Elysia Garment

A Shortlist of Chemicals to Avoid When Buying Clothes


Last week, I shared information on the innovative fabric manufacturers that genuinely care about “What’s in my tee?” Not all fabric is created with good intentions. This week’s topic is not fun, it’s hard to digest (literally for your pores, which ingests chemicals from your clothes), and it’s a lot to cover in one article. So, Suuchi blog readers, I’m giving you the lowdown with an exclusive sneak peek from BtL’s How to Shop for Shi(f)t.

Karen Housel, an environmental scientist and co-author of How to Shop for Shi(f)t – The Shopping Guide of Healthier Fashion for any Budget!, created a simplified list of chemicals to avoid when looking for clothes. She and I worked with members of the Greenpeace DETOX campaign to understand what chemicals fabric manufacturers should be avoiding (which I will go into more detail about in the next article). Most clothing companies that are transparent and have certifications don’t list the exact chemicals they are steering clear of on their labels or websites, so this can make it hard for consumers who are looking to avoid certain chemicals. However, when an educated consumer and an educated designer both demand better when shopping/sourcing, it puts pressure on fabric companies to shift away from harmful chemicals, especially if they begin to lose business.

Gen Z is a far more educated and curious consumer. Building a brand and a brand story that speaks to the ethical concerns of Gen Z is so important to the future of fashion and design. Currently, there is a rise in the secondhand clothing market and a fall in fast fashion, which shows that brands that connect with young consumers on a personal level have an edge. They can truly shift how shoppers shop.

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