Is Your Clothing Toxic? (4 Fabrics to Avoid)

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Did you know that the fabrics your clothes are made of may contain toxins that could harm your health – or the environment? Here are 4 to watch out for – and some safer alternatives to choose instead.

When it comes to avoiding toxins, you may think of buying organic food, or getting a good water filter, but what about the clothes you wear?

Many fabrics can contain toxins either from the manufacturing process, or in their fibers themselves. Depending on how they are made, and what they are made of, your clothing can also have a negative impact on the environment.

You can choose more sustainable clothing options by looking out for these fabrics, which may contain harmful chemicals which can be absorbed into your skin – or may harm the environment.

Here are 4 fabrics to avoid – and a few eco-friendlier choices to look for instead.


Nylon is a synthetic fabric manufactured using petroleum and treated with several chemicals such as formaldehyde to prevent shrinkage…, nylon production also emits harmful greenhouse gases that linger in the environment.


Polyester is another petroleum-based fabric that does not easily biodegrade. Certain studies have found the synthetic material to be an endocrine disruptor that can potentially effect fertility.


Rayon fibers are made from wood pulp, and its resource-intensive production contributes to deforestation around the world.


Even though cotton is a natural, biodegradable fabric, it’s often grown using potentially harmful pesticides (unless it’s organic!)…

Four Eco-Friendly Fabrics to Wear Instead

Now that you know the top offenders, you can look out for healthier alternatives.

Clothing companies are required to disclose the materials in their products, so look out for these safer, greener names:


Tencel is a man-made fabric but it’s harvested from the natural cellulose material found in wood pulp. Its closed-loop production process is easier on the environment because it recycles by-products to be used in other products.


Modal is a semi-synthetic fiber made of pulp from beechwood trees….


Cupro is a soft fabric derived from linter….

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is produced without the use of pesticides or chemicals….

For more information, check out the full article at MindBodyGreen.com


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