Jan 24, 2009

Raising Green Kids- Finding Green Clothing

The earlier you get your kids interested in green choices and issues, the more likely they are to carry that interest into adulthood and through the rest of their lives. From the items you surround them with, to the items you dress them in, you have plenty of opportunity to keep the materials as natural and organic as possible. I called this series of posts raising green kids, it will consist of "Finding Green Clothing", "Finding Green Toys" and "Finding Secondhand Treasures"
: Choose natural fibers (organic natural fibers are even better).
Cotton has been around as a natural fibre choice for as long as clothing has been made, but these days it is quickly being replaced by organic cotton, wool, hemp and bamboo.
Conventionally grown cotton consumes approximately 25% of the
insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides used in the world.
These toxic chemicals and the use of synthetic fertilizers pollute
the air, water and soil, have serious ecological impacts and are
hazardous to both farm workers and neighbouring residents.
Organic cotton is grown using agricultural practices that have a low impact on the environment, replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, and supports biologically diverse agriculture.
Chemical bleaches and dyes are not used in the garment fabrication process, and there are strict standards used to regulate which companies can be considered “certified”.
Wool is naturally breathable, antibacterial and can absorb up to one-third of its weight in moisture without feeling wet. Wool is being used more and more often as a diaper cover, with its breathability it keeps baby's body temperature up to 4*C cooler than PUL cloth diaper covers, which in turn helps prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause diaper rash.
Hemp grows with much less need for water which means its not only better for baby but better for the environment as well! The Hemp plant also requires less pesticide use during growth which reduces its overall impact on the environment. Hemp is also much more durable than cotton. Hemp is being used more and more these days in cloth diapers for its natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is also more absorbent than cotton fabrics of the same weight, and feels drier to the touch when wet.
Bamboo is a grass that regenerates naturally and can be grown without the use of pesticides. It never requires replanting due to its extensive root system. The bamboo plant is 100% biodegradable. Bamboo is also the fastest growing woody plant in the world; it is becoming increasingly popular as cloth diaper and clothing material. Bamboo fibre is silky and soft, very breathable, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-static. Bamboo fiber has tiny micro-gaps and micro-holes that make it excellent for moisture absorption and ventilation. This unparalleled microstructure means that bamboo fiber has natural wicking capabilities. It absorbs 3 to 4 times more than cotton and doesnt feel sticky or uncomfortable when wet.

Where to shop for cloth diapers, accessories and green clothing in Canada:

Moms & Bums
Natural Parenting Shop
Growing Up Green

Company Spotlight:
Dry Goods T-Shirts!
They are stong believers in supporting the Canadian economy and refuse to support unfair trade practices in third world countries. Instead they aim to maintain an ecological balance and avoid depletion of our natural reosurces. They use natural resources from North American Farmers, which are naturally dyed and knitted in Toronto. Conventional screen-printing is notoriously toxic: for every dozen shirts that are printed with a single colour, puts about one ounce of toxic chemicals into the environment, which is more harmful than gasoline.
Dry Goods prints their shirts with 100% biodegradable chemicals made from soybeans, which are completely environmentally friendly.

Squishy Fish Organic Cotton Onesies and Tees
Squishy fish is a Canadian owned and operated baby and toddler clothing company that blends eco-friendly fabrics with creative, stylish design.
All of their garments are made of the softest !00% certified organic cotton which is chemical free and unbleached - the natural choice for babies delicate skin and for the planet!

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