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Ever since Greta Thunberg shook the world to its core with her steadfast environmental efforts, more parents have realized: we all need to do better by our kids. Luckily, there’s so much we can do in our everyday lives that will not just ensure a safe, eco-friendly and animal-friendly existence for our little ones, but that will also teach them by example. We can show them that there are smarter, kinder alternatives to what’s considered widely-accepted and conventional. That includes our wardrobes!
In fact, why not start with all those lovely garments they wear every day? In a sense, their clothing can become a reminder of what’s at stake, a reminder that their wellbeing and their future should always come first. As an eager parent, you can do a little bit of homework to find out which materials you can trust to keep your baby’s skin safe and comfy, while at the same time protecting the planet.
Of course, in addition to the fabrics themselves, always check if the clothes in question are made with any toxic dyes, or if the process of production includes any unsustainable steps. So, without further ado, let’s check out the five most kids-perfect fabrics to add to their wardrobe that will also represent a new, kinder way of life!
The perks of organic cotton
Why organic, you ask? Because unlike traditionally produced fabrics, organic cotton comes with a promise of a clean, toxin-free process that leaves the many insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides out of the equation. What that means for your babies is that you can reduce their exposure to such harmful substances by going organic, and not just with food, but with clothes, too.
Add to that, you’ll effectively support the brands that use safe production practices that don’t put millions of creatures in jeopardy. From farmers who are in direct contact with the plant, all the way to birds and animals in the eco-system, those chemicals are truly hazardous for our long-term wellbeing. Many brands, including the big ones such as H&M, are going to great lengths to switch to organic cotton.
The fabric is perfect for your kids, as it provides a durable, but breathable version of the traditionally-made cotton, and a perfect source of comfort for your kids’ everyday garments.
The incredibly versatile hemp plant
Don’t run away just yet, because you’d be surprised how useful this version of the cannabis plant can be in the fashion industry – including the portion of it making clothes for our munchkins! So, put all of your prejudice aside for a moment and let’s recall that cannabis is first and foremost a plant. This particular kind used in the making of wearables is also known as Sativa, and it’s not a carrier of the famous psychoactive substance, THC, so you’re in the clear.
What makes it so perfect for our wardrobe? It uses far less water for its production and maintenance than traditional materials, it doesn’t strip the soil of its nutrients, and it’s very resilient, so the use of pesticides is unnecessary.
Hemp is also naturally biodegradable, which is a huge bonus for all of your shopping choices, clothes included. While it may seem a little “rough” at first, hemp actually gets softer over time, so don’t give up too quickly.
The powerful yet gentle bamboo
This one was initially a surprise for me as well, but the more I discovered its many perks, the more I realized that it’s a perfect choice for all of our clothing needs. Bamboo is very sturdy and durable, and these qualities prevail even when it’s used in the production of clothes, and yet it’s incredibly soft and silky, making it the ideal, long-lasting choice for your wardrobe.
What makes it all the more alluring for your kids is that bamboo has antibacterial properties and it can keep your skin sun-safe. If your little ones have extra sensitive skin, you’ll be glad to know that bamboo baby clothes are a perfect pick and provide a balance of soothing comfort, safety, and protection at all times, sans the skin reactions.
Add to that, bamboo is very breathable and moisture-wicking, which makes it an excellent choice both for summer and winter clothes. The plant itself is as low-maintenance as it can get, requiring only rainwater and no fertilizers or pesticides – and what’s good for the planet is all the better for our younglings.
Summer-licious linen clothes
When you think of linen, you likely imagine its boho history, as well as its use in the production of high-quality bedding. True, this fabric is a godsend for your sheets, but an even greater lifesaver for your kids, especially when the summer comes. Made of the flax plant, linen is a summer-favorite as it keeps you fresh and cool, and it’s as breathable as cotton and bamboo, making it perfect for those active kids of yours.
To choose the most sustainable kind, make sure you look for linen clothes that aren’t heavily bleached, but that come in its natural shades of ivory, tan, or grey. Its production is energy-efficient in every way, and it can be recycled in addition to being fully biodegradable. All in all, it’s a win-win for nature as well as your kids if you opt for linen in your kids’ look-book.
The surprising aloe vera in your garments
You already know the many health perks of using aloe vera for your skin, for sunburn, eczema, other skin irritations, and even in your diet. It should come as no surprise then that aloe vera has found its way into the fashion realms as more brands are starting to use it to make unique, sustainable garments that are perfect for sensitive skin.
The fabric made from this soothing plant is very similar to cotton when it comes to breathability, and perhaps one of the best uses for it lies in the production of skin-friendly underwear, for kids and grownups alike. Although it’s still a relatively new concept, you can start looking into aloe-infused fabrics while more companies warm up to the idea of using the fabric in its entirety.
It takes time to master the art of Earth and health-friendly fashion, but this is the perfect time to start embracing new, healthier habits when it comes to your kids’ dressing decisions. Plus, switching to these eco-friendly materials is a great start for your children to learn of the many ways to stay on an eco-conscious path and to make smarter decisions in all other aspects of their life. Which of these fabrics would you give a go for yourself and your youngsters? Do you know of any other fabrics that fall into the same category? Let us know in the comment section below so that we can all learn of more ways to wear our values!
About the Contributor:
Fiona is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She's in love with good coffee, croissants and fashion magazines. In her spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world. You can read more from her on her blog High Style Life.