I gave up most designer labels after my dad bombarded me with snippets from ‘No Logo’ at breakfast every day for a month. Any temptation I might have felt to shop at Abercrombie was quelled by my sister’s peculiarly effective way of reminding my younger self of the retailer’s dubious child labor practices.
This is more stomach-turning: not only are China’s and Mexico’s rivers being polluted, its people exposed to invisible, unavoidable toxins, but these same invisible, unacknowledged poisons are being exported, in the clothing, to contaminate the water – well, wherever Calvin Klein and Levi’s clothing is sold. You sure get more than you bargained for when you buy those skinny jeans!
Manufactured with little regulation, laced with toxic chemicals that are poisoning the planet, and designed to wear out faster than we can buy them, many of our favorite items of clothing are made for maximum profit and are producing maximum pollution. And worse than that, the brands we love to wear are either turning a blind eye or fueling this broken system.
The garments I own from Victoria’s Secret, GAP and Levi’s no longer make me feel good about my appearance because I know they’re leaving behind such an ugly toxic trail in the places where their clothes are manufactured.
I’m no scientist but I’ve read enough to know that the use of inherently hazardous substances, NPes, phthalates, or dyes that release cancer causing chemicals, are unacceptable.
I don’t want to wear toxins any more than I want to be putting them in the world’s waterways. I know it doesn’t have to be this way. I reject the idea that beauty, or in this case fashion, can only be skin deep. I will fight back against clothes that look good but are of poor quality and loaded with chemicals to boot. Fashion does not need to cause toxic pollution.
I won’t be buying clothing manufactured in China or Mexico until I can be sure it isn’t contaminated. If many of us feel this way, then these firms will push for clean, sustainable manufacturing, to the benefit of consumers, local communities and the health of the planet.