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Thread: What's That Chemical Smell on New Clothing?

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    What's That Chemical Smell on New Clothing?

    I'm thinking about printing T-shirts that say Clothing Is The New Meth. Why? Because it takes an equally weird toxic stew to finish the wearables we're snapping up like junkies in record numbers.

    When I worked as a researcher in the anti-sweatshop movement, I stumbled across reports of blue rivers in Mexico, and they weren't just reflecting the azure skies. The colour came from a steady stream of hazardous denim-dyeing happening nearby for some of the 5 billion pairs of jeans stitched globally every year.

    But the clothing industry's chemical trail runs much deeper than dodgy pigments laced with heavy metals and carcinogenic amines, according to Greenpeace, which has been leading an international consumer campaign to get Big Fashion to clean up its act.

    The eco organization has been slamming the sector with a barrage of Dirty Laundry reports since 2011. And through its "#peoplepowered" Detox campaign, it's mobilized hundreds of thousands of consumers around the world to take on one brand after another.

    The result is that so far 17 (and counting) massive apparel makers and retailers have committed to eliminating all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chain by 2020. That's huge, especially when that list includes sporting giants like Nike, Puma and Adidas as well fashion heavyweights H&M, Levi's, Zara and, since the top of 2013, Benetton, Victoria's Secret/La Senza, G-Star and Valentino.

    What kind of hazardous chems are we talking about here? Well, in one sampling of 141 name-brand clothing items purchased in 18 countries, 63 per cent contained compounds outlawed in the West called nonylphenol ethoxylates used for processing the fabric.

    Yep, they were in the finished fibres of pants and tops they tested, the same ones you buy in the store. Turns out we're washing these outlawed chems down our drains.

    Says Greenpeace, "When washed, a significant percentage [in some cases up to 80 per cent] of the chemicals in these clothes is released and subsequently discharged into rivers, lakes and seas, where they turn into the even more toxic and hormone-disrupting chemical nonylphenol (NP)."

    You can imagine the state of the black and blue frothing rivers neighbouring China's 50,000 textile mills. As in Mexico, 70 per cent of lakes, rivers and reservoirs are polluted.

    The notoriously sticky perfluorinated chemicals used to protect clothing from splotches of ketchup and keep buckets of rain from drenching us (the same persistent villains used to make Gore-Tex and Teflon) are also turning up in China's water and in finished items in the West.

    The Detox signatories pledge to give them up; H&M actually stopped selling anything with PFCs on January 1. But turns out the outerwear industry that makes our rain shells is dragging its hiking boots.

    The lowest levels were found in Canuck indie Mountain Equipment Co-op's jackets as well as snowboard/bike-friendly gear by Zimstern. Greenie-favoured Patagonia, which like MEC offers a good selection of recycled and organic options, was at the upper end of the PFC scale but now vows to be PFOA-free by 2015. It's promising that 40 per cent of its DWR outerwear will have made the switch by next spring.

    And those, my friends, are just two of the compounds of concern on the Detox hit list. Others include hormone-disrupting reprotoxic phthalates, common in clothes with vinyl screen-printed designs (Plastisol), fake leather and rubber, as well as heavy metals, azo dyes, and the list goes on. Carcinogenic formaldehyde and allergenic PPDs will also be barred by signatories.

    Want to minimize your exposure and shrink your toxic legacy footprint? Go for well-washed vintage (sans vinyl) or reconstructed vintage (brands like Preloved, Paper People Clothing and Embody - just some of many rockin' Canadian companies reworking thrift clothes). Hold clothing swaps with buds or hit up Nathalie Roze's seasonal Uber-Swap for piles of options.

    You can also support certified organic and upcycled fashions at eco clothing boutiques like T.O.'s Chartreuse Style, Fashion Takes Action's Showroom, Natureal and the Earth Collection, or browse online sources like Ethicalocean.com.

