Around a quarter of the world’s insecticides and pesticides are used in growing conventional cotton, and even more synthetic chemicals are used to turn the raw stuff into the clothes we wear.
If you find this thought scary, you may have considered organic cotton clothing. And if you’re looking for beautiful, natural clothes for your baby, check out Belle & Dean’s website – their new range of cute organic cotton babygrows is spot on (the grown-up versions aren’t bad either). With a simple picture of an endangered animal, they look stylish, and they’re made from unbleached, undyed organic cotton, the prints screen-printed by hand with environmentally friendly water-based ink, which is what gives them their wonderfully soft and subtle finish. The range also includes blankets, bibs, sleepsuits and outerwear. On the website you’ll find the stories of all the animals used on their clothing, explaining exactly where they come from and why they’re in danger – it’s a subtle way of getting across a vital message.
The business is the brainchild of Dean O’Sullivan and Issy Richardson (who draws the animal designs). Their commitment to ethical trading extends beyond using organic cotton – most of the clothes are made in a small family-run factory in Singapore, employing adults who work proper hours, for proper wages and in proper conditions. The pair left London in 2005 and relocated to Singapore to be close to where their clothes are made.
Prices start at £7.50 for a vest grow (sleeveless). For more, go to www.belleanddean.com.