Since I changed my diet to vegan raw food, little by little changes have come to the other areas of life: Care, cosmetics, cleaning products, relationships and also clothing. Once you have started to focus on a healthy lifestyle, the change takes on more and more areas of your life. I would like to address the topic of organic clothing on my blog, because it belongs to health and therefore also to beauty and is an important topic for me.
When you choose clothes, you probably don't think about their toxic properties on you, your body and the environment. But did you know that most of the textiles that our clothes, upholstery and bedding are made of have been heavily treated with chemicals? In this article you will learn how to protect yourself.
Every day and every night we are surrounded by textiles: from clothes to towels to furniture and car seats. Thus, you can help and hurt your health by the choice of your textiles – depending on your decision.
What's wrong with clothing?
Most branded clothes and mass clothing are produced in Asia and third world countries. This is how European and international brand manufacturers want to make the biggest possible profit with their products. Yet vast quantities of toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of fabric fibers and clothing in these countries – without the slightest trade oversight! So the word branded clothing, which sounds so trustworthy, does not stand for a term that can be easily trusted.
What is hidden in new clothes?
Clothing is not only made of cotton, viscose or rayon. It is still contaminated with hundreds of Tuning substances loaded – a cocktail of different chemicals. What is particularly exciting about this is that they often account for more than a fifth of the weight of the garment. If the label of a pair of pants had to list exactly what is in it, like shampoo or cookies, then you would have to include a long list with every textile.
These chemical cocktails are supposed to provide comfort and aesthetics. So that things are always smooth and soft, are not destroyed by sunlight and numerous washings, repel raindrops and the white shines long. Keeping transport in shape. Do not wrinkle. Especially in the case of perfect-looking branded clothes made in Asia, the limit value of formaldehyde is exceeded by up to 500 times the permitted value. Yet formaldehyde is classified as a carcinogen under EC regulations.
Technological advances in the textile industry can make our lives easier, but what are the ancillary costs? Chemically treated synthetic or even natural clothing is a prolific source of toxins that adversely affect health and the environment. They emit toxic substances throughout their life from purchase to disposal, especially when heated strongly.
I've always had a strange feeling about wearing synthetic clothes: they felt quite uncomfortable on the skin and a bad smell quickly developed in them. After a lecture by Brian Clement on synthetic fabrics, I was sure that I would no longer buy clothes made of synthetic fibers and would throw away most synthetic garments. The following day I rigorously disposed of three yellow bags of clothes and have never regretted it.
In addition to allergies and skin irritations, the chemicals in the clothes will poison you in the long run, because they accumulate in your body. Unfortunately, even towels and bedding with synthetic fiber content are not spared formaldehyde and other chemicals. So, even if you are not wearing clothes at the moment, you will not be able to avoid the chemicals.
Here is a short list of textiles to avoid:
1. Polyester Is the worst fabric you can buy. It is made of synthetic polymers: PET – the same material that plastic bottles are made of. Polyester is tear-resistant, wrinkle-resistant and absorbs very little water, which is why it is used mainly for sportswear. However, especially in sports, tight synthetic clothes are very toxic, because when you sweat, the pores open especially wide and the toxic substances penetrate.
2. Acrylic or polyacrylic is also chemically produced and is the synthetic pedant to wool. It is warm, soft and quite wrinkle-resistant, but its production is highly toxic.
3. Rayon Is a synthetically produced fiber used in much of our clothing. It is recycled wood fabric that has to be treated with chemicals such as ammonia, acetone and sulfuric acid for quite a long time to withstand ordinary washing and wearing.
4. Acetates and triacetates are made from wood fibers (cellulose) and undergo extensive chemical processes to produce the final product.
5. Nylon is made from petroleum and receives a permanent finishing treatment that is very harmful.
6. Everything antistatic, non-iron, wrinkle, flame or moth resistant is. The labels wrinkle resistant and non-iron are warning labels for carcinogenic chemicals like PFCs. (The Teflon in pans is a PFC).
7. Colors. To dye a garment, a rich cocktail of different dunks is usually used. There are often over 400 toxic chemicals in a black bra. Especially with synthetic fibers, special dyes are used that do not pass into the fabric and thus do not form a permanent bond with it. They are stored in the fabric. In the course of the wearing time constantly transferred to the skin. They can cause allergies, poisoning and eczema. Black, blue and red synthetic fabrics are particularly toxic. For heavily dyed fabrics, the dye accounts for up to 2.5% of the total weight. Pastel fabrics, on the other hand, contain only 0.1% dye. Cotton clothes that keep their color when washed are fine even with bright and strong colors.
