The Naked Truth: Is your skin in a toxic relationship with your clothes?

Onesta Journal

The Naked Truth: Is your skin in a toxic relationship with your clothes?

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Do you ever think about the relationship between your clothes and your skin? Think about it… most of us wear clothes almost 24 hours of the day. Rarely are we not wearing some form of clothing, whether its underwear, bathing suits, pyjamas, t-shirts or bottoms, you name it. We are constantly wrapping our skin in fibres. But do we know how our clothes are impacting our bodies?

As 2020 comes to an end, many of us have been concerned with our health, and for good reason! We work hard to eat healthier, exercise, maybe we even bought some natural vegan skincare. Yet when we think about how our skin is our body’s largest organ, are we taking care of it the best way we know how?

Our skin can absorb chemicals and toxins from clothing, which our bodies then need to eliminate. While it’s impossible to avoid chemicals completely these days (pollution in air and water in particular), we should work at reducing the amount of toxins our bodies have to deal. One way we can do this is to consider what are clothes are made of, how they’ve been manufactured, and how they impact our skin.

Let’s talk about synthetic fibres for a moment. These are man-made fibres created using non-renewable materials like petroleum-based chemicals. Petrochemical fibres interfere with our skin’s ability to expel toxins from our bodies – the chemicals suffocate our skin, which can lead to toxic build up that can trigger the onset of diseases. Synthetic fibres also give off vapours called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that, when inhaled, can have serious side effects on your health. So the short of it is: synthetic fibres are made from chemicals, processed with chemicals and finished with chemicals that our bodies were not meant to process. Ready to run yet?

If you’re running away from synthetic fibres, the logical path is heading straight for natural fibres that are breathable and made from plants. But wait! You could be running into a tricky little trap… Natural fabrics can be grown, dyed and finished with, you guessed it, chemicals. Pesticides, azo dyes, formaldehyde and PFAs (a chemical used to water-proof fabric) are all commonly used in the textile industry throughout the life cycle of a fibre because they are cheap and effective, yet they are linked to serious health concerns including respiratory conditions, fertility issues and even cancer. While linen, hemp, Tencel (eucalyptus) and bamboo are seen as ‘cleaner’ than cotton as they do not require pesticides in the growth stage, make sure that they haven’t been subjected to chemicals in the rest of their lifecycle.

Is it time to break up with chemical-filled clothing and start treating your skin with the respect it deserves? We think so! If we’re avoiding synthetic fibres and chemically-treated natural fibres, what is the alternative?

Purely natural fibres. Plain and simple. No chemicals used.

Organic fibres are a better alternative for your skin because no chemicals are used at all. You could also look for fabrics that are certified as OEKO-TEX Standard 100 which have been tested for harmful substances and deemed harmless for human health (we’ll talk more about this certification in a future blog post regarding sustainability as there are some concerns there).

At Onesta, we use fabrics with organic materials as well as OKEO-TEX fabrics to ensure that our clothing is safe on your skin. We use innovative and unique materials that are beneficial to the skin. Some of the fibres you’ll see in our fabrics include:

  • Seacell™ – a fibre made from seaweed harvested from the Icelandic Fjords free from waste and pollution from boats. It’s a soft and silky fibre that is rich in Vitamin E and minerals like calcium and magnesium, giving the fabric antioxidant properties (certified by European laboratories). The fibre has superior breathability and durability, is antibacterial and anti-irritation and helps to reduce inflammation and eliminate free radicals.

  • TENCEL™ Lyocell – a cellulose fibre produced from eucalyptus wood pulp that is gentle on the skin, thermal regulating, naturally resistant to bacteria and biodegradable. The trees are sourced from sustainably managed forests without using chemical fertilisers.

We believe that we can look good, feel good and do good by changing what we wear. That’s why we have created an ethical and sustainable clothing brand, so that you can be confident you are not harming your body unnecessarily through the clothes you wear.