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The shocking reality of how many chemicals go into your clothes

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Daily Hive Custom Content Mar 29, 2017 3:30 am 1,161

There’s no denying that the fashion industry is causing serious environmental harm.

In fact, fashion is the second leading polluter of global waterways, and due to the growing demand for fast fashion, the average Canadian discards more than 81 lbs of clothing each year. But why are textiles so damaging to the environment? The answer lies in the hundreds of chemicals that go into making them.

A quick inspection of your closet could reveal harmful levels of chemicals like formaldehyde, heavy metals, pesticides, phthalates, and carcinogenic dyestuffs. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the OEKO-TEX Association has partnered with Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week to help educate consumers about what substances are in their clothes and how to be more knowledgeable when making buying decisions.

OEKO-TEX is an independent testing and certification system which aims to eliminate harmful levels of certain chemicals in clothing and increase environmental transparency in the fashion industry.

Today more than 300 dangerous chemicals have been identified and included in their “restricted substance list.” OEKO-TEX has more than 10,000 global companies working with their certifications in an effort to minimize health risks and environmental harm.

But it’s not just chemicals that consumers need to be mindful of – it’s also the process in which textiles are manufactured. Good working conditions, proper chemical management, and safe workplaces are all crucial aspects of making the fashion industry better.

OEKO-TEX has developed several certification programs to help keep brands accountable for operating sustainably. Clothing that carries a MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX label is certified to meet rigid chemical standards and is manufactured in both an environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible manner.

To learn more about OEKO-TEX visit their website, or check them out at Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week from March 31st to April 2nd.


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