Monday, April 12, 2010

Organic Cotton Kids Clothes *Cheap*

Last week's sudden heat wave created a panic in our house to locate summer clothing. For my older son, that was easy, since I stuffed his shorts in a drawer right below his pants at the end of summer last year. For my little guy, it meant a trip to the attic to see if the archived outgrown included any appropriately sized summer pieces. My initial trip did not prove fruitful, so I started looking online to find affordable basics to hold him over until I could hit the second-hand store or dig further in the attic.

Of course, if money was overflowing, I'd just get a bunch of separates from Hanna Andersson and Tea Collection. But I'm not in a free-spending frame of mind.  I needed shorty jammies for both kids and shorts and tees for number two. I checked Gymboree. "Gymmies" were almost $20 a pair. Ouch, that adds up fast. I checked Old Navy and found them for $10 but lamented the flimsy constitution of these jammies. These cannot make it through two sons. Ditto for Gap pajamas and they are closer in price to Gymmies. If I'm gonna pay $20 for jammies, I'm going to pay Hanna $28 (or more) for their superior organic version. They are the bomb. I just hate paying that much for pajamas!

Last, I checked Wal-Mart and was very surprised to see that their selection of organic items has greatly increased. They carry a huge selection online, including two-packs of organic tees for $7. They also had shorts, jammies, polo shirts for dad, maternity shirts for mama-to-be, and on and on.

I had to see these organic kids clothes in person, so I ran over to my local store. In-store, I saw shorts and tees for $4 each. They were not thick and yummy like Hanna's, not by a long shot, but they were cute styles and colors. And I could buy five for the price of one Hanna. Besides, buying them casts a vote for organics, which, when it comes to cotton, makes a lot of sense. Pesticides create major environmental problems and health issues for the workers. I have to say, Wal-Mart is getting organic cotton out there at a ridiculous price, but still 25% more than a non-organic alternative, in this case.

I'm happy to pay the difference. But is the average Wal-Mart shopper going to pay a premium for organic cotton? Will Wal-Mart be able to advance the cause of organics? Remains to be seen...

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