Many parents today agree that dressing their babies and children in organic clothing is the best choice for their health as well as for the environment. Organic cotton, hemp, wool and other natural materials are more breathable, softer, and have much less of an environmental impact than conventionally grown cotton clothing and synthetic materials like polyester. Buying organic also contributes to providing a living wage for the people who make the clothes, from the farmers to the factory workers and everyone in between.
Why Buy Organic?
- Babies have much more sensitive skin than adults, so they need more protection from things like the sun and from harsh chemicals. Baby clothes often contain not only the pesticides and chemical fertilizers used to grow textile crops, but harsh dyes, flame retardants, sizing agents, spinning oils and more. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens, and they can all contribute to skin irritation and rashes.
- Cotton in particular is considered the world’s “dirtiest crop” in terms of pesticide use. 25% of insecticides worldwide are used to grow cotton, which nowadays is largely GMO as well. This amounts to $2.6 billion each year. 7 out of the 15 insecticides used on cotton are known carcinogens, which do not necessarily come out in the wash.
- Synthetic fibers like polyester, microfleece, and acrylic are made of petrochemicals and can be incredibly irritating to babies skin. Fleece in particular is super absorbent and can dry out their sensitive skin to the point of discomfort very quickly. Environmentally speaking, the manufacturing process of synthetic fibers is devastating. After these materials are turned into clothing, they continue to shed thousands of microparticles of plastic into watersheds every time you wash them.
- Other natural fibers like hemp and linen do not require nearly as much insecticide as conventional cotton to grow, so even if they are not certified Organic these materials are still more environmentally friendly and contain far fewer toxins than conventional cotton.
- Some plant fibers like bamboo are listed as “Organic” when in reality they are not. Bamboo is an extremely tough fiber, so to turn it into the soft bamboo rayon fabric that is sold today, it has to be processed in a lot of harsh chemicals to make it more soft and pliable.
- Soy fabric is created using waste material from soy milk and soy food production, and is a much softer fiber, so it does not have to go through nearly as much chemical treatment as bamboo. The chemicals used to make soy fabric are also reused so the process is more environmentally friendly.
- When it comes to animal fibers like wool, organic is still the best option. Baby clothes are most often made of Merino wool because it is one of the softest types and does not have the itchiness commonly associated with wool. Merino sheep have extra wrinkly skin, and in hot climates like Australia (where most Merino wool comes from), they are susceptible to fly strike and other pest infestations. To combat infestation, conventional farmers use chemical fly baths where sheep are submerged in toxic insecticides, sometimes including their heads. This is not only traumatic to the sheep, those chemicals stick around in the fibers all the way through production and end up on your baby’s skin.
- Conventional Merino sheep are also subjected to mulesing, which is when farmers restrain lambs and completely remove the skin around their hindquarters without the use of anesthetic. Mulesing is meant to protect them from fly-strike but is often ineffective because they are left with a large open wound for weeks, which may become infected or attract flies. Mulesing has been found to be no more effective than other measures like selective breeding and preemptive shearing of the hind quarters, both practices used by Organic Merino farmers. Buying organic wool is not only better for your baby’s sensitive skin, it can help to encourage more farmers to use pest control practices that are kinder to sheep and to the environment.
Organic baby clothing is typically more expensive than conventional alternatives. Organic cotton and wool cost more to produce, process and manufacture due to the greater care that must be given to the crops and the people involved in the manufacturing process. Organic clothing is typically much higher quality, though, and can last through many children. Organic cotton fabrics are thick and durable, and they get softer with each wash instead of falling apart and stretching out like conventional clothes. Organic clothing companies also take cost into consideration when designing their clothes, and often design them to grow with your baby or child through many months or years. Much like cloth diapering, buying organic baby clothes may cost more up front but there are financial benefits in the long run.
In this article I have listed the top 10 best organic and natural baby clothes brands on the market in 2017. These brands make high quality clothing for babies and toddlers, in classic and neutral styles as well as modern designs, prints and colors. Your family does not have to look “crunchy” in order to wear organic any more, and these clothes will last for many years and can be passed down from one child to the next.
