Are you looking for non-toxic organic baby or toddler clothing?
When my youngest, Nova, was a baby I used to buy her all the cute clothes from Target, Old Navy, Amazon, etc. They were inexpensive, stylish, and hard to resist. Her collection of clothing grew as I was constantly adding to it. What I did not realize at the time was that the clothing I was putting on my baby was not only toxic but not sustainable either.
I later learned that the synthetic materials touching my baby’s skin were full of toxic dyes and inks. That they were made of plastic derivatives that leached microplatics into her skin and into our water ways. That generic cotton is one of the highest sprayed crops. That heavy metals cling to the fibers of fabrics and that wrinkleproof and fireproof clothing has formaldhyde in it. I realized that this means the above is absorbing into my growing and developing baby’s largest organ – her skin. Washing into our waterways, absorbing into our soil, and connecting full cirlce into our food. This made me want to make changes to do better. For our earth and for my babe.
This is one of those things that is easier to replace as you need. So as Nova needed clothes I made better choices until her whole wardrobe was full of my favorite non-toxic organic toddler clothing. When most think of organic toddler clothing they think of neutral colors-which to some are “boring”. Yes, that can be true but there are so many cute and sustainable options out there. I will share those with you later in this post.
First, let’s cover one thing that makes choosing brands to shop with a lot easie – certifications.
When choosing better options there are two different certifications you want to look for:
OEKO TEX standard 100 : “If a textile article carries the STANDARD 100 label, you can be certain that every component of this article, i.e. every thread, button and other accessories, has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless for human health.” – via the OEKO TEX website.
This means that it has been tested for more than 100 substances that are known to be harmful to human health and that they fall below the range they deem to be safe. So while this is a “better choice” than standard, only the final product is tested for safety. Keep in mind that this means that you do not know the history of how the item was grown or made. However it does guaruntee that the item is free of things like arsenic, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, and pesticides. I like to shop this label for things that I am not ready to buy in GOTS due to price, inventory, or that I can’t find in GOTS certified organic. Such as decrotive holiday towels that are just used for display, gifts for people who don’t care about product sourcing, things that are too cute to pass up, etc. A nice thing about this certification is that it is easier to find in big box stores! The accessibility is nice, and since perfectionism is not the goal this is a great place to land! For some reassurance, know that Oeko Tex standard 100 does have 4 different product classes, with baby and toddler clothing being ‘Class 1’ which is the strictist of the 4 and has an additional additional requirement for saliva-resistance meaning that colours and prints should not bleed or stain when babies suck on them. If you would like to read more about OEKO TEX standard 100 and get a better understanding what the certification means you can check out their website here. If you would like to see a chart of what substances they test for and what their standard limits are, here is a criteria catalog download I found via their website with a breakdown of their limit values and a compilation of the individual substances they test for starting on page 23. All that to say – it is a great choice and I am so happy it is becoming easier to find with easier access and affordable price points.
GOTS Certified Organic : “The Global Organic Textile Standard covers the entire production process based on the use of organic fibres from textile processing and manufacturing up to licensing and labelling. While this is a rigorous process in which all criteria must be met, the result is an internationally recognized organic certification demonstrating to stakeholders, partners, and consumers your commitment to providing sustainable, ethical, and high-quality products.” – via the GOTS certified website.
For ways to identify and shop GOTS Certified Organic baby and toddler clothing, you can check out their website as a resource.
So, GOTS gives me the most confidence as a consumer becasuse from seed to end product there is a standard set. It is a standard that can be traced and starts at the farm and through every stage of production, even down to the soil. I love this because of the ecology effects it has. As a gardener, farmers market junkie, and someone who cares about sustainibility – I feel great about making a purchse with a GOTS label. It feels responsible, makes me feel more connected to my consumerism, and keeps me conscious of the effects I have as a consumer. It also makes me feel safe with what touches my families skin, as it is our largest organ which means it absorbs the most! I really like to make sure our bedding, mattress, undergarments, and pjs. are GOTS Certified Organic. Nova’s entire wardrobe is GOTS however the teens, husaband and I are not. I don’t think I will ever get them fully on board. I do have a goal of having my wardrobe one day to be completely sustainable.
Anyhow, there are a lot of great brands out there that are GOTS in which I am sharing below for you to check out for your baby or toddler!
Here are some tips for shopping for non-toxic organic baby and toddler clothing for your mini:
- Look at material.
Materials you want to look for, preferably organic where applicable, I prefer GOTS certified, and then OEKO TEX 100, lastly a sustainable natural fiber such as 100% cotton, linen, hemp, wool, and pima cotton.
- Look for GOTS or OEKO certification labels.
Seeking out the certifications we talked about above is easier than it seems. You will often find the emblem right on the label, on the tag, or listed in the product description on the website. You can verify that the brand is certified either GOTS or OEKO via their websites.
- Shop second hand sources.
You can find non-toxic clothing second-hand via Facebook marketplace, Facebook groups, Mercari, Poshmark, Kidizen, and other selling apps. I do want to note to be sure to ask what kind of laundry soap they used, if the home has a smoker or pets. Sourcing your baby or toddler’s non-toxic clothing second will help offset the cost too since we know kids grow so fast! Plus, it’s good for the environment.
- When in doubt, reach out to the brand.
If you are not clear about a brand, reach out to them! Generally, you can get the answers you are looking for and even learn more about the brand which is always fun. I have even had luck doing some research in Facebook groups where other Mama’s have posted about brands they have reached out to.
- Avoid greenwashing brand.
This is where research is important. I know so much work for some clothes, lol! Greenwashing is essentially marketing that claims a brand is eco-friendly or non-toxic when really it is not. This will require some homework on your part but is good to keep in mind!
- Avoid flame retardents
For decades, foam furniture, baby products, and electronics have been loaded with needless flame retardants that migrate out of products and into our bodies. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and hormone disruption, as well as deficits in motor skills, attention, and IQ in children. Source: EWG
Tips when transitioning to a Non-toxic organic baby toddler clothing wardrobe:
-Replace as you go, as they outgrow things. As they need things.
-Start with undies and PJs, they are touching your babe’s skin all night as their body rests and repairs. If we are being honest, typically for a few hours after they wake up too or all day! Ha! Since the skin is the largest organ this is super important while their body is busy doing all that work at night!
-Keep a “Capsule Wardrobe”. With Nova’s wardrobe, I keep what I call a “rotating capsule wardrobe”. I love a neutral wardrobe for her so that I can mix and match. Where it makes sense, I size up for her. During seasonal transitions, I try and have her wear pieces she owns and if I buy new, I try and match to some of what she has.
-Do what works for your family financially. Shop second hand, look for less toxic materials. Laundry strip hand-me-downs. Get creative with your sourcing! Decide what’s important to you and do your best with the rest.
-Use non-toxic laundry soap. You don’t want to add toxic ingredients to your babe’s clothing while simultaneously trying to remove them.
Here are some brands that I love for my babe aka my favorite non-toxic organic toddler clothing brands, baby too :
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Some big brands that have organic lines
Target (OEKO-TEX standard 100 )
Little Co by Lauren Conrad at Kohls
I hope that you found these tips useful and that you discovered some new brands to love. As I always say, it’s not about being perfect and that goes for this too! It is just about being Imperfectly Conscious – doing the best you can with the knowledge and resources that you have. So please don’t feel like you have to go and gut your babe’s wardrobe. Decide what is best for your family and needs, be content with that, and don’t let it stress ya out. This post is just meant to help source options for non-toxic baby and toddler clothing. Hopefully, you learned and thing or two and discovered a new small shop or two. 🙂
Always grateful for your support. Until next time.