This post from Hosho is a post on the use of organic textiles, especially organic clothing for babies and infants.
What are organic textiles?
Organic textiles are textiles made from organic cotton grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture.
What are the key benefits of organic textiles?
- Softer than Conventional cotton clothing
- Causes fewer allergies as compared to conventional cotton clothing
- Organic Textiles Production does not involve use of chemicals
- Ensures better health for farmers and families
- Growing organic cotton is cheaper
- Reduces pollution caused by use of pesticides in conventional cotton farming
- Helps to improve quality of land, prevents water contamination and conserves biodiversity
What are the main types / product categories of organic textiles?
Organic cotton is the most popular type of organic fabric and different from its traditional counterpart – the conventional cotton. And this difference makes it a significantly different product. Organic clothing is not limited to cotton fabric and can extend to wool, silk, hemp and Bamboo when they meet regulations regarding fiber processing, production, dyeing and non-toxic handling.
What are the key market segments (region wise and user wise) that are using organic textiles?
With consumer demand for Eco-friendly fibers growing, manufacturers and retailers are increasing the proportion of organic cotton used in their garments, as well as expanding their offer of 100 percent organic cotton items.
- Main segments of the organic cotton market are – apparel for women, children and home products – became more robust segments.
- Newer segments, including accessories, menswear and youth apparel, were further developed. Segments such as health care products containing organic cotton, also emerged in 2008.
Why are organic textiles especially relevant and beneficial to babies and infants?
The chemicals used in textile processing are among the most toxic known, yet the fabrics themselves are often overlooked as a source of pollution.
- Using organic products (like fabrics) is especially important for babies and infants, because they tend to be more influenced by their environment than adults.
- During their growth, many of the developmental processes are very sensitive to environmental contaminants, which can easily disrupt development.
- Also, children take in much more of their environment relative to their body weight. This amount, called the dose, has a much greater effect on children than on the adults around them, because children’s bodies are much smaller.
- Babies tend to come in contact with environmental contaminants more often than adults do, simply because of their habits – like the two year olds who put everything in their mouths, or toddlers who spend a lot of time in the dust on the floor, where contaminants collect.
What are the organic textile products relevant for babies and infants?
- Organic cotton clothing items available for infants include baby gowns, one-piece outfits, undershirts, sleepwear, booties, dresses, caps, jumpers, and bibs. It is even possible to find organic christening dresses, baby jackets, pants, and baby bonnets.
- There is a wide range of items for toddlers and older children as well, from pants and tops to jackets and hats, and even socks.
What are the standards and certifications for organic textile products that are specially focused on babies and infants?
Organic cotton is grown within a rotation system that builds soil fertility, protects biodiversity, and is grown without the use of any synthetic chemicals or GMOs Voluntary standards, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Organic Content Standard (OCS), provide chain of custody assurance from the farm to the final product.
What are some of the prominent examples worldwide of organic textiles made specifically for babies and infants?
- Wal-Mart, the world’s largest public corporation, accounting for 40–50 percent of basic garment turnover in the United States, introduced an organic cotton baby wear collection in 2006, and extending its organic cotton product range to all kinds of textiles and clothing.
- H&M, one of the most recognized garment brand names in the world, since 2004 H&M has been mixing organic cotton into its children’s clothing items. In 2007, the company introduced its first 100 percent organic cotton items.
What are the specific challenges in the context of organic textiles for babies and infants?
- One ever present challenge while purchasing any organic textile product is to ensure that it is authentic. The same requirement applies for organic textiles, especially clothing, for babies and infants too. In fact, this is even more of a requirement for this segment.
- Apart from this, the other challenge will be availability. Organic textiles currently is itself a small niche within the overall massive textile sector, and within this small niche, organic clothing and textiles for babies and infants is an even smaller niche. As a result, the availability of organic textiles for babies and infants in your locality/are might sometimes be a challenge. However, this is where the presence of online shopping avenues come in!