“Many chemicals that are used in the dying and processing of fabrics can become hormone disrupting and even cancer causing when they break down in nature,” said Greenpeace’s Media Officer, Myriam Fallon.
Today, Greenpeace release a report, Toxic Threads, detailing their toxic chemical findings from 141 items of clothing purchased this year from authorized retailers in 29 countries.
They found high levels of toxic phthatates in four garments and cancer-causing amines in two garments. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) were found in 89 articles (63% of all items tested).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, NPE‘s are used in industrial applications and consumer products such as laundry detergent, dust control agents and de-icers. NPE’s degrade into Nonylphenol (NP) which has been found in human breast milk, blood and urine and is associated with reproductive and developmental effects in rodents.
Brands containing NPE’s include Benetton, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Esprit, Gap, Levi’s Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret and Zara.
Q: I need to wear affordable clothes that I’m comfortable in, so what can I do?
A1: Become and informed consumer by reading and educating yourself about the problem of Fast Fashion. Fast Fashion is the delivery of new fashion trends in shorter cycle times in response to consumer preferences. Much of this clothing is cheap and is worn only a few times. The increased cycle of clothing one person wears and thus the need for a lower price point is one of the the main reasons that top brands reach out to environmentally irresponsible garment and textile plants.
A2: We always can’t avoid buying cheap clothing because sometimes, “we ain’t got the cash.” If you’re looking for a new style, try swapping with friends. Mix and match. Have fun!
A3: Arrange a clothing swap at your school. Have everyone bring 5 of their top garments that they don’t wear anymore and arrange everything by size. At the swap, you then get to take 5 garments!
A4: Look for garments using organic (not natural – cotton is natural but can be dyed with toxic stuff) textiles that is CERTIFIED. If it’s not certified, you can’t be sure the manufacture isn’t lying or isn’t truthful about what really is organic about the clothing. Check out the Global Organic Textile Standard to see what certification labels you should look for.
A5: Buy vintage. Vintage is trendy and eco friendly!
A6: By something from a local artisan and request that the textiles be either be certified organic or upcycled. Custom doesn’t always mean expensive and you’ll also end up wearing the garment longer.
Click HERE to view the Greenpeace’s report.