Time Magazine “Toxic Clothing“:
In April, Greenpeace purchased 141 items from 20 global fashion brands across 29 countries; these garments had been manufactured in at least 18 different countries.
They tested a collection of jeans, slacks, t-shirts, dresses and underwear, which were all made with both artificial and natural materials.
In doing so, they found high levels of cancer-causing phthalates in four garments, while nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) were found in 89 garments (63 percent of those tested).
You can read the Greenpeace report here.
Brands that were super toxic with chemicals at the highest concentrations above 1000 ppm (parts per million) were:
- C&A (one sample)
- Mango (three samples)
- Levi’s (two samples)
- Calvin Klein (one sample)
- Zara (one sample)
- Metersbonwe (two samples)
- Jack & Jones (one sample)
- Marks & Spencer (one sample)
How does this all happen?
Well it’s because of the super fast changes in the fashion world or “fast fashion”, and the disposable nature of trends like those nasty Hammer-like drop crotch pants, neon clothing, cropped tops, or anything that doesn’t become a staple classic over time like skinny jeans.
We buy 4 times as much clothing as we did in 1980.
As a result, retailers pump out hordes of clothes by the tonnes are retailers like H&M, Gap, Bennetton, Zara, Mango, and Forever 21:
[For these retailers, it means a] quick turnaround, short deadlines and, consequently, [they] cut corners that lead to unsafe practices and little oversight that could otherwise decrease use of phtalates and NPEs.
Brands such as these maximize profits by manufacturing for 6-8 fashion seasons as opposed to the traditional 2-4.
Need-it-now customers purchase items from these frequent collections, which inflates the amount of clothing that is both sold and thrown away.
A really fascinating, eye-opening study.
It sure has made me think twice about even entering Zara, GAP, Mango or H&M. I haven’t been in a store since October or bought anything there as of late.
I feel even better about buying secondhand, and not only that, buying higher quality, classic brands and items items that are not likely to cut corners to save money, at the expense of their consumers’ health.
I think Greenpeace says it best: