The perfect purchase for a baby is sustainable baby clothes that will be soft and safe for your baby’s skin. I love buying baby clothes as they are so cute. If there was ever anything that should be called fast fashion, baby clothes are it. Our children grew out of them faster than you could change a diaper and some newborn baby clothes didn’t fit from the get go.
Most baby clothes are made of cotton or other natural fibers like wool, so it is not difficult to buy sustainable clothes for your baby.
Sustainable fabrics for baby clothes
Organic cotton is the first fabric that comes to mind when I think of baby clothes. It is soft and easy to wash. It can even be fluffy if it is brushed cotton. Cotton is perfect for rompers, leggings, onesies, socks and booties. Cotton bibs and muslin cloths can save you washing and reduce staining by stopping some of the dribble and food from falling onto the clothes.
But not all cotton is sustainable. Some cotton is produced with toxic fertilizers and pesticides that remain in the cotton. Others are dyed with toxic dyes during processing. If you want cotton that is safe and free from toxic chemicals, choose a label that is certified as organic like Better Cotton, GOTS or Oeko-Tex.
There are a lot of fluffy babies and children’s clothes that are very cute. One example is dressing gowns with hoods, shaped like animals. These can be irresistible but check what fabric they are made out of. The majority of these clothes that we looked at are made out of 100% polyester fleece.
Most polyester is a kind of plastic, derived from petroleum oil. It doesn’t degrade well in recycle centers. Overall, polyester has a significant environmental impact (Council of Fashion Designers of America). Polyester can be very hard to avoid, trust me, I have tried. If you can’t avoid it, especially when you are buying warm winter clothing, look for recycled or bio polyester clothing.
Wool cardigans or sweaters can be seen as somewhat old fashioned but they are a useful piece of winter clothing. Wool is natural, sustainable and renewable. It is warmer than cotton and can be washed carefully. Wool fabrics like merino wool are soft and breathable so that your baby’s skin is comfortable.
Watch out for cardigans made of acrylic. Acrylic wool or fabric is another petroleum based product, and like polyester it is difficult to degrade in waste facilities.
Alternative materials like bamboo made into viscose or rayon are growing in popularity. This is mostly due to them being natural, biodegradable and from renewable resources.
Plastic free baby diapers & wipes
Don’t forget about eco friendly diapers and wipes. Both these often contain plastics and finding products that are 100% plastic free is very difficult. There are a few brands that produce plastic free nappies, and some tips for how to go plastic free with nappies in our guide.
Sustainable baby clothes brands
Here are some of our favorite brands and why we love them. We’ve chosen a mix of big and small brands, because we shop with a mix of big and small brands. It is a mix of loving the sustainability credentials and the design of the clothes (we love love love bright colors).
Patagonia sustainable baby clothes
Patagonia makes their baby clothes with the same care they use to produce their other clothing ranges. Their products are bluesign® certified as safe. They have fleece products that use 100% recycled polyester that is treated to make it more waterproof. Their down jackets use 100% recycled nylon from fishing nets and recycled polyester linings. They are filled with recycled down. The cotton tees are certified organic and are printed using PVC-free and phthalate free inks. 83% of their line is certified as Fair Trade sewn.
We Love Frugi organic baby clothes
We Love Frugi, we really do. These super cute clothes are designed by a team in Cornwall, UK. Their cotton clothing is GOTS certified which means they have not only been made with organic fibers but they have also been processed to a strict set of rules about toxins, workers rights, waste water, etc. They make cotton dresses, babygrows and rompers, knitted jumpers, tops and leggings. Even the snuggly fleece is made of cotton. There is a bit of stretchy elastane in the joggy bottoms and the corduroy trousers. Tights include recycled polyester and polyamide. Raincoats are made of recycled polyester. The Wellington boots are made of rubber, not PVC.
Polarn O. Pyret sustainable baby clothes
Polarn O. Pyret is a Swedish company making sustainable baby clothes. They make super warm merino wool base layers for babies and children from 0-12 years. These include rompers, leggings, tops, hats and socks made from 100% merino wool produced to the responsible wool standards. Babygrows and all-in-ones are made from GOTS organic cotton. The outerwear is made of polyester but in support of a circular economy, they offer to buy the coat back from you once your child has outgrown it. Genius. One of many reasons this company has become a world expert in sustainable baby clothing.
Lamaze organic infant clothing
Lamaze, a parent education organization, works with Kitex Garments to produce organic cotton baby clothing that is available on Amazon and in Target. They make sleep-and-play rompers, bodysuits, pants and gift sets, all in organic cotton that is GOTS certified.
Burt’s Bees organic baby clothes
Burt’s Bees makes pajamas for the whole family. Their range of organic cotton baby clothes includes jackets, tees, bottoms, gowns, dresses, socks & tights, bodysuits, pajamas and wearable blankets. Wearable blankets are brilliant for babies that kick off their bedclothes and get cold at night. The cotton is GOTS certified. The reversible jackets are padded in recycled polyester and there is a bit of spandex in the leggings.
Gerber organic baby clothing
Gerber is already a trusted baby brand for foods. Their organic cotton baby clothing uses Oeko-Tex cotton. They make the cutest tutus with leggings and a matching top! The tulle is polyester and the leggings have a bit of spandex in them, the rest is organic cotton. They also make onesies, bodysuits, sleep-and-plays, gowns, pajamas, dresses, leggings, tops and pants sets and take me home gift sets. So much to choose from. You can buy these on Amazon too.
Remember to look for organic cotton certification on cotton baby clothing. There are other natural fibers like merino wool or bamboo viscose that can be suitable alternatives.
Where to buy sustainable baby clothes
You no longer have to rely on small independent brands for sustainable baby clothes. You can buy sustainable baby clothes in major outlets now.
Buying from a trusted brand gives you the reassurance that not only is the cotton certified but that the production of the products has been fair and is safe for the environment too.
Personally, we will probably stick with the brands we love, whether that is a big or small brand, but we hope our list has given you some ideas for where to buy sustainable baby clothes.
We will keep adding to this list of brands as we find sustainable baby clothes that we love. Where do you buy your sustainable baby clothes and do you have a sustainable brand?