September is the month to celebrate all things green and organic.
But does organic really matter? Is organic clothing really healthier for children? – These are the most common questions I’m asked by people who hear about my business.
Let me give you just the facts, and you will be able to answer these questions yourself.
Did you know that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies? And what we put on this skin is just as important as what we eat. The skin easily absorbs the everyday chemicals it comes into contact with, allowing them to go into bloodstream.
A baby’s skin is very sensitive and is thinner and more porous than an adult’s. It’s less resistant to the harmful substances and bacteria in the environment. This means that babies are at a greater risk for health problems related to the absorption of pesticides. When these harmful substances are found in clothing or bedding which come into contact with a baby’s skin for extended periods of time, the possibility that these toxins make their way into your baby’s body greatly increases.
Conventional cotton is probably the most widespread carrier of toxins and is thus, the most dangerous. Each year cotton producers all over the world use more than $2.6 billion in pesticides, which is more than 10% of all agricultural chemicals. Since it is not a food crop, pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals used on it are not regulated. According to the EPA, seven of the top 15 pesticides used on U.S. cotton crops are potential or known human carcinogens. It takes over a third of a pound of pesticides to produce one cotton T-shirt!
Not only do these highly toxic chemicals contaminate the soil, but they also pollute the air and the water, as well as destroy the farmers’ health. According to the World Health Organization, about 20,000 deaths occur each year from poisoning by agricultural pesticides.
It doesn’t stop here. During processing, fabrics undergo chlorine bleaching and are dyed with products containing heavy metals. Children’s bedding and clothes are usually treated with flame retardants which most likely contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE’s) known to be endocrine disruptor. No amount of washing gets all of the chemicals out!
It is true that organic baby bedding and clothes are more expensive. But more and more companies are beginning to offer organic fabrics and children’s clothes, making them more affordable.
Additionally, products made from organic cotton last about five times longer than those made from conventional cotton. This probably has to due with the great number of processes that conventional cotton has to go through, which result in the breakdown of the fibers even before the fabric is sewn!
So, in the long run, buying organic seems to be a more financially-profitable option, and organic clothing and bedding bring so many healthy benefits that they’re worth the money!