Australian’s know a thing or two about living with environmental consequences. With a serious lack of ozone layer, having to constantly wear sunscreen, hats, and long sleeves is a daily reminder of the how precious our earth is and the damage that can be done through an overuse of chemicals.
There can be over 8000 chemicals used to produce a simple cotton onesie. Nearly all of these chemicals are released into the environment, through our waterways, at some stage of the supply chain. They can also be absorbed into our babies’ bodies through skin contact.
Even though the country you are buying the garment in may have stringent laws on the type of chemicals that can be used, the country where the cotton was grown and where the fabric was dyed may not have the same laws preventing the use of toxic chemicals, allowing them to enter markets where you think you are protected.
Similarly, the same labour laws that we enjoy and may even take for granted do not exist or are not adequately enforced in many of the countries where the majority of the textile producers and workers reside. There has been a recent push of international standards, certification and government legislation to combat the very disturbing violation of the basic human rights of these workers. However the harsh reality is that basic health and safety measures simply do not exist for many producers and garment workers.
As depressing as it all is, there are a growing number of people, behind the brands committed to turning things around and yes, trying to save the world one onesie at a time.
Here are a few of our eco warriors from down under.
Born and bred in Melbourne, and with 20 years of graphic design behind them, they wanted to create a brand that stood for something, that focused as much on how the garment was produced as it did on how the garment looked. Their original prints have a pure graphic focus, inspired by shape, line, typography and palette, and of course using certified organic cotton.
All Milk Riot fabrics are original designs, bringing quirky, fun and colour back to baby wear. No longer does unisex mean grey, they believe pink is for everyone and boys shouldn’t be banished to a lifetime of blue.
The playful, original designs are screen-printed using non-toxic dyes onto certified organic cotton. Soft and luxurious to the touch while protecting brand new skin, including having labels printed instead of scratchy tags. All Milk Riot products are ethically made in Australia.
Phoenix and the Fox is an Australian Children’s wear label founded by Fashion Designer and Textile Artist Jennifer Green. Her vision is to create beautifully designed Children’s wear with prints as playful and unique as the Children who wear them.
Phoenix and the Fox’s garment are of the highest quality and made from100% certified organic cotton that is soft and luxurious on little people’s skin. All garments are made in Australia, supporting local business.
Recently brought to fame in North America by the gorgeous range with Jaime King, Sapling Child is an Australia company making babywear with fun and whimsical prints. Made with the softest, most luxurious 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. They have also been printed with GOTS approved water based dyes that are free from toxic chemicals and heavy metals. All Sapling Child garments have been proudly made in India under fair trade terms and conditions.
Tiny Tonics is the brainchild of a neonatal intensive care nurse. Invigorated by the success of a calm baby after adding essential oils to her nightly coconut oil massage, she went on a research journey into natural baby care.
Shocked by the number of nasty and artificial ingredients contained in most baby care products – even those most traditionally loved and recommended by doctors and mums alike – she began to develop completely natural and organic alternatives. Using the best quality ingredients, and with products made by hand in Sydney Australia, Tiny Tonics products hope to make a difference in the way your little one’s skin is cared for.