Is Your Clothing Toxic?

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=clothing&search_group=&horizontal=on&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1#id=83928172&src=0f1023f32d8a4bb3da4b5e1a372a0ac5-1-2">Dmitry Kalinovsky</a>/Shutterstock

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Lots of people worry about their clothing. But they probably don’t worry about whether it’s toxic. Greenpeace International’s newest research indicates that you probably should.

Greenpeace tested 141 items of clothing from 29 countries, and found that 89 contained nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), which are toxic, bioaccumulative chemicals that have been identified as hormone disruptors. They also found high levels of phthalates in four pieces of clothing, and amines from azo dyes that have been identified as carcinogens. The clothing came from major international brands, including Armani, Levi’s and Zara. This was a follow up to an August 2011 report that found similarly distressing chemicals in clothing.

I read the report yesterday while wearing a Zara shirt and Levi’s jeans. So yeah, not very reassuring.

Other brands Greenpeace IDed as including harmful chemicals: Benetton, Diesel, Esprit, Gap, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Mango, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. See the full “Toxic Threads” report here.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest