When it comes to our children, we want them to be safe and protected from harm. Unfortunately, many of us are unaware of the potentially dangerous chemicals lurking in our clothing. A significant portion of clothes on the market today contain hazardous chemicals that can have a negative impact on our health. That’s why it’s so important to consider non-toxic clothing for our kids.
What is non-toxic clothing?
Did you know more than 8,000 chemicals are used to manufacture and process clothing? Not all chemicals are harmful, however. Non-toxic clothing is made from fabrics containing no toxic chemicals or materials. It is made with natural, renewable, and organic fibers such as cotton, linen, and hemp. These fabrics are free of harmful dyes, toxins, and other synthetic materials. Non-toxic clothes are free of dangerous additives, such as flame retardants, formaldehyde, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), phthalates, and heavy metals. They also tend to be more breathable, providing better air circulation for the skin and body. Non-toxic clothes are often organic and environmentally friendly.
What chemicals are used in clothing?
Formaldehyde is a common chemical used to make fabrics wrinkle-resistant and prevent them from shrinking. Formaldehyde can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory problems. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to cancer.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics and synthetic materials more flexible. They are found in synthetic leather and PVC materials. Phthalates are linked to reproductive problems and developmental issues in children.
These chemicals are added to clothing to make them more resistant to fire. They are commonly found in children’s sleepwear, mattresses, and furniture. Flame retardants are linked to hormone disruption and cancer.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)
These chemicals are used to make clothing water-resistant and stain-resistant. They are found in outdoor gear and rainwear. PFCs are linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues in children.
Lead in clothing and accessories, such as buttons, zippers, and snaps can cause developmental issues in children and result in cognitive impairment in adults.
Clothing made from conventionally grown cotton may contain pesticide residues, which are harmful to both the environment and human health. Pesticides are linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues in children.
What happens if you wear clothes with toxic chemicals?
The health consequences of wearing clothes treated with toxic chemicals can be serious and far-reaching. Common chemicals found in clothes can be endocrine disrupters, meaning they can interfere with hormones. Some are known carcinogens, meaning they can lead to cancer. These chemicals are linked to reproductive issues, disruption of the immune system, and other serious illnesses.
How to limit your exposure to toxic chemicals in clothing:
Wear Natural Fibers
Choose clothing made from natural fibers such as organic cotton, linen, and wool. Look for certified organic materials to ensure the clothing you're buying is in fact organic and not greenwashed.
Avoid Synthetic Materials
Avoid synthetic materials, especially those treated with chemicals so they are wrinkle-resistant, stain-resistant, or flame-retardant.
Wash Clothing Before You Wear
Wash off clothing resins and formaldehyde before you wear your garments. This simple step can help reduce your exposure to this harmful substance.
Use Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent
Choose a clean laundry detergent and avoid laundry softeners. Detergents labeled as "free and clear" or those which do not contain dyes are best.
Do Not Dry Clean
Choose clothing that can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. The practice of dry cleaning is chemically intensive and can further expose you to harmful substances beyond those already used to manufacture conventional clothing.
At Crann Organic, we believe...
... the closest thing to your skin should be non-toxic. Join us to explore a fashion world filled with organic clothing that is better for you and the Earth.