The Everyday Parents Guide to Sustainability
In the baby clothing world there are tons of new buzzwords that are circulating through the Mommy & Me groups, the Facebook Groups, and blogs. Words like sustainability, faire trade, and of course the all important ORGANIC.
But what do these words actually mean and should we be bending our backs and wallets to make sure everything we buy for baby has these buzzwords printed all over them?
Yes and no. Here’s why…
Where’s the Handbook?!
As parents we don’t get the luxury of being able to have a handbook that tells us the do’s and don’ts of child rearing. So we are left to our own devices of learning on the go, other parents and through our own experiences.
And through the years, people have began to learn that a few corners may have been cut when it comes to producing our clothes for the masses.
Now this article is not made to scare you into buying ONLY organic and sustainable items for your baby, it is just to help parents become aware of what may ACTULLY be in the apparel that they are buying for their children.
Studies have shown that, big brands have been using up to 8,000 toxic and carcinogenic chemicals to produce the clothing we all love so much and wear everyday. A lot of time and skill goes into making our clothes look and feel the way that they do. Some of them need to be bleached, died, and scoured - leaving behind a chemical residue.
It isn’t just the production stage that covers these fibers in toxins, it’s also during the growing stage, too.
Some of the crops like polyester, nylon, and acrylic are even made from chemicals that are obtained from petroleum and natural gas, not to mention the compound chemicals that the plants get covered in while being grown and harvested.
Natural Fibers That are Less Harmful
Babies are famous for their soft and sensitive skin, so reducing exposure to harsh chemicals such as bleach and dye is crucial to keeping their skin free of any irritations and to stay so baby smooth. But there are several fibers that are sustainable and more natural to try, such as:
- Organic wool
How to Know What Which Products to Choose
You may be wondering what ACTUALLY makes a product sustainable and unsustainable.
This all depends on how the clothing is made and how long it takes to break down. You want to choose materials that are made from natural materials, that are biodegradable, and that take very little water to make.
Here is a list of things that you should consider when buying clothes for your little ones.
- No chemicals. As we mentioned before, when making some of the fast fashion (the cheap and trendy clothes that you see) there are chemicals saturating the fibers from growth to production. You want to make sure that your little ones clothes are free of toxins and chemicals from the beginning.
- Less Water. It takes a lot of water to keep the fashion industry going, if you were to break down the cubic meters of water that the fashion industry uses every year, you would have enough water for 5 million people to live comfortably. So choosing brands like, Pact, who only use 12.5 gallons of water per piece of clothing that they carry are a much better choice.
- Fair Trade. The people who make the clothing that your tiny human wears are important too. Which is why they should be taken into consideration when purchasing. Because in some circumstances it is cheaper to order materials from overseas, where the labor laws are a little different than in the US, making sure that the working conditions are safe and up to par should be a priority. Most brands will carry a fair trade label to show you that they find it a priority too, just like Global Mamas Fair Trade does.
- Biodegradable. Disposing of baby clothing and all clothing in general is also a stage that we should pay close attention to when trying to be a little more environmentally friendly. Choosing more natural fibers like all-natural cotton and bamboo can change the amount of time it takes to break down as well as any emissions it would give off if burned in a landfill.
It is hard to be 100% truly sustainable, organic, and all-natural without selling all of your belongings, or ditching your phone and other electronics to go live off of the land in the woods somewhere.
Which seems a tad extreme.
But what you can do is take the time to learn a little bit about what goes into making yours and your children's clothes so that you can take baby steps toward making the world a better place.
Which is why Little Bubba Shop is here to tell you that it just takes one small step in the right direction. So, just by reading this article and taking the time to understand what is in the products rubbing all over your babies skin - you’ve taken the first step.
We aren’t perfect. However, we have been and will continue to take the necessary precautions to being more mindful in who we partner with. We are choosing to work with brands who meet those sustainability standards and who are working hard to make this beautiful planet a little more green.
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