Tag Archives: Clothing

What Now?


A brief account of a seriously “sensitive” to pollution person living in a society where fragranced and toxic products are more important than lives, where disabled lives are disposeable, where it’s now easy to be euthanized (even for for externally imposed and inflicted) suffering, but not to receive support to remove the causes of suffering, causes and conditions that have been made systemic for many people with disabilities.

I’m not a poet and I know it and I wrote it anyway…

What Now? Continue reading

Textile certifications


Choosing the safest clothing and textiles means knowing something about the life cycle of how they were grown, processed, and made… and the only way to know anything about the life cycle of anything, is for it to have some serious certifications. Here, OECOTEXTILES explains textile certifications


certifications for textiles


Don’t forget to take a look at our new retail website (Two Sisters Ecotextiles) and let us know what you think.  We’re still working out some kinks so your input is really appreciated.

In the textile industry, there are two third party certifications which are transparent and to which we certify our fabrics: the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Oeko-Tex. Another logo you see on our site is the GreenSpec logo. To be listed by GreenSpec means that the products are best of class as determined by Environmental Building News.

What does it mean for a fabric to be GOTS certified?

 The Global Organic Textile Standard, GOTS, was published in 2006. It was brought about through the combined efforts of organic trade associations of the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Germany. GOTS aims to define a universal standard for organic fabrics—from harvesting the raw materials…

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Fibro Flare From Underwear

 fibro flare from underwear 1 Original image from GettyYes way…sighs…

Most of us wear underwear all the time. We don’t think much about it.

I remember when I used to be able to find decent 100% cottom undies with enclosed elastic waistbands at the dollar stores! I could throw them in the wash once, and they were good to go. Those were the days!

More recently, I’ve been disabled from a serious fibro flare caused by trace (?) levels of chemical residues from wearing organic undies that cost me $20 a pair. Even after soaking and washing them at least a dozen times, and then boiling them several times after.

Yes, disabled!

My alternate title for this post was Disabled by Underwear… Here’s what happened:

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Do we exaggerate the dangers of conventional fabrics?

Another excellent post from O ECOTEXTILES

…”The generations born from 1970 on are the first to be raised in a truly toxified world. Probably one in three of the children you know suffers from a chronic illness – based on the finding of many studies on children’s health issues.[5] It could be cancer, or birth defects – perhaps asthma, or a problem that affects the child’s mind and behavior, such as a learning disorder, ADHD or autism or even a peanut allergy. We do know, for example: …”


We received a comment on one of our blog posts recently in which the reader chastised us for exaggerating issues which they believe are disproportionate to the facts. In their words: For instance formaldehyde… is a volatile chemical…no doubt it is used in the textile industry a great deal…but looking for this chemical in end products is an example chasing a ghost…. It has to be put in perspective. I do not know of any citation that a human developed cancer because they wore durable press finished clothing.

Please follow along as I itemize the reasons that we don’t feel the issues are exaggerated.

Textiles are full of chemicals. The chemicals found in fabrics have been deemed to be, even by conservative organizations such as the Swedish government, simply doing us no good – and even harming us in ways ranging from subtle to profound. But fabrics are just one…

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Endocrine disruptors – in fabric?

O Ecotextiles is a great blog to follow if you are interested in what’s happening in the textile world. Lots of excellent information about why those of us with MCS/ES and Fibromyalgia can have so much difficulty finding safe (non-toxic) clothing to wear, as well as safe beds and furniture to rest our weary bodies on.

Here’s their latest, a subject that is worth understanding, as endocrine disruptors are found in so many of our everyday products and materials, and our endocrine systems are responsible for regulating so much of our lives, processes that we seem to have taken for granted for far too long…

Endocrine disruptors – in fabric?.

A big thank you to Patty and Leigh Anne who founded O Ecotextiles in 2004 and keep us so well informed.

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: https://seriouslysensitivetopollution.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/laundry-decontamination-protocols/


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: https://seriouslysensitivetopollution.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/toxic-chemicals-in-everyday-laundry-products/


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):


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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My clothing issues

This is my entire collection of safe clothing: about a dozen pieces. I have nothing else I can wear.

