The production of children’s (and adult’s) clothes and shoes is associated with several social and environmental problems, which you can read more about under the category clothes.
When it comes to children’s clothing and shoes, it is important to highlight the use of hazardous chemicals that can particularly affect children’s health. Clothes are treated with various chemicals to give the textiles color, flame retardant, waterproofing properties and more. Children’s clothing is not subject to the same legislation as toys. Harmful phthalates (plasticizers) that are prohibited in toys and child care products can be found in soft plastic prints on clothes and in plastic shoes or with plastic details.
Tips for avoiding hazardous chemicals in children’s clothing and shoes
- Buy used clothes and textiles. Usually dangerous chemicals are washed away after a few laundry rounds. Even when buying second-hand, it is best to stick to clothes made of natural materials. The reason for that is that synthetic materials made of polymers – such as polyester and nylon – release microplastics that are harmful to both humans and nature. This also applies to stuffed animals. Buying second-hand or letting the children inherit clothes and shoes is good for environmental, health and economic reasons.
- Choose eco-labeled products, because only then can you be sure that the materials are really organic and that the production has been transparent.
- Avoid PVC printing on the clothes.
- Avoid clothing that lacks information, has an unknown origin and has a strong odor.
- In Ekoguiden you can find stores with a good selection of eco-labeled products.