When I was a little girl, my mom used to tell me not to write on my skin. “The ink is like poison,” she would say, “and it goes directly into your blood stream.” While I’m sure that my mother caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety for me in many other ways, in this case, she was right. Our skin is our biggest organ, and yet we don’t seem to pay much attention to what we put on it every day. (Please note: I am not a dermatologist – in fact I have no medical credentials at all – but this is common sense). With spring around the corner, many of us will be buying the latest style of clothing, new shades of makeup, and hair and skin care for the new season. But it’s important to pay close attention to the ingredients and materials that make up our spring style. Otherwise we could be exposing our skin (and therefore our bodies) to toxic and harmful chemicals.
Just as you may be mindful about the food they ingest, you should also be careful about the toxins that come in contact with their skin. A good rule of thumb should be – if you don’t feel comfortable putting it in your mouth, then don’t put it on your skin! Did you see the movie The Guilt Trip with Seth Rogan? (Spoiler alert): I love hthat he proves how safe his cleaning product is by drinking it! How many times have you put a lipstick or lip gloss right on your lips (which you lick!) without knowing if the ingredients are safe and non-toxic? For whatever reason, this is not a priority right now for the average consumer.
Recently I participated in a twitter chat session about eco-fashion hosted by Triple Pundit. While the panelists and participants brought up many important points about the labor conditions and environmental impact associated with clothing manufacturing, there was initially little discussion about the toxicity of clothing materials and health issues involved. So I tweeted:
In addition the ecological/ethical issues – we should look at health & safety issues: #toxins in clothing #3pchat
I was very happy to get a discussion going around this topic and hear other points of view as well as gather new data to support this concern. On Twitter, I shared a recent EcoPlum article about a GreenPeace report on toxins in brand name children’s clothing, while someone shared this fantastic article about how big retailers are lying about the toxins in their products. One participant asked how to convince his friends and relatives to shop fair trade and organic without sounding condescending. I replied: “Tell them about the personal health issues related to toxins in clothing,” which he though was a great idea. Let’s keep this conversation going. Let’s get people excited about all of the healthy and safe fashion alternatives out there. While organic and non-toxic personal care products are becoming slightly more available in retail stores (i.e. Burt’s Bees, Alba Botanica, Jason) it seems to be much harder to find organic and non-toxic clothing options, especially for children. We try to carry as many options as possible at EcoPlum and are adding new ones all the time. Do you have a favorite safe cosmetic, clothing line, or skin/hair care line that you love? Please let us know!