By Linda Sepp.

Many of you have over-stuffed walk-in closets full of clothing. Every day you choose from a wide assortment of seasonally appropriate clothes to wear to work or out to play.

I can put everything I can wear into a regular sized (plastic) grocery bag. Look above to see a photo of what I’m wearing these days.

I live in Toronto, Canada, and depend upon Ontario Disability Support Program for all my income (ODSP is provincial welfare for the disabled) because I have severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities/Environmental Sensitivities (MCS/ES).

In addition to these fine clothes, I have another pair of underwear, a tank top, and a t-shirt which was being washed when I took this photo.

This is my entire collection of safe clothing. I have nothing else I can wear.

Some of these pieces are so shredded they will not withstand another wash (the purple tank top, the blue shirt, but the grey leggings might have one more wash in them, the socks are developing holes which get larger when washed, not sure how long they will last–it’s is my one safe pair).

I wear all these items at the same time to be warm enough, taking off the robe, black summer capri pants with worn out elastic waist, and blue shirt only when I go to bed.

The other clothes (and the t-shirt not pictured) I wear 24/7 (except for the 12 or so hours I must wait for them to dry after a rare washing).

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Clothing and water issues

Due to the severity of my Multiple Chemical Sensitivities/Environmental Sensitivities (MCS/ES), I need completely chemical free clothes (very expensive) and a way to wash them.

By Linda Sepp.

I might be homeless in April without more clothing to wear than a tattered summer outfit and robe.

I cannot use the tap water, and require a heavy duty whole house water filtration system to make the water safe for washing hands, dishes, myself and my clothing, towels and bedding.

The delivered glass bottled spring water is expensive and heavy but I have to wash my one safe disintegrating outfit in it as I have no other choice. I can no longer afford to pay for this either, as ODSP is now deducting the $ from my cheque for heating this entire 3 story 100 year old leaky house, despite that I only use 4 rooms here (+some storage). I’m actually only able to wash my undies and tank top so that I can change them once a week now. Gross? You betcha. Dignified? Not at all.

In addition to safe water, I need a heavy duty, all metal, portable washing machine (pictured above), as I cannot use the basement laundry room here anymore due to the mould.

The Ontario Disability Services Program refuses to cover any of my medically required disability related needs.

In her report to ODSP in February 2006, when the Special Diet allowance was revised, Dr. Lynn Marshall, the previous director of the Environmental Health Clinic at Sunnybrook & Women’s College Hospital, outlined my health needs as follows:

“The most effective means of managing this condition is by avoidance of known triggering chemicals, and minimization of exposure to other ‘everyday’ synthetic environmental chemicals in food, water, air, and consumer products. As with intolerances to foods themselves, it is highly challenging and expensive to minimize such exposures. She (Ms Sepp) requires food (water, air, and consumer products) containing the lowest possible amounts of synthetic chemicals permanently to help maintain, and hopefully improve, her health status.”

My doctor wrote about my water needs as being:

“She also requires whole house water filtration (like that available in the Environmental Health Clinic, Dallas) to filter all the water including for cooking and drinking, as well as for washing clothes and bedding.” (See AEHF Whole-house Water Filter with Prefilter)

Imagine getting sick every time you wash your hands, dishes, or self. Imagine not being able to have a hot shower or bath to relieve your aching body when the aches and pains of fibromyalgia flare up? Imagine not being able to wash bedding or towels for a year. Sound dignified?

January 9th, 2009, was the day my water was contaminated with up-the-pipe repair chemicals, ruining almost all my clothing in the washing machine, and I could not go back to drinking or using it safely after.

The system is supposed to allow for basic needs and some level of dignity:

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) was created to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities. The program provides income support including health and other benefits for people with disabilities in financial need.

The intent of the program is to provide the supports necessary to enable individuals and families to live as independently as possible in the community and lead more productive, dignified lives.

So why am I not receiving the help I need?