Why Choose Organic Cotton for Babies?
Why Choose Organic Cotton for Babies?
Cotton has long been celebrated for its softness, breathability and practicality, so it won’t surprise anyone to learn that it has always been the magic ingredient in the Pattie & Co. collection of muslin squares, blankets, swaddles and comforters.
But sadly, conventional cotton is fraught with issues when it comes to its sustainability, environmental credentials and human impact. Our mission has always been to create versatile, super-soft and joyful muslin products using sustainable materials and processes, and while our journey to using organic-cotton muslin hasn’t been straightforward (that story is a whole blog in itself!), we’re thrilled to be able to say that our muslin collection is now made ONLY from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton.
We believe it’s the best choice for babies, for the people who produce it and for the planet. And here’s why…
Organic Cotton is Kinder to Skin
One of the biggest drivers of our move to organic cotton is the fact that it is far kinder to skin than non-organic cotton.
Traditional methods of cotton farming rely on the heavy use of pesticides and machine harvesting. Not only does this process damage the fibres, making them feel coarse and scratchy, it also compromises their purity. Even after the fibres are spun into yarn and woven into fabric, allergens and carcinogens linger in the cotton. These toxins can be inhaled and absorbed through our skin, and this has been linked to everything from minor irritation and allergies to more serious conditions like asthma, eczema and dermatitis.
Organic cotton, in contrast, is grown entirely without chemicals then handpicked and spun straight from the plant. This results in longer, purer fibres that feel softer and are free from toxins.
The fact is, whether you’re one day old or 100 years old, organic cotton will feel nicer against your skin. But when you consider that babies and young children have thinner skin that’s more susceptible to absorbing toxins, it’s easy to see why chemical-free clothing is not just the softest but the safest choice for them. This is especially true when it comes to clothing that sits directly against their skin, or the blankets and comforters they snuggle up in while sleeping.
Organic Cotton is Kinder to the Planet
For us, choosing organic cotton is also about making a more positive choice for the future of our planet. And there’s a whole host of reasons why it’s a more eco-friendly and sustainable option.
As well as degrading the cotton fibres themselves, the pesticides and chemical fertilisers used in conventional methods of cotton farming run off into the soil and rivers close to cotton farms, contaminating crops and water supplies. Consumption of non-organic cotton also releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Conversely, the farming of organic cotton emits significantly less CO2 and actually helps combat climate change by promoting naturally healthy soil that stores water and carbon. What’s more, the complete absence of chemicals combined with a reliance on rainwater means the purity of the local ecosystem is protected for the wildlife and people who depend upon it for food and water.
Organic Cotton is Kinder to Farmers
The majority of cotton farmers live in developing countries that are facing water shortages. Because organic farming uses up to 91% less water than traditional methods, a move to organic greatly relieves the pressure on water supplies while safeguarding the quality of drinking water.
Eliminating pesticides from the process also means that cotton farmers – who often cannot afford protective equipment to keep them safe – are no longer exposed to hazardous chemicals. Plus, it ensures that any crops grown alongside the cotton aren’t contaminated by the run-off of poisonous substances. These crops are an important source of additional income for cotton farmers, as well as a means of feeding their families.
Organic Cotton is More Durable
It’s that triple whammy of kindness – to skin, the planet and people – that really swung it for us when it came to making the move to organic cotton. But there’s one more brilliant benefit to choosing organic cotton for babies and children.
Remember we mentioned that hand-picking the cotton keeps the individual fibres long and strong? As well as resulting in less wastage, this means the fibres don’t get weakened, so the end product lasts longer.
Organic cotton also performs better through wash and wear – in fact, the more you wash it, the softer it gets. (Music to the ears of any parent who’s had to demote a muslin square to a duster after discovering it’s gone all scratchy!)
There’s a But…
If you’re as sold as we are on the benefits of organic cotton, you might feel committed to choosing organic whenever you can for your baby. But there’s one important thing to remember when you’re shopping: not all organic cotton is created equal.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification is the gold standard for organically grown fibres. A GOTS-certified item will have had every step of its supply chain checked to ensure it meets strict quality, environmental and labour conditions. But it’s a voluntary standard, which means there are plenty of companies selling non-certified ‘organic cotton’.
Looking for GOTS certification is really the only way to be 100% sure the organic cotton you’re buying has been grown in a truly sustainable way and you’re getting what you’re paying for.
And on that note…
It’s true that organic cotton does cost a little more than regular cotton. But we think it’s totally worth it for such an array of benefits.
If you’re looking to invest in some organic-cotton pieces for your baby, our signature Rainbow Organic Cotton Muslin Blanket and Star Organic Cotton Muslin Swaddle are great places to start. All Pattie & Co. products are lovingly crafted with unique and vibrant designs, and 10% from every sale is donated to Tommy’s, the largest UK charity dedicated to research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
And, of course, they’re all made from GOTS-certified organic-cotton muslin!