Parents will often tell you that they’re on a constant hunt for the best, safest and most sustainable products for their kids. From organic mac and cheese to bamboo toothbrushes and re-usable water bottles, the list goes on and on. So it’s no surprise then that many are now concerned about what their kids are wearing and what’s coming into contact with their skin each and every day.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and sometimes we forget that what it comes into contact with is also absorbed by it. It’s becoming increasingly important to consider how the chemicals that are in the products we use every day are affecting our overall health and well-being. Organic cotton has been in the spotlight for years now, as parents learn more about its benefits. If you’re considering making the switch, but haven’t quite taken the leap yet, keep reading.
Purchasing organic cotton garments for your kids means that you can be more certain that they’re not wearing materials that contain pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic cotton is also naturally softer which feels great on the skin. Less irritated skin equals a less irritable child, which is good for everyone! But guess what? Not only is organic cotton better for your family's health, but it is also better for the health of our planet. Cotton is well known as the worlds thirstiest crop. Organic cotton farming can allow for a reduction in up to 91% of water use during the farming process.
Once you’ve made the switch to organic cotton clothing, you’ll need to know the best way to care for these pieces so that they last and maintain their shape, texture and feel. But one of the first questions that we get asked by new parents is, “How much more work is organic cotton?” Listen, we get it. There are only 24 hours in a day, and nobody wants to be spending any more time doing laundry then is absolutely necessary. (That includes us!)
Here are some super simple tricks of the trade when it comes to caring for your organic cotton pieces:
Washing the Clothing Inside Out
Isn't that great news? You should wash it inside out! We all know that is how all our kid’s clothes end up in the laundry basket anyway. This little tip helps ensure that the coloured dyes won’t fade or run during the washing cycle. It is also helpful in keeping the shape of the clothing.
Wash in Cold Water
Did you know that it is best to do a cold wash, especially for the first wash? You will notice reading through these tips a common theme of low to no heat at any point. Another thing to consider during this step is when doing your first wash, adding a ¼ cup of vinegar just before the last rinse cycle will also help with locking any colours in.
Use Mild Detergents Only
Use a mild detergent. If you are buying organic cotton clothing, you are likely already using chemical and sent free detergent. If not, perhaps this is a good time to consider starting. Washing with chemically based detergents kind of defeats the purpose of purchasing organic cotton in the first place. Do not use bleach at any time.
Air Dry When Possible
It is preferable to air dry (we love this on a beautiful spring day!). In the dead of winter, when air drying in the beautiful outdoor air is not possible, tumble dry on low heat. Drying on high heat can cause shrinkage. It is important to note that up to 10% shrinkage is possible in organic cotton items that are dried on high heat. This is also the case if you are ironing a piece of your organic cotton clothing. It should also be done on low heat.
Well cared for garments will stand the test of time. And that’s a good thing because durability is important when we’re talking about kids’ clothes. Most parents of fast-growing infants and toddlers don’t want their clothes to look over worn before they’re grown out. Luckily, with organic cotton you have a head start since it’s not exposed to harsh chemicals during production and cultivation. This allows the fibres to remain long and strong, and it provides us with high quality pieces that will keep on giving.
Another bonus? Since your organic cotton garments remain in good condition for a longer period of time, when your kids do outgrow them, you can re-sell them on any gently used clothing buy and sell platform. Recycling organic cotton pieces is another great way to have a positive impact on the environment while you’re also ensuring a healthy lifestyle for your little ones.