Eczema + Organic Clothing

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Because you wanted more reasons to spend money, riiiiiite?

As a mother to daughters with asthma, allergies, and eczema, we spend a lot of money on groceries (coconut yogurt, vegan + soy-free butter, rice milk, you know the drill). It’s a common lament among allergy parents, but I’m glad to be living in a time where we have all of these options available to us. I can’t imagine having a conversation about quinoa bread in 1998 without people going huh? what? What language is that?

Since our girls also suffer from eczema, especially during season changes, I started researching to see if there was anything else I could do to reduce the symptoms. (I’ve written before that changing their diets improved – but not eradicated – their eczema.) I kept reading that organic clothing seemed to help, and it makes sense. Organic cotton clothing doesn’t contain the residual pesticides and chemicals that conventional cotton clothing can contain.

Eczema and organic clothing

I was skeptical at first, but I started off slowly and purchased organic cotton underwear. Within a few days, I noticed an improvement in the eczema that sometimes ails them in that area. Sold. Bought more. The girls are (in theory) asleep in their beds for 12 hours a night, so my next investment was in organic cotton pajamas. Again, it seemed to help. All I can offer you is anecdotal evidence, but internet-wide, there seems to be enough compiled anecdotal evidence to support this theory. Again, as always, your mileage may vary. :)

Some tips, since organic cotton underwear costs as much as a really good sandwich:

1) Start with whatever they’re in most. For us, this means underwear and pajamas.

Eczema + Organic Clothing

2) Scour the Internet. Organic clothing doesn’t seem to be incredibly popular yet, so a lot of the sites I’m finding look like they were built on a geocities site and only accept a bank check delivered by carrier pigeon. A few shops I like:

Salt City Emporium for cute toddler leggings (like the ones in the title photo)
Skylar Luna for cozy pajamas (seen above on Remmy)
PACT for onesies (and clothes for the grown-ups, too)
Hanna Andersson for little kid undies

3) Zulily. They sell some really wonky stuff on Zulily, but I scroll past the photos of Santa Claus mugs and women in bras and head straight to the organic clothing section. I just peek in daily (there’s an app, too) to see what’s new or I type in “organic” in the search box, and they often showcase little-known organic brands. For example, last week they had the aforementioned Hanna Andersson line on super sale.

4) If you see improvements/less eczema, start where you can. For example, organic underwear and an organic camisole under a conventional cotton shirt and jeans or an organic long-sleeved shirt under a sweater. I have no idea if there’s an issue with mixing (organic clothing and conventional clothing in the same drawer), so if someone wants to weigh in on that, please do.

I also make my own laundry detergent (more on that to come) to keep the clothes as soft and safe as possible. How about you? Have you tried organic clothing? Have you seen a difference?

PS. We’re on Facebook!

Roo Ciambriello

If Scratch or Sniff founder/editor Roo Ciambriello could list all of her favorite things, they'd include her sweet little family, food trucks, and every AMA Snoop Dogg has done on Reddit. Roo is a copywriter out of New Haven, Connecticut, and loves writing fun stories on the backs of potato chip bags and cereal boxes in Whole Foods, Target, Nordstrom, Kroger, y mucho mas. Roo creates voices for brands, ghostwrites for celebrities, writes a personal website, and is (much to the chagrin of those around her) pretty active on Twitter. You can also find her providing commentary on advertising/branding at Adweek and eating fajitas on deadline days.

18 Comments to Eczema + Organic Clothing

  1. Megan

    I don’t have anything of value to add to the organic clothes discussion, but I am interested to see how you make your laundry detergent and what, if any, improvements you’ve seen. We are, thankfully, an allergy-free house as of yet, but we switched to homemade laundry detergent to avoid additives and fragrance. I guess my thinking is that if it is bad enough to aggravate existing issues for people, who knows what else it could be affecting in “healthy” people, you know? Nice post.

    • Roo Ciambriello

      Great point, Megan. Never thought of the effects on “healthy” people.

  2. I buy organic cotton pyjamas also to avoid the flame resistant chemicals they insist on putting in regular pyjamas. My kids definitely do better in organic clothing but I can’t always afford it all the time. I just buy it when I can. Dang sorry I missed that Zulily sale on Hanna Andersson – I love her stuff. Looking forward to your laundry detergent recipe! Have been thinking about doing that too as the stuff we have to buy is rather pricey too.

    • Roo Ciambriello

      Oh yeah, I forgot about the flame resistant chemicals. I slept in chemical laden footie pajamas every night when I was a kid.

  3. Emily

    I haven’t given them to him yet, but we picked up a pair of organic cotton pjs from Costco for my 3yo. Never thought I’d find organic clothing there, and they were like $10-12 or something.

  4. Stephanie

    Hello Roo!! I just wanted to give you a heads up that while shopping at Costco today I discovered that they carry kids organic pajamas for I believe $11.99 a pair!! Say whaaaat? They’re the ol faithful Costco Kirkland Signature brand but looked pretty legit to me! You were the first person I thought of (hello I’m a creep) and I thought you could take a look for yourself and see if you might be interested for the girls!

  5. Stephanie

    And I just saw that the previous commenter also advised you of the same…doh!

  6. Allison Lee

    Hi Roo, My son also has Eczema, but luckily no allergies so far. I buy a lot of his organic clothing from H&M, they have a pretty good selection of organic basics like t-shirts, legging, cotton sweaters, jogging pants…the soft stuff that kids like to wear, and the prices are really good.

  7. Kristin

    Hi Roo,
    I just want to thank you for this post. My 4 year old suffers from bad eczema and no amount of Aquaphor, Eczema lotion or oatmeal baths seemed to help UNTIL I read this post, took your advice and switched him to organic jammies. Game changer. He still has it in some spots but overall it is such a huge improvement. So thank you! I am currently online shopping for organic undies – and man, you weren’t kidding about those being the price of a good sandwich!

  8. Hey Roo, we love our hanna jammies too. I wanted to share a few more brands to the list. I only buy organic clothing for my toddler and what I can’t afford, I make. There are tons of organic fabrics and just as many really simple and fun patterns for boys and girls clothing. I find most of my patterns on Etsy. Back to brands – sage creek organics, broken tricycle (top pick – a fair trade and australian based company), boys & girls, Kate Quinn, Nosilla organics (top pick), violet + moss, kite kids, yumichi kids are a few brands I have seen and purchased from on zulily. they are available elsewhere online, but not at the discounts I can afford them at on zulily. :)

  9. I also want to add that I find a lot of New With Tags Hanna Andersson clothing on ebay too.

  10. Hi,
    I hope you don’t mind me commenting. It seems like many of the shops you’ve listed cater mostly for slightly older kids and their products looks fantastic! I have just launched an Australian based organic clothing range for babies and toddlers (sizes 000-2) after having much first-hand experience of eczema. My products are organic cotton and also only use organic dyes. I’d love for anyone looking for products for their littlies to visit my shop – http://www.itchibubs.com.au. Happy to ship to the US of course.
    Thanks!

    • Hi
      My background is Nursing and I recently became very interested in the nasties that are used in growing cotton. Too many to mention and I am sure everyone is well aware.
      You are all very welcome to visit my newly opened online store which sells organic clothing for babies and children. We mainly use organic pima cotton which is the best organic cotton. As we are a new store we would love to find out what items of clothing/styles etc you would like to see in our store.

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