We took a pledge against formaldehyde in our new line of shirts. This carcinogen, commonly used as a chemical finish on clothing, is toxic not only to our wearers but to our manufacturing employees and to the environment. Because of that, we’ve gone formaldehyde-free.
The thing about formaldehyde…
In December 2018, we launched our first shirts ever, and they were formaldehyde-free. Our goal was to deliver finely crafted button downs in a range of charismatic fabric weaves and styles. Our objective was creating a shirt you’d want to wear every day. One that you wouldn’t want to take off. We couldn’t do that knowing we’d be exposing you to daily doses of formaldehyde.
It’s not unusual for non-iron dress shirts to contain 75ppm of formaldehyde, but the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that those with sensitive skin can develop rashes and other dermatological diseases from formaldehyde concentrations well below 1ppm.
Stepping toward safer fashion
We also didn’t want to subject our factory employees to those fumes, which they’d suffer at much higher levels. According to the Washington Post, the immediate effects of formaldehyde for clothing wearers can include skin rashes, headaches, and in some cases, bloody noses and nausea. Furthermore, the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that prolonged exposure to small doses of formaldehyde can cause Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). And these health damages are increased tenfold in workers who are exposed to high levels of the carcinogen in enclosed spaces. Such effects can take the form of throat spasms, asthma, and accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
“Regardless of the product, fashion production is never really ideal. And I suppose this is true for the entire manufacturing sector. But if we can remove an element of toxins from our process, we will. This was part of our process when thinking about how can we do our part. We need to reduce the incredibly taxing footprint that fast fashion places on the environment. On average, it’s estimated that one large garbage truckload of clothing gets added to landfills every second,” states Omar Sayyed, CEO.
In addition to causing health risks for the people exposed to this popular carcinogen, formaldehyde is highly toxic to aquatic life. It also breaks down into carbon monoxide in the environment, which contributes to ground level ozone.
“Fashion is one of the largest producers of toxins affecting our freshwater supplies, eroding our topsoil at a rate of 3 feet per year for just cotton alone,” says Sayyed.
With all of this in mind, we decided to construct our shirts without any chemical resins. A great dress shirt should provide a boost of confidence–not health anxiety. We hope you feel comfortable, upbeat and self-assured wearing Alynn’s shirts everywhere you go.