About MCS • TILT • Chemical Sensitivities • Latex Allergy
As our name suggests, at PureClothes.com we aim to offer clothes of the highest purity possible. That means saying 'No' to PVC, BPA, dioxin, formaldehyde, bleach, chemical dyes, sweatshop labor, and all the unpronounceable chemicals found in and on conventional clothes.
Instead, we make the entire selection from head to toe and beyond from 100% natural fibers from GMO-free organic agriculture. Each customer who tells us that they live practically around the clock in our most popular 100% organic fleece, 100% organic linen, 100% organic hemