Smart Shopping: Healthy Products Made Sustainably*
Do you know what’s in the products you purchase and wear? If you said “no”, you’re not alone. In this day and age, it’s easy to assume that the things we purchase won’t cause harm. However, there are dozens of surprisingly common products that contain hazardous additives, chemicals, and cancer causing carcinogens. As forward-thinking manufacturers introduce sustainable and organic alternatives, consumers can choose from thousands of food, clothing, and cleaning products that have been made with our health and environment in mind.
As health concerns and increasing cancer rates affect our lifestyles, millions of consumers are taking note and making the switch to healthier, more sustainable, and ethically manufactured products. To encourage others to make the change, we will be discussing the hazardous additives found within everyday products that can affect both personal and environmental health.
Made from the mineral talc, is found in dozens of cosmetic applications, from eyeliners and deodorants, to baby and body powders. Manufacturers of talc based products like globally recognized Johnson & Johnson, are currently battling nearly 5,500 lawsuits claiming talc products increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
Phthalates & Parabens
A group of chemicals used within industrial dyes, textiles, leathers, and even cosmetic products. Used as a preservative, overtime individual chemicals within the phthalate group begin to break down; affecting developmental growth among young children and infants, excessive levels can cause serious harm to the endocrine system. Parabens are used within cosmetics, shampoos, moisturizers, and shaving creams. Similar to phthalates, when it breaks down and gets absorbed by skin, it causes hormonal imbalances and neurological damage.
According to the CDC, dimethylformamide, a common additive within acrylic fabrics, can cause long-term liver damage after direct exposure and contact with skin. This is well known by manufacturers, as they must wear personal protective equipment while handling their clothing products. Unlike organic textile production, conventional fabrics are treated with caustic chemicals and dyes that can remain within the product, even after washing.
What we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it. Substances that affect your overall health and wellbeing don’t simply work themselves through your system by traveling to the gut alone. What we place on our skin plays a major role in how we take care of our bodies. That’s why it is important to use products that care about your skin just as much as you do. Brands like Aveda believe in connecting beauty, environment, and well-being through their products leaving you feeling good about yourself and your skin.
Implementing green cleaning products within your household won’t only benefit you personally, but the environment as well. Using sustainable cleaning products on your floors, countertops and windows is not only safer and more cost effective but will also help generate better air quality, making for a healthier surrounding.
There is no question that we want the best for our children, especially when it comes to their health. By incorporating sustainable products in their everyday lives at an early age can have a positive impact throughout their life. Companies like The Honest Company make it their mission to provide amazing products without harming people or the planet which in return makes for a happy consumer.
Using organic cotton in clothing production is nothing but a benefit to all involved parties. Not only does is require the use of 95% less water than conventional cotton, it also is bereft of any harmful chemicals, bleaches, or dyes that can be found in other materials. Ladies, don’t forget about your hygiene products, those also contain cotton, and unless otherwise noted as organic, they could contain chemicals. The same goes for clothing. For example, progressive companies in the UK like Beaumont Organic, People Tree, and Pact Apparel in the United States, use organic cotton in their clothing to ensure a high quality and environmentally conscious product.
This has been a guest post by Meghan Stirpe, a representative of PACT, an organic cotton and fairtrade clothing brand creating soft and comfortable basics for men, women and children.