In the fickle world of high fashion, styles and colors come and go. But in the world of baby couture, two colors have stood the test of time: pink and blue. Recently however, more and more mommies are dressing their babies in green fashions, regardless of gender.
No, we aren’t talking about the color green. What we are referring to is organic clothing.
New moms put a lot of thought into how they bathe their infants, using only the mildest soaps and shampoos. Then they wrap the sweet smelling babe in a cotton towel that is filled with pesticides and other chemicals that can irritate baby’s tender skin.
Traditional cotton is grown using synthetic fertilizers, treated with pesticides and dyed with harsh chemicals. When worn next to a baby’s skin, these hidden “ingredients” can cause or exacerbate a myriad of skin conditions ranging from rashes to eczema.
“Often babies’ skin problems stem simply from the clothing they wear,” explains Adam Dubois, owner of Stork Organic Baby Boutique, a retail and online shop based in New Hampshire. “Organic clothing is often a solution for those problems.”
Brooke Matherne, owner of the San Antonio-based online shop Eden’s Baby, agrees, adding that children are at a greater risk of chemical-related problems because they have weaker immune systems than adults.
Fibers such as bamboo, hemp, organic cotton and Merino wool, are grown without the use of any harmful elements, and dyed using water-based or other earth-friendly dyes. Not only does this make the fabrics safer for babies, but they are safer for the people manufacturing the clothing and safer for the planet, says Dubois.
“There are zero chemicals going into the environment with organic clothing,” says Dubois.
If you think organic baby clothing is just for those unconventional types or that it looks “homemade” you haven’t seen organic fashions in a while.
Known for their softness and durability, organic fashions can now add “hip” to their list of credentials. Where there used to be just one or two designers in this fast-growing field, now there are numerous companies catering to the organic clothing market. Just like mainstream fashions, there are hundreds of styles to choose from, ranging from cute to sophisticated, or dressy to casual. You typically won’t find conventional logos and graphics, but what you will find are bright colors and clean lines.
Organic clothing companies are usually smaller than the large mainstream brands and do not have the same level of buying power at their fingertips. That fact, coupled with the labor-intensive process of organic cotton farming, translates to a higher price tag on organic clothing.
“Organic cotton is hand-picked,” explains Dubois. Hand-picked cotton results in fibers that are longer and stronger, so the clothing typically is more durable and longer lasting.
An online search for organic clothing will provide you with websites and addresses of a number of retailers carrying selections for keeping baby fashionably green.
Bonny Osterhage is a San Antonio freelance writer and mother of two.