As a parent, it can be a more than a little overwhelming trying to figure out what, if anything, you should buy organic for your child. Do you buy all organic produce? Skincare products? Household items? Clothes? Toys? The list is endless, and then there’s the cost associated with the "organic" label.
In this interview, we’re going to look at the real value of organic clothing. With help from Green Piñata's scientific advisor and owner of A Green Slate, Hannah Gardener, PhD, and our friends at Finn + Emma, an eco-friendly baby clothing and toy company, we will examine why organic clothing may be worth the hefty price tag it usually carries.
Green Piñata: What is the value in buying clothing made from organic cotton?
Hannah: Buying organic cotton items with the Global Organic Certification Standard (GOTS) certification is where the real value lies in buying organic. This standard ensures the protection of farmers and our environment from the toxic chemicals that are used in the conventional farming of cotton. Conventional cotton stuffing and batting has been shown to retain pesticides long after most are washed out during manufacturing. Organic cotton with the GOTS certification has no pesticides, so there are health benefits in buying clothing, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals made from organic cotton.
Green Piñata: What do you look for when buying clothing or toys for your children?
Hannah: Certifications can go a long way in reassuring the buyer that they are purchasing a quality product. Look for the Global Organic Certification Standard (GOTS) certification. This means the finished product not only limits the pesticide use on cotton, but also the chemicals used during manufacturing, including dyes, heavy metals, and coatings on the fabric.
Green Pinata: What are the most important ingredients (to avoid or to include) that you're scanning for when reading labels on clothing?
Hannah: I recommend steering clear of these labels:
- Stain-resistant: This could mean the clothing is likely coated with something similar to Teflon.
- Wrinkle-resistant: The clothing could be made using high levels of formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen.
- Cotton-polyester blends: These usually have high levels of formaldehyde.
- Polyurethane foam: You’ll see these in stuffed animals, and there’s a small chance that foam could be treated with flame retardants, although this is unlikely.
Now that we’ve heard it from Hannah, check out our conversation with Anna Schwengle, owner & creative director at Finn + Emma!
Green Piñata: Are clothes made from organic cotton safer for babies? Why?
Anna: Yes, they are safer – and in a lot of cases, more comfortable. Organic cotton is not treated with pesticides and chemicals, meaning it's safe for baby, and great for sensitive skin. Organic clothes also use eco-friendly dyes, which are always safer for baby and their skin. Knowing your baby is in safe, comfortable clothing can make those special cuddly moments even sweeter.
Green Piñata: Are organic, eco-friendly toys for babies safer? Why?
Anna: Eco-friendly, organic toys are safer because of the materials used. Toys are always ending up in baby's mouth, especially teething toys. Organic and eco-friendly materials make for safer toys for baby to chew and suck on because they don't have the same chemical concerns as plastic toys. They also have features like non-toxic, non-chemically treated materials, and eco-friendly dyes.
As you can see, buying organic means much more than the price tag it carries. When buying organic, less is more – even if it means having fewer toys or clothes, ultimately, you are doing your part to protect the health of both your kids, and the environment. Here at Green Piñata Toys, our toys are made from sustainable materials, contain no harmful chemicals, and our soft toys are made from 100% organic cotton. Clothing your child, as well as giving them toys that are made from organic, sustainable materials is worth it for them, and gives you peace of mind.