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Article: Is Your Clothing Toxic? Why Organic Matters

Non toxic clothing chemical usage fashion

Is Your Clothing Toxic? Why Organic Matters

Being health-conscious allows us to live longer, more fulfilling lives. We choose what we put in our bodies. But do we consider what we put on our bodies in the same way? Do we think about what materials we put against our skin or how our consumption of toxic clothing impacts the environment?

Organic clothing that we have the option to buy and wear matters just as much as the organic food we consume. What goes on our body is as important as what goes in it. Toxic clothes contain dangerous chemicals that are capable of harming our bodies and the environment we live in.

Toxic Chemicals and Plastics in Clothing

There can be many harmful chemicals in toxic clothes, many of which come from plastics. Some companies use recycled plastic bottles to make polyester, a common synthetic textile used in toxic fashion. While recycling plastic may seem like a step in the right direction for the environment, some types of recycled plastic can be harmful to our bodies. 

One of the main issues is that when plastic gets heated, it can leach harmful chemicals and carcinogens which then get absorbed by your skin. So whether you’re wearing a plastic T-shirt on a hot day or tossing it in the dryer with your other clothes, you could be running the risk of exposing yourself to toxic elements. 

While plastic can be cheap to source and easy to work with, it only guarantees that a T-shirt can be cheap to make--not necessarily safe to wear. That means toxic fashion comes at such a cost to the wearer that it’s just not worth it. 

Another common toxic element in clothing are azo dyes. Azo dyes are popular because manufacturers can use them to dye clothes at lower temperatures, and the colors will last longer after each wash. However, it is widely accepted that many types of Azo dyes are carcinogenic, and therefore their usage is somewhat regulated.

The Classic T-shirt Company does not accept “somewhat regulated” as a standard for the clothes we produce. We don’t need harmful chemicals to create a vibrant variety of colors in our clothing lines. See for yourself--our new arrivals collection showcases some of our favorite pieces and new available colors that were recommended by shoppers like you.  

How Toxic Clothing Impacts The Planet

Toxic chemicals in clothing don’t just impact the health of people. All those toxic chemicals that can be absorbed by your skin can also wash off from the clothes during regular washing… and especially during the production process. 

Chemical waste can leak from the factory into rivers, lakes, or the ocean. Sometimes companies dump their chemical waste into natural habitats intentionally. Not that the fast fashion industries are necessarily trying to exterminate nature, but without any laws or regulatory agencies to stop these terrible practices, and with profits rolling in despite their carelessness, they continue to harm our planet. 

Fashion industry chemical pollution water

The impact of pollutants such as lead, arsenic, mercury, and others is devastating, especially to aquatic life and the people who live near polluted areas. Water can wash away waste from the factories, but when carried downstream, not only does it kill aquatic life, but it harms the people who live near the bodies of water. It continues to carry pollutants into our oceans, where it contaminates the fish we eat and wreaks more havoc on fragile ecosystems. 

Microplastics are another common pollutant that toxic fashion is largely responsible for. Microplastics from clothing contribute to 190,000 tons of water pollution each year. They can enter local water systems through washing machines, or from clothing factories. 

Microplastics do not biodegrade quickly and can wreak havoc on marine life that consumes them. Much like plastic bags can end up in the stomachs of whales, making them feel full and causing them to eventually starve to death, microplastics can accumulate in the bodies of smaller animals and cause starvation if not immediate cellular damage.

Why Choosing Cotton is Not Enough

Simply choosing cotton is not enough, because cotton that is not organic is a burden our planet cannot bear for much longer. Growing cotton at scale inherently requires a significant amount of natural resources like land and water, and in order to grow it quickly and cheaply, many producers use fertilizers and insecticides that can quickly become pollutants. 

Furthermore, cotton can be treated with chemicals that artificially scent or soften the fabric. Like microplastics, these chemicals can be harmful to wildlife and our skin. 

The right choice is organic cotton--cotton that was grown organically, without pesticides or harmful fertilizers, and there were no harmful dyes or artificial softeners used in the production of the cotton. What a concept--letting cotton be naturally soft the way nature intended it.

Read more about why organic cotton T-shirts are good for you and the Earth.

Non toxic 100 organic cotton GOTS certified

Oeko-Tex is Not Enough, Go GOTS 

Oeko-Tex is an international certification that certifies textiles are free of harmful chemicals. This is a step in the right direction in terms of regulating toxic fashion, but we believe it’s more important to get to the root of the issue. 

That’s why the Classic T-shirt Company is proud to provide exclusively GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified products. GOTS certification is one of the highest standards for fashion, and compared to Oeko-Tex, it also covers how the products are made, processed, and distributed. 

Organic cotton does not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. OEKO-TEX allows fertilizers such as Triazophos and Alpha-Cypermethrin, both of which are prohibited by GOTS standards. 

Our clothing is proudly GOTS certified, but let’s talk about how we take that a step further with the Classic T-shirt Company standard:

  • We ship all over the world, never using plastic packaging.

  • GOTS only requires 70% organic cotton, but we use 100% organic cotton. 

  • All of our products are made in Los Angeles, California, where we ensure everyone who works with us is paid a fair wage and works in safe conditions.

  • We are committed to giving back to environmental causes, and that’s why we pledge at least 1% of our profits to charities that make a difference 

Learn more about what being GOTS certified means.

Detox Your Wardrobe With Classic T-shirt Company

For the sake of the planet, your skin, your comfort, and your style, it’s always a good time to go organic. With a vibrant variety of new colors and items, you can start detoxing your wardrobe one Classic T-shirt at a time. Or save some energy by ordering a few items at once. If you’re not satisfied with your order we’ll be happy to help you with returns or exchanges, but most people in our community are saying they’re happy with their Classic T-shirts and how long they last. See for yourself! Read some of our favorite customer reviews.

Learn more about starting your sustainable wardrobe and be sure to check out our new arrivals to see what might be the best items to start with.

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