Category Archives: Chemical Free Clothing

Detox Fashion (thank you Greenpeace)

Greenpeace is running an excellent campaign to detox the fashion industry. Sadly, textiles these days are full of toxic chemicals, chemicals which are harming the health and environment everywhere in their life-cycle, where they are made, and where they are used.

This video shows a bit of the background:

You might wonder why water pollution in China is a problem for us?

from: How to get rid of chemicals in fabrics. (Hint: trick question.)

“How do these chemicals get into our bodies from the textiles?  Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it’s highly permeable.  So skin absorption is one route; another is through inhalation of the chemicals (if they are the type that evaporate – and if they do evaporate, each chemical has a different rate of evaporation, from minutes or hours to weeks or years) and a third route:  Think of microscopic particles of fabric that abrade each time we use a towel, sit on a sofa, put on our clothes.  These microscopic particles fly into the air and then we breathe them in or ingest them.  Or they  fall into the dust of our homes, where people and pets, especially crawling children and pets, continue to breathe or ingest them.”

Going after  manufacturers to detox their practices is a logical step.

And it’s working:

Levi’s shapes up to become a Detox leader

read more here:

Toxic Threads – Product Testing Results

And if you can’t wait that long for safer clothing, you can check the list of safeR options listed in the “CHEMICAL-FREE CLOTHING (WE WISH)” tab at the top of the page here and then work on detoxing those at home using decontamination protocols found here:


I forgot to mention that if you are trying to get toxic chemicals out of your clothing, using conventional, everyday laundry products isn’t going to get you non-toxic clothes… Not when the laundry products themselves are full of toxic chemicals:


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):  

Laundry Decontamination Protocols

Safe clothing can be a huge challenge for people with MCS/ES. Most clothing is not chemical free. Even organic clothing can be treated and finished with the same toxic chemicals found in regular clothes (see link at the end of this post for more details)

Sometimes it is possible to detox regular clothing. For mildly sensitive people it might just take a few regular washes with a tolerable detergent. For more sensitive people, a more involved protocol may do the trick. For others, we often end up without much in the way of clothing and bedding, because even the trace chemicals can be too much.

Here are some methods many people have used to successfully detox their clothing. As always, individual results may vary according to personal sensitivities, water conditions, products available, and whatever might be in the clothing to begin with.

Updated Version of Ellen’s Laundry Decontamination Protocol

Originally posted at MCS-Canadian-Sources and at The Canary Report        (copied with permission)

When I joined the MCS… list in 2005, I learned what other members of the list were doing to decontaminate their new clothes. I made some changes, the main one being that I soak the new items in plastic bins, rather than soaking them in my washing machine.

I have an expensive front-loading washing machine, with a maximum soaking time of 35 minutes, which is totally inadequate for decontaminating new or really smelly fabrics. I continue to make changes as I find problems or improvements.

If you have a top-loading washing machine, soaking times can be set much longer, because the timer can be turned off after the soaking ingredient and machine water are completely mixed.
I am including the latest version of my protocol here.

Please note that I have only tested this protocol on cotton, cotton/bamboo blends, cotton/polyester blends, and a very few totally synthetic fabrics. It is not safe to use on silk.

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My chemical-free clothing needs

My need to secure chem-free clothing is urgent.

By Linda Sepp.

As I wrote previously, my clothing situation is dire. I have less than a dozen items left that are safe for me to wear, all of them are in shreds and I have been wearing the same ragged outfit, almost 24/7, for about five months. It’s all I have that I can wear, and it is almost unwearable. None of it is suitable to wear in public, or warm enough for winter. All it will need to be thrown out very, very soon.

So, what does a person need re clothing? Is there a socially accepted human rights list of what someone should have? Or how many changes of clothing? Am I still human enough to “deserve” more than one set of safe clothes? Or clothes that are wearable in public?

Here are some thoughts on chemical-free clothing:

Most organic cotton clothing includes either the seed (an irritant) or is processed with chemicals and synthetic dyes. It is often contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals in storage and shipping. I’ve not been able to detox those types of things.

I have had no success with organic cotton goods from India or China, and best success with organic cotton from Peru and Texas/USA. European regulations are also much stronger than elsewhere.

There is only one company with some clothing listed as being completely chemical-free, some made especially for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. If anyone knows of more sources for truly chemical-free clothing and footwear, please send the info.

NOTE: added January 2013

Please see the list of safer alternatives here:

NOTE: added September 19,2012.

So many people are looking for chemical free clothing. There is a real need for it. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to exist.

I do NOT recommend Rawganique or the things listed below. Their product quality is not good, their customer service is horrid, and their products are NOT chemical free at all. They took just as much effort to detox as some regular clothing. See the post Laundry Decontamination Protocols.

An example of how the Rawganique advertising is misleading, if not completely untruthful: “Made from 100% hemp canvas from organic European hemp. Made in Europe. Sweatshop-free. No harsh chemicals or heavy metals were used in the production of our vegan hemp indoor slippers.”

Black foam inserts are not mentioned anywhere on the description.

I wore them out in less than a year, my feet sweated profusely whenever I did wear them, but my floors here are cold and painful without slippers.

I am going to put together a list of clothing suppliers that people with MCS have had some success with, but since people’s sensitivities vary, there are no sure things, yet…

Anyway, I now return you to the rest of the original post with what was my clothing wish list back in January 2010.

Clothing Brand: Rawganique

Rawganique, home-based in Canada, has listed a number of articles as being completely chemical-free. Chemical-free and undyed clothing has the most chance of success. Even so, numerous washings are required to remove residues from the manufacturing processes.

Suitable items that might work for me are listed below with sizes and colours; I need medium to large, loose fitting, undyed clothing.

RG841 Unisex Certified Organic Cotton Flannel Pajamas
Men’s M
2 different kinds:

  • Pecan Brushed Flannel (colorgrown brown — unbleached & undyed)
  • Natural Organic Cotton Paris Sateen Pyjamas — silky & smooth

Chemical-free. No heavy metals or harsh chemicals whatsoever were used in their production. Bleach-free and dye-free. Fabrics: 5.5 oz organic cotton flannel or 230 ct. organic cotton sateen. Certified by IMO of Switzerland.

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