When thinking about organic kids clothes, it’s easy to jump to conclusions. We’re all becoming better educated these days when it comes to fair trade principles and sustainability. However, do we really have an understanding about how spending our money on baby organic clothes as opposed to mass-produced, synthetic alternatives is beneficial?
Industry moves in cycles. During the industrial revolution over 200 years ago it was discovered that there were many ways to substantially increase productivity in manufacturing. Machines were invented to speed up the processes and chemicals were progressively introduced to further speed up or catalyse production techniques.
Progress – or Not?
At the time this was seen as tremendous progress. And it was! Never before had so many people been employed, manufacturing British products that could be sold and exported in order to grow the country’s wealth and economy. Entering the Victorian era, even greater strides were taken in innovation with pioneering engineering projects that still stand today and are still marvelled at. In fact, much of our country’s existing infrastructure was built during the Victorian period.
As we entered the 20th century the country was on a high, seeing factories and corporations growing month on month. More people were employed and things had never been so good. Or had they? The big cities were starting to see the results of pollution. Smog plagued our inner cities, the lower reaches of our rivers were sustaining less wildlife and people’s health was suffering. Particulates in the air were causing lung problems, mercury poisoning became rife, and hearing loss was commonplace.
It wasn’t until much later in the post-war years that people began to fully realise that some of the benefits to the economy were having a detrimental effect on human health and safety. Half a century on it is now commonly recognised that our own wellbeing is as important to our country as super-fast industrial production. But it wasn’t as simple as this. With the advent of better transportation and shipping, the problem was often passed over to other countries, whose workforces were cheaper and hadn’t yet realised the downsides of large-scale industrialisation. The developed, industrial world simply offloaded the issues to become someone else’s problem.
Organisations such as the Soil Association and Fairtrade Foundation now actively work to help ensure the welfare of the people who actually make the stuff we buy and eat. They do it by highlighting the positive side of supporting companies, manufacturers and farmers who treat their workers and environment fairly. They actively promote NOT using harmful chemicals in the manufacturing processes and not exploiting young or vulnerable workers. And because they work globally they’re having a beneficial effect, not just on a single environment or population, but all over the world.
So, next time you go out to buy your baby clothes, do your bit towards making our planet a better one. Think organic baby clothes and help to contribute to a cleaner, fairer and more sustainable world.
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