Have you noticed unexplained rashes flare up on your baby or kids? Do you find your kids’ clothes smelly after they’ve been sweaty? In our recent stories, we’ve talked about how TENCEL™ Micro Modal compares to cotton, The National Eczema Association’s recommended fabric to soothe eczema and how to improve family wellness. As parents, we’re overwhelmed with information on how to best support your children’s well-being, and if you’re eco-conscious like us, there’s a growing number of ‘sustainable’ options for your family, from recycled polyester to upcycled clothing to organic fibres. While the choices expand, it’s hard to differentiate what is truly beneficial to your health and the environment, and what may be deemed as ‘greenwashing’1.
At Just Peachy, our mission is to simplify eco-conscious parenting. Here’s our guide on navigating ‘sustainable’ clothing for kids and the benefits of natural fibres for babies and children.
Polyester can be produced to a soft finish, a seemingly inexpensive breathable fabric choice - but is this the best option for your family’s health and the environment?
In an effort to find ‘sustainable’ solutions to fashion’s waste crisis, brands have increasingly adopted recycled polyester in an effort to ‘design out waste’ by keeping materials in use. Recycled PET plastic (rPET) is made from recycled plastic bottles, minimising waste and cutting out the fossil fuel industry. A 2017 life-cycle analysis found that manufacturing rPET generates 79% less carbon emissions than creating virgin polyester. However, the reality is that polyester is a common plastic, partially derived from petroleum that is not biodegradable and sheds microfibres polluting our waterways and harming ocean life. Furthermore, polyester dyes do not readily decompose and are both toxic to humans and the environment.The process of re-dyeing for colour consistency can require high energy, water and chemical use.
When purchasing recycled polyester clothing, it’s worth checking for OEKO-TEX and bluesign labels. OEKO-TEX certifies both raw materials and finished goods that are free from toxic chemicals. Bluesign is a certification given to textile manufacturers who are producing in way that is safe for humans and the environment.
For delicate, eczema-prone skin, whether the polyester is recycled or not, it may trigger allergic reactions if your skin is sensitive to polyester. Polyester allergy symptoms include rashes, skin tenderness, hives and itching. Too much moisture or overheating can only exacerbate the symptoms.
Finally, had you noticed that your sportswear & polyester clothing retains odour? While they may be promoted as moisture-wicking, the material traps oils that can’t easily be washed out.
While recycled materials are a positive step towards minimising waste, especially where synthetic fibres may be necessary for performance or function, there are alternative eco-friendly options that will offer breathability and natural moisture-wicking properties that will help prevent skin allergies.
Upcycling transforms unwanted materials, or by-products into new products. Designing out waste, by keeping materials in use can lessen the environmental impact of clothing. By upcycling existing materials, we skip energy-intensive and water-consuming processes that are used to create new materials.
At Just Peachy, we produce our Bag collection using leftover materials from our cloth diaper collection. While our Feel Good Underwear is created with TENCEL™ Micro Modal, the Boys' TENCEL™ Micro Modal Boxer Briefs feature an upcycled waistband. Utilising unwanted or excess materials that would otherwise go to landfill is a move toward a circular economy. We’re continuously exploring opportunities to upcycle materials in our collections.
Just Peachy TENCEL™ Micro Modal Boxer Briefs feature an upcycled waistband made from surplus materials
Conventional cotton farming uses the most pesticides of any crop in the world, contributing to groundwater pollution and uses significant land, water and energy resources. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers, with natural, untreated GMO-free seeds and healthy soil prepared with organic matter. The Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) is the certified standard by which Organic Cotton Textiles are produced. Look out for the GOTS certification when purchasing Organic Cotton to assure reputable, inspected and certified Organic Cotton.
Organic Cotton is often a go-to option for eco-conscious parents with the assurance of natural, pesticide-free and toxin-free production.
TENCEL™ Micro Modal
TENCEL™ Micro Modal is produced by LENZING™ ensuring a traceable, responsible supply chain, guaranteeing the highest quality. The main difference between LENZING™ TENCEL™ Modal and other modal is that it’s manufactured from raw material beech wood, sourced from sustainably harvested forests in Austria and neighbouring countries.
TENCEL™ Micro Modal fibers are produced by Eco Soft technology, an integrated pulp-to-fiber process that predominantly uses surplus renewable energy from the pulp mill, generating low emissions. An environmentally responsible choice approved by the EU Ecolabel for textile products (license no. AT/016/001).
Biodegradable and compostable, TENCEL™ Micro Modal is Oeko Tex certified assuring the material is free from harmful chemicals. When we compare TENCEL™ Micro Modal to cotton, it’s easy to see why we chose to produce Just Peachy’s Feel Good Underwear with TENCEL™ Micro Modal. TENCEL™ Micro Modal resists pilling, wrinkling and fading while feeling twice as soft as cotton. Recommended by the National Eczema Association for adults and children with eczema, TENCEL™ Modal is our preferred choice to prevent eczema flare-ups and irritation on sensitive skin.
Better for our kids, better for the planet
While an increasing adoption of recycled PET polyester has notable positive changes to lowering carbon emissions in the fashion industry, skin sensitivity and polyester allergy sufferers should avoid especially when considering underwear.
Upcycling helps to keep materials in a circular loop, thus reducing our energy consumption and waste footprint. While GOTS-approved Organic Cotton has its advantages, we love TENCEL™ Micro Modal for its super soft hand feel and its ability to soothe skin and prevent eczema.
1Greenwash defined as “to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is”. Cambridge University Press 2023.