Cotton is one of the most common materials we wear; it's comfortable, versatile, easy to find, and seems safe enough. Right?
Conventional cotton farming and manufacturing can however use many toxic reagents that harm not only the environment, but also farmers, workers and consumers through exposure. Conventional cotton garments are often leaden with high levels of chemicals unseen to the naked eye; experts have also warned that children's clothing from fast fashion or large retailers have been found to contain levels of lead that could significantly injure the health of consumers.
At Sea Apple, we believe that we can provide a better product that is safer for our kids and the planet. Babies and children are the most vulnerable to chemical exposure early in their developmental years. They also have thinner skin than adults, which makes them more sensitive to the fabric on their bodies. So choosing garments that have been responsibly made can play a more crucial role than we think in safeguarding their health.
This is why at Sea Apple, we choose to work with organic cotton and GOTS-certified facilities. So first, what is organic cotton? Organic cotton is cotton grown without the use of toxic substances such as pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton relies on methods of farming that are more sustainable for the larger ecosystem. It is natural from the seed and GMO-free, so there are no chemical residues that might later transfer onto the young skin of our babies and children, which is especially important for kids with skin conditions like eczema.
Compared to conventional cotton, organic cotton is also softer and more durable because the fibers haven't been damaged by chemicals. It gets softer with every wash, and is a more comfortable option for garments like sleepwear, which remains on the body for long periods of time through the night.
But simply using organic cotton alone isn't enough. If the process for manufacturing is still conventional, it means that toxic reagents such as surfactants, dyes and additives can still be present, and the end product may not be truly "organic".
Hence at Sea Apple, we choose to work with factories that comply with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). GOTS is the highest accreditation standard in the world for organic textile production. It ensures that the entire process (and not just the fibre) is chemical-free and truly organic from start to finish. GOTS sets rigorous guidelines for every step of the supply chain from spinning, weaving, processing to manufacturing, and even looks at social criteria such as employment conditions to ensure that workers are protected and that fair labor practices are in place.
So the next time you choose a garment for a child, look out for not just "organic", but one that has the right certifications in place. Our latest GOTS certified sleepwear collection for babies and kids will launch this Friday, 23 Sep.
Badawy, A. (2018, November 9). Why choosing Organic Cotton is best for your baby. Nour Luxury. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.nourluxury.com/blogs/news/why-organic-cotton-best-for-baby
Beiersdorf. (2022). Understanding skin - Baby and Children's skin. Eucerin. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.eucerin.sg/about-skin/basic-skin-knowledge/baby-and-childrens-skin
Cowley, J., Matteis, S., & Agro, C. (2021, October 1). Experts warn of high levels of chemicals in clothes by some fast-fashion retailers. CBC. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-fast-fashion-chemicals-1.6193385
Organic Cotton Plus. (2022). Sustainability Learning Center. Organic Cotton Plus. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from https://organiccottonplus.com/pages/learning-center