Unlike adults, babies grow, and so does the rate at which their clothes need replacement. With washing machine constantly on the run, it certainly becomes tempting to just buy new clothes instead of trying to recycle the old ones. Moreover, kids are no more a liability when it comes to attending functions and parties. Today, millennial mums are proudly illustrating an intimate relationship between work life and motherhood, and by doing so, they are also necessitating good clothing for their kids. The need for variety in children’s clothing, therefore, is more today than it was before. However, of late, the industry which caters to kids’ clothing is witnessing a tilt towards sustainability.
Organic baby stuff is the new norm in the fashion world, and not without a good rationale: kids clothing industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Thanks to the culture of transparency and openness that social media has brought with it, parents are now questioning the brands about whether they adhere to environmental, production and professional ethics or not while manufacturing the baby products. Here are some sustainability factors that you must keep in mind while going to a shop for your toddler:
Sustainable production processes
We hardly realise how environmentally intensive it is to produce a single unit of fabric. Also, the textile supply chains are amongst the most complex ones in the manufacturing sector. From extracting the fibre to spinning it into a yarn, and from applying chemical and bleaches down to weaving it all into a piece of fabric, the environmental cost of producing clothes is normally very high. It all happens in different stages and in different countries. Greenhouse gas emission from these processes has been dangerously high. Hold on, it need not boggle your mind if you are a nature savvy parent. When it comes to organic baby gifts Australia is not as bad a place as you might think. All you need is a prior knowledge of the brands that do not hesitate to flaunt their impeccable Corporate Social Responsibility record.
Minimal usage of chemicals
New parents and parents-to-be share myriad concerns vis-à-vis their kids’ shopping. Top of the list is often the fabric used. Parents look for the safest and the softest materials possible in a bid to protect the delicate skin of their newborns. Having aware of this fact, Australia’s organic baby brands are striving to produce non-GMO cotton clothes for children. Cotton crop uses more fertilisers than any other crop in the world. GMO cotton uses chemicals and pesticides that can harm toddlers’ skin and worse, aggravate allergies. On top of it, the production of non-GMO, organic cotton is environment-friendly, courtesy absence of chemical fertilisers. Even after the product is manufactured using the organic material, the finishing process need to be closely monitored as well.
Ethical working practices
Another important factor to consider while shopping around for your future legacy bearers is making sure that ethical guidelines are in place at your favourite brand, such as fair wages, gender-neutral workforce, safe working practices and so on. Often, we hear allegations of brands relying on child labour for the import of cotton from countries where labour laws are non-existent. Sometimes, women farmers in less privileged countries are involved in unpaid labour to produce cotton, that too under the crucible of dual workload and scorching conditions. These inhumane possibilities account for the parents’ responsibility to make observance of ethics their top priority while declaring any Australian retailer the best organic baby gifts brand.
Sustainability also means quality
The life-cycle of children clothes will remain tragically short if we do not preserve them for the future babies. Inevitably, for parents, it means buying robust and long-lasting fabric for their offspring. Some brands do keep longevity in mind by incorporating features that allow clothes to elongate with your little one’s limbs. Flexible shoulder straps and roll-up hems are cases in point.
There are plenty of ways to identify if makers of your tiny tot’s clothes follow the aforementioned principles. Official certifications such as World Fair Trade Organisation come in handy in this act of moral policing. Apart from it, your retailer must be comfortable with showing you around its manufacturing plants and in making supply chain charts transparent.