1. Innovative Organics: BabySoy
BabySoy is an all around great brand for natural baby clothing and accessories. Their sleepers, bodysuits, rompers, and footie outfits are designed for maximum comfort and ease of use. One of the fabrics used in many BabySoy products is Azlon, a natural textile derived from soy that is incredibly soft and has excellent warmth retention qualities. It also wicks moisture away from your baby’s skin much more effectively than synthetic fibers, helping to keep your baby warm in cooler weather and cool in warmer weather. BabySoy’s product line also includes lots of clothing made from 100% organic cotton. Their collection includes clothes from infant to toddler, accessories such as hats, mittens and blankets, and lots of adorable unisex options. BabySoy products have won multiple awards including the Parent Tested Parent Approved Award, the iParent Media Award, the Mom’s Choice Award and the Baby Planner Seal of Approval.
BabySoy’s fabric is noticeably thicker and stronger than most cotton baby products, the construction is durable and the clothes do not lose their shape after going through the washing machine multiple times. Babysoy products are made with a nice heavy weight fabric that just feels more substantial than other brands. They do have lighter weight fabric for warm weather clothing as well, and it is just as strong as the thicker fabric. The long sleeve kimono onesie pictured above is easy to put on and off a wiggly baby, and is made of an organic cotton and azlon blend. Unlike other brands that focus on boy vs. girl colors, with a few drab grays for unisex, BabySoy has fresh and vibrant hues of blue, green, red, orange and much more that are suitable for both boys and girls. Their pattered designs focus on adorable animals like bunnies, elephants and monkeys, as well as patterns such as stars. Whether you are shopping for a gift or for your own little one, BabySoy products are adorable, long lasting, and super comfortable for baby.
Price: $13.19 to $22.94 depending on color and size
- Thick, durable fabric and quality construction
- Lots of bright and beautiful unisex color variations
- Award winning designs
- Not all designs are available outside of their official site
- Not all products are 100% Organic
- Some reviewers had issues with inaccurate sizing
2. Cute Unisex Designs: Cat & Dogma
Cat & Dogma is one of my personal favorite baby clothes brands for high quality, organic, and cute outfits for both boys and girls. Cat & Dogma was founded by a natural-minded mom who says that the company was inspired by her own lifestyle and values – Parenting is number one, quality time and quality products matter, time in nature is good for the whole family, and our kids deserve the best of our love and attention. Cat & Dogma’s entire apparel line is 100% organic and they have some unique designs that are as cute as they are functional. I especially love their short sleeve romper (pictured above), short-sleeved play suit with reinforced knees, footed pajamas, sleeveless romper with pants, and harem pants for infants. All of Cat& Dogma’s designs are cloth diaper friendly. This means that they have extra wiggle room in the back to accommodate cloth diapers, which can be bulkier than disposables but do not contribute to landfill waste. I love the simplicity and functionality of their one-piece outfits, the softness of the organic cotton fabric (which only gets softer with each wash!) and the adorable unisex patterns that you can choose from, such as bees, bikes, and map print. No chemicals are used in the dyeing or finishing process, so you do not have to worry about toxins leaching out. My son especially loves his bicycle print playsuit – It was one of the first things he wanted to wear when he started picking out his own outfits!
The impact of Cat & Dogma’s product line goes far beyond Organic certification. Their entire supply chain is certified by GOTS in order to ensure that the organic cotton they use provides a fair livelihood for the over 1,000 individuals involved in growing, processing, spinning and weaving the cloth. Proceeds from their online sales are donated to the Children’s Home Orphanage in Gujarat, India in order to provide the 35 children there with healthy food, clean water, and shelter.
- 100% organic and GOTS certified
- No chemical dyes or bleach used in finishing processes
- Very soft and durable fabric and construction
- For especially big babies, the legs may be too tight in the playsuits
- Relatively expensive
- Not as large of a product line as bigger companies
3. Modern Prints: Milkbarn
If you are looking for modern and stylish prints along with organic and natural materials, the choices are somewhat limited. MilkBarn is a top choice for some of the most up to date pattern s out there, while not skimping on materials. All of MilkBarn’s baby clothes are made of either organic cotton, or rayon sourced from bamboo. They offer tons of cute styles for both boys and girls, including dresses, rompers, pajamas, onesies and accessories like burp cloths and blankets. Some of the unique patterns in their collection include modern florals, animal illustrations such as foxes, hedgehogs, elephants in tutus, panda bears holding umbrellas, and hummingbirds. Although not all of their clothing is certified organic, there are no synthetic fibers used in any of their fabrics. MilkBarn was founded by a mother-daughter pair who work together to incorporate the daughter’s artistic talent with the mother’s design abilities to create lovely, unique baby items. As you browse through their collection, you are sure to find plenty of gems that will look amazing on your little one!
