Ladies and gents — it’s high time you detoxed your wardrobe and rid your bodies of all of the nasty, harsh chemicals often found in clothing. After all, who wants to pull on a pair of trousers that have been doused in such things as formaldehyde and heavy metals?
In order to ensure your clothes don’t contain any of these harmful chemicals, it’s best to know what types of materials you’re purchasing. Fabrics can be broadly categorized as either natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic. Natural materials like cotton or wool can be plant-based or animal-based, whereas synthetic materials (acrylic, nylon, polyester, etc.) must be made in factories. Semi-synthetic fibers, including modal and Tencel, are made from naturally-occurring materials, such as trees.
Unfortunately, all of these fabrics go through resource-intensive processes before making it onto your hangers. Natural materials require herbicides and pesticides which pollute the environment, while synthetic fibers are made from petrochemicals (which release micro-plastics into surrounding water supplies) and can take hundreds of years to decompose! Although they may seem like the more eco-friendly option, semi-synthetics still require chemicals in order to be converted into wearable fabrics.
Ditch clothing made from these fabrics and try opting for natural materials — such as organic cotton or hemp — that don’t require any chemical processing, herbicides, or pesticides. You can also make it a point to purchase clothing that’s GOTS and Oeko Tex® certified. These standards for organic fibers and textile products, respectively, will help indicate which materials underwent environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing processes.
Although it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid coming into contact with harsh chemicals, there are still clothing brands out there that are making major strides in reducing the number of toxins found in their materials. To help get you started on your wardrobe detox, we’ve rounded up five such clothing brands that are putting the environment and their customers first.
5 Non-Toxic Clothing Brands That Are Taking Sustainable Fashion By Storm
Eco cred: Rawganique is your go-to for all things natural and cruelty-free. With a wide selection of eco-friendly clothing (for men, women, and children), accessories, footwear, bed, bath, and home products — this brand is paving the way for sustainable living. All of their fabric materials are hand-crafted with organic cotton, hemp, or linen and are made without harsh chemicals, toxic dyes, or heavy metals.
Ethical Practices: Founded in 1997 by off-grid homesteaders, Rawganique is a small-scale manufacturer that takes pride in the purity and ethics of its products. This brand is fair trade and sweatshop-free and emphasizes the importance of going against the grain of commercialism.
La-La Dress, $79.00
Eco cred: With an ethos of creating sustainable luxury that doesn’t come at the expense of the planet or its inhabitants, Bhumi only uses GOTS certified 100% organic cotton that’s ethically and sustainably made from seed to shelf. The brand encourages eco-friendly farming practices and doesn’t rely on pesticides, toxic dyes, or GMO seeds.
Additional info: Bhumi supports fair-trade practices, and all products are made in India in Fairtrade-certified mills and factories. The company ensures that its employees get paid a fair wage and work in safe working environments. You can read more about their ethical practices here.
Harriet Organic Hemp Check Shirt, £49.90
Eco cred: Although not all of their lines are vegan (they use wool), Thought does have a Vegan Clothing Collection that uses sustainable fabrics like hemp and GOTS-certified organic cotton to lower their impact on the environment. With azo-free dyes and Oeko Tex® certified eco-friendly finishes, this brand creates timeless pieces without polluting the planet.
Additional info: You can read up on Thought’s fair working conditions here.
4. Winter Water Factory
Madison Dress – Wildcats Navy, $58.00
Eco cred: With adorable collections for babies, kids, and women, all of Winter Water Factory’s products are 100% vegan and made of certified organic cotton. Instead of using toxic dyes, their vibrant fabrics are printed with water-based, non-toxic inks. By manufacturing all of their products in the USA, Winter Water Factory is also able to drastically reduce their carbon footprint because their products aren’t shipped from overseas.
Additional info: This Brooklyn-based design and manufacturing company promotes ethical working conditions and is sweatshop-free.
The Demi Halter Crop Top, $180
Eco cred: Based in Austin, TX, this gorgeous sustainable line is all about providing customers with beautiful, ethically produced pieces to create a long-lasting capsule wardrobe so they never have to turn to fast fashion again. SixChel clothing (which includes hemp, organic cotton, and even vegan leather!) is cut and sewn in New York.
Additional info: Sixchel is currently donating $20 to Unicef (until 1/31/2018). Use code GIVEBACK.
Are there any non-toxic clothing brands you would add to this list?
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Photos: Micheile Henderson via Unsplash; Respective brands