Chemical-free clothing (we wish)

I’ve just added a new page to the top of the blog.

If you are looking for safer clothing, textiles, footwear or bedding, I’m adding links of places that offer them to hopefully make the search a little bit easier, since so many people land on this blog when searching for chemical-free clothing.

Since the level of sensitivities varies between people, there’s no way to say that something will be safe for everyone, or how many washings it might take to make something safe.

Some of the places deal with chemically sensitive clientele on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean that you can assume they know what you as an individual might need, so please be very clear if you have severe sensitivities. Discuss in advance the circumstances for returns also, as it’s unlikely anyone will accept anything that has been washed a dozen times if it still isn’t safe enough for you.

Some places will wrap things in extra cellophane or foil or even plastic, if postal fragrance and pesticide residues are of concern. Other places might not be willing to do that. Ask, and ask nicely.

This list is just a starting point for people who are searching, and will be a work in progress… Also, if I only listed places that met my standards in all areas, there wouldn’t be a list… And I’d be naked…

See the list here (or click on the tab at the top of the page):  

9 responses to “Chemical-free clothing (we wish)

  1. Awesome! Organic cotton, soy, bamboo and now tree bark are cool! Linda, where have you moved to. I hope to move to Central America as soon as I get my CPP disability status. I am tired of fighting for my human right to clean air, clean water and clean food (no GMO or chemical).

    • Struggling to survive is definitely tiring and not good for our health either… sigh… I’m working on healing and recovering, but with setbacks, it’s a slow go… living in a special unit designed for people with MCS/ES, south of Ottawa. I moved here in July 2011. I’ve written about it before.

  2. Hi Linda,
    I was just getting ready to research mattresses. I’ve been reading more about the dangers of fire retardant chemicals in mattresses, sofa’s, etc.
    There are no labeling requirements of what chemicals are used or in what amounts. All mattresses must meet the federal law though and this includes organic mattresses. There is an exception in the law for a doctor or chiropractor to prescribe a chemical free mattress. It sounds like any other mattress would have some type of fire retardant chemicals added.

  3. Oops, I was still typing–
    excerpts from the above website:

    Organics Burn
    Many mattresses who claim to be “Organic” say they use wool as the flame barrier. While wool would pass the old cigarette test for mattresses, it will not pass the new open flame test. These mattresses either use chemically treaded wool, another chemical system, or rely on chemically treated cotton batting (Boric Acid and Antimony) to pass the open flame test.

    There are no natural, chemical free, or nontoxic systems that pass the severe open flame test. Even what they call “inherently fire resistant” fibers contain chemicals in the fiber itself. There are no labeling requirements for the FR chemicals in mattresses. Thus, most mattress manufacturers deny using chemicals. It is unfortunate that even “Organic” mattress makers often claim to use no chemicals when a prescription mattress would be chemical free.

    There are no natural, chemical free, or nontoxic mattresses that comply with the federal regulation. They all contain toxic chemicals.

    Your only choice for a chemical free mattress is by prescription.

    • I don’t know about that site’s credibility. Their wool flame test was done using a petro-chemically dyed and treated strand of yarn, not pure, undyed wool batting or wool felt that would be used in a mattress. It’s also written with a hefty dose of fear-mongering, in a way that would (they hope) sell their services.
      Here it says
      “In North America, we have very strict fire retardant laws which obligate us, mattress manufacturers, to put our mattresses through a fire test on a yearly basis. That’s where wool comes into play. When wool is in contact with fire, it melts instead of starting on fire. That is one of the reasons why we put wool in the cover of each mattress. If the mattress was to be in contact with fire, the wool would melt and would create a barrier that would stop the fire from spreading throughout the mattress.”

      I would think that they would by law have to divulge if they are using chemicals on organic beds. I do know that getting a prescription is a possibility here in Canada too, in case you still have concerns about organic mattresses.

  4. Concerning toxic mattresses above– this is federal law in the U.S. Not sure what the law is in Canada.

  5. You may also be interested in reading about the flame retardant industry in this revealing series by the Chicago Tribune:

    Chemical companies, Big Tobacco and the toxic products in your home
    The average American baby is born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and the highest recorded levels of flame retardants among infants in the world. The toxic chemicals are present in nearly every home, packed into couches, chairs and many other products. Two powerful industries — Big Tobacco and chemical manufacturers — waged deceptive campaigns that led to the proliferation of these chemicals, which don’t even work as promised.

  6. Also, there’s Sympatico clothing (hemp-and-tencel blend clothing–this brand is my new favorite!), Patagonia (which has some organic clothing–check for sales), and don’t forget etsy (just do a search for organic). My all-time favorite is Hessnatur, which is listed above. This German company has been around for decades and has very nice clothing in organic cotton, wool, and so on. It’s all fair trade! Check for sales. Oh, and there’s Fair Indigo! Search for organic clothing–it’s all fair trade. They always have T-shirts on sale. (I think I’m done.)

    Thanks for this terrific list, Linda!

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