- Very cute and fashionable patterns and designs
- Made of organic and natural fibers
- Tons of different styles to choose from
- Made in China
- Fabric is pretty thin and stretches out easily
- Relatively expensive
4. Organic Basics: Dordor & Gorgor
When you purchase a new piece of baby clothing from Dordor & Gorgor. the first thing you will notice is the incredible softness of the fabric. This brand of 100% organic cotton clothes and other baby items uses no chemical dyes, additives or any other harsh irritants in their entire production line. You can truly feel the difference between organic cotton and conventional when you have a Dordor & Gorgor onesie in one hand, and a typical store-bought onesie in the other. Your baby can feel the difference on their sensitive skin as well. Dordor & Gorgor’s clothing and product line has a soft organic color scheme that makes it clear that there are no chemical dyes used. Neutrals are beige, light brown, green and grey derived from natural plant tannic acid dyes. Colors include light green, pink, blue and purple derived from flowers, roots, leaves and bark from trees. These colors may fade a big because they are not set with chemicals, but if you take care of your organic cotton products by washing with gentle detergent in cool water and not using high heat to dry, they will last longer.
Dordor & Gorgor was founded by a mom whose son and daughter experienced skin rashes due to the harsh chemicals in their conventional clothing. Their product manufacturing is done through one direct manufacturer, using Fair Labor Standards Act and Equal Employment Opportunity Act. All of their products follow the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification. The onesises pictured above are their best-selling classic onesies that come in sizes ranging from infant up to 12 months. They also have a full line of well designed layering pieces like kimono onesies, pajamas and hoodies, as well as baby and maternity accessories like pillows, stuffed animals and car seat supports. Dordor & Gorgor is my personal favorite brand for basics and layering pieces because they are safe, affordable, and super cute as well as being functional and well designed. All of the clothing I have from them lasted through many months of constant wear without ever falling apart like cheap conventional brands tend to do.
- 100% organic cotton, with no harsh chemical dyes
- Cute and classic designs that are great for basics and layering
- GOTS and fair trade practices used in production
- Natural dyes mean colors may fade
- No high heat can be used in washing or drying
- No bright or modern colors and prints
5. Natural Unisex Styles: Tadpoles Organics
Tadpoles is a classic baby brand that manufactures everything from moses baskets to baby clothes to gifts. For ecologically minded parents they have a really nice organic line of baby clothes made from 100% organic cotton. The organic collection includes bodysuits, sleepers (pictured above), rompers, receiving blankets and even fitted crib sheets. Tadpoles organic color schemes are super adorable, with light colored mall stripes in brown, blue, green, pink and neutrals. I love the natural look of these basic pieces, and how they are so soft and comfortable for baby’s sensitive skin. Their long sleeved kimono bodysuits were a staple for me when my son was an infant, and all of my Tadpoles gear is definitely going to be passed down to future children as well. They are excellent quality, and like all organic cotton clothing they get softer and more comfy as time goes on.
- Relatively inexpensive
- High quality construction
- Unisex colors/patterns
- Not a lot of color options and all styles are striped
- Not many styles to choose from
- Only infant sizes available
6. Well Loved Brand: Kate Quinn Organics
Kate Quinn Organics is one of the biggest brand names on this list. Their collection of organic baby clothes is designed with fashionable prints, modern styling and very unique silhouettes. The colors in their prints are extra saturated, making these clothes look very different from other organic baby clothes brands. Many of their baby clothes are so well designed that if they were larger, they would look great on an adult! Kate Quinn Organics is a global brand with flagship stores all over the world, and their products are featured in a lot of major shops as well. Kate Quinn Organics constantly updates their product line with fresh, fun designs. Their essentials line offers their best sellers for sale all year long. Every one of their products is made using 100% organic cotton that is certified by GOTS. The dyes they use may be brightly colored and saturated, but they are low in environmental impact.
