The conventional organic clothes baby industry is very large with a value of over one trillion yearly sales. To keep this massive commercial engine running smoothly the industry works hard to ingrain in consumers the idea that we must upgrade our wardrobe regularly to stay up with the times, improve our figures, make us feel better, be envied or admired by others, etc.
And the organic clothes baby companies have made it very easy for us to turn over our wardrobes regularly. Heck, when that in vogue shirt is only $5 bucks and that must have pair of pants is only $10 bucks, why not, right?
But what we dont realize is that the true cost of these cheap, trendy fashions have simply been externalized. What do I mean by that? In order to produce cheap styles to keep this whole consumerism tread mill operating smoothly, the organic baby clothes industry must find cheap ways to make their clothing.
And they do this by outsourcing production to countries where labor is cheap, labor laws are non-existent and environmental regulations are minimal. For example, lets say a clothing company goes to a third world country to find a cheap source to produce their clothing line. They ultimately settle on a local manufacturer who meets their need for cheap. They generally dont ask questions as they dont want to know how the manufacturer can possibly produce the order so inexpensively. Knowing equals guilt right?
The manufacturer can make the organic clothes baby so cheaply because he uses child labor or, pays his staff wages that are barely at subsistence level, offers no health care, child care, insurance benefits, etc. Additionally, he has no costs associated with proper disposal of hazardous chemicals such as dyes, formaldehyde, heavy metals, etc and textile waste because he just dumps it all untreated into the local environment.
This is what I mean by externalizing the cost. The clothing company gets their fashionable shirt for $2 which they then sell to you for $5. And as examine the shirt that little voice in your head asks how the heck can they sell this for just $5 bucks? They can because where ever that shirt was made, the local water supply, local habitat and local community has taken the brunt of the cost ie. the cost has been externalized.
Do you want to be a part of this daily tragedy? If you have read this far, I dont think you do. So what can we do? Thankfully, there are options. The fact is over 70% of our economy is driven by consumers.
If you say NO to fast fashion and yes to organic, fair trade clothing, you are making a difference. As more people stand up and say the same thing, our combined voices will force change.
So, what’s your choice? Do you choose organic clothes baby made without the use of harsh chemicals such as pesticides that pollute our water supplies, destroy habitat and kill innocent farmers? Will you say yes to fair trade clothing which protects workers rights, allowing them to rise out of poverty and become productive and proud members of society?
So go ahead, choose organic and fair trade organic baby clothes and experience the feeling of wearing sustainable fashion. And I don’t just mean the softness of the fabric but also the feeling of empowerment and pride that comes with wearing your values and making a stand.