Organic Cotton: A Better Choice for All of Us

 

At healthynest, our commitment to protecting and promoting developmental health inspires everything we do. Our philosophy of “fewer, better things for baby” makes life safer, simpler, and more sustainable.

Not only are our diapers the first and only to be verified by the Environmental Working Group, they are also the first and only diapers in the United States to use organic cotton. Organic cotton is a healthier and more eco-friendly choice for families, communities, and the environment. Here’s how and why we’re incorporating organic cotton into our diapers.


Diapers are not regulated by the FDA, which means that diaper manufacturers are not required to disclose their ingredients to consumers (or even test their products for safety from a variety of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and pesticides). We think that’s pretty concerning—especially considering that a diaper is something a baby will wear basically 24/7 for the first few years of their life. Baby’s skin is thinner and more permeable than that of an adult’s, so they absorb more of the chemicals in the materials that touch their skin, like dyes, chlorine, phthalates, and other toxins. Diapers should be as safe and non-toxic as they can possibly be, so all babies have the opportunity for a healthy start to life.


Enter organic cotton. Cotton is well-known for its softness and breathability, which made it a natural choice for us. In our diapers, the premium lush organic cotton is woven right into the cover, which is usually made exclusively of polyester. Not only is this super soft for baby’s delicate skin microbiome, it’s also safer for their developing brain and body, as organic cotton is grown and processed without harsh chemicals or toxins. It really is as pure as it gets.


Our use of organic cotton has bigger implications, too, as the organic version of the world’s favorite textile is significantly more sustainable than its conventional counterpart. Conventional cotton is considered the world’s “dirtiest crop,” as it’s grown using large amounts of unsafe fertilizers and pesticides. In 2019 alone, over 68 million pounds of pesticides were used on cotton fields in the US. These fertilizers and pesticides are detrimental to the entire ecosystem, from the soil and water to the farmers who grow it. Cotton also uses a ton of irrigated water (often including groundwater)—for example, the average pair of jeans grown with conventional cotton requires a whopping 9910 gallons from seed to store. 


Organic cotton starts with non-GMO seeds and is grown in soil that is crop-rotated, ensuring the soil doesn’t become depleted over time.  Because most organic cotton is grown on small farms that use traditionally regenerative practices, it can actually help restore soil health and vitality. Rather than fertilizers or pesticides, organic cotton growers utilize complementary crops and beneficial insects to control weeds and pests. And instead of irrigation, most organic cotton is grown using natural rainfall, which saves a serious amount of water. Compared to conventional cotton, organic cotton has a 45% reduction in CO₂ emissions and a 90% reduction in water usage. 


Organic cotton is also much healthier for the workers who grow and process it. With conventional cotton, workers are exposed not only to the fertilizers and herbicides/pesticides used to grow the cotton, but also to the bleach and other synthetic finishing products used once the cotton is out of the field. That means that these workers are dealing with a huge toxic load, day in and day out. Organic cotton is grown without pesticides and fertilizers and is whitened and finished with safer substances, like soda ash—substances that are less risky for workers. In addition, most organic cotton is fair-trade, which means that the farmers and workers who grow and produce it do so in safe, healthy, environments with living wages.


Here at healthynest, we believe that we are all connected. Our homes reflect our environments and our families reflect our communities. As relentless innovators, we are always looking to the future, to the next way we can make a difference. We are committed to leading as a conscious and sustainable company. We lead not only through our values and practices, but through the products we offer to families. 


Our choice to use organic cotton is a step towards a safer future. Not only for the babies who wear healthynest diapers, but for the communities that contribute to the manufacture of our products. And of course, for the greater good of our deeply connected global ecosystem. Organic cotton is just one of the ways that we are taking a baby step toward a healthier environment for all families. For us, organic cotton is an integral part of our vision of a healthier world for all families.