Fast fashion has been all the rage lately with shops like Shein, Zara, H&M and so many more producing low quality and very inexpensive clothing. We are consumed with influencers doing fashion hauls on their instas only to wear the clothes once or twice and toss them.
At Oh Daisey, we are not about that life! While we focus mostly on clean beauty, we know that beauty can be seen in all realms from fashion to makeup to inner beauty. Today, let’s focus on fashion!
Fast fashion refers to brands that produce high volumes of clothing. Brands are now making clothes at a fraction of the price they used to. As a result, consumers can update their wardrobes very quickly and affordably.
Over-consumption of cheaply-made clothes is leading to the huge problem. From textile waste, to pollution, to depletion of natural resources. It is raising social issues like human rights violations but most importantly what we are going to focus on is the toxin overload that can be found in and on the clothes.
As consumers, the best thing we can do to stop supporting fast fashion is to avoid the brands that produce these high volumes of cheaply made, toxin overloaded clothing and start supporting brands that use natural material and have sustainability in mind.
Some chemicals found in clothing, such as BPA, PFAS, and phthalates, have been found in time-bound experiments and longitudinal studies to mimic hormones and interfere with our endocrine system, causing a little-understood cascade of health effects ranging from extreme weight fluctuations and fatigue to infertility and chronic disease. Let’s break it down a little more.
Polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, rayon – they’re all fabrics we see a lot of in modern clothing especially athletic wear. These are all synthetic and derived from petroleum. Many of the chemicals in these fabrics off-gas when heated, which means your dryer can end up releasing these chemicals into your home or when working out, you are ladening your body with these chemicals.
NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylates)”
Although they’ve been phased out of home laundry detergents, these bioaccumulative and persistent chemicals are still routinely used as detergents in the textile manufacturing process. They’re widely recognized for extreme toxicity to wildlife and the potential health effects include hormone disruption, birth defects, reproductive harm, skin irritation, and more.
The same class of chemicals used to make a pan non-stick is also used to treat many water- and stain-resistant fabrics like Gore-tex, Scotchgard, or Stainmaster. In studies, PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) have been shown to be carcinogenic, endocrine-disrupting, and bio-accumulative (meaning they build up in the body over time), not to mention toxic for the environment.
This well-known EPA-classified carcinogen is often used to make fabrics wrinkle-free or to prevent shrinkage, but also used in some dyes and printing. It’s also a VOC, which means it can off-gas dangerous chemicals that cause developmental and reproductive damage, eye and skin irritation, and respiratory problems – especially for workers exposed during production.
This class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals is commonly found in many personal care products, but can also be found in printing inks, waterproof materials, and faux leather.
Almost all clothing dyes are made with heavy metals like lead, chromium, and cadmium. They can cause reproductive issues and can pollute our water and environment.
Focus on Organic Plant Based Fabrics
Look for organic cotton, linen, wool, hemp or Tencel (made from Eucalyptus) as these typically require the least amount of chemical processing, solvents, and surfactants to produce.
Look for GOTS-certified, OEKO-TEX and BlueSign fabrics.
OEKO-TEX and BlueSign standards focus specifically on eliminating toxic chemicals added during the garment manufacturing process. GOTS takes things a step further by also including the fiber source, making it the most comprehensive certification for clothing.
Skip labels like wrinkle-resistant, stain-resistant, flame-retardant, cling-free, etc.
In addition to all the typical processing, detergents, and dyes, these fabrics are also treated with extra chemicals that are purposefully left in the end product to achieve “such results”.
Always Wash First
It’s so important to wash all new clothes before the first wear to help eliminate some of the chemicals used in production. It’s just like washing your produce before you eat it, get all the grime and pesticides off your clothes.
You don’t have to get rid of everything in your closet and purchase all new clothes! The best approach is to start phasing in cleaner options by focusing on the clothes you workout or sleep in first then begin to expand your wardrobe as necessary.
In 2003 a a study was done by a Jewish doctor, Heidi Yellen, on the frequencies of fabric. Dr Yellen was curious about why the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) would claim you should wear certain fabrics above others, and mentions not to wear wool and linen together.
The scientific details of the linen frequency study are as follows: The frequency measurements were done in angstroms (m), using a digital instrument called an Ag-Environ machine. It was designed by a retired professor to analyze the signature frequencies of agricultural commodities to help farmers determine the right time to harvest or plant.
According to the machine, the human body has a frequency of 70-100m (in people with illness that drops below 50m). Dr Yellen’s premise was that any fabric that has a higher frequency than that is beneficial to humans, and any fabric with a lower frequency causes or increases illness.
Dr Yellen’s studies showed the following:
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