Organic cotton is much better for the planet, as it protects our water supplies and also is healthier for wildlife and the farmers, who don’t have to wear protective clothing in warm weather. It lasts longer (as the chemicals have not been destroyed by fibres) and therefore costs less long-term. It can safely be laundered without depositing microplastics into the machine (that go into the sea). And at end of life, it safely biodegrades back to the earth. Organic cotton is also usually better for children with eczema, as there is less chance of them getting itches from the chemicals in standard cotton.
If you come across any clothes that use a tad of elastane, then launder in a Guppyfriend, which helps to collect microplastic fibres that may break off in the machine). Always remove hats (and extra clothing, blankets) when entering warmer temperatures including cars, buses and trains, even if it wakes your baby, to help prevent crib death.
Frugi Organic Cotton Children’s Clothing
Frugi is a fab little company which designs super-colourful organic cotton clothing from Cornwall. For babies and children, the range is sold alongside award-winning organic cotton nursing wear, and a few other items like organic cotton duvet sets for children and natural gifts. Everything is made ethically in India, and it’s all sent in biodegradable packaging, made from potatoes!
This organic cotton dungaree dress is made with organic cotton cord, to make it as comfortable as it is beautiful. It has gorgeous multi-coloured flower appliques and a pocket on the front. The shoulder straps have adjustable button-up fastenings to allow the pinafore dress to grow with your little one. Layer over long-sleeved tops and tights for a ready-for-anything outfit that’s perfect for autumnal adventures.
At present, Frugi is still using up its oxy-degradable bags. But all new stock is changing over to their new 100% compostable packaging that is made from cornstarch (along with cardboard hangers, if used). Meanwhile, please recycle any packaging with household waste or at supermarket bag recycling bins (most take everything, bar clingfilm).
Lovely Linen Children’s Dresses
Kalusha offers lovely classic linen dresses, along with some nice linen bedding for older children. Linen comes from the flax seed plant, and is naturally rumpled, so don’t expect the ironed-look! However, it’s very comfortable and ideal for a day at the beach, or playing in the garden.
Linen is much better for the planet than fabrics with lots of chemicals. It’s also one of few natural fabrics (with hemp) that we can grow in England. It’s also safer to launder, without microplastics breaking off in the machine (that go into the sea). And at end of life, linen safely biodegrades.
Sustainable T-Shirts for Children
- The Kindness Co-op (Brighton) makes organic cotton t-shirts for adults and children, all with kindness and save-the-planet messages. Founded by two mothers, a portion of profits help mental health charities for young people (there are also organic sweatshirts).
- Kerfuffle & Malarkey offers nice organic t-shirts for adults and children, with animal designs. All are produced to Fair Wear guidelines, profits help their charity partners (wildlife, children and human rights).
Where to Rent Organic Baby Clothing
If you are on a budget, many companies rent out baby clothes, which you then just return (they make allowances for tears and stains). You can save up to 75% of the carbon and water of buying new, get unlimited swaps and stain insurance: try The Little Loop.
Where to Donate Used Baby Clothing
If you have lots of nice children’s clothing but no more children and would like to pass them on, Stripey Stork (Surrey) has a useful list of banks nationwide where you can donate them. Note there are many items they can’t accept for safety reasons, the site has full details.