You’re probably wondering if buying organic kids clothes is better for your children. The answer is: it depends.
You may be surprised to learn that the current U.S. label of “organic” on clothing only refer to how the fabric was grown — it does not cover the processing and manufacturing that the fabrics undergo after harvest. The USDA clearly states this on page 11 of the National Organic Program Final Rule [PDF].
So just because that cute onesie you bought for your baby says “made with 100% organic cotton” it does not mean it is nontoxic. Harsh chemicals can be used in the processing and dyeing of the clothing. While organic growing methods are clearly best for the environment, you’ll need to dig a little deeper to make sure the end product is also good for your family. There are several certifications out there that do cover the processing of fabrics. Look for the following when purchasing organic clothing and bedding for your family:
IVN Certified Best: The standard used by the International Association of the Natural Textile Industry and considered to be among the most stringent in the industry
Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (pronounced echo-tex): Developed in the 1990s, this standard was one of the first to be applied to fabrics. It tests textile products for over 100 chemicals known to be harmful for human health. Fabrics meeting this standard are not necessarily certified organic.
Demeter: Encompasses the standards of IVN Certified Best, but also adds on additional biodynamic criteria for farms in their program.
IMO: This is the certification agency that performs testing for IVN and GOTS, but you may see companies list it as the source of their certification.
Here is a selection of online retailers that we found that list one of the above certifications in some or all of their products. Don’t see your favorite eco-clothing retailer here? Ask them about the manufacturing processes for their organic clothing and request details about each step of production. Encourage them to adopt additional certification if they haven’t already.
Cool Green Attitude (UK) – Most of their baby and kids clothing seems to be GOTS-certified (check the product description)
Green Gamboni – GOTS-certified jeans for babies and toddlers.
Green Nippers (UK) – GOTS-certified organic baby clothing.
Hanna Andersson – Some of their baby and children’s clothes are Oeko-Tex certified (check the product description)
Luvali – GOTS-certified onesies, tees, hats and bibs.
Organically Grown – Many of their baby onesies and coveralls are GOTS-certified (check the product description)
Origany – GOTS-certified baby and toddler clothes.
Positively Organic – GOTS-certified baby and toddler clothes.
Rubi J – All tees, onesies and rompers are GOTS-certified.
Sckoon – All products certified by Demeter.
Soft Baby Clothes – Baby clothes and blankets certified IMO/GOTS.
The Spunky Stork – GOTS-certified baby onesies and tees.
Under the Nile – A full range of GOTS-certified clothes, pajamas, and cloth diapers for babies and children.
Did we miss any sources for GOTS-certified (or equivalent) organic children’s clothes? Please add your comment below to help other parents researching this complex topic.