Thursday, February 21, 2008

Three R Thursday - Organic Children's Clothing

They’ve been sitting there for over a week.

Lonely. Confused. Free from toxins.

In a virtual shopping cart. Somewhere on the Internet, sits a basket full of organic baby clothes.

Why, you ask?

Because I am a month away from bringing another beautiful baby into the world, and my neurotic mind is trying to justify spending $20 on an organic onesie.

A $20 organic onesie that will inevitably end up with a breast-milk-induced-poop-explosion all over it. A $20 organic onesie stained and in need of some chemical-laden stain remover, totally defeating the purpose of buying organic in the first place. In the end, leaving the $20 organic onesie unwearable.

Have I mentioned the average organic onesie is about $20?

Decisions, Decisions…

Choosing to buy organic food for our family was an easy decision. Many of the things we consume on a daily basis are organic. We are willing to pay a little more knowing what our family is eating is better for us and the environment.

After researching the production of conventional cotton, my decision became a little easier. Just because my kid’s not going to be eating his organic onesie - doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be safe for him!

I decided to empty my shopping cart today. I want to spend a little more time looking for organic products that hopefully hit the “Green Trifecta” – organic, fair-trade and local (or at least made in the U.S.).

Hopefully, the day will come when words like “natural” and “organic” will be obsolete. A day when concerned mothers can safely assume manufactures are participating in safe practices bringing safe products to our families and into our homes.

I’d love any suggestions or comments you may have. I’ll update you with my findings and hopefully my purchases next week.

Below is my little “pros & cons list” I came up with as I was researching. I’m sure there are a lot more “pros” , but the EPA’s findings pretty much sealed the deal for me.


1. Organic cotton is produced using materials and methods that are better for our environment.

  • Cotton occupies 3% of the world’s farmland, but uses 25% of the world’s chemical pesticides and 10% of the insecticides.
  • The EPA considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in 2000 as “possible”, “likely”, or “known” human carcinogens.
  • According to the Sustainable Cotton Project, it takes about one-third of a pound of pesticides and fertilizers to grow enough cotton for just one T-shirt.
2. The production of organic cotton protects the health of people and the planet.
  • The toxic chemicals and synthetic pesticides used in the production of conventional cotton ends up in the ground, air, water, and food supply.
  • Can lower instances of allergies and asthma
3. Better value over time.
  • Organic cotton becomes softer with each washing. It's also stronger and more durable than a lot of other fabrics.

1. Organic cotton is more expensive.

  • I know the market drives prices. It is going to take an increase in demand from families like ours to make these prices drop.
2. Getting what you paid for.
  • If you are going to invest in organic clothing, make sure you are getting a certified organic product. Read the labels or ask the merchandiser if the cotton has been certified.


The Ferret...Online said...

Alana Banana,

These are great...

If you buy one at a time, they are $15...but, if you buy an entire week, they are $13ish...

Anonymous said...

Hi! I've been reading for months now & wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog! Might I suggest also checking w/ other "green" friends for their outgrown organics? Seriously. My childhood best friend & I used to trade baby clothes through the mail; while it was $20-$30 postage from NY to CO, we were amazed at how much we could fit into a Priority Mail box (and all those clothes undoubtedly new would cost way more). Living in Ithaca, she always got really rockin' baby clothes (all cottons especially). When her 2nd was born, I sent the outgrown ones back to her for Girl2 to use. (ps, I got here from your brother's blog; I'm a Front Range mom & used to work w/ Kat!)

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

i hear ya. that price tag is hard to swallow which is probably why we haven't moved to organic clothes yet either. thanks for laying out all of the benefits. i just wish they were more affordable.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I totally feel ya on this. It is SO hard to make the switch to organic cotton, especially, when like you said, they'll be stained and outgrown in a matter of months (weeks?). I was also going to suggest buying used if you can or swapping with someone. I don't know if you are a memeber of the Mothering forums or not ( but if you are member there for sixty days and have fifty posts, you can use their buy/sell/trade forum (called The Trading Post) and there are ALWAYS people listing used organic clothing there.

Not a whole lot of help. Sorry. I am in the same quandry you are in!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Hey, I was going to suggest, too, that you check out Hanna Andersson stuff. Some of her baby onesies are fairly reasonable (for organic) like this one is only $14. And even her ccotton's that aren't organic usually meet Oko-Tex 100 Standards.

And if you stop in here - the Children's Clothing page of the Spot's Corner resale shop at Hyena Cart - you will see Hanna stuff listed from time to time.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the playgroup this AM and a chance to inquire into this whole blog thing. I am a virgin! (Haven't been able to say that for a while!)
Many of the "green folk" out there may cringe when they read this. At some point over the holidays I recall seeing organic cotton products in Walmart, of all places. So, I just checked out their web site and found baby clothes under the brand name "George baby organics." I didn't research to see if they are certified,yet. I believe that we are going to see them crop up in all the big box stores soon. Mindful folks, like you, are demanding it!!!
I can already see that this blog thing is going to get me in trouble. It is 5:20. The house is a wreck, the dinner uncooked and the laundry piled high to be folded. Oh well,thanks for the fun diversion.

Ice Cream said...

This might be one of the very few times I would say that sewing them yourself might be cheaper. Have you looked into buying bulk organic cotton fabric?

Alana said...

I really appreciate your blog. Thanks for taking the time to research these things and sharing your findings!