Clean Fashion: The Top 10 Healthiest Fabrics To Wear

healthiest fabrics

Have you ever wondered what really goes into that “polyester/cotton blend” top? If the $7.99 price tag sounded too good to be true, it’s because it is the product of some pretty sketchy ethics. One Swedish study found thousands of chemicals in the fabric of department store clothing. While we are preoccupied with wondering what goes into our food, we aren’t spending enough time wondering what goes into our clothes. That’s why we compiled a list of the top 10 healthiest fabrics that are low in harmful dyes and chemicals. Happy shopping!

  • Lighter colored dyed fabric or non-dyed fabric:

    • Darker colors come from more potent dyes. But in order to reach these deeper hues, the dyes used must contain a higher level of paraphenylenediamine. This chemical can potentially lead to health complications, such as respiratory distress and even renal failure if enough exposure occurs. Incorporate lighter colors into your wardrobe or immediately wash clothes after purchasing to remove any excess dye.
  • Bamboo

    • Bamboo fabric, which is made from the same plant eaten by pandas,  is naturally antibacterial and repels odor. The fibers have channels that will quickly wick away sweat and moisture, keeping your skin cool and dry as well as keeping your pores from clogging or becoming irritated. Bamboo itself is a plant with many benefits. It removes 5x the greenhouse gas amount, doesn’t need to be replanted or be treated with pesticides.
  • Silk

    • Some would consider silk to be the “most hypoallergenic of all fabrics” due to the natural protein structure in silk. It naturally regulates temperature, absorbs moisture quickly, while still being odor and mess resistant. Silk is highly recommended for those with skin diseases like eczema because it is so smooth and light.  
  • Hemp

    • Incredibly durable, hemp stretches the least out of all natural fibers, becomes softer with time, and is warmer than wool. It also breathes well due to its porous nature. Hemp holds color more readily than any other fabric, meaning that less chemicals are introduced during the dying process, which is great for your skin.  
  • Linen

    • Linen protects the skin against chemical exposure, noise, and dust. It reduces your exposure to the sun’s gamma radiation by around 50%, protecting the wearer from some seriously harmful rays. It also happens to be resistant to bacteria and fungus as well as relieves some effects found in skin conditions like eczema.
  • Lyocell

    • Produced from wood pulp at sustainable tree farms, lyocell is eco-friendly, biodegradable, and soft to the touch. It is a highly absorbent and antibacterial fabric that is safe for sensitive skin and easy to dye (which means less chemical processing is required). Though it takes a good amount of processing to get from wood pulp to fabric, it has a fantastic green footprint. Keep in mind that it isn’t as easy to dye so it would be safest to keep to more natural colors.
  • Organic Cotton:

    • Organic cotton is gentle on skin and softer than its conventional counterpart. Hypoallergenic, the use of this fabric has been linked to reduction in respiratory problems. Powerful chemicals are not introduced during its production as per organic standards and therefore you no longer run the risk of introducing the chemicals to your body.
  • Wool

    • Wool absorbs humidity, thus keeping the skin dry. Some added bonuses to this fabric are is antibacterial qualities and its ability to  breathe well. Wool is dirt and dust mite resistant. Having it in your home will reduce the amount of allergens as well as upper respiratory tract infections, asthma, and skin diseases. No animals are harmed in the making of this fabric; it’s simply harvested from shearing, i.e. shaving the fur off.
  • Cashmere

    • Not plant-based, cashmere is produced from the hair of a Kashmir goat that is brushed off as the goat’s coat sheds seasonally. It is a non-allergenic natural goat fiber. Cashmere provides the benefit of insulation without having to wear ‘big bulk’, thus allowing your skin to still breath while staying warm. This fabric has a high moisture content, allowing it to adapt to the climate it is worn in.
  • Leather

    • Though you may not necessarily wear leather on a regular basis, it is recommended for both home furnishing and clothing. This fabric is great for those with allergies; it won’t act as a haven for dust mites, dander, or other common allergens. Soft, smooth, durable and absorbent: leather is a great addition to your fabric repertoire. If you choose not to endorse animal products, there are some great alternative leather options that are made from plants such as cork and pineapple. They retain the integrity of leather’s benefits without placing animals in harm’s way.

Leave a Reply