Archive for the ‘our ethics’ Category

Synthetic micro fibres from clothing are potentially a bigger threat to marine pollution than microbeads.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

When we started Cambridge Baby we decided to source clothing made from natural fibres for two reasons (both intrinsically linked). We believed natural fibres amazing properties were better for our children and that their renewable and biodegradable nature meant they were better for the environment.

It turns out that our environmental choice was even more important than we originally thought. What we didn't know then is how many micro fibres are released from synthetic clothes when they 're washed that then end up in the marine food chain. According to a research team from the University of California  a city of 100,000 inhabitants releases a volume of microfibers equivalent to 15,000 plastic bags from their washing machines. A city  with the population of Berlin may be responsible for the equivalent of 540,000 plastic bags – every single day.

The Guardian says "The impact of microplastic pollution is not fully understood but studies have suggested that it has the potential to poison the food chain, build up in animals’ digestive tracts, reduce the ability of some organisms to absorb energy from foods in the normal way and even to change the behaviour of crabs."

One of the findings from the research was that old polyester fleeces release more fibres than new ones. So even sourcing second-hand synthetic clothes isn't a brilliant option from an environmental point of you. 

The good news is that moving away from polyester, and acrylic clothing is not only good for the environment its better for you and your family to. Natural fibres biodegrade naturally and  have other properties that contribute to your family's well being. Our pure wool fleeces are soft, breathable, antibacterial, naturally flame retardant, water repellent and even dirt resistant! 

 

Natural wool fleece

Pure Wool Children's Fleeces

Wool Fleece Snuggle Suit

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/27/washing-clothes-releases-water-polluting-fibres-study-finds

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/02/16/microfibers-source-ingestible-plastic-worse-already-banned-microbeads

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37263087

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/sep/07/microfiber-pollution-ocean-advocacy-groups-alliance

Living Wage

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Cambridge Baby has just become accredited by the Living Wage Foundation who are campaigning for companies to pay a wage that people can live on, calculated annually based on the cost of living, rather than the minimum wage.

Becoming accredited hasn't changed what we pay people at Cambridge Baby as we already pay over the current Living Wage.  However, we're one of the first clothing retailers to join up and the first online retailer in the East of England to do so.  As there are over 3m people employed in retail across the UK, often in very low paid work, we wanted to shout about the work of the Living Wage foundation and encourage many more businesses across the country to join us.  

webversionof US

 

As company director Helen East says,

"A significant driver in setting up our own business ten years ago was that we wanted to do business as ethically as possible. This doesn't stop at sourcing ethically made natural and sustainable clothes. It means everything from treating staff well, with decent wages and flexible working hours, to buying Fair Trade gift wrap to wrap our gift items in.

"We're lucky enough to employ people who are passionate about the environment and social welfare and we want them to feel as proud of Cambridge Baby as we do."  

Customers tell us they feel good about shopping with Cambridge Baby because they trust us to do the research and choose the loveliest ethical clothes for their family.  And we do.

 

Geggamoja: Swedish organic cotton children’s clothes

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

 

GEGGAMOJA_SVART

"Our goal is to create good looking, practical and comfortable clothing."  

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Created by two sisters who are also mothers, Geggamoja revolves around the fact that young children are naturally honest, blunt at times and certainly bright, so this should be reflected in their clothes.  Our Geggamoja collection is certified as organic, too.

Most of Geggamoja's organic children's clothes are unisex, with solid colours matched with classic stripes in new fresh colour combinations and Scandinavian designer appeal.  

This creates organic clothing which suits both boys and girls and allows children to play and explore in natural comfort while looking naturally stylish.  They are clothes made for children to be children in - and that matters to us at Cambridge Baby.

 

Geggamoja_certifiedbyGOTSGeggamoja have chosen to use organic cotton certified to Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) because as well as producing better cotton and therefore better quality clothes, GOTS sets environmental and social standards throughout the manufacturing process which include cultivation, harvesting, production processes, manufacture, packaging and labelling.

Here is how Geggamoja describe their business ethos and approach: "We aim for a broad and long-term environmental approach to our entire business, which is a constant factor in all decision making at all levels. Our goal is to have a 100% sustainable company."

