Every day and night, we’re surrounded by fabrics. From the clothing we wear to the sheets on our beds to upholstery on our furniture or car seats, these are the fabrics of our lives.

Fabrics are around us nearly all the time, but did you know that your material choices could either help or harm your health?

Not that long ago, people stuck to the natural fabrics: wool, cashmere, cotton, silk, linen, and hemp.

if you take a look at your clothing labels today, you’re likely to find materials like rayon, polyester, acrylic, acetate, andnylon. On top of that, your shirts and slacks may be treated with chemicals to be wrinkle-free or stain-resistant.

These technological advances in fabrics may be make our lives simpler, but at what cost?

Chemically treated synthetic and natural fabrics are a source of toxins that may adversely affect your health and the health of the planet.


Chemically treated synthetic and natural fabrics are a source of toxins that may adversely affect your health and the health of the planet.

Here’s our shortlist of fabrics to avoid:

1. Acetate. Both acetate and triacetate are manufactured from wood fibres called cellulose and undergo extensive chemical processing in order to produce the finished product.

2. Acrylic. Acrylic fabric is made of polyacrylonitriles and may have potentially strong links to cancer, especially in women.

3. Nylon. Made from petroleum, nylon fabric is often given a permanent chemical finish that may be harmful.

4. Polyester. Polyester is pretty much the worst fabric you can buy. It’s made from synthetic polymers, derived from esters of dihydric alcohol and terephthalic acid, and may release hundreds of millions of microfibers into the environment per person each year through washing.

5. Rayon. Rayon is recycled wood pulp that must be treated with chemicals like caustic soda, ammonia, acetone, and sulphuric acid to survive regular washing and wearing.

6. Anything labelled static-resistant, stain-resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain-proof, or moth-repellent. Many of the stain-resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are treated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), like Teflon; these pollutants have been detected in humans and marine animals.


Nearly all fabrics, including organic fabric, are treated with chemicals at some point during their processing. And still, some choices are better than others, as example If you can purchase and wear organic fabrics and clothing. While they still might be processed to some extent, they're often a much better choice than synthetics.

Expensive natural fibre clothing may seem overpriced, but the quality of the raw materials is superior. The fibres can be woven into beautiful fabrics that are soft and strong, requiring little or none chemical processing to make them suitable for you. There is a tendency which many people prefer which is specifically when products made from natural materials are deliberately used with their natural colours, to avoid any treatments for colouring or processing; or colouring/ processing is performed with colouring materials also originating from the nature, so there is no excessive chemical treatment to the product. Every excessive treatment usually brings more chemical compounds in the environment. 

These garments last you for years, which makes them a cost-effective and sustainable purchase in the long run. Buying vintage or second-hand can also be a smart, sustainable act.

Remember to avoid chemical dry cleaning whenever possible and wash your clothes in a “green” detergent.

Reducing your toxic load by watching what you’re putting into your body and developing immune-boosting strategies, like sipping probiotic drinks and eating fermented vegetables daily, can have a tremendous impact on creating a thriving inner ecosystem. Organic food, pure water, and natural or organic clothing can work together to enhance your wellbeing and quality of life.


Published: 19/06/2022