Zone Bébé Newsletter - Safe Swimming

This week
It’s already the end of May and I am sure that many of you living in the South of France have had their first dip in the swimming pool. Last year about the same time, I reported about the dangers for small children around the pool. And surely this year it is no different.

Accidents happen and unfortunately very quickly, even with adults around. Have a read, what I posted last year.

The problem with infant and toddler drowning is that it happens quietly. There is no panic, shouting, splashing or kicking. An infant stays under water, motionless. In apnoea, eyes wide open...

There is no better supervision than being with the child while it is in the water.

And even with swimming aids, there is no guarantee that there will not be an accident!

But – a swim aid is already better than no support at all. And on top, as an added extra, the one I am going to introduce to you is actively helping the child to find the right position for the swimming moves.

The idea is different to that of plastic arm bands. The Schloris are made from cotton, and are placed behind the arms, to leave the arms free to carry out the swimming movements. The cushions are inflated through the cotton once the cotton is wet – no valves which could malfunction. There are no nasty chemicals; the cotton conforms to Öko-Tex Standard 100. These are the only swimming aids that have passed the stringent tests by the Öko-Test* , year after year.

They can even be used by adults. The child should be able though to keep its head out of the water.

And the good thing is that even if the cushions deflate, they still provide buoyancy!

Have a look:

Provider Profiles

This week I will introduce sense organics.

Sense organics is a production and distribution company for Sustainable and Fair Trade Fashion, based in Frankfurt, Germany, Tirupur, India and Cenggu, Bali, Indonesia.

They are certified to GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard ( and FLO – Fair Trade Labelling organisations ( . They produce, distribute and sell organic cotton products in high quality which are produced under fair trade conditions and the highest social standards.

The story so far

For 17 years now, 50-year-old Kirsten Weihe-Keidel and her company Sense Organics in Frankfurt create young, trendy clothes from ecological materials that are also Fair Trade - for her own label and for other brands. The company’s premises, at the same time the company’s think tank and private apartment are located in an old building on the edge of Northend, Frankfurt/Germany.

One wall of her small office is covered with fully loaded clothes rails: suits, t-shirts, shirts, pants with the label "so pure" for adults, a label Kirsten Weihe-Keidel founded three years ago, and a lot of baby clothes, rompers, skirts, pants, t-shirts with her brand, "so petit”, which she has been marketing for many years.

"These are the patterns for our employees in Frankfurt” she explains. Four of them design the cuts and patterns, pick the materials and develop the collections. Eco-fashion that really deserves the name of fashion is as important to Weihe-Keidel as a good conscience. "I was always green-minded, but I did not want to run around like the environmentalists." The ecological aspect was not enough: "I believe that you cannot source organic cotton from a manufacturing plant employing adults or even children for 15 hours a day."

In comparison Fair Trade costs the consumer no more than about ten cents per baby items, adult clothing about 30 cents each as opposed to conventional goods. A baby-shirt "so pure" can be purchased for about ten Euros. The Fair Trade projects which Weihe-Kreidel supports, have also been created to a large extend by her. She has employees in India and Indonesia and is herself on-site locally several times a year. The cotton she sources mainly through the Zameen project, guaranteeing the organic cotton farmers in India adequate prices. Buttons made of eco materials such as horn, wood and fibre glass are made by micro-entrepreneurs from Indonesia.

From stage design to fashion design

When Weihe-Keidel started 17 years ago, she had no idea about fashion or Fair Trade. The business idea was born out of necessity. Being a trained actress at the Frankfurt School of Performing Arts and Music, she could no longer practice her profession as a single mother after the birth of her son. "I have always supported Amnesty International and Greenpeace, and had a soft spot for stage and costume design, so I came up with the idea."

She bought in a lot of know-how about fashion from textile designers and technicians. She had to get to grips with the certification for organic and fair trade labels. But there was no state support, no bank would lend her money – not even the eco-bank - and for a place at kindergarten there was no subsidy. In the end she found supporters. The "good old Bethmann-Bank as well as some friends lent her money. Today has been shown that it has been a good and visionary investment.

Next week

For next week’s topic I have chosen to write about the little critters that annoy us during the summer, flies and mosquitoes and what to do to avoid getting annoyed and stung!

If you have some ideas, wishes or suggestion what you would like to see in the newsletter, let me know:

Should you ever be on Facebook, please have a look at the Zone Bébé page and click on the “Like” button. Maybe even suggest it to your friends? That would be great, thank you!

The open days at Libellule Café in Valbonne this last week have been fun. Many people came to have a look.

After all, it is something else touching and looking at the various things on offer.

If you have missed it this time, there will be another morning at Libellule in Valbonne - 06 area of France, Thursday 26th May.

At the same the LLL - La Leche League Association and Parents naturellement are meeting there too from 10:00 – 12:00.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Claudia/Zone Bébé

Le bio for bébés et mamans