Chemicals are one of the main components in our clothes. They are used in every part of the textile production for making fibers, bleaching and dyeing fabrics, etc…
When they arrive in the shops, our clothes still contain a lot of chemicals, even clothes made of "100% natural" fiber. Our skin is our body's largest organ and absorbs anything we put on it, including chemicals in our clothes. These can present a real danger to our health.
A Greenpeace study Detox Campaign has identified 11 chemicals frequently used to make our clothes that contain toxins, carcinogens, and hormone disruptors which should be banned, but currently aren't.
Conventional cotton farming uses high levels of pesticides and toxic chemicals that seep into the Earth. Organic cotton farmers take extra care to protect the environment, animals and people — conserve water, support biodiversity and healthy soils, eliminate hazardous toxic pesticides from water, soil and air.
The usage of high levels of pesticides and toxic chemicals impact farmers and local communities, causing diseases and premature death among farmers along with massive fresh wáter pollution and soil degradation.
Around 20% of all global industrial water pollution results from the dyeing, treatment of textiles
Organic cotton benefits human health as farmers support the growth of healthy crops by using a range of natural techniques and low impact chemicals. Organic cotton farming don’t use toxic hazardous pesticides and artificial fertilisers. It is suggested that the pesticide use would drop by 98% if all farming was organic (1*). The Global Organic Textile Standard aka GOTS ensures factories have met strict social and environmental criteria.
To produce organic cotton, farmers must avoid the use of any chemicals or pesticides that could compromise the integrity of the crop. Instead, they opt for natural methods that stimulate growth and keep away pests.
What can we do about it?
- Choose organic fibers.
- Choose sustainable brands.
- Always wash new clothes before using them for the first time
- Look for garments with certification label controlling chemical content such as OEKO-TEX®, GOTS, or BLUESIGN®
- Always wash new clothes before using them for the first time.