What's on your skin?

April 13, 2017

What's on your skin?

You get dressed every morning ever since you where born. As a toddler you developed certain preferences on what you enjoy to wear. At this point it often had to do with comfort, the soft skirt versus the scratchy one. The loose pans versus the tighter ones. As you grew older you became more conscious of your environment. You tried to fit in with your peers. All of a sudden clothing choices became very intentional and had little to do with you and a lot more to do with what was going on around you. Clothing became fashion, which had to be followed and maybe slightly adjusted by personal taste. But more and more so every decade created a teenage uniform which is diligently obeyed.

Over time your clothing became an identifier - it showcase who you are and where you belong in this society. It gave a sense of education, background, income and style — your wearables are carefully chosen or intentional ignore. But even so clothing plays a tremendous role in our lives, weather we acknowledge it or not. We pay rather little attention to how it was made and where it is from. Because just like food the industrial revolution removed our connection to the cloth we wear every day on our skin.

Considering our skin is the largest organ we have and interacts with anything we interact with. It is quite absent-minded how we cover our-selfs, simply because it does not hurt or the impact of the material we wear is not felt right away. Beyond wool and cotton we are barely familiar with the names of the materials we put on.

Do you know what <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/polyester">Polyester</a> actually is? Or <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamide">Polyamide</a>? Or <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayon">Rayon</a>? How is it made? Do you check the label in the back of your cloth beyond the brand name? Unless you are very sensitive and develop allergies against certain materials we often don't pay attention. Particular when it comes to children. Plastic pyjamas? Really?

Artificial fibers and blended yarns get more sophisticated year by year. It is often difficult to detect what it was made from. There are overwhelming amounts of choices to satisfy a never ending need for replacement clothing. A careless cycle of cheap products, toxic yarns and careless habits. Every season over and over again.

There are never ending variations of high tech materials which make us believe we are making progress, because they allow us to hike to the Himalayas without freezing to death, or become sports champions in flashy <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex">Spandex</a> outfits. Because the wind with glide right over us when we ride high-tech sports bicycles and you can look great before ever having to make a move. Amazing, right? But you are rolled in plastic, even if it has sophisticated holes to breath.

And just because everybody does it, does it not make it healthy for us. You can carry something on your skin what is really not good for you for a very long time before you see an impact. But considering, that approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer (<a href="http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/statistics">according to government</a>) at some point during their lifetimes wearing chemicals maybe something to consider? Because cancer is not simply an illness, cancer is an over stretching of your bodies cells to the point that they can't develop any longer normal due to environmental factors, food, stress and personal pre-desposition.

Just like with food it is time to pay attention to the details in textiles, where is it from? How is it made? Not all natural fibers are made sustainable either. Maybe by starting to appreciate longevity and quality is a great start to slow down the wasteful cycle. Because just 2 or 3 generations ago you had one or two shirts throughout a summer and it was fine.

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