Organic is everywhere. From carrots to candy and everything in between. Most of us understand the reasoning and argument behind eating organic. But what about clothing? If your face scrunches up in confusion (like mine) when you see something labeled "organic cotton," then this post is for you.
As it turns out, organic cotton is not just a "jump on the organic express" gimmick that retailers use to get you to buy their stuff! There are many sound reasons to buy organic cotton. For starters, it helps to know that conventional, or non-organic, cotton is one of the most widely grown and most chemically-intensive crops to grow. The impacts of these chemicals are not without impacts to the earth and environment. Enter organic cotton.
The Organic Trade Association defines organic cotton as the following:
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. In addition, federal regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic farming. (Source)
In more plain language, organic cotton:
- Uses less water
- Uses less energy
- Uses less harmful chemicals
- Increases cleaner water in runoff
- Lowers the impact on global warming
- Causes less soil erosion
- Uses practices that allow growing to continue for years to come (ie, sustainable farming and agriculture)
What's more is that organic cotton produces more consistently better quality yarns and is softer than conventional cotton. And because organic cotton is made without the use of harmful and toxic chemicals, it may be less likely to cause skin irritation and rashes. This is especially helpful for adults and babies with sensitive skin!
At this point, you're probably thinking (like me), "This is all great! But what about cost? I've seen the difference in prices between conventional strawberries and organic strawberries and it ain't pretty..." It can be true that products made from organic cotton are a bit higher priced. Typically, that's because many companies that sell organic clothing outsource their materials, which requires a third party vendor and higher costs. Like anything, you need to shop around. The company Kitex, who makes the Lamaze Organic Baby-Wear clothing, for example, is "true organic" -- they own their own supply chain from start to finish, and everything is under one roof. Even their processing plant is organic! Companies like Kitex are able to offer reasonably priced, high quality products.
If you're looking to test the organic cotton waters and have a very cute baby in need of some very cute clothes, we have the perfect suggestion for you! Lamaze Organic Baby-Wear offers essential wardrobe pieces for babies and toddlers in a variety of colors and adorable patterns, that are made, of course, with the softest GOTS-certified organic cotton and dyes. What's even more awesome about this line is the manufacturer behind it, Kitex, which is located in Kerala, India, and works to enrich the lives of the people who work for them as well as their local communities. The company provides employment opportunities for women with fair wages and hours, and safe working conditions. They also give back to the local community by donating money to build homes and schools, and resources like medical services and fresh water.
When you purchase items from Lamaze Organic Baby-Wear, not only are you voting for better farming and environmental practices, but you're putting your dollars toward a company that improves its community. In fact, the newest initiative at Kitex are "mother's units," which are sewing units that exclusively employ mothers from the area and provide mother-friendly design units that are within walking distance to their homes and offer flexible working hours.
And here's the final kicker: Lamaze Organic Baby-Wear outfits are reasonably priced and affordable! No busting your budget to give a gift or dress your baby in mindful, toxin-free clothing! You can shop for Lamaze Organic Baby-Wear at Target.com, Amazon, and Buy Buy Baby (online and in stores). You can learn more about the company and their practices on the Lamaze Organic Baby-Wear site.
I hope that, like me, you now have a better understanding and reason to support clothing and materials made from organic cotton. Personally, it just feels good to spend my dollars on products and services that support the greater good of the planet and the people living on it.
Also, it helps when the choices include the most adorable toddler sushi pajamas. Just sayin.