Kudos to them! Let's support them to achieve that goal.

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What stands out for us about Geggamoja?

Good looking, comfortable, long-lasting clothes that get passed on from child to child are definitely a step in a sustainable direction.  And if they are organically and ethically produced from farm to shop, well that's a perfect fit with our ethics!

We also love how soft Geggamoja's cotton is.  Thick without being bulky, it is high quality, soft cotton, and flexible on the children's skin.  What's more, Geggamoja's clothing is designed for children's comfort and comfortable they truly are.  They've been staples in the wardrobes of Cambridge Baby's own children, washed heaps of times and passed on in true sustainable fashion - and they still look and feel GOOD.

A bonus feature:  Geggamoja's clothes have a handy label inside to write your child's name on. That way, wandering tops might make their way back home...

 

 

 

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Organic wool and animal welfare

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

DisanasSheepDoes organic certification take into account animal welfare? or does it simply mean free from chemicals?

One of our customers recently asked us this, and the answer is yes - organic wool does ensure high standards of animal welfare.

The majority of organic clothes are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard, GOTS.   GOTS includes the manufacturing of the textile; however, in order for clothes to be GOTS-certified the fibre itself (wool) has to be certified by an organic certification body like the Soil Association.

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The Little Touches

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Often it's the little touches that make all the difference.  When choosing which clothes to stock, we look at attention to detail and particularly like little ideas that make life easier. Here are 5 little touches that we love.  You can WIN a £20 Cambridge Baby voucher by leaving a comment, and saying which is your favourite! 1.  The extendible bodysuit Babies grow quickly, so helping things last longer as your baby gets bigger is a great idea.  This wool/silk sleeveless bodysuit by Iobio has two rows of poppers so it's extendible and lasts longer, and is even better at handling cloth nappies.

Extendible Sleeveless Baby Body

Iobio's wrap-around bodysuit also has sleeves which can either be down as scratch mitts, with little hands tucked into them, or folded up as your baby grows.

2.  Leggings with a perfect fit This perfect touch is even simpler.  On all their wool and wool/silk leggings, German company Engel has included an opening on the inside of the waistband, which allows you to tighten or change the elastic without having to un-stitch anything.

Leggings with adjustable waist

So if you have a narrow-waisted child, you can easily shorten it as much as you need to for a perfect fit - and should the elastic break (not that that has happened yet!), it's easy to replace.  Simple - why doesn't everyone do it?

3.   Hand-stitched invisible seams Comfortable fabrics, comfortable cut and comfortable finishing create clothes that keep babies and children happy.  Comfort is at the top of the list with us - from top to toe.

Wool tights with seamless toes

Groedo hand-stitch the toes and heels of most of their organic cotton and wool socks and tights, creating "invisible" seams that can't be felt.  So these socks and tights never rub nor feel uncomfortable!  The German word for this is handgekettelt and we love this attention to detail. 4.  Removable labels Youngest Good Natured Team member, Connie (aged 4) always needs labels taking out, and it is annoying when they're stitched right into the seam, making it impossible to take them out cleanly.  Swiss brand Alkena make this so easy.  Alkena's biodynamic silk clothes have labels lightly stitched at each side, so that they can easily be removed.  Because it's so easy to do, it gets done sooner and little Connie is happier.  They do the same for adults too - thanks, Alkena!

Twist biodynamic silk top with removable label

5.  Stay-on hats "My little boy Phillip has worn it all day today in the park, and it fits so nicely he forgot he had it on. The design is brilliant ... and it really stays on." Mirjam, Cambridge.

Organic Sun Hat with Ties under the Chin to Stay On

Whether they're sun hats or woolly hats, baby hats really need to stay on.   We have always loved Pickapooh for making sure they do just that, with soft ties or poppers under the chin for long-lasting stayonability. "The best bit is that she forgets she's wearing it!" Lauren, Redhill, UK. And that's how all children's clothes should be. ---------------------------------- Win a £20 Gift Voucher!  Comment on this or any of our blog posts in March, and we'll randomly select a winner on 1st April.  Share or link to a blog post for bonus entries!