Babywearing and SustainabilityJun 01, 2020
I became a babywearing educator not long after my daughter was born. It had brought so much comfort and stability to our daily lives that I knew I wanted to help others find that sense of joy and contentment. And since those early days, I have worn my children everywhere - through many airports, on family hikes when little feet were too tired to walk, at the grocery store during nap-time, and around our house on a daily basis.
But I can still remember what it was like to try to find babywearing businesses outside of big box stores; search engine results were typically a Facebook link and not much else. After I launched my consulting business, I added ‘help people find companies a little easier’ to the long list of to-dos that I had made for myself. Fast-forward 6 years and my passion for babywearing has turned into a profession that I love, and I am still striving to help the Babywearing community wherever I can. And my to-do list just keeps getting longer!
Tekhni Wovens, Chloris Tidepool (repreve blend) * photo credit Sarafia Jones Photography
As businesses have come and gone, one of the things that I began to notice was that, like my first searches for babywearing businesses, finding ones that were transparent about their material sourcing and how they manufactured their products wasn’t easy. And if it was difficult for me to find, I figured it was probably also difficult for others to find as well!
I welcome you all to join me as I write an ongoing series about Babywearing + Sustainability & Fair Trade! I will highlight those businesses within our industry that are open about where they stand on the subject and who are willing to reveal their business practices. My hope is that parents, caregivers, and other educators will find the information helpful in their own searches.
Why would I even bother, you may ask? These are concepts that I believe in and try to emulate in my own everyday life, beliefs that have led me through one of my college degrees, in Natural Resources Management. And because terms used today such as ‘sustainability’, ‘eco-friendly', and ‘carbon footprint’ are commonplace in our vocabulary, whether a person participates in these kinds of practices or not. As we move forward in an age where knowing:
- what kind of materials are being used
- where the plants are being sourced from
- how the animals are being treated, and
- what kind of conditions the person who made your product works in
...these questions become even more relevant and important for the overall growth of our industry.
It has taken months of research, many emails, and long nights of delving through website after website to uncover companies that readily showed eco-conscious transparency. And after all of that work, I hope that you will join me as I delve deeper into why sustainability is important to babywearing and the overall babywearing industry. As you read the following series I will show you many examples of this, such as:
- highlighting recycled, upcycled, and fully renewable fiber types
- discussing international standards for both sustainability and fair trade
- spotlighting those companies who make it part of their mission to reduce their carbon footprints.
As our community grows, my hope is to never end this series; as babywearing businesses show us what they are doing to ease their impact on our shared planet, I hope to continually add them here, so that they may be easy for others to discover as well.