The Baby-Safe Fabric
Babies' skin is ~30% thinner than adults' and they have a greater ratio of body surface area to body weight. This allows their skin to absorb proportionately greater quantities of chemicals, which it comes in contact with, more easily than our adult skin.
Chemicals found in conventional and synthetic clothing can cause skin irritations and allergies, cause or worsen eczema and they are linked to even more serious issues like ADHD, asthma, diabetes and cancer.
Finding the best baby fabric is not easy, but we've done some extensive research so you don't have to!
Organic cotton is one of the few natural fabrics that are breathable, comfortable and generally skin-safe for your baby to wear.
All TØY clothes & accessories are made with 100% organic cotton yarn, certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which verifies its organic status. However, to ensure that the finished fabric doesn't go through unwanted treatments and contains no unnecessary chemicals, we only use custom-made 100% organic cotton, made specifically for TØY.
Why natural fabrics?
Natural fabrics like cotton, bamboo, linen or wool are made of animal or plant-based fibers. Synthetic fabrics, like polyester, spandex, nylon or rayon, are produced from pure chemicals: PVC, petrochemicals or esters to name a few.
Broadly speaking, choosing baby clothes made with natural fabrics over synthetics, or synthetic blends, helps minimize your baby's exposure to harmful chemicals used in production of these man-made fabrics.
Why organic fabrics?
Not all natural fabrics are created equally, and only organic yarns are grown and processed without using harmful chemicals. Here are the three main "natural" fabrics and their differences:
Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically treated crops in the world and it is often grown with GMO seeds. While it only makes up 3% of the total farmed land area, conventional cotton accounts for 25% of chemical insecticides and 10% of chemical pesticides used worldwide. About half of the pesticides used on conventional cotton crops have been named as possible or probable carcinogens by the EPA. We do not want any of that near any baby!
Bamboo is known for its softness, durability and breathability, but the fabric itself is not as natural as it sounds. In order to process hard bamboo into a soft and baby-friendly fabric, a lot of chemicals needs to be used in the process. It is not as bad as purely synthetic fabrics, but it is also not the natural and risk-free fabric we first thought it was.
Organic cotton is, in our eyes, the safest fabric for babies to wear. It is grown from natural seeds and without chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Organic cotton is also processed into a fabric using natural processes, rather than dangerous chemicals, unlike fabrics like bamboo. Organic cotton is naturally breathable, allowing babies to feel comfortable while wearing it, and it is extra durable because it doesn't go through the chemical treatment that weakens the fibers.
Nevertheless, we prefer to use organic fabrics because they are known to be better for our planet than the non-organic ones. They sustain the health of soils, ecosystems and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs.
What about the production of baby clothes?
Once the organic cotton yarn is grown and certified to verify its purity, it is up to the manufacturers to keep their organic fabric free of unnecessary chemicals and up to the brands to be transparent about their production practices.
Chemical washes, mercerizing, bleaching, silicone softening.. There are many ways to sneak in toxins where they don't need to be. We believe strongly that the less chemicals your baby is exposed to, the better. Therefore, our custom-made 100% organic cotton fabric is never treated with bleaches, softeners, retardants or anti-shrinkage chemicals during the production process, which otherwise are commonly used in production of (even organic!) baby clothes.
As an alternative to washing the fabric with chemicals, which is the industry standards even for GOTS certified products, our 100% organic cotton TØY fabric is mechanically brushed for softness. Not only is our softening method chemical-free, so it's safer for babies and the environment, but it also helps the fabric become more breathable, durable and comfortable for babies to wear.
Let's not forget the dyes..
Even the purest organic fabrics can change from being safe to becoming toxic in a glimpse of an eye, or actually with just a splash of the wrong dye. A lot of fun and strong colors may take some toxic chemicals or heavy metals to make, which your baby's skin might react to, so it is important to pay attention to this part of the clothing as well.
TØY baby clothes come in two versions: undyed and safely dyed with azo-free dyes.
1) Our Undyed collection is the purest fabric you can find. It's the natural color of our 100% organic cotton, meaning it's never dyed. The perfect option for babies & those with ultra sensitive skin.
2) Our Neutral Grey, Deep Ocean Blue, Forest Green, Salmon Pink, Blooming Lilac and Canyon Brown colors are made by using low-impact, fiber reactive dyes in order to achieve the colors. These dyes are one of the best solutions for coloring fabrics, as they're both safe for the babies and the environment.
(If you are wondering why we are not using natural dyes, it is because in order to make the colors permanently bind to the fibers, you have to use heavy metals, which are worse than the low-impact dyes we are using)