- Tons of modern and stylish outfits for boys and girls
- Toddler options available too
- GOTS certified organic cotton and low impact dyes
- Somewhat expensive
- Sewn-in tags may irritate skin
- Sizing runs small
7. Modern, Minimalist Design: Colored Organics
Colored Organics is one of my personal favorite organic clothing brands for baby and toddler. All of their clothing is created using the GOTS certification to ensure that not only the fabric, but the accessories, dyes and any other inputs also meet environmental and toxicological criteria for safety and sustainability. Colored Organics was founded by a mother of two who was motivated to create stylish organic clothing for her little ones, as well as have a positive impact on the workers who produce the clothing, from farmers to garmet makers and everyone in between. At a time when organic clothing all followed a certain “crunchy” style, Colored Organics brought a new aesthetic to market. Their clothing is as stylish and modern as anything you will find in the store, but it is made with 100% soft, safe organic cotton. They make everything from onesies and baby pants to long sleeve shirts, dresses, rompers, hats and more.
- 100% organic and natural materials used
- Modern styles that do not look “crunchy”
- Lots of options for toddlers as well
- Relatively expensive
- Not all products available online
- Some customers had to reinforce seams
8. New Zealand Organics: Nui Organics
Nui Organics is a New Zealand brand that makes stylish basics for baby, boys and girls. The word Nui means “important” in Maori, the native language of New Zealand. The founders of Nui believe that clean, safe clothing is a big, important think for little people. They state their desire to maintain the natural landscape by using organic materials and making quality clothing in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Nui Organics’ entire line of Merino wool products comes from GOTS Certified Organic wool, so you can rest assured that no toxic chemical dips or cruel practices such as muelsing and live transports were used in the production of their clothing. Their Merino wool fabric is such high quality that it does not require any special treatment – it can be washed and dried with the rest of your laundry. Nui clothes are built to last, with quality materials and designs like folded cuffs or dresses that can be worn as tunics by older kids, in order to allow their pieces to last for years. You can find a lot of Nui’s classic pieces like leggings, bodysuits, dresses and rompers (pictured above) on amazon, or if you check out their website you can take a look at the entire line of baby, girls and boys clothes that they have for sale. These clothes are designed to last through many years and even many children, so you can count on timeless style and extra high quality in every Nui Organics piece.
- GOTS certified, cruelty free wool
- Designs grow with your child to last months or years
- Folds up easily for storage
- Relatively expensive
- Not many styles available outside of their official site
- Difficult to find customer reviews
9. Everyday Favorites: L’ovedBaby
I absolutely adore L’ovedbaby’s clothing. This brand has all of the elements I look for in organic baby clothes. The fabric is nice and thick, but still breathable for warmer months. It is super soft and gets softer with each wash. The styles are designed well and make dressing easy even when baby is fussy. Each style comes in boy, girl, or unisex colors and the hues that they have chosen are beautiful and inspired by nature. They have a lot of unique pieces like sleeveless rompers, kimono style onesies (pictured above), newborn wrap shirts, and hoodies with nice wide necks to fit over those big baby heads. And of course, all of their clothes are crafted using 100% organic cotton. They are GOTS certified as well, so you can feel great knowing that your baby’s clothes provide a safe and sustainable income for the people who sew them.
- Unique designs that are adorable and timeless
- Super soft organic cotton fabric and quality construction
- Great customer service
- Colors and patterns vary widely for each style
- Sizes may run small
- Sizing may be inconsistent within an order
10. Inexpensive Organics: Burts Bees Baby
Burts Bees Baby is by far the biggest brand on this list. Burts Bees is most well known for their chapstick and skincare line using real beeswax, but they also have a full line of organic cotton clothing for baby and toddler. You can get everything from infant onesies (pictured above), rompers and separates to t-shirts and shorts for toddlers. The designs are all inspired by nature and of course they often involve bees! A lot of their designs and color choices are unisex, and there is a lot of gray in their pattern choices. In my personal experience I have found Burts Bees clothing to be slightly less high quality than some of the other brands on this list, but for a budget friendly option they are awesome. Burts Bees clothing costs just about as much as conventional cotton or synthetic materials, which is something you would not have found in organic clothing years ago. Burts Bees Baby is helping to bring organic cotton in to the main stream.
Price: $16.22 to $27.44 depending on size and color, with free shipping
- Very inexpensive
- Well known and well loved brand with great customer service
- Tons of styles to choose from
- Fabric is relatively lightweight and stretches out easily
- Not very colorful
- Fabric is not as soft as other organic cotton brands