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How to reduce the risk of toxins in your clothing and be a conscious consumer of clothing!

Updated on July 26, 2012

As a woman I like to buy new clothes and I do enjoy clothing fashion. Clothes are important in many ways. They are practical; they keep us warm, they protect us from heat and they keep us decent in our daily life. Clothes can also make us feel beautiful and they are a way we use to express our selves to others. Even if we do not want to, we do judge each other on behalf of our clothing and how we are dressed. So I just wanted you to know that I am a person who know how important clothes are to people But I also know that in the manufacture of clothing many chemicals are used and some of them are toxic to humans and to the environment. So the question is; how can we avoid these chemicals? The answer is we can’t avoid them totally since some of these chemicals are more or less needed in modern textiles.

It is not even easy to reduce the risk of being exposed to toxins in your clothing. But since the clothes are next to our skin we can’t ignore the risks and I try to be a conscious consumer anyway. I know that I don’t succeed all the time but even the slightest effort will make a difference in the right direction.

Are your closet toxic?
Are your closet toxic? | Source

I will give you some advices how to develop a more green consumption;

Avoid clothes treated with perfluorinated substances. The best way to avoid those garments is to select regular coats against weather. Tightly woven cotton is windproof and wool is naturally water repellent. Choose a rather traditional rain wear that should not be impregnated with fluorocarbons if you do not want to get wet.

Choose Eco-labelled textiles which show that the textiles meet some environmental and chemical demands. But even the labelling isn't a 100 % guaranty so be aware of that the clothing can consist of dangerous chemicals anyway.

Choose organic cotton because it contains fewer chemicals than the traditionally grown cotton.

Make sure you wash new clothes and textiles before you use them. By washing them you reduce the possible dangerous substances in contact with your skin. But unfortunately, since nothing ever disappears you will spread the dangerous substances out in the environment instead. So the only way is to make a good selection in the shop.

Be extra careful and cautious when it comes to items that are used by children.

Avoid, when possible, water repellent textiles, flame-resistant or anti-bacterial textiles since much more chemicals are used in the manufacturing of these clothes.

Make sure your clothing is sustainable!
Make sure your clothing is sustainable! | Source

What else can you do?


Slow-fashion is an approach to clothing that gives priority to fewer, finer garments, of higher quality, with less environmental impact. Do not buy the cheapest clothes. The biggest problem is our “buy and toss- mentality”. There is a greater risk that cheap clothing is produced under lower standards, and that the workers who made the clothes have been exposed to greater risks. Opt instead for fewer clothes but with better quality and be happy with an interesting, unique and sustainable design. It is fashion that will hold in the long run.

Be a conscious consumer by choosing eco friendly products and eco design. Ask the shop; where does this garment come from? Where is the cotton grown, spun and dyed? If the store can’t answer such question, do not buy the garment. To buy an item is the end of a long chain and the shop must take responsibility for the workers who stand in chemicals up to their ankles.

Recycle and buy second-hand! It is impossible to continue producing this much clothing in a sustainable manner. We have developed a habit of “buy and throw” and we all know that this isn’t the right way to consume or live. Most of us have much more clothing than we could possible need!

Organize a clothing-swap-party!

Why not organize a swap clothing party where everyone brings nice and clean clothes that they don’t use so much anymore, and swap with each other. For someone else it could be the perfect addition to their wardrobe! You will have a great evening as well as going home with new clothes!

I am sure there are many more ways to be a conscious consumer and reduce the risk from chemicals. If you have suggestions please let me know! The most important thing to do is to develop another way of consuming. We can’t possibly keep on consuming in this rate.


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    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      Vocal, It is interesting and important to be aware of these things since it is the only way to make a difference. I hope many more will do the same as you! Thank you so much for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Tina - This is such an informative hub. I have such an awareness now for purflorinated substances in clothing. And I will be using your advice on checking for chemicals in fabrics. This is so very important for all of us to know and practice.

      Thank you so much for linking my hub to this excellent and well-done hub on dangerous toxins. I will pass this on to others and know it will be appreciated. Take care Tina.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Toknowinfo, thanks for your wonderful comment, it means so much to me! That is the beauty of Hubpages; we can learn from each other and I am amazed over the various things I can learn from reading others hubs. I am glad I could bring some new info to you! By the way, I love your name, it says it all, to know info; that is the key! Take care. Tina

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Excellent hub on a great topic. Well written, informative and interesting. Thank you for making me aware of some things I never knew. Wow, I feel like I have to educate myself more. Thanks for writing this. Voted up useful and awesome.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Katie, yes, the dry cleaning is another area with chemicals that involves clothes. And since we have clothes close to our skin and also cover most parts of our body we should be more careful! At least we must do what we can do to reduce the risks. It is nice to know that I can be of some help to you Katie!


    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      Awesome tips, I tell you dry cleaning scares me something fierce, I just won't wear dry cleaned clothes...

      You have highlighted some very important considerations and solutions, thanks so much for the help on how to reduce the risk of toxins in your clothing and about the kids, wow great help! :) Katie

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Mrs.J.B, Thanks for reading and I am so pleased that you found it useful! Your visits are always welcome! Tina

      Rob Hanlon, how nice to see you here! There is so much we have to know and take into consideration so sometimes we can’t keep up with the development in all areas. I am glad to be of help with some information on this! That is the good thing with hubpages, we do learn from each other. Thanks for your visit and your appreciation.


      Dexis View, Good that I could give some tips to you. The clothing Swap Party is something I can recommend. Somehow it is more fun to wear used clothes from someone I know. It makes me think of that person every time I put the clothing on! Best wishes to you!


      Mrs. J.B. The same to you:) Tina

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      Tina: Again your hubs are always worth reading!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Alastar, no, normally one doesn’t! I didn’t think so much about it until my daughter got a rush from a sweater that she used before it was washed. Soon after this event, there cam one alarm after the other within the EU. One day it was jeans, the next time it was T-shirts, socks and towels! There are so many chemicals used in manufacturing and as a user we normally don’t know!Thanks for coming by and I am glad you found it useful! Tina

    • DexisView profile image

      Dexi 6 years ago from New England

      Tina, what an interesting topic. Never really thought about it much. Some great suggestions.

    • Rob Hanlon profile image

      Rob Hanlon 6 years ago from Epicentre of everywhere

      Never thought about this, until I read your Hub - well done thougtforce.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      So useful and well worth reading.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      This is a superior info hub. Who really thinks about the materials/chemicals in their clothes. Bookmarked for a certain someone. Thank you thoughtforce.