They poison our rivers, our environment and our health - and they are in our textiles: chemicals. The textile industry produces around 80 billion items of clothing every year for its customers. The demands on the texture of the clothing are as varied as its design. To meet the ideals of consumers, garments must meet more criteria than ever before. Our blouses must not be wrinkled, our jeans should have a used look even before we have worn them for the first time, and our sweaters should be as soft as the fur of the dwindling polar bears. Every wish is taken into account. But the price we pay for our exaggerated expectations is high. Because textile chemicals not only endanger our health, but also our environment.Some of the chemicals, such as the azo dyes used as dyes in the textile industry, are suspected of increasing the risk of cancer. Cancer is certainly a criterion that does not come to mind so quickly when shopping. As a long-term effect, however, cancer only manifests itself years after the unsuspected consumption.
The short-term effects of toxins, on the other hand, occur more quickly. Primarily they make themselves felt on our skin as allergies. Textile allergies in general, textile dermatitis in particular, are not caused by the textiles, but by the toxins they contain. No wonder, after all our skin is in constant exchange with our environment.
But our largest organ, the skin, not only shields substances, it also absorbs them. In the case of aggressive chemicals, this property of the skin is particularly alarming. Because just like the healing active ingredients in ointments and natural cosmetic products, our skin absorbs those substances that are harmful to it. Whether azo dyes for dyeing, or Triclosan to prevent mould and fungi in sportswear, they all damage the surface structure of the skin and can cause redness, itching, impurities and eczema. Mainly those parts of the body are affected that release toxins from clothing through sweat and chafing. This means that the back of the knees, arm bends and underarms are often affected by itchy, burning skin rashes. In the worst case, however, it does not stop at superficial irritation reactions. In particular, risk groups such as allergy sufferers or neurodermatitis sufferers are constantly exposed to the acute danger of respiratory and circulatory problems up to allergic shock.
To protect against chemicals, experts recommend a close look at the labels and properties of the clothing. Care should be taken with attributes such as "wrinkle-free". The supposed advantage is almost always an indicator for the ingredient formaldehyde, which is said to be not only carcinogenic but also a known contact allergen. Gloss and color are also indications for or against a chemical cocktail in the clothes. But you can never be quite sure. Unlike in the food industry, the ingredients of the textile industry are not subject to any declaration obligation. And if you ask the sales staff about phthalates or surfactants, even the most competent advisors are quickly at a loss for an answer.
But what to do if the risk factor is in your own clothing? We at GREY have developed Vitadylan, a substance that even allergy sufferers can trust. We have summarized the advantages of the shirts and underwear from GREY for your skin:
If you want to find out more about chemistry in textiles, then take a look at Greenpeace, which has been involved in a detoxification cure for the textile industry since 2011.
And in case you're still looking for detox clothes, check out our shop.
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