Alana Redick, Founder & CEO of TryKind Clothing (@Trikind_Clothing)
If someone told you that your clothing is responsible for making you unwell you’d probably look at them and laugh, right? While it has been kept hush hush for many years now but fashion’s biggest dirty secret is out thanks to Greenpeace’s Toxic Thread report.
With chemicals such as phthalates, aldicarb and azo dyes mixed in with chemical mordants, clothing has been found to cause a huge amount of illnesses. These range from ADHD, asthma, breast cancer, a number of reproductive issues to endometriosis. As for Azo dyes which are used to colour most of our clothes, they have been proven to have cancer-causing chemicals and have thus been banned in the EU. Yet due to regulation in developing countries and the lack of transparency in the fashion industry, it means that these dyes can still be used widely in our clothing – particularly in cheaper clothes from fast fashion brands where outsourcing is rife.
Your daily skincare routine doesn’t involve washing your skin with petrol or rubbing aldicarb* all over yourself so why do we cover it for the whole day with these toxic chemicals on our clothing? We have to ask ourselves do we want these chemicals pressed against, our skin, the largest organ in our body 24/7? Do we want these in intimate places or even near our children? Are we willing to risk our health for a cheap pair of undies or PJs?
We say NO! We dye using ayurvastra-processes and holistic herbs that can benefit your skin as well as being carefully crafted by the loving hands of fairly treated garment workers in India. We also save deadstock fabrics from landfill and upcycle them into our Kover Me Kindly Kimonos to create a circular economy. Due to their upcycled nature of the kimonos their fabrics are not harmful to your skin like new synthetic fabrics.
We know it can be a little daunting to fully understand the dangers of chemicals in our garments because unlike cosmetics or food there is no label or ingredients on our clothing to guide us.
So how do we know what is safe?
- If it is a synthetic fabric like polyester or nylon then it will have chemicals in. However according to Remake, if it is vintage or upcycled it is significantly less toxic due to the fact that the garment has been washed several times and that the chemical residue is significantly less than new clothes. This is why we use upcycled saris in our Kover Me Kindly Kimono (check out the conscious bundle on Green Friday – link)
- If it doesn’t say it’s certified organic then it isn’t. Simple. Look for GOTS certified and there will be no nasty pesticides or dangerous chemicals hidden in the cloth.
- If it is azo dyed. Avoid.
- If it is marked with the OEKO-TEX certification which checks for hazardous chemicals. You’re clear.
So if I told you you’re clothes are making you unwell, would you still laugh? I hope not! Let’s live and learn and spread the wellness from our cosmetic choices to our everyday #ootd all the way to our kind little undies. Fashion can have a positive impact if we TryKind Clothing. Tryit, TryKind.
*(Aldicarb – a pesticide chemical used in cotton that is so hazardous that it has been linked to cancer and banned from being used in Europe, however continues to be used in developing countries where most cotton is grown for fast fashion giants.)