Going Green, Gracefully

Emily Johnston is the owner of Gracefully Greene, a natural baby boutique for moms who want to take a step in a natural direction while still having tons of options of products to choose from. GoodGuide spoke to Emily about what she looks for when choosing products to sell in her store as well as when she’s shopping for her own family. According to Emily, being natural doesn’t have to be as irritating as a diaper rash (although she does carry something for that too).

What is the purpose of Gracefully Green Baby?

Future mothers, infants and children are exposed to more contaminants than ever before. A newborn’s skin is more fragile and sensitive than an adult’s, absorbing proportionately greater amounts of chemicals through the skin’s surface.  There is evidence building that babies’ increasing exposure to outdoor and indoor toxins contributes to escalating rates of childhood epidemics over the past two decades, like autism, ADHD, asthma, and allergies.  I created this site as a destination for parents to find natural choices for their families without the common toxins found in everyday products.

Do you have a “rule of thumb” for choosing the safest baby products?

With bath products, I always say if you can’t read or understand the ingredients, then it’s probably not the best. With hard gear, like toys, bottles, and furniture, I look for products that are made with natural materials and try avoid plastic when possible. Anything you have around your child will inevitably end up in his or her mouth. For that reason, you should avoid anything with harsh coatings or finishes. In soft materials like clothing and teddy bears, choosing organic cotton is a definite plus. If you can’t choose organic cotton all the time, focus on the clothing in which your child spends most of their time, like rompers and bodysuits. Skip the expense on outerwear and formal clothing because your little one is simply not going to spend that much time wearing it.

Has GoodGuide helped you find better alternatives for any baby skincare products?

Absolutely! It’s an excellent resource for moms to find products that are safe and natural for their children. I particularly love the iPhone app, because it helps me make good decisions on the go.

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