We like a good story at NINA. Here’s one for you. Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, brother and sister, were on a mission – to find the place that would be the centre of the Incan Empire. They emerged from the depths of Lake Titicaca and trekked across the Andes mountains in search of the place where their golden staff, a gift from their father as they embarked on their adventure, would sink into the soil. And so they found the Cusco valley. A fertile land perfect for the powerful Incan empire, founded in 1438. Presumably the Sun God rejoiced, and the rest was history.
During our time living in Peru last year we were fascinated by the Incas. Their pottery tells stories and their funerals were celebrations. Their gods and deities have names like Pachamama (the goddess of Earth, responsible for farming and the harvest) and Mama Quilla (the goddess of marriage and the defender of women). Textiles were hugely important to the Incan empire – “their language, their money and their art all at once”. Hand in hand with this goes farming and agriculture and the crops they were revered for worldwide. Not least their native Peruvian Pima cotton. Gossypium Barbadense, though it sounds more like a spell you would hear cast in the corridors of Hogwarts, is the technical name for Peruvian Pima cotton. Such a luxurious and soft cotton that the Incas believed it was a gift from God, having fallen from the sky as fragments of cloud.
At NINA we believe the only cotton you should be wearing is organic Peruvian Pima cotton. We’re pretty sure you will agree with us. Here’s why it makes the most marvellous clothes for babies:
Super soft - nothing beats it
Of the 40+ types of cotton that are grown around the world (yep, we had no idea either that there were so many different types), Peruvian Pima cotton is in the ‘ELS’ category. This stands for extra-long staple length. It means the baby clothes are softer, because at the microscopic level of each cotton fibre, there are less jagged bits poking out. Like a really smooth strand of hair with no split ends. Obviously ideal for soft organic baby clothes
Long-lasting, so the most sustainable choice
Because the cotton fibres are long, they are also stronger, more durable and so longer-lasting. This is in comparison to over 90% of the clothes you find on the high street which are made from conventional cotton, or ‘short staple’ cotton. When we’re all talking about sustainability, this is something to take notice of. If we extend the life of our clothes by an extra nine months we can reduce their carbon, water and waste footprint by 30%. An easy win – that’s if our clothes are going to last in the first place. Using sustainable fabrics like this are the best choice to make soft organic baby clothes.
It survives all your washes and more
Nothing worse than taking a brand new item out the wash and finding it has shrunk and bobbled. Well our pima cotton never does that! We’ve already said our peruvian pima cotton baby clothes are softer and last longer, but what we also need to call out is the fact that these clothes are less likely to bobble or pile than others, one of the most common complaints for baby clothes. Green baby clothes don’t just need to be made from eco friendly clothing materials but also to last so they can be used over and over.
Good for skin - the best for eczema sufferers
We should talk about what we put on top of our bodies as much as we talk about what we put into our bodies. Peruvian Pima cotton is naturally hypoallergenic. I’ve suffered from eczema since I was a baby and my sensitive skin continues to be a nuisance every day. I’m not a rare breed - 1 in 5 children will be diagnosed with the skin condition and when babies’ skin is up to five times thinner than adults’ skin, the clothes they wear are an important consideration (not just for their skin but toxins in their immediate environment also affect the development of their immune system too). Newborn eczema is a real concern, especially when the cause of eczema in babies can be hard to find. So to avoid any flare up trust soft baby clothes made from organic peruvian pima cotton.
It’s a no-brainer.
We had heard pretty good things about Peruvian Pima cotton before we found it (finding it was not the straightforward task we anticipated – we shouldn’t really have been surprised given that the organic kind makes up just 0.0005% of cotton globally). As we discovered more about this type of cotton, as we met the cotton farmers who have grown it for decades using sustainable cotton farming techniques, as we did feel tests of so many clothes in so many shops (we never thought this would become a normal holiday activity for us), we became bigger and bigger fans.
It’s empowering to realise you have a choice. To realise that you’re your own person, you’re informed, you chart your own path in life. We make a staggering 35,000 decisions each day. Okay, some of these might be more conscious than others. And some more profound than others (admittedly marmite vs peanut butter is one of the more difficult decisions in our household). Before embarking on this adventure we thought cotton was just cotton and that the only real decision we had to make over the clothes we purchased was the design and the fit. How wrong we were. We are so proud to work with our cotton farmers and garment workers and all in between to make clothes from organic Peruvian Pima cotton – the only cotton we should all be wearing.