When we think of pollution, we envision coal power plants and plastic laden beaches. We don't often think of the shirts on our backs. But the impact the apparel industry has on our planet is quite shocking. A recent BBC documentary from Stacey Dooley investigating Fashion’s Dirty Secrets exposed the hidden impact the fashion world is having on our planet.
Dooley uncovered the stark reality that the vast cotton production industry is having on the planets water sources. Rivers that once ran into the sea were diverted to keep cotton fields supplied with water. Did you know it takes 2,720 liters of water (as much as you’d drink over a THREE-year period) to make a T-shirt and shockingly over 15,000 litres of water to grow the cotton for ONE pair of jeans1.
Dooley also went onto investigate the concept of ‘fast fashion’ that is fuelled by the UK’s love of bargain hunting shopping. To keep up with consumer demand for cheap replicas of trends seen on catwalks and celebrities, retailers are producing garments at neck breaking speeds and as cheaply as possible, meaning they often cut corners which increase their carbon footprint.
The documentary comes after MPs wrote to some of the UK biggest fashion retailers (Primark, Arcadia Group and Next), to find out what their plan of action is to reduce the environmental impact that their clothes create. This was supported by an inquiry by the Environmental Audit Committee, which shockingly revealed the UK’s consumption of new clothing is higher than that of any EU country.
In our eyes it’s a very welcome intervention. Whilst Natural Baby Shower are in the textile and fashion industry, our focus and main priority will always be to be eco-friendly and supply our consumers with the most environmentally friendly options possible. To do this we have handpicked all of our products to ensure our baby clothes are super soft, safe to the environment and made from certified organic materials created without the use of toxic chemicals (keep an eye out for GOTS or Soil Association logos on our website!)
Natural Baby Shower champions sustainability, from the methods of production, to the materials used and even down to our packaging, we focus on being environmentally friendly.
Buying baby products made from organic cotton are far better for the environment than farmed cotton. Organic cotton is rain fed which means water stores are preserved and water pollution from organic cotton is 98% lower than non-organic. Organic cotton clothing also has huge health benefits for your little one, there are no nasties or chemicals used and organic cotton is softer on delicate skin.
Plus, organic cotton lasts longer than farmed cotton, just in case you needed 1 more reason to buy organic! Organic cotton can go over 100 washes before it begins to wear down. This is because conventionally produced cotton fibers take so much abuse in production (scouring, bleaching, dying, softeners, formaldehyde spray, and flame and soil retardants) before it is even shipped to be cut for patterns. This means your organic items are made to last!
Whilst all of our baby clothes are made from environmentally friendly materials, we do have a little soft spot for Finn + Emma. As well as being absolutely gorgeous, all their clothing is made from the finest 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes. Stylish and sustainable, what’s not to love? They have the cutest outfits for your little one ranging from rompers, bodies, pants and tops.
We also love that their products are manufactured in fair-trade environments that focus on social and economic independence for local people who are working to provide for their families in safe and fair environments.
Hand me downs
A staggering 235m items of clothing were sent to landfill last year (2017)2. Fast fashion encourages clothes to be sold at astonishingly low prices resulting in consumers buying heaps of items to only throw them away a few years, or maybe even months later and come back for their next batch of cheap clothes. This new culture of shopping is increasing the size of landfills and damaging the planet.
Instead of throwing away the clothes your little one has fast grown out of, we love the idea of handing down clothes. The quickest way to reduce your waste is to throw away less in the first place. Set up a group exchange cycle among your friends or in your local community, you could come across some real gems that look perfect on your baby. Not only do hand me downs save the planet and reduce waste, they also help save your pennies too! Do we need to say anymore?
Frugi are built to last making them the perfect clothes to buy and then hand down for generations. All their clothes are made from organic cotton grown by trusted farmers which are certified by GOTS and Soil Association! The soft organic cotton washes so well that they can be handed down through generations and still look great. As well as being fabulous for the environment, Frugi are also specialist in fun and colour children clothing, we love their funky designs.
The way we purchase and discard our clothes has a huge impact on the planet. People often buy more clothes than they need just to follow trends. To make a difference to the planet it is important to refocus your shopping habits and buy more sensibly. Such as buying longer life garments made from organic cotton, but also purchasing gender neutral clothing. Every baby needs the same basic essentials when they first come into the world, which they rapidly outgrow. Purchasing gender neutral clothing means they can be used for the next bundle of joy to come into your family or can even be handed down to other families without having gender specific requirements. Gender neutral baby clothing is the perfect way to reduce waste and ensure you are getting real value out of your purchases.
For adorable gender-neutral clothing we obsess over MORI. MORI are the home of soft and safe baby essentials which are all made from natural bamboo and organic cotton, or both! From cute sleepwear and day wear, blankets and cute accessories, all their designs are perfect for both boys and girls - they also have stuff for Mum’s too because who doesn’t want to twin with their baby!
Do your bit
We love this quote from British designer Vivienne Westwood, “Buy Less, Choose well, Make it last”.
By changing your shopping habits, you really can help save the planet. Buying only high quality, long life garments which are manufactured using ethical methods and materials can make a big difference. Buying only what you REALLY need for your little one and handing down unwanted items to new arrivals mean they go to the baby down the street, they don’t disappear to landfill. Our belief is that even the little things can make a big difference so try to start small but dream big.