The Harsh Truth of Activewear
HIDDEN TRUTH OF CLOTHING: TOXINS
The harsh truth of what is contained in the clothing we wear on a day to day basis is mostly hidden. It is true that not only what we eat and do, but also what we wear affects out body negatively. The sports or active wear that we sweat in could harm our skin and body!
The harmful toxins that are held within the fabric are the culprits. Especially when sweat, heat and body friction interacts with the fabric. There is increasing concern among public health advocates following the link between sportswear and health issues.
SKIN ALLERGIES DUE TO CLOTHING
Skin allergies are known to most and there are numerous people who suffer from skin related problems. However, new studies have found that certain toxins that hide in fabrics could result in cancer and other disabilities (Stockholm University, 2015).
While these may not manifest in the short term, this is clearly a possibility in the long term, especially endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The main reason being sweat and body contact causing the skin to absorb toxins faster. There is also increasing concern that chemicals used in fabric such as dyes, solvents and PFC’s are still not regulated.
CLOTHING SHOULD NOT HARM THE SKIN
We make sure we eat well, are active and lead a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, it is also our duty to make sure that what we wear does not harm our skin in any way. This is possible only by us being actively aware of what is lying next to our skin.
Choosing natural fabric blends such as bamboo and cotton will help in mitigating toxins and bacteria that cause harm.
PRODUCTION OF BACTERIA IN CLOTHING
Therefore, choosing to wear natural fabrics is a no brainer really. Most of us know that synthetic fabrics do not breathe and becomes an absolute nightmare on a sweaty day by breeding bacteria and trapping odour in.
In a study, researchers from Ghent University grew smelly bacteria and coated them on various fabric such as cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, acrylic, fleece, viscose and so on (Callewaert, et al., 2014). They found that while cotton produced very few germs, other fabric such as polyester had odour producing bacteria swarming over them.
If you would like to know more about plastic in activewear and how they affect the body, read here.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF BACTERIA IN CLOTHING
Callewaert and colleagues' (2014) investigation also suggest that antimicrobials while keeping the bad germs at bay also keeps good germs away which is also a concern.
They report that synthetic nylon is even more scarier as it can cause acne and foot odour being an active ground for growing Propionibacterium acnes (bacteria causing acne). Of recent, manufacturers claim using antimicrobials, for example, nanosilver which reduces bad germs.
SKIN FRIENDLY FABRIC BLENDS
It is great to see a following for eco-friendly products that are friendly towards the skin as well. It is important that more people be aware of the fabric that lie next to skin and choose wisely. Go for natural blends that will not irritate your skin or cause allergic reactions. Some natural blends that are great for activewear include bamboo which is light, super soft, hypoallergenic and breathable making them highly comfortable. Add to it the natural glaze, inherent to bamboo lifting the activewear to its luxurious and stylish look .
Find out more about how bamboo has unique invaluable properties to help the skin while exercising.
Callewaert, C., De Maeseneire, E., Kerckhof, F.M., Verliefde, A., Van de Wiele, T. & Boon, N. 2014, "Microbial Odor Profile of Polyester and Cotton Clothes after a Fitness Session", Appl. Environ. Microbiol., AEM.01422-14, vol. 80, no. 21, pp. 6611-6619.