If you are trying to make better decisions about what you buy for you and your family and where you buy it from then you might have considered ethical baby clothes. It might not be the most immediate thing that springs to mind when you’re on a quest to do your bit to save the planet but the clothing industry is a serious contributor to environmental damage and the toll on human wellbeing, so it’s a great place to start, particularly when you are shopping for the youngest generation.
Better for people and the planet
When you ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over those cute little babygrows in your favourite high street store, how much do you really know about the processes used to make them and how the workers were treated? Mass produced fashion items often undergo many different and harsh chemical processes before they end up on the hanger. Not only do these chemicals pose a danger for our baby’s skin when wearing them but they also produce hazardous waste and can even cause the disease and death of farmers and workers involved in the clothing making processes.
Ethically made baby clothes are higher quality and result in less waste
Sustainable clothing brands place a high importance on the quality of materials used so that their clothing items can be worn and enjoyed for longer and even passed down. Consider that baby clothes in particular are often only worn for a matter of days or even weeks, depending on how fast your baby grows, and if the clothes are of a poor quality they won’t last or be worthy of handing on to someone else. In choosing ethically made baby clothing you have already made the commitment to purchase something of higher quality in the hope that it will last your baby, and the babies of your friends and family for a long time to come.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Buying ethically sourced baby clothes can help you to reduce your carbon footprint because sustainable brands will opt for more natural fibres that need less water, energy and little to no chemical treatment to manufacture. Opting for baby clothes that have been made with organic cotton, for example, can help to reduce water consumption by a staggering 90%!
Support fair working practices
We’ve all heard horror stories about sweatshops full of poorly treated and very poorly paid workers mass producing branded clothing that consumers will quite happily pay a premium for. Unfortunately, stories like this are all too real in the fashion industry and an ongoing challenge to those brands who are trying to be more ethical and sustainable. You can do your bit to support fair working practices by choosing ethical baby clothes when buying for your little ones or as gifts for family and friends. In doing so you know that you are choosing a brand that will ensure the workers are paid fairly, given decent working conditions and not taken advantage of.
Consumers are becoming more ethically conscious when making purchases and this means that there is more demand for sustainable clothing as well as more brands delivering these ethical choices – which can only be a good thing for the environment and the people involved. There is still a long way to go of course, as:
- The clothing industry is responsible for 10% of global emissions every year
- Only 3% of clothing is made with recycled materials
- Only 1% of global cotton production is organic.
That said, the more we as consumers can do to demand ethically made clothing, the more manufacturers will have to listen and adapt their practices or risk losing out to more sustainable brands. What you choose to clothe your baby in should be the most important clothing decision you make, so if you have to start somewhere with your ethical clothes shopping, your baby’s wardrobe is the perfect place.
Just Add Milk is an online retailer of baby and toddler clothing and accessories with a focus on organic, sustainable brands. Please visit the Just Add Milk website to view their full range of ethically sourced baby clothes.