Tight clothing can be unhealthy
What if everything you knew about bras isn't true? Can you challenge your ingrained ways of thinking. Question habits? And, more importantly, bring about the necessary changes that will improve and protect your health? Is it even necessary and healthy to wear your breasts in a tight synthetic construct with metal bars? Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan has found a link between cysts on the breast and wearing bras. She treated more than a hundred women who stopped wearing a bra after a lymph node biopsy. After half a year, her breast lumps had become smaller and softer and no new ones had appeared. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to make the connection between breast problems, and synthetic, toxically dyed, tight bras (chemical deodorants come in too, more on that here).
If, for whatever reason, you do not want to do without synthetic fibers, you can minimize the toxic influence by the width of the garment. If a hot day is coming, wear loose clothing – this way you reduce skin contact.
Organic clothing and natural fabrics
The fibers from animal parts, leather and fur do not fit into my vegan lifestyle. I still have some expensive silk, angora and leather items and will continue to wear them, but I will not purchase any new ones. Thanks to new technologies in the field of textiles, there should really be no excuse anymore. Fur and leather are absolute LAST SEASON!
Use organic cotton, linen, hemp fibers, bamboo, and modal fibers!
Unfortunately, even with cotton crops, many pesticides are used that are harmful (not only) to the health of the farmers.
Before cotton travels, it is treated with antifouling agents – including dioxins and furans, which can cause severe poisoning and long-term damage.
Bamboo and modal fibers need many chemical treatments to become supple fibers.
What to do?
If you are sensitive to chemicals or you just want to surround yourself with healthy textiles, here are your options:
Note that ALL textiles, including organic textiles, are treated with chemicals at some point in production. Still, some are clearly better than others. Look for natural fabrics like cotton, linen and hemp. (I don't list silk, wool and cashmere here because I only buy vegan clothing new. Organic clothing. Underwear. I've been wearing these sports clothes* (use the code "Victoria15" to get 15% off) and these underwear* for years now. They are sustainable and fairly produced, without chemicals and durable. While such often seem overpriced, the quality of the raw materials is excellent and the threads are woven into beautiful textiles that are soft yet strong and require little chemical use. They will serve you for years. Are therefore a wise purchase.
Remember to avoid chemical cleaning. Most regular dry cleaners use tetrachloroethane (PER), which is classified as a carcinogen, mutagen and reproductive toxicant. If necessary, give your clothes to cleaners that do not use this substance. There are now eco-textile dry cleaners in many major cities that use low-impact detergents.
It is best to buy textiles that can be washed thoroughly and wash them with ecological detergents like z.B. Ecover*. It is also available at Budni. In organic supermarkets.
Summary: 10 tips to avoid toxic substances in clothing
1. Always wash your new clothes before wearing them for the first time!
2. Wear natural fabrics (cotton, linen) instead of synthetics, especially for sports, underwear and summer clothes.
3. Less colored things are less harmful, z.B. Pastel colors.
4. Read the labels in garments and avoid synthetic materials such as rayon, nylon, polyester, acrylic, acetate or triacetate as much as possible!
5. Avoid also non-iron or. less creased parts!
6. Avoid dry cleaning, which uses chloroethene! There are enough companies that do without it.
7. Buy organic clothing made from natural fabrics that is good quality and durable! How to avoid new toxins and overconsumption.
8. Check out thrift stores occasionally if you need something! Sometimes you can find stylish clothes that are inexpensive.
9. As a rule of thumb, the wider the clothes, the less color and the more natural the fiber, the lower the toxin level.
10. Wash your clothes with an eco-detergent! Refrain from using dryer sheets, which are supposed to provide fragrance and prevent electrostatic buildup.
Organic clothing: Conclusion
Our clothes are in contact with our skin, our largest organ, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, it should not interfere with its functions. Don't load the body with toxins.
Start slowly. If you can't replace all your stuff with organic clothing yet, start with underwear, socks and bedding first. And after that, choose the rest of the clothes from organic fabrics, piece by piece.
Organic food, clean water, chemical-free care and eco-textiles can work together to boost your health and well-being. Reducing exposure to toxins sometimes seems like a hopeless and exhausting task, but so it is with any change in life. Every big change starts with your small personal changes. Remember, by changing your life, you change the world.
P.S. Sign up for the monthly newsletter to stay up to date and belong to the radiant raw food community! Connect with me also on Facebook , Instagram and Youtube – so you won't miss any of the delicious, healthy recipes and natural beauty tips. You will see exciting pictures and videos of my raw food travels, my food and of course of me!
4. Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16. December 2008.
*Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. This means, if you buy an article, I get a commission. This doesn't change the prices you pay for it – but it allows me to keep rawexotic alive and invest more time in qualitative and helpful articles!
Hi, I'm Victoria. Since the beginning of 2013 I eat a raw food diet and I love it! Healthy body image is my passion. I am also a trained fitness trainer and showgirl so I know a lot about fitness and femininity. Here you will find tips and ideas for raw food nutrition, natural beauty, fitness, raw vegan travel and how to make the most of life in the modern world.
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