This time of year, this year is bittersweet for my son and me. He is a tall 6-year-old, and this is probably the last year he will be able to wear his absolute favorite sleepwear: Castleware organic cotton pajamas. Maureen Smithey, the owner of Castleware organic sleepwear, does not make pajamas for 7-year-olds. (Or, much to my husband’s disappointment, for 50-year-olds.) So this might be our last time to enjoy it. (Sniff)
Fortunately, this time of year can be very sweet for you! As detailed at the bottom of the page, Castleware is running a 20% off discount code active October 12 at midnight through October 16 at 11:59 pm. Keep reading to take advantage of this great deal!
I remember it well. You hear a little voice. It’s dark. You wonder where you are and what time it is. The little one calls again. Your baby is calling. It is not even midnight. And your baby is awake again. Has she kicked off her socks? Has her blanket gotten tangled? Is she cold? Is she sweaty?
I still remember the sleepless nights. It was so hard to transition out of swaddling him. I was told to buy a fleece wearable blanket because they were warm and cozy. I searched all over and discovered that they were all made of polyester. I finally found cotton fleece footed pajamas instead. They didn’t fit well, but they were warm and fuzzy on the inside. They were discontinued shortly after. It was a constant challenge finding warm, comfortable, and organic sleepwear for my son.
I still remember how thrilled I was to find Castleware organic cotton pajamas. They were everything I dreamed of – warm, cozy, comfortable, footed, and organic. (In fact, when my husband saw how excited I was to have found this sleep sack from Castleware, he suggested that I start this blog. So, in a very real sense, I can blame Maureen for all of this!)
What sleepwear do you use for your baby?
Back then, I did not want polyester because it is not breathable and tends to stick to perspiring skin, which I believed would make my baby very uncomfortable and contribute to his waking up in the middle of the night. Castleware organic cotton pajamas and organic cotton wearable blankets, on the other hand, kept him warm and cozy. And we all slept very well.
I also keep wondering to what kind of chemicals in polyester, we expose our babies. To create polyester, a polymer has to be synthesized from crude oil. Then the polymer has to be turned into a fabric. Numerous chemicals are applied at various stages of the manufacturing process to act as lubricants, sizing agents, antistatic agents, bleaches, and wetting agents. Manufacturers claim that these chemicals are normally removed before the fabric reaches consumers.
However, there are many other chemical agents that are frequently added during the later stages of fabric manufacture that are not designed to be removed. Instead, they are designed to be there to impart a variety of features on polyesters, such as shrinkage, as well as wrinkle-, stain-, bacteria-, and antistatic-resistance, softness, color, and flame retardance (source).
Yes, flame retardance. There is a Federal flammability standard (required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission) that all children’s sleepwear in the U.S. must meet. There is no requirement to disclose chemicals used to treat children’s sleepwear.
If you ask a manufacturer of polyester baby pajamas, they will often tell you that they are not treated with flame retardants. However, I found no reassuring information that polyester baby pajamas are not made with flame retardant chemicals. And independent tests are not readily available.
I only found two tests.
First, the European Union (EU) tested 9 national polyester football jerseys. The good news is that flame retardants, phthalates, arsenic, PAHs, formaldehyde, and azo dyes were either below the level of detection or were not there. The bad news was that the tests revealed that 6 jerseys contained lead and one jersey contained antimony, another toxic heavy metal. The organization recommended that athletes wash jerseys prior to wearing them, and that they wear cotton shirts underneath the jerseys when participating in sports, as this partially prevents the absorption of lead (source).
Second, Greenpeace tested 2014 World Cup sportswear and found several different hazardous chemicals in most of the clothes made by Adidas, Nike, and Puma. These chemicals included perfluorochemicals (PFCs), phthalates, dimethylformamide, and nonylphenol ethoxylates, all of which are regulated in Europe. However, the sportswear with these chemicals was manufactured in China or Indonesia. All of these chemicals are linked to an array of potential problems, including endocrine disruption, immune system impairment, and adverse effects on multiple organs. Greenpeace concluded that the existing regulations are not sufficient.
While cotton is a better choice for baby pajamas, it is not perfect. I personally was not able to find cotton baby pajamas that were not too snugly fitted and warm enough and had feet.
Organic cotton pajamas or clothing made of organic cotton, in general, is not easy to find so I do not take this opportunity for granted. I take advantage of every chance I get to protect the environment.
The growth of conventional cotton demands the heavy use of pesticides and fungicides. It is estimated that cotton uses only 3% of the world’s farmland, but about 25% of the world’s pesticides. The US is the main user of these pesticides. In addition, before the harvest of cotton, herbicides are also used to cause the leaves to fall off the plants so as not to stain the cotton fibers (1).
So let’s support Castleware, a small business owned by a woman who wants to do the right thing for the environment and the health of our kids. And her manufacturing is the US and the materials Castleware uses come from the US. Nothing is from China.
I also love the fact Castleware organic cotton pajamas do not shrink. This is a huge plus.
And she offers her organic cotton pajamas and wearable blankets in 3 weights of fabrics from the lightest rib knit fabric to medium fleece to the warmest organic cotton velour fabric. So you can mix and match pajamas and wearable blankets to dress your child for the temperature in the bedroom.
And here is the best news! Maureen is offering a 20% off discount code active October 12 at midnight through October 16 at 11:59 pm. Please type IREADLABELS at the checkout.
If you already own Castleware sleepwear, please comment and let us know how you like it. Please follow them on Facebook and Instagram @castleware, so as not to miss future promotions. I really hope you will take advantage of this generous sale and use Castleware while my son has to say goodbye to it.
Where to buy: the Castleware website
To read more about Castleware, visit here.
Chen, H., & Burns, L. (2006). Environmental Analysis of Textile Products. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 24(3), 248-261.
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