Clothing your baby can be a challenge. It’s so fun to get them new clothes and accessories as they outgrow their old ones, but you also want to be mindful of what items you add to their wardrobe. The choices you make regarding their clothing impact both the baby and the environment.
Fast fashion is on the rise and it’s having a huge impact on the environment. It takes up to 2,700 liters of water to make just one cotton t-shirt. And as much as 60% of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfills within one year of being made.
Sustainable clothing for babies is a great way to minimize your baby's environmental impact. But it's also an important way to support the health of your baby, as well as the safety of employees who work in factories and on farms.
When you purchase organic, eco-friendly items, you're investing in the health of farm workers, your baby, and the planet.
Here are some ways you can add a dash of sustainability to your little one’s wardrobe:
All textiles have an environmental impact, but some are more harmful than others. Viscose, for example, is made from wood pulp, which sounds harmless enough until you dig deeper and realize that many mills use toxic chemicals in the production process and release them into the surrounding air, water and soil. That’s not even taking into account all the fossil fuel used in transportation or the energy used in production.
Even natural fabrics such as cotton aren’t necessarily environmentally friendly because they require lots of water (think about all those cotton crops!) and can contain pesticides if not grown organically.
Textiles like linen, bamboo, hemp, and lyocell are easy on the skin and the planet.
Babies have sensitive skin which can easily react to harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients in clothing materials. Most parents take care to buy hypoallergenic detergent and avoid synthetic fibers, but fail to realize that many types of fabric dye contain ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin.
Sustainable fabric dyes are made from natural materials that have been grown without pesticides or fertilizers. Some of them can even be found in the kitchen cupboard, such as turmeric and coffee grounds. Even fabric dyes made from petroleum can be sustainable if they are recycled or reused.
Choosing recycled fabric for your baby's clothes is better for the environment, as it uses less water and energy than conventional fabrics.
For instance, one kilo of cotton (2.2 lbs) can use up between 2,700 and 5,000 litres of water. That's enough for one person to drink for 900 days.
By contrast, one kilo of recycled cotton uses 2 cubic meters of wastewater and 0.8 cubic meters of freshwater – around 90% less than conventional cotton!
Elongate the wear cycle
With proper care, clothes can stay in the wear cycle for quite a long time. Therefore, it is important to understand how to properly care for your baby’s delicate clothes. The Better Home’s laundry liquid for baby clothes is specially formulated to fight tough stains without harming the fabric.