Used Clothing: How Safe is It?

In the March issue of ShopSmart, put out by the publisher of Consumer Reports, experts analyzed used baby gear to determine “when you can gratefully say yes and when you should gracefully say no thanks.”  I am devoting several posts to discussing their findings.  (This is the last in my series of “used gear safety” posts.  Whew!  Check out my posts on secondhand baby bath tubs, car seats, cribs, high chairs, strollers, and toys.)

Here are ShopSmart’s views on hand-me-down baby garments:

Safe: As long as buttons and snaps are on tight and none of the thread is unraveling from the fabric, the used clothing is fine.
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Baby Blend Tees Organic T-Shirt Giveaway

Jennifer Leaphart founded Baby Blend Tees after creating a few adorable shirts for her own children and being stopped by strangers who wanted some themselves.  Her designs are simple, clever, kid-friendly and printed on sweat-shop free, 100% organic cotton. 

Baby Blends Tees has gathered national attention after being featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, E-The Environmental Magazine, The Chicago Sun Times and The Chicago Tribune.  Fabulous press for a small company started by a multitasking mother!

It’s nice to know that Leaphart has made business decisions that include the planet in her long range planning.  Beyond the fact that the company uses organic cotton, Baby Blend Tees also belongs to 1% for the Planet, a group of businesses that donate 1% of their annual sales to environmental programs. 

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Comment to Win a Natural Pod Organic Onesie or Shirt of Your Choice!

Our last Natural Pod giveaway was so successful that we’re doing another one!  Last time we oohed and awed over the wooden play kitchen, gnome family kit, and wooden cups and plates–and our lucky reader won the natural stacking rings.

Natural Pod also sells organic clothing.  Here’s what they have to say about it:

Natural Pod has a great range of unique organic clothing for babies, toddlers and children up to 8 years. We have worked hard to find pieces that are comfortable, soft and hand-made. Our current selection includes pieces that have been plant-dyed, just using items from the garden.

Roscoe is now the proud owner of this yellow crew neck shirt, and Audrey has the orange kimono.  Neither Joy nor I have had much experience with new, organic clothing.  We even wrote a post in which we wondered if used clothing was “greener” than organic duds.  I always thought something like an organic onesie or baby shirt would cost an exorbitant amount, but all of Natural Pod’s clothes are just around $20.00–that’s just a few dollars more than new, conventional baby garments. 
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Are Secondhand Baby Clothes Greener than Organic Ones?

Here’s a green idea that works for me: I buy all of my child’s clothes at secondhand stores.  It seems like lately I keep hearing about expensive organic cotton onesies and bamboo socks.  While it’s great to support companies who use sustainable products, why not just buy clothes at a consignment shop?  I’ve found so many cute things—many of them from mainstream manufacturers like Old Navy, the Gap, and Gymboree–for much less than retail.  In fact, I have never paid more than eight dollars for an item of clothing.  (My limit used to be six dollars, but then I splurged on an adorable eight-dollar bunny sweater!)

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