Say No to Toxic Clothing (Why We Should Wear Chemical Free Clothes)
Fabrics are basically part of our everyday lives. From the clothes we wear to car seats or the upholstery on furniture. Unfortunately, some fabric materials contain toxins and other dangerous substances which can be harmful to our health.
Materials Used in Clothing
Recent advancements in technology may have provided fabric materials which prevent wrinkles in clothes. Some fabrics are even designed as stain-resistant or dry-fit. But if you take a look at the labels of your clothes, you will surely find materials or components that are unnatural or synthetic.
A few decades ago, fabrics used are mostly composed of natural fibers like linen, wool, hemp, silk, cashmere or cotton. Although these kinds of fabrics are still used in today’s fashion, many clothing items now contain synthetically prepared materials like nylon, polyester, acetate, rayon or acrylic. In most cases, chemicals are also utilized during the manufacturing process.
How are fabrics or clothing materials manufactured with toxic chemicals?
The production of clothes makes use of harmful chemicals in almost every step. Components such as synthetic dying agents are used for coloring fabrics while some are soaked in toxins to make them resistant to biodegradation. Some clothes also contain Phthalates which is a form of endocrine disruptor. These substances can often be found in buttons and other accessories. These can cause hormonal imbalance especially when the clothes are often worn. Another form of endocrine disruptor is nonylphenol which is used in dying applications. Unfortunately, the presence of nonylphenols has also been detected in water.
The EPA or Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the inhalation of acrylonitrile, which is the primary chemical compound used to manufacture acrylic fibers can potentially lead to cancer. Typical synthetic fibers such as acrylic and nylon are extremely deadly, not just to humans but also to the environment. Formaldehyde is also present in some clothing items since the substance can make clothes wrinkle-free. Unfortunately, formaldehyde is considered as a human carcinogen based on several studies.
Chemicals present during fabric processing
Numerous fabrics, including natural fibers go through considerable processing which often includes the following:
- Chemical fabric softeners
- VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds
- Petrochemical dyes
- Dioxin producing bleach
These components are known to be very dangerous to humans and can also pollute the environment because of heavy metals present.
Top toxic fabrics
- Nylon - this type of fabric, which usually undergo a permanent chemical finish is made up of petroleum.
- Rayon - a type of recycled wood pulp which undergoes treatment using chemicals like sulphuric acid, acetone, caustic soda and ammonia.
- Acetate and Triacetate - derived from cellulose, which are wood fibers; this fabric goes through comprehensive chemical processing.
- Acrylic - the EPA has reported that the presence of polyacrylonitrile may cause cancer.
In general, it is best to choose fabrics that are made of natural materials such as cashmere, cotton, linen, silk, wool or hemp. Make a conscious decision to only purchase chemical free clothing. Go for organic fabrics and clothing since these are better choices compared with synthetic fabrics. Buying natural clothing can be more expensive than purchasing regular ones but your body and the environment will thank you for making that important switch.
Head over our shop for organic clothing options!
Show your support to local companies who care for the environment. Choose clothes or fabrics that are made from flax, organic cotton or bamboo. Ensure that your choice of fabrics or clothes is made using natural dyes. It will also help if you conduct a bit of research so you will know more about the importance of wearing and using chemical free clothing or fabrics. Doing so, you are helping local businesses since most natural clothing materials are produced by small and medium enterprises and nonprofit organizations which care for the environment.
Other means to lessen toxins in clothing include using environment friendly detergent and avoiding dry cleaning processes. Do not be too overwhelmed when you are starting to reduce your toxic load. Start small by being more conscious with fabrics. Always check the label and make better and cleaner choices for the improvement of your life and the world.