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Ideally, we want to wear beautiful clothes made of the material grown without toxic pesticides, heavy metal-containing fertilizers, and sewage water and processed without any harmful substances that can be absorbed via the skin, especially when you are sweating. And we also want to look good and we do not want to break the bank. I might have found an organic clothes brand that meets all of these requirements. Please read on.
What are organic clothes anyway? We can’t eat them. Can they be organic? And why is it important that clothes be organic?
Yes, clothing can be organic.
There is a comprehensive certification called GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) that inspects manufacturing at every stage from the harvesting of raw materials to the dyes, bleaches, and processing agents used in the finishes of the fabric.
Why is GOTS certification important? Because that way, we know that the raw materials used to make a fabric are not only grown without the use of toxic pesticides, fertilizers, and water but also is processed without the use of hazardous chemicals, including:
- brominated and chlorinated flame retardants,
- azo dyes,
- organotin compounds,
- perfluorinated chemicals,
- chlorinated solvents,
- short-chain chlorinated paraffin
- and heavy metals including cadmium, chromium, mercury, and lead.
Yes, even lead…
These compounds are known to be toxic, persistent, bio-accumulative, carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic, and/or to act as hormone disruptors, and their use poses risks for the environment and human health (source).
For example, the European Union tested 9 national football jerseys. The good news is that flame retardants, phthalates, arsenic, PAHs, formaldehyde, and azo dyes were either below the level of detection or were not there. The bad news was that the tests revealed that 6 jerseys contained lead and one jersey contained antimony, another toxic heavy metal. The organization recommended that athletes wash jerseys prior to wearing them, and that they wear cotton shirts underneath the jerseys when participating in sports, as this partially prevents the absorption of lead (source).
You might have heard that lead is toxic to the developing brain and nervous system in children. But it does more harm than that.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified lead as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (source).
Recent epidemiological studies have shown that ongoing non-occupational exposure to lead is associated with higher death rates due to cancer (source). This is probably because lead causes DNA damage and inhibits DNA repair.
(If you are a cancer patient or survivor, please contact me for a free consultation to identify the most impactful steps you can take right now to reduce exposure to cancer-feeding chemicals.)
Lead toxicity is also linked to the increased risk of autoimmune diseases (read more here and here). Lead can hide in unexpected places. We can go over the products you use to make sure that there are no hidden sources of exposure to lead and other heavy metals. If you’d like my help in doing that, please schedule a coaching call with me here.)
Let’s talk about an organic clothes brand that I think you will like.
I first learned about the Wear Pact organic clothes brand a few years ago, and I bought organic yoga leggings and organic cotton t-shirts that I have been wearing almost exclusively around the house. Recently, I also bought their underwear, too. I like all their pieces. They look good, are comfortable, and are of good quality. None of the garments have unraveled over the years, and I wear them a lot.
Wear Pact carries a number of clothing pieces from underwear to outerwear for women, men, and kids.
Speaking from a safety standpoint, Wear Pact carries mainly three types of clothing:
- Clothing made with 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton
- Clothing made with 95% GOTS-certified organic cotton
- Clothing made with 70%-95% GOTS-certified organic cotton
Only a small percentage of Wear Pact clothing is not GOTS-certified. Please read each product’s description page for more information on each garment.
Here, it is important to mention that GOTS certification has two levels:
- Organic: contains at least 95% certified organic fibers.
- Made with X percent organic materials: contains 70 to 95% certified organic fibers. The rest can be non-organic fibers, including some synthetic and recycled fibers.
In both cases, the non-organic fibers have to comply with the requirements of GOTS, which means that they should be free of the chemicals we talked about above. That’s why I was very happy when I saw that Wear Pact garments carry GOTS certification. It is so hard to find.
To make sure that a clothing brand is GOTS-certified, it is a good idea to search for it in the GOTS database. I found the Wear Pact GOTS certification here.
Thus, Wear Pact has a variety of different options depending on how much organic cotton you want your clothing to contain.
Are Wear Pact organic clothes affordable? They are not cheap but I believe they are not more expensive than conventional clothing. And the good news is that they have a clearance section and run frequent sales, especially now with the holidays upon us.
Where to Buy
So check out these organic clothes. You can buy them on the Wear Pact website.
And as always, I welcome your questions and comments.
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