Green for Babies

Michelle Sedaca

Courtesy Photo
Kimono-maker Jackie Cefola’s daughter, Thea Loh, models one of her mom’s environmentally friendly creations available at Hatched.

Store specializes in organic clothes

JP CENTER—White batiqued dragonflies dance across bursts of orange-yellow sky. A blue lizard cheerfully crawls across a geometric landscape. Not only do these lively patterns promise to adorn babies and toddlers in colorful garb, these organic cotton clothes will make the environmentally conscious parent proud. Parents can buy organic baby and toddler clothes at Hatched at 5 Green Street, just off Centre Street.

According to the store’s owner, Jamaica Plain resident Liz Vittori Koch, Hatched is the only place that sells organic baby and toddler clothes. Vittori Koch opened the store in 2005 because, “There was nowhere else to buy exclusively organic baby clothes,” she said during a phone interview. Her products use 100 percent organic cotton and are available in sizes zero to 24 months and two to four toddler.

Vittori Koch obtains products from several suppliers, including Jackie Cefola who produces the popular Momma J’s label. Cefola’s specialty is handmade kimonos.

“When I was pregnant the first time, I was cognizant of the environmental impacts of having children—the consumption that goes along with it, especially with clothes. I tried to make conscious decisions about everything I purchased,” Cefola, who is the mother of two young children, said.

Cefola has been environmentally minded since her college years, when she helped to organize an eco-friendly co-op.

“When I did research I found that over one-third of pesticides are used to produce cotton,” said Cefola. “Organic cotton uses the same quality of fiber, if not better, and has a beautiful, soft touch.” She closed her eyes momentarily as if to visualize the brush of cotton against her newborn for the first time.

For Cefola, durability, reversibility, and vibrancy are essential to children’s clothes. In Cefola’s and other parents’ experiences, most kids’ clothes fall apart in three to four washings, while the kimonos last for a year or longer. The reversibility adds another layer of luxury. Gender neutrality plays into Cefola’s kimono designs. “I choose artistic fabric which crosses gender lines,” she said.

According to Vittori Koch, the store’s products have received a great response from JP residents, as well as from people throughout Massachusetts. “So many parents are trying to make educated purchases. Buying organic clothes not only protects children from harmful chemicals, it’s a bigger statement about the environment,” she said.

Besides baby and toddler clothing, Hatched sells toys, cloth diapers, and shoes. Hatched also offers music classes both for infants and one to three-year-olds. On the horizon, Vittori Koch plans to expand the store’s collection to include children’s books.

“Hatched fosters a community. Not only do people shop, they stop in to say hi and get advice. It’s a friendly space,” Vittori Koch said.

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