Keeping chemicals out of your clothing is a great way to protect yours and your children's health, the health of farmers and the health of the planet. Babies in particular can suffer from contact with the chemicals that reside in many or our conventional cotton and synthetic clothes, where their skin is more porous and more easily absorbs these chemicals. Some of which are thought to be the most toxic in the world.
Organic cotton is a great start, but this label doesn't always mean that it has been processed organically and without the use of harsh chemicals. 'Organic' does not necessarily cover manufacturing processes, and refers only to natural materials that have been grown according to organic farming standards. If you're looking for clothing that has also been processed organically, there are other things to look out for.
When looking for clothing that is sure to not contain any toxic residue, you'll need to look out for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) label. GOTS is a worldwide standard of strict regulations to ensure that any organic clothing is also chemical free. When purchasing from organic clothing brands that have the GOTS label, you can be sure that your clothes have been processed organically, and contain only dyes and inks that meet strict rules regarding biodegradability and toxicity. GOTS ensure that any waste water left over from the production of clothing is treated before being released into the environment, protecting local communities, ecosystems and our oceans.
GOTS maintain strict regulations in terms of manufacturing, packaging and labelling, whilst also ensuring that the fibres have been grown according to organic farming standards. Fabrics made under GOTS standards avoid the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), toxic pesticides and fertilisers.
GOTS labels have two grades – grade 1 and grade 2. Items of clothing with a grade 1 label must contain between 95-100% organically produced fibres, whereas a grade 2 label requires only 70% of organic fibres.
By following this guide to chemical-free clothing, and looking for the GOTS label, you are guaranteed to make purchases free from toxic residue.