How to Repurpose Your Old Baby Clothes
We all know how fast babies grow. With all their tiny ensembles, we can find ourselves with an excessive amount of like-new clothing that has barely even been worn. It can feel like our children grow up overnight and getting rid of the clothes they’ve outgrown can feel incredibly wasteful.
Consider these options for repurposing and upcycling baby clothes and breathe new life into their tiny wardrobe.
Consider sewing your little one’s cutest tops and onesies into a small quilt. With this, they have another soft blanket or you can place on the floor for an attractive mat and to keep your baby from rolling around on a dirty floor.
Consider lining the back with some cute fleece fabric for a cohesive look and to hide any excess stitching for the cutest baby blanket you’ve ever seen.
You can find other uses for their adorable wardrobe and highlight some of your favourite designs in the process.
Small decorative pillows
While it will not be practical or safe to have pillows around your newborn, as they grow, you can adorn their room with tiny pillows of their past. Choose some of the softness fabrics from their baby clothes to create a small mound of pillows. They can use these to create a cosy feel in a pillow fort or an indoor reading tent.
You may not have been aware that old baby clothes can make some of the most fashionable hair accessories for little ones. Consider repurposing cute patterns and designs to create hair ribbons, headbands and clips with small flowers.
These adorable designs will be certain to wow and catch the eye of onlookers. People will be asking you where you got your cute accessories and little did they know, you made sustainable choices in the process.
Similar to hair accessories, you can also make tiny hats out of old clothes from your little one. Whether your baby needs a covering to protect their small scalp from the sun’s rays, they need some extra warmth or you are just looking for the cutest head covering, consider making a tiny hat for them.
In cooler months, opt for fleece clothing that you can repurpose for a hat to offer them extra warmth and protection.
If you have some leftover clothing, you can create toys for your pet. Whether you stitch together clothing to create sock creatures filled with fluff or ropes of tattered leftovers, your baby’s clothing can be a great option for your favourite furry family member.
You need to be mindful of the strings that may result from this, as this can be harmful. If the clothing gets terribly torn, make sure to discard this immediately to avoid dangerous health issues for your pets.
Creating home décor out of old baby clothes may be something that you would have never considered before; however, this can actually repurpose clothing into some of the cutest decorations.
Opt for your favourite, intact onesie and cut out the design for your scrapbook or picture frame. This can be a beautiful way to commemorate the years of their life that will feel like they’ve flown by.
The most impactful and beneficial repurposing project is actually packing up your outgrown baby clothes to donate them to a reputable charity. There are plenty of families who could use your lightly worn clothing for their little ones.
Particularly if you will not be using the items again, this is a great opportunity to pay it forward and give back. With little effort, you can feel fulfilled knowing that you contributed to their little one’s life.
Babies seem to sprout up out of nowhere as they grow and just continue to get bigger and bigger. The adorable clothing that you purchased may only see a quarter of its shelf life and you may find yourself with a lightly worn, but fully intact wardrobe.
There are so many options for how you can give those items a second life, so instead of letting them collect dust, consider repurposing them, and creating a green existence.
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What is Organic Cotton?
By: Heather Bien We’re all trying to be better stewards of Mother Earth. From recycling to upcycling and eating conscientiously to dressing mindfully, our choices affect the planet. So choosing organic cotton clothing seems like an easy decision, right? Not so fast! As with all sustainable choices, it’s important to take a moment to learn a bit more about why organic cotton might win over conventional cotton—and what makes these two materials different in the first place. Read on if you’re interested in learning about organic cotton and whether it’s the best choice for you and the environment. Conventional cotton Before we get into debating modern cotton farming techniques, let’s get familiar with the plant we’re talking about: cotton. It’s soft, durable, and probably on your body right now. But what else do you really know about cotton? Here are the basics: Cotton comes from the cotton plant – The cotton plant is a warm-season woody perennial shrub from the genus Gossypium and the family Malvaceae. Cotton fabric is made from the plant’s fibrous seed-hair (which is also called a cotton boll). Cotton is one of the top agricultural crops – Traditional cotton is the most widespread and profitable non-food crop in the world. Although the plant is capable of growing in any warm-weather climate, India and China are now the top producers of cotton globally. Cotton is thirsty – A normal cotton plant requires 10 gallons of water to reach peak potential. That doesn’t sound so bad, but multiplying it outward, that means it takes about 5,000 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of cotton fabric. Pests think it’s delicious – Not only is cotton thirsty, but it’s prone to pest infestations from bollworms, weevils, aphids, stink bugs, thrips, and spider mites. In order to combat these common pests, conventional cotton is routinely sprayed with a veritable salad-dressing of pesticides, many of which can remain in the soil and water supply for years afterward. Cotton harvesting requires defoliation – In order to quickly and efficiently harvest cotton, many commercial growers use chemical defoliants to strip the leaves from the cotton plant prior to harvesting the bolls. Like pesticides, these chemicals remain in the environment and on the cotton itself. Is organic cotton better? All of those cotton factoids point pretty compellingly to buying and wearing organic cotton fabric. But first, it’s important to understand what sets this organic alternative apart. Why exactly is “organic” cotton anyway? You might associate the word organic with your healthy fruits and veggies, but it’s not always clear what this term means when it comes to cotton. For many years, there was not a standard definition, but today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require that any cotton product labeled “organic” meet the following criteria: Made with fibers from USDA-certified organic crops Third-party certified (ie., through the Global Organic Textile Standard) under the National Organic Program standards Has a specific percentage of organic material (depending on the crop) But this definition is a little circular, so we need also to define USDA-certified organic crops. According to the USDA, organic crop standards are defined as follows: Land must have had no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop. Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops. These can be supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials. Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices, including physical, mechanical, and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used. Operations must use organic seeds and other planting stock when available. The use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge is prohibited. What is organic cotton? In short, it’s cotton that is farmed according to these practices and certified organic by the USDA. Why should you choose organic cotton? With fewer pesticides, fewer synthetic chemicals, and more thoughtful cultivation practices, organic cotton can certainly offer a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to regular cotton. Is organic cotton sustainable? Here are a few other reasons why organic cotton can be a better alternative for you and the earth: It’s better for our water resources – According to an analysis by the Textile Exchange, producing an organic cotton T-shirt requires 1,982 fewer gallons of water compared to a regular cotton T-shirt. Because organic cotton uses less chemicals, its production also releases fewer toxins into our aquatic ecosystems. It’s good for the soil (and our carbon footprint) – According to the Soil Association, the more natural cultivation practices and fewer pesticides used by organic cotton farmers can support healthier soil. That soil, in turn, can absorb more carbon from our atmosphere and help keep the planet healthy. It encourages biodiversity – Multiple studies have shown that organic farming practices can encourage more diversity among the animal species of our planet. Sustainability is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative. Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources: Britannica. Cotton. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. https://www.cotton.org/pubs/cottoncounts/story/where.cfm World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. https://textileexchange.org/quick-guide-to-organic-cotton Soil Association. What is organic cotton? https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/fashion-textiles/organic-cotton/ USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/02/29/conservation-and-biological-diversity-organic-production About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.