Many sustainable brands advertise synthetic clothing as eco-friendly. Using toxic garment dyes and finishes, they claim this to be a greener option. However, are man-made fibers really ethical? “Killer Clothes” takes a deep look into the dangers of synthetic textiles, which have been hidden from the public eye.
Are synthetic fabrics eco friendly?
According to McKinsey & Co, 70% percent of consumers view the use of sustainable materials as an important purchasing factor. Yet, eco-conscious clothing labels rarely speak to them. When shopping, consumers struggle with avoiding certain fabrics and making the right choices.
When it comes to ethical shopping, 50% of consumers view the brands’ environmental credentials confusing or deceitful. As always, the consumer is right. Most ‘conscious’ collections still incorporate hazardous, synthetic textiles that are only “partially recycled.” Their eco-labels do nothing but distract shoppers from all the health risks lurking in their wardrobes and, in the end, synthetic fabrics are bad for the environment.
With the rise of greenwashing, trusting sustainable brands blindly is not enough. After all, how can clothes be eco-friendly if they’re made out of synthetic materials? Numerous medical studies show that textiles, which the fashion industry considers safe, can harm your health and the environment. That’s why it’s more important than ever to take your health into your own hands.
A book on sustainable fashion, “Killer Clothes” reveals it all. From pesticides to toxic dyes, the book unpacks the underlying dangers of seemingly ‘ethical’, synthetic clothing. Here are 4 insane things about synthetic apparel that you should know, according to the book:
Do synthetic fibres cause pollution? Yes! Synthetic clothing spreads harmful nanoparticles
For this reason, “Killer Clothes” advises us to avoid synthetic clothes with flame resistant, wrinkle-free, anti-fungal, or antibacterial properties. These clothes contain garment finishes with toxic chemicals that pose significant risks to our health.
If your clothing is described as flame retardant, stain resistant, permanent press, antistatic or non-shrink, you can be pretty sure that synthetic chemicals were either directly applied to the fabric or bonded into the fabric, and the residue can induce allergic reactions in some people.
What problems do synthetic materials cause? Dyes in synthetic fibers may never leave your body
Is 100% polyester environmentally friendly? Definitely not!
Many of these chemicals were designed to be virtually immortal and don’t break down easily. Once in human body fat, they accumulate over a lifetime with a variety of potential effects on health.
Known as bioaccumulation, the toxins can collect in body tissues and cause endocrine system disorders in lab animals. Slowly but surely, synthetic textiles lead to a tipping point for a lot of autoimmune disorders. That’s why consumers should beware of chemical contamination through clothes, even in small quantities.
What is more eco friendly cotton or polyester? Man-made textiles trigger skin problems!
Skin rashes, nausea, fatigue burning, itching, headaches, difficulty breathing – these are just a few of the symptoms associated with chemical clothing sensitivity.
See it for yourself – on a humid day, do synthetic clothes feel more breathable on your skin, as compared to natural fibers? At the cost of being boring, the answer is: synthetic fabrics are bad for the environment!
Synthetic clothing exacerbates the global health crisis.
Every 30 seconds, one worker dies from exposure to toxic agents, pesticides, and radiation somewhere in the world.
Despite this, most brands, including ‘ethical’ ones, refuse to part their ways with synthetic fabrics.
It [shouldn’t be] a surprise that most manufacturers refuse to accept any real responsibility for the effect their chemical clothing is having on human health.
In the absence of corporate responsibility, regulatory bodies remain silent on the matter. Although certain chemicals like amine-formed dyes are banned in the EU, they’re still legal in the US. Hence, at the end of the day, it’s up to consumers to research and protect themselves from chemical exposure.
An alarming 65 separate clothing brands in China were found to contain toxic dyes that are known cancer-causing agents, or they failed to meet other basic quality standards, according to a 2010 investigation by Beijing’s Bureau of Industry and Commerce.
Considering this, “Killer Clothes” recommends that we track the origins and manufacturing of our garments. Consumer awareness, in tandem with the abstinence from synthetic fabrics, can help us counter the current global health crisis.
At Impakter, we understand the detriments of synthetic fibers, which is why we only feature brands that use natural, organic fabrics in their manufacturing process in our ECO marketplace.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com contributors are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — Featured Photos: Sewing Machine, Hazard Icon, Chemical dying process, Skincare Routine, The streets of New Delhi, Source: Pexels