Q: Have you done some research on organic clothing, especially good bras that don’t break the bank and are not made in sweatshops? I see there are lot of organic cotton baby products and not much for mommy.
A: I applaud you for considering organic cotton clothing! Choosing organic cotton is a vote in favor of healthier air, water, and soil globally, plus a healthier life for all those who work in cotton country.
According to the Sustainable Cotton Project
- Cotton uses A LOT of pesticides: Cotton uses about 25% of the world's insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides. In the US, 25% of all pesticides used are applied to cotton.
- Pesticides cause cancer: In California, 5 of the top 9 pesticides used on cotton are cancer-causing chemicals (cyanazine, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifulralin). All of the top 9 pesticides used in California are labeled by the US Environmental Protection Agency as Category I or Category II materials, the most toxic classifications.
Organic cotton is more expensive than conventional cotton since managing fields without using blanket poisons is more labor-intensive. Also, the certification process is very, very expensive, but necessary so that consumers can be confident that a product is indeed made of organic cotton.
Organic cotton clothing is becoming more and more common – especially for baby, as you noted. Besides a concern for the health of our world, many parents seek out organic cotton clothing and bedding for babies who have sensitive skin. Some babies suffer from eczema caused by contact with lingering pesticides and/or questionable bleaching and finishing chemicals in conventional textiles. Of course, another way to combat skin sensitivities and to protect our environment is to buy secondhand clothing. The more often a textile is washed, the fewer chemicals are likely to remain – though some may persist despite years of use.
As a maternity retailer, I have been searching out and stocking organic maternity and baby goods for years. We do stock one organic bra, designed for nursing by Majamas. It is made in the USA – not in some sweatshop. The Majamas Organic Easy Sleep Bra ($28.50) is a very comfortable, pull-over design that’s excellent for sleep, exercise or casual days at home. I've tried it myself and it is truly very comfortable. It's just the sort of thing I like to wear around the house - even though I'm not nursing. It does run small, which is reflected in the sizing recommendation. We haven't found many organic options in bras. But, on the other hand, we honestly haven't had a big demand for them either. I hope the demand grows! As the demand grows, so will the options.
Thank you, Rachel! I did a bit of online searching and found a few links that I thought might be helpful to those shopping for organic bras. Of course there's always Good Old Amazon. In addition, the following sites and stores had a pretty large selection for organic bras. Please note that I am not familiar with any of the following stores, nor their products.
Pristine Planet (green comparison shopping site)
National Green Pages (online directory)
If you have any experience with organic bras, please chime in!