say?
Sure. The skin of babies is a lot thinner and porous compared to adults and therefore can absorb pesticides and other harmful substances much easier. It is less resistant and according to Lotus Organics, “Millions of children receive up to 35% of their estimated lifetime dose of some carcinogenic pesticides by age five through food, contaminated drinking water, household use, and pesticide drift”.
I am not getting into the carcinogenic pesticide topic where scientists claim that pesticides result into DNA changes and (childhood) cancer here because I do not want to scare anyone and nothing has been proven yet. I do believe that every mother and father will understand the importance of organic baby clothes as more and more people talk and write about it and everybody will make the best possible decisions for their offspring. The more you try to protect your children from nowadays’ environmental sins the better it is for your little one and our planet.
Handy that stylish organic baby brands are springing out of the grass everywhere! We are on it…