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Pretty Shinies! Plastic PVC Clothing

Updated on October 30, 2009
Dress From Gallery Serpentine
Dress From Gallery Serpentine

Who doesn't love plastic clothing? I know I'm about as big of a fan of polymerized oil extract as anyone could be. Well, perhaps not as much as anyone could be. There are a lot of people out there who really, really love plastic.

Why do they love plastic so much? Is it because it is recyclable, with chemical bonds which can withstand being melted and reformed time and time again? Is it because of its impressive tensile strength (even low density polyethylene has a tensile strength of 1700 psi,) or is it because it has an excellent resistance to concentrated acids, esters, alcohols and bases? Could it be because plastic is waterproof and very often air tight? Could it be because it is one of the most versatile man made materials on the earth?

It could be any of these things, or it could be because plastic is shiny, cheap and looks extremely edgy when worn about the place. The most common type of plastic clothing is made of PVC, which has rather unkindly often been referred to as a poor man's latex. PVC is nothing like latex however, which is a natural or synthetic rubber that sticks to the skin when worn, creating a much lauded 'second skin' effect. One wonders what was so wrong with the first skin that a second skin was deemed to be necessary, but one is not often given an answer to such pondering.

Latex has the significant downside of causing hideous allergic reactions in a certain percentage of the population. Oddly enough, it is quite possible to develop a latex allergy over time as a result of exposure to latex, which just goes to show you that nature is evil and cannot be trusted.

PVC, on the other hand, is completely inert and will not cause any kind of allergic reaction whatsoever. It won't stick to your skin like a second skin, which means your body has half a chance of actually being able to breathe, and it is shiny. We like shinies, don't we?

There are some concerns with PVC leeching DEHP, a softening agent which is added to the plastic to make it more malleable in toy applications. But as long as you're wearing the PVC and not giving it to your kid to chew on, you'll probably be alright.

Oh, and it kind of messes up the environment a little bit with dioxins that are released during its production, and the fact that people don't usually actually bother to recycle it after it has been used one time as the cost of recycling the PVC is greater than just making some more, dioxins and all. Still, shinies!


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      rman 7 years ago

      I love wearing pvc clothes. They have a unique feeling to them. Plus, like you said that it really shines, and that is the coolest factor about it.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Hope. I may be green, but I'm weak. Plastic clothes are dangerously groovy. Just found a too cool black patent jacket in a NY consignment shop that I wear with pride. I'm also a big fan of Rudi Gernreich.

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      Priscilla Chan 8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Interesting information! I said the best plastic is the invention of credit cards, LOL!Thanks for the great hub.