by Michael Kabel

    The world keeps getting smaller. 

    With rising concern about sustaining the world's precious natural resources, the once-staid organic clothing and accessories market is enjoying something of a full-fledged renaissance. Among young and style-conscious parents especially, giving gifts that bolster or rely upon sustainable development, manufacturing, and growth has become a defining trait for their generation and a means of using their spending dollar to enact positive change. Maybe most importantly, it allows them to buy with confidence and peace of mind for the very children who'll come of age when those same resources will likely become painfully scarce. 

For the uninitiated, organic clothing is made from materials free of chemical additives or untreated with dyes and chemicals that prove toxic when released into groundwater. The fabrics used to create organic clothing were grown without pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Ideally, the clothes were manufactured in factories or shops with environmentally responsible power supplies and waste disposal procedures. The ultimate result is clothing that's a part of the earth, not torn from it through the use of traditional technology. 

The advantages of modern organic clothing, compared to the "natural" clothing of decades past, is that for the first time the organic articles can keep stylistic pace with their mainstream counterparts. New innovations in all-natural dying and finishing techniques allow organic clothing to be as colorful and comfortable as anything else available. The designs and accessories that often accompany the clothes are similarly smart. 

Organic clothing, too, is easier to wash than traditional clothing, as the lack of chemical treatments makes them durable over time. Because the items feature a simpler construction, they’re very likely more resistant to fading, as well.

    As organic clothing for the entire family grows in popularity, eco-conscious techniques are quickly entering the mainstream consciousness. No less than a half-dozen traditional designers now offer clothing that's organic to some extent. However, many smaller designers and manufacturers feature clothing more firmly committed to the organic method. For parents or friends looking to make a completely credible statement, these smaller-scale designers may be the route to take, offering greater - and possibly more sincere - environmental responsibility. If you're shopping for an organic gift, it may be worth your time to do research on the manufacturer first. Many eco-friendly design houses and style labels donate and give profit percentages to conservation and recycling efforts. Choosing a label with such efforts increases the eco-value of the money you spend. 

    Of course it's also important - very important! - that the child and parents love the gift you select, so keep taste and style in mind, as well. Don't forget to shop for taste as well as commitment to style and social awareness. An organic gift is meant to stand the test of time while providing for that same future. In that sense, it's a gift for the child that they'll appreciate even more when they're grown.