September 13, 2022
Are organic baby clothes really worth the hype?
Organic may get all the buzz, but is it worth the extra investment? Typically, yes, however by renting or buying preloved clothing (conventional and organic), you can get many of the same benefits as buying organic without the expensive costs.
Conventional cotton is called the “World’s Dirtiest Crop” for a reason—cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land, yet it accounts for 24% of the world's insecticide market and 11% of sales of global pesticides (that’s $2.6 billion worth of pesticides!).1 These chemicals don’t just stay on the crop either. They also pollute the groundwater and soil that is often shared with our food crops.
The pollution doesn't stop with farming either. On its journey to becoming clothing, conventional cotton is processed with chemical softeners and treated with dyes—all of which leave residues that can absorb into baby’s delicate skin. These chemicals include benzidine-based “azo-dyes'' (a carcinogen), formaldehyde, perfluorochemicals (which can break down into a toxic blood contaminant called perfluorooctanoic acid), nonylphenol ethoxylates (which can act as hormone disruptors), and phthalates (children are at significantly higher risk). Scary stuff, huh!
Since babies haven’t been exposed to weather, sun, and other elements that toughen skin, their skin is more sensitive than adults. Because organic cotton isn’t subjected to chemical processing, it retains more of its softness, making it a more comfortable choice for baby.
Did you know that the conventional cotton industry is notorious for violating human rights? A quote from the True Cost documentary explains, “There are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today; many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world and roughly 85% of all garment workers are women. The human factor of the garment industry is too big to ignore; as we consistently see the exploitation of cheap labor and the violation of workers’, women’s, and human rights in many developing countries across the world.”2
While chemical pollutants and human rights issues sound bad enough, did you also know that fast fashion clothing, often manufactured using conventional cotton, is filling landfills with waste? And because most clothing is manufactured overseas, getting them to your closet carries a massive carbon footprint.
At Rent-a-Romper, we’re working to reduce waste on all levels by offering rentable wardrobes. Because preloved clothing has been worn and washed repeatedly, it typically doesn’t contain any chemical residues from the manufacturing process—even if it was made conventionally. Also, by lengthening the life cycle of preexisting clothing, we can keep more clothing out of the landfill, and reduce the need to grow and manufacture more. Interested in a more sustainable way of shopping? Check out our “Essentials Capsule,” or our all organic “Premium Capsule.”