Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chemical Dyes In Fabric Suck

I recently had a little extra money to buy myself some new cotton socks from American Apparel (there's not alot in the way of big tube socks that are organic so I settled for fair wage & made in the USA). I hung my socks outside on the clothes line right when the big snow storm hit and had the opportunity to see the sick amount of chemical dye pouring out the socks into the white snow. Not cool. I think most of us do not ever realize the amounts of chemical dye that goes into all the clothing being manufactured worldwide- running not only down our drains in the wash, but being dumped into soil and water where fashion companies cut corners and pollute around the globe. These dyes contain harmful chems & heavy metals - which is why low impact dyes were adopted by the organic clothing industry. But I have seen the low impact dyes run quite a bit in the wash too, the theory is they are fiber reactive and just run a whole lot less causing less damage to nature & our skin. But really ya'll... my runny socks majorly grossed me out making me think twice before ever putting my money down on something conventionally dyed or fiber reactive dyed in dark runny colors. We need to either learn to achieve greater colors through natural dyes or simply cut back on our support of these practices. (I know, I love bright colors too and want to sport bright green & red tube socks as much as everyone... but our modern dyes suck!)

PS-If any of you have a link to some websites which tell the real ingredients of modern chemical clothing dye please leave it in the comments section - I searched through google but didn't find a reliable source.


linda said...

I think some companies use even more chemicals to "fix" the dyes so they don't run as much.

I wonder if designtex or one of the other companies using the MBDC design protocol would have a discussion paper about dyes.

I remember they tested hundreds, if not thousands, and found something like 60 that were considered safe enough to use, so the fabric scraps could be composted.

The Oko Box said...

Thanks Linda- I had somehow forgot about all the dye fixatives! You know, possibly i may be less sensitive to the American Apparel stuff because they don't use as much of that. Although this last batch i ordered from them had a chem stink to it, which is why i hung them out first to air out before even washing.
No or less fixing chems may also be why low impact dye clothes always tend to run at first.

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