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Why are synthetic materials for clothing not as good as natural ones? » Empowered Women's Channel
Combining her love for fashion and sustainability, fashion expert and passionate health crusader, Michelle Kramer is the Founder and CEO of Ohganix®; a lifestyle company for men and women focused on creating health conscious organic apparel.

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We can can lose count on the many ways why synthetic materials are not as good as natural ones. Many people do not realize the direct impact synthetics can have on our health and our environment. Some of the most notable consequences of synthetics are listed below:

Toxic to our environment

Clothing made from materials like organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo will eventually decompose; however, synthetic fabrics and materials such as polyester, acrylic, and nylon, are made from coal, oil, and natural gas and do not biodegrade in our ecosystem. When discarded, they clog up our landfills and remain there for many years to come.

Depending on the fabric, other chemicals are added to make the fabric softer, wrinkle free, flame-resistant, water resistant, stain-resistant, and moth-repellent. While all these qualities are desirable, the processes used can have harmful effects on the planet, wildlife and people’s health. When discarded, these chemicals can leach out into the environment causing various types of harmful gases while also contaminating our surface and groundwater.

Synthetics have a direct impact on our health

Our skin is the largest organ and largest detoxification system in our body. Over 1 pound of toxins are released from our skin each day. Our skin contains 400-2,700 pores per square inch which absorb and expel substances into and out of the body.

Synthetic materials such as polyester are petroleum based which is toxic to the skin and do not allow it to breath and detoxify. These fibers suffocate the skin and raise the body’s temperature. This is especially important to note in areas that need to remain a steady cooler temperature in our body such as the breasts for women and the testes in men. When the breast and the testes become too hot it can lead to lymphoedema; a swelling of certain parts of the body. Stagnation and swelling of the body’s lymph system can lead to many problems including cancers and infertility, so it is even more important to wear natural fabrics that breath and keep the body cool.

Furthermore, the multiple chemicals that synthetic fabrics such as acrylic are usually treated with can have an estrogenic effect on our body’s hormones, also leading to cancers and infertility.

The above factors lead to a plausible basis for wearing organic and natural fabrics. By choosing natural over synthetic, you eliminate the ill effects as mentioned above. Additionally, there are many other benefits to wearing natural fabrics:

  • Biodegradable and better for our ecosystem.
  • Created without harmful chemicals and unnatural methods.
  • Feel good on the body
  • Drape the body without clinging to it.
  • Lightweight yet provide warmth and protection without overheating the body.
  • Healthy for you and our environment.

While shopping for new clothes in your wardrobe, look for fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, tencel, modal, and bamboo which are all derived from natural fibers. This small change in your lifestyle will make a BIG impact on your health and our environment!