    By the way, if you spot Oeko-Tex-certified clothes, be aware its tests guarantee no release of formaldehyde, phthalates, alkyphenols and other restricted chems into your sweat, but it doesn't mean no PFC was used in manufacturing.

    Whatever you decide, minimize your long-term impact on the world by buying less, buying quality, buying classic and asking yourself the eternal question, "Do I really need this?"

    Easier said than done, I know.
    https://nowtoronto.com/whats-that-ch...-new-clothing/

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    Senior Member J.Yaxley's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of jeans a few months ago and had to wash them three times (vinegar added to the soap finally did the trick) to eliminate some sort of chemical in them which was irritating my legs. I'd definitely recommend thoroughly washing all clothes before you wear them.

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    Jared, it was probably that gonorrhea-infected Negro who tried them on in the shop before you bought them and left an unpleasant stain on the material

    I'd give them a fourth wash if I were you, just to make sure, and seek medical advice if that irritation on your leg continues

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    I've noticed this for many years. I once purchased a skirt that reeked of kerosene, even after laundering it several times. How nauseating!
    Domine, ut videam, ut videamus, ut videant!

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    I don't know what it is inside these chemicals , clothes started to be treated with .

    But I myself had purchased a Jeans , that was some 1/3 plastic yarn and 2/3 cotton yarn something ,
    and I got dozens of swollen bubbles of some 1 inch size in the skin of my legs .

    After washing that jeans , these skin irritations did not occur anymore .

    I had bought it in a shop of the cheapo Kik-Clothing chain ,
    and everytime I went there , I notice this chemical stench there .

    I would not be astonished , if that chemicals would be some kind of Zyclon B powder ...
    Mk 10:18 What do you call me a good master, no-one is good .

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonPagan View Post
    Jared, it was probably that gonorrhea-infected Negro who tried them on in the shop before you bought them and left an unpleasant stain on the material

    I'd give them a fourth wash if I were you, just to make sure, and seek medical advice if that irritation on your leg continues


    That'd be a funny joke - if I hadn't bought those jeans inside a mall that's filled with Somalis.

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    In next 10-15years we will see clothes made from wood fibers. Finland (as a technology leader of forest industry) has developed system to do that. Final fabric feels more similar as flax/linen than cotton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnish Swede View Post
    In next 10-15years we will see clothes made from wood fibers. Finland (as a technology leader of forest industry) has developed system to do that. Final fabric feels more similar as flax/linen than cotton.
    Already being done.

    "Although you may not have heard of regenerated cellulose fibres, you have probably worn clothes made of them and will have heard of some of the product and trademark names. Regenerated cellulose fibres were first developed in France in the late 1800s. In the 1920s the textile industry started calling these fibres "rayon". Other forms of rayon in use today include lyocell, modal and viscose.

    Cellulose is an important structural component of cell walls in green plants. It is a major component of many plant fibres that are used make clothes and textiles, such as cotton, hemp and flax. But wood isn't a soft fibre like cotton.


    Turning wood into soft fibres that can be woven to make fabrics is a chemically intensive process. The starting point is wood chip – commonly used woods include spruce, pine and beech – or bamboo pith."


    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-fabric-wood.html#jCp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth Lee Hunter View Post
    Already being done.

    "Although you may not have heard of regenerated cellulose fibres, you have probably worn clothes made of them and will have heard of some of the product and trademark names. Regenerated cellulose fibres were first developed in France in the late 1800s. In the 1920s the textile industry started calling these fibres "rayon". Other forms of rayon in use today include lyocell, modal and viscose.

    Cellulose is an important structural component of cell walls in green plants. It is a major component of many plant fibres that are used make clothes and textiles, such as cotton, hemp and flax. But wood isn't a soft fibre like cotton.


    Turning wood into soft fibres that can be woven to make fabrics is a chemically intensive process. The starting point is wood chip – commonly used woods include spruce, pine and beech – or bamboo pith."


    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-fabric-wood.html#jCp
    I meant commercial/consumer products.

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