Too many people still wrongly assume that being a vegan ends at the dinner table or the motivational poster at the office. Contrary to that very popular belief, being vegan is an all-encompassing lifestyle that includes many facets of our existence. Everything from what we eat to what we wear is included in the process. Enter: your parenting style.
As a vegan parent, you naturally want to set an example for your kids, and teach them about all the ways they can help keep our lovely blue dot and all of its creatures safe from harm. We also want to make sure that while they’re still enjoying their childhood, we instil healthy, vegan habits by making smarter choices. This is where dressing in the vegan spirit makes all the difference. If you’re new to the practice, here are the top five plant-based fabrics you can safely purchase for your kids’ wardrobe.
We all love the look and feel of a fresh cotton tee, and while this lovely fabric has long been touted as one of the world’s healthiest, most durable fabrics, we’ve discovered some of its failings. First off, conventional cotton growth requires so much water that its production cannot be considered energy or water-efficient. Secondly, the use of pesticides, some of them carcinogenic, makes it significantly less vegan-friendly and all the more harmful for the environment.
This is why some of the most conscientious fashion brands, the ones producing kids’ garments included, are switching to organic cotton instead. This breathable fabric is not only good for the skin of your little ones, especially this pesticide-free variety, but it’s also biodegradable. Look for the ‘Global Organic Textile Standard’ label (or GOTS for short), to make sure your brand of choice qualifies when it comes to the use of this organic, durable fabric.
Did you know that this humble crop is one of the most versatile plants we have at our disposal? For a single plant, hemp can do quite a lot of work for you. For starters, it is used as a very nutritious food variety, but it’s also used to make clothing, paper, insulation, beauty products, and biofuel, among many other things. So, it should come as no surprise that hemp is a very good choice for your kids’ wardrobe, too. Its many beneficial properties, including the fact that it’s breathable just like cotton, durable, and moisture-wicking, all make it a wonderful choice for your skin as well as your little ones.
What makes hemp so delightful for the environment is that it’s low-maintenance when it comes to water use. Add to that, hemp takes up very little crop space, so it produces double the amount of your typical cotton crop per acre. Thanks to our modern production capabilities, you’ll easily find a slew of kids’ clothing lines made of hemp that have the same aesthetic appeal as your classic kids’ clothes we all used to purchase.
This sturdy plant is famous for being the cute panda bear’s favourite breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Considering its main “predator”, bamboo had to grow very fast – up to 91cm per day. Bamboo hides many perks as a clothing fabric, especially when it comes to its safety for making wearables for our youngest. In addition to being very resistant, bamboo is a godsend as a crop since it requires very little water to grow successfully, and no fertilizers or pesticides for maintenance. Finally, bamboo is biodegradable just like cotton or hemp, which makes it a perfect pick for eco-conscious families.
In fact, organic baby clothes made of bamboo are a superb choice for your youngest munchkins, since they keep your little ones’ skin safe. No exposure to toxins and chemicals, and no need to purchase a new batch of clothes a week later due to their durability. Also, bamboo is a great thermoregulator, which means it will help your baby stay warm during those cold nights, and stay fresh and cool during warm summer days.
Typically made of the flax plant, linen is virtually indestructible since it can be a part of your wardrobe for as long as two whole decades when cared for properly. However, this doesn’t make it any less comfortable or baby skin-friendly, on the contrary. Linen is actually very versatile and exceptionally snug to wear!
Another perk for parents is that you don’t have to worry about moths, since linen is apparently not on the menu. Since it doesn’t require any pesticides to grow, it’s a perfect choice for parents looking to keep their kids’ wardrobe free of any chemicals.
We’ve all heard of this wondrous plant and its many skincare benefits, since it’s soothing, helps our skin heal, and it’s a perfect choice for sunburn in the summer. This perky plant makes for a wonderful fabric for your little ones’ wardrobe, particularly since it’s not only biodegradable, but also anti-bacterial.
What that means for your kids is that they’ll wear cleaner clothes at all times and that this fabric doesn’t smell up quite that easily – body odour cannot permeate it quite that quickly as with cotton. To sum up, aloe vera in the form of apparel both for kids and grownups is a fantastic choice for skin health.
While the world of plant-based fashion is on the rise, it’s up to you as a vegan parent to provide your kids with the best options for their health as well as the wellbeing of our planet. Make sure to incorporate these fabrics into their wardrobe, and you’ll set a strong foundation for more vegan choices in the future.