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When I was deciding whether to use cloth diapers, I did a lot of research on the cotton industry to determine if cloth diapers really were a more sustainable option than disposables. I was totally shocked to learn that a ton of pesticides are used in non-organic cotton production. In fact, while cotton production makes up a very small percentage of total cropland used (less than 3 percent), it accounts for as much as 24 percent of insecticides and 11 percent of pesticides used each year in agricultural production!
This made me realize that I’m super conscious about the chemicals I put in my body, often choosing all-natural, organic produce and foods, but I never really considered what I put on my body—or my child’s.
After learning this information, I’ve tried to purchase organic cotton diapers and organic baby clothes for my little nugget in an effort to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Why buy organic baby clothes?
Pesticides aren’t the only reason you might consider buying organic baby clothes for your child. A ton of chemicals, like bleach and formaldehyde, are also used to process cotton and turn it into fabric. In addition, cotton is one of the most water-intensive crops grown in the world. In fact, non-organic cotton production actually led the Aral Sea in central Asia to dry up, wreaking havoc on the surrounding land and compromising the health of more than 5 million people in the region.
Is organic cotton really better for the environment?
In terms of environmental impact, certified organic cotton is more eco-friendly and sustainable than non-organic cotton production and synthetic clothing products. However, unlike food, clothing doesn’t have to be certified to be labeled organic, so it can be tricky to make sure you’re actually getting a sustainable clothing product. Still, there are organizations that work to ensure consumers can safely purchase certified organic clothing.
Look for cotton baby clothes that are labeled with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) symbol, the gold standard in certified organic textiles. GOTS-labeled clothing must contain a minimum of 95 percent organic fibers. And no heavy metals or chlorine bleaches may be used during production, any chemicals that are used in production or processing must meet biodegradability standards, and the factory where it’s made must include a wastewater treatment system.
HealthyWay-Approved Organic Baby Clothes Brands
In a current consumer climate that favors fast fashion, it can be tempting to head to your local big box retailer to stock up on baby clothes, especially since babies grow out of clothes so quickly. Even though organic baby clothes may cost a bit more, you’ll feel good knowing that the clothing your baby wears is eco-friendly, sustainable, and safe.
Hanna Andersson is a line of kids’ clothing founded by Gun Denhart and her husband, Tom. Almost all Hanna Andersson clothing is certified with the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification, which means that no harmful chemicals are used during production or processing. Here are some of our favorite items:
- These gender-neutral striped footie pajamas ($42) are perfect for keeping kids warm at night through the colder months.
- Make sure your baby is ready for summer with this adorable patriotic romper ($30), which can also pull double duty on Independence Day.
- For days spent in the backyard pool or at the beach, I also love this rainbow rashguard that blocks 99 percent of UV rays ($36) and this matching sunhat ($16).
- Hanna Andersson also has a whole line of matching family pajamas, so the whole family can wear cozy, organic clothes together (and look adorable for the ’gram, of course).
Shop More From Hanna Andersson:
Kate Quinn Organics
GOTS-certified? Check. Super cute? Check. Kate Quinn Organics produces fresh and fun organic baby clothes you can feel good about purchasing and your baby will feel good wearing. And if you’re interested in going totally cotton free, Kate Quinn also has a line of sustainable bamboo clothing. A few of our faves:
- For newborns, nothing beats a kimono-style top for easy changes. I love this long-sleeve kimono bodysuit ($24). Plus, it comes in cute prints like pink forest and origami.
- This organic snuggle sacque ($62) is a little spendy, but trust me, it’s worth it—especially when you have a baby who hates to be swaddled. For a less expensive option, try the classic infant sacque ($30).
Finn + Emma
Finn + Emma is a clothing line for the ultra-hip baby that blends style and sustainability, using GOTS-certified organic cotton, lead- and nickel-free snaps, and eco-friendly dyes to produce their organic baby clothes and toys. Plus, they have a whole line of neutral clothing for when you don’t want to force your babe to conform to heteronormative gender roles—fighting the power can start young!
- While not technically a clothing item, I frantically look for a pacifier about a thousand times a day, so I love this organic pacifier holder ($24) and matching rattle ($22).
- For warm summer days, pair these stylish pull-up shorts ($22) with any of the cozy, solid bodysuits in this three-piece set ($39).
Shop More From Finn + Emma:
From Babies With Love
From Babies With Love isn’t just a brand with some seriously cute stuff, it’s also a non-profit foundation; 100 percent of the proceeds from clothing sales go toward supporting orphaned and abandoned children around the world. Plus, all their clothing is GOTS-certified organic and produced in factories that have regular Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audits (SMETA), meaning they practice safe labor, health, and safety standards for workers. From Babies With Love is a UK-based company, so international shipping charges will apply.
- Is it just me, or are ducks on baby clothes the most adorable thing ever? I mean, how cute is this sweet little sleeper ($29) and matching knot hat ($10.50)?
- Whether it’s for your darling little bundle or a friend’s baby shower, this cute monkey gift set ($60) is a must-have. It comes with a blanket and sleeper set, the box actually turns into a DIY mobile kit, and it comes with a free card and gift bag!
GAP Organic Baby Clothes
GAP started producing certified organic t-shirts about a decade ago and now offers a line of affordable and adorable organic baby clothes that can be found in most GAP stores and outlets.
- Is a baby-sized jean jacket practical? Maybe not, but your baby will look so cute matched up with mommy in an iconic GAP jean jacket ($44.95) paired with a breezy bubble romper ($34.95) or this 2-in-1 shortie set ($34.95).
- For brand-new babies, I love this organic kimono top ($24.95) with side snaps, so you don’t have to torture baby (or yourself) trying to get a onesie on over baby’s head.