Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WARNING-Wash Before You Wear!

Do you know where you newly purchased clothes have been before you put them out for a night on the town? It may have never occured to you that the very 'new' articles of clothing you purchased are actually downright dirty!

When shopping for clothing and trying it on in the fitting room, we always want to believe that we were the only ones that tried it on-until we find a dark ring of foundation around the neck or lipstick on the sleeve, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg on the type of 'dirty' I'm referring to.

Most of the clothing widely available in the U.S. was not manufactured in the USA at all. Most clothing comes from China, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc. What you probably didn't know is that all of the clothing and any fabrics are first sprayed with toxic chemicals that prevent fungal or insect contamination. If clothes are not washed first before wearing, you are in effect wearing pesticides on your skin and breathing them in as well. This is also prevalent in baby clothing which is why it is also key to wash all baby clothing in fragrance-free natural detergent first before every putting it on baby's delicate and sensitive skin. A baby's liver has to work much harder to remove such toxic compounds which is why infants are not supposed to wear even sunscreen at a very young age.

Did you know that most of the clothing that you'll buy has also probably wound up on the floor of a store at some point? When I was young, and fresh out of highschool I had a chance to work at two different clothing stores and I can tell you first hand that the clothing has a tendency to collect dust and when tried on in a fitting room, often winds up on the floor, sometimes stepped on and when being re-hung by store employees, has often been dragged on the ground if the article is long such as a bathrobe. Doesn't sound too appealing, does it?

Last week I was behing a woman at the checkout at a local Target store and I heard her tell the cashier that she didn't want to put the clothing on the conveyor belt (I don't blame her). After all-groceries such as packages of chicken run on the same belt so it's liable to become stained or dirty. She surprised me though when she then commented "I don't want to have to wash it BEFORE I wear it". That part I didn't agree with so much because of the reasons mentioned above. It's important to wash everything including undergarments and bras in packaging also, they are also treated before being shipped.

We never know what fabric or clothing goes through from the country of origin all the way to the truck or boat it was packed on to the point that it reaches a warehouse and then finally makes its arrival at the store. It may look clean, but I assure you  that ALL clothing is in fact dirty. As annoying as it may seem, after all it IS another step and another thing we need to worry about, I promise you the 2 seconds it takes to pop it in with your other laundry will be well worth it in the end!

While we're on the subject, if you're unsure of which type of pure, natural and eco-friendly detergents to use that are also safe for your skin (mainstream commercial detergents are not safe and can irritate delicate skin with harsh chemicals and fragrances causing allergies and skin irritations, and also pollute our waterways and fishy friends), here are a few great choices:

1. Method 'Squeaky Green'- Laundry detergent for adult/baby (they also offer dryer sheets)
2. Seventh Generation- Offer Adult and Baby detergents
3. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day-Lavender Laundry detergent (other natural scents available)
4. Ecover Delicate Wash -Great detergent for lingerie, intimate apparel
5. Purex Natural Elements-Least expensive eco/skin-friendly detergent.

I have tried all of these above. They are a little more expensive than the traditional soaps however you are not only helping the environment, but are adding less chemicals to your skin that it absorbs and that your liver then has to process and detox. These are all concentrated formulas so you need less of them.

After learning the truth about what is really in our clothing, will you be washing before you wear?


  1. I have always made it a point to wash clothing before wearing them. Just the thought of someone else trying it on, and you never who it was or the last time they bathed, grosses me out. I don't even like trying on clothes while at the store. Ick!

  2. I couldn't agree more about trying clothes on. I think it's gross when people shop after a workout at the gym and try on clothes too.

  3. oh this is all so true. It's the bathing suits and things like that that really make me cringe. Even pants! Arm pits, ok I'm grossing myself out!` haha


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