Sustainable Fabrics 101
Let’s be honest, most of us have fallen in the fast fashion trap more than once: “trendy, cute, and cost-effective”. But how many times have you loved the quality of it? How many times have you felt “really” good about your choice? For me, it’s close to none. And now that I’m more aware of what fast fashion is and what it causes… it’s more like zero.
I’m sure you have heard this before but let me briefly remind you some of those effects I’m talking about. Honestly, we can write a full thesis on this, but I will summarize the key ones. I want you #revolutionnaire to better understand what fast fashion is and how it affects us. In this blog post I'll address the topic of poor-quality fabrics sold to us (chemically loaded many times) in comparison to natural and sustainable fabrics.
First off, fast fashion mass produces in order to get the newest trends, styles into the market as QUICK as possible and for the LOWEST possible price. In order to achieve this, these companies are manufacturing clothes made of fibers that contain lots of harmful chemicals that can be so damaging to our health, not to mention the health of those working in the industry.
According, to Jenna Amatuli a Huff Post writer; such harmful chemicals can cause cancer (yikes) and also mentioned that your skin works to keep you healthy by letting go up to 1lb of toxins per day. But a lot of these fabrics don’t let your skin do its job to keep you healthy.
Since our skin is the largest organ on our body. It loves to absorb everything we place on it setting a direct access inside your body. This means only the worst when it comes to poor quality textiles. Why? because your skin is permeating and absorbing harmful chemicals. So, I’ll leave you with this food for thought… What is the TRUE COST of fast fashion?
Your skin. Your health. The environment. Your future.
On the other hand, natural and sustainable fabrics can give you skin life (yes!). After continuously researching natural and sustainable fabrics, it now makes so much sense to me. Natural fabrics give your skin benefits such as longevity, protection, they help reduce wrinkles and acne. Pay special attention if you tend to be allergic and overall sensitive to things. But even if you’re not, you might be ignoring something that can take a huge toll on your health long-term.
Another plus about natural and sustainable fabrics is that they are not mass produced. They’re usually made in more limited quantities using organic materials and processes. There is so much more care, thought and love going into the making of these fabrics. All of that positive energy can be transmitted when wearing a piece.
We encourage you to go think twice before you buy. Even if you do go for a fast fashion piece, stop one moment and think how much you really need it. Is it worth it? If the answer is yes, then we won’t judge you. Luckily there are so many alternatives now that if you can go for a more sustainable or natural option then we guarantee you, you will feel so much better about it and so much better when wearing it too.
Before you buy, here are 5 of the chemicals you should watch out for:
• Formaldehyde - According to a report from the National Industrial Chemicals
Notification and Assessment Scheme, formaldehyde in clothing leads to eye and nose irritation and allergic reactions on skin.
• Acrylic fabrics have dimethylformamide in them, which the CDC says, after interacting directly with skin “can cause liver damage and other adverse health effects.”
• Azo dyes are used commonly as synthetic dyes used for coloring clothes, leather and textiles. They also release amines ― a compound derived from ammonia ― that increased the risk of bladder cancer among German dye factory workers who had regular
exposure to it. (Stick to natural dyes)
• Many static resistant, stain resistant, flame retardant, or wrinkle-free clothing is often treated with formaldehyde, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) like Teflon, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) and nonylphenols (NPs), or triclosan, according to The IFD Council, the world’s leading modest fashion and design council representing the Islamic economy.
NPEs and NPs are absorbable through the skin and have been shown to be associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents, though studies in humans are inconclusive.
• Petrochemical fibers like nylon, polyester, acrylic, acetate or triacetate suffocates your skin. In suffocating your skin, it can cause headaches, nausea, skin rashes and respiratory problems.
On the other hand, here are 5 of some of the skin friendly fabrics to have in your closet:
• Organic cotton- avoids allergies and skin concerns, environment friendly, safety
standards, cheaper production cost, save money for medical bills because they aren’t
using chemicals. Conservation of natural resources, better lives for cotton farmers, higher quality and durability.
• Hemp- Protects skin by naturally filtering UV light, resists bacterial growth and breathes excellently, preventing odors. Durable, strong, retains color, saves water, saves jobs, environment friendly, soft on skin.
• Silk- Helps decrease skin’s loss of moisture, prevents aging and dry, flaky skin, acne. Silk is cool on hot days and preserves your body heat in the cold. Can help with Eczema and Asthma. It is a Natural Anti-Fungal element, can improve sleep. Environment
• Linen- promotes blood flow and relaxation, gentle on skin (hypoallergenic), durable, easy to care for, suitable for every season, versatile, environmentally friendly, and
• Merino wool – keeps you dry, warm and cozy, natural moisture wicking, odor resistant, wrinkle resistant, washable, no itch, durable, hypoallergenic, UV resistant, biodegradable, and environment friendly.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Nicole Castillo
Amatulli, Jenna. “5 Gnarly Clothing Chemicals To Watch Out For Next Time You Shop.”
HuffPost, HuffPost, 28 Oct. 2016, www.huffpost.com/entry/these-are-the-gnarly-chemicals-inthe-
Plell, Andrea, et al. “There Are Hidden Chemicals In Our Clothing.” Remake, 19 Sept. 2019,