How to Go Green with Silv: Celebrating Nontoxic Kids' Clothes by Silvia Milanova, May 06 2015, 1 Comment

The baby princess has finally arrived! And with the birth of Princess Charlotte, it’ll be no time before parents start dressing their little ones in pieces from the royal’s wardrobe. As with Kate Middleton’s own fashion influence on women’s outfits everywhere, it won’t be a surprise if Charlotte’s clothes become the ‘talk of the town’ in England and across the pond. But now, more than ever, it’s important to consider not only how fashion-forward your children’s clothes are, but also what the clothes are made of and what ”chemical monsters” might be lurking in the fabrics. Even Kate has joined the “green moms” club—for his first official portrait, Kate dressed Prince George in an organic cotton onesie from Polarn O. Pyrat, an English company.

The fact is that kids’ clothes from some of the top fashion brands (Burberry, Disney and Adidas) contain the most toxic chemicals, according to a Greenpeace report. These chemicals have adverse effects on all humans, but can be particularly harmful to children’s small bodies.

Here are some of the common culprits:

  • PFCs (Per/Poly-Fluorinated Chemicals) – chemicals with the ability to repel both water and oil—often used in industrial processes and consumer products, including leather products. Ionic PFCs such as PFOS and PFOA can have adverse effects on the reproductive and immune systems both during development and during adulthood. Animal tests also reveal that PFCs can be carcinogenic.
  • Phthalates – a chemical group often used in the textile industry to soften plastics in some prints. These chemicals can be toxic to the reproductive system and can act as hormone disruptors. DEHP, one of the most widely used to date, is harmful to reproductive development in mammals. It interferes with the development of reproductive organs in males and affects reproductive success in females. Reports have found that human tissues contain phthalates, with significantly higher levels found in children.
  • NPEs (Nonylphenol ethoxylates) – a manmade group of chemicals that break down in the environment and form the hazardous chemical nonylphenols (NP). These chemicals act as hormone disruptors, can remain in the environment for a long time, and build up in the tissues and organs of humans and animals. Textiles manufacturers use NPEs as surfactants and often release the chemicals in wastewater during the manufacturing process.
  • Organotins – chemicals that are used to prevent odors caused by the breakdown of sweat and as stabilisers in plastisol prints. These toxins are usually present in socks, shoes and sport clothes, because of their odor preventing capabilities. But these can be toxic at relatively low levels of exposure to a range of organisms, including mammals. Organotins can affect development and the immune and nervous systems.
  • Antimony – a chemical similar in its chemistry and toxicity to arsenic. A more toxic version of this chemical is trivalent antimony, which can cause dermatitis and irritation of the respiratory tract, and can have negative effects on the immune system.

However, since Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign and the release of this report, a movement in the right direction has taken place. Eighteen major brands have taken steps to detoxify their supply chain and offer a more transparent supply system. And nowadays, it’s possible to dress your kids in stylish clothes, while also being health conscious and environmentally responsible.

Until it’s more common for babies’ and kids’ clothes to be “nontoxic” rather than “toxin-heavy”, check out some healthy and adorable alternatives:

  • Sami Onesie Panda – this “oh so cute” panda snacks onesie is made of viscose from organically grown bamboo and blended with organic cotton for comfort and durability. It’s also machine washable and comes in pink and blue.
  • Sami Baby Stripe Socks Three Pair – made of ecoKashmere® bamboo, these thick snuggly socks are the perfect complement to your baby’s fashionable outfits. The 95 percent bamboo content ensures a soft and fluffy, but durable fit.
  • Sami Hat – to complete your newborn’s cute wardrobe, invest in this non-toxic, bamboo and organic cotton blend hat. You can tie the “ears” in knots or let them hang loose for a different look. This product is made with sweatshop-free labor.
  • Lime Green Organic Halter Dress– this would be the perfect gift for the new royal princess, as well as any other girl! Made from 100 percent organic cotton and with eco friendly dyes, this dress is ideal for the summer months and days spent at the beach.
  • Light Grey "Green Energy" Organic Tee - and for the little prince in your life, this organic tee not only keeps your child safe from chemicals, but also lets his friends know he is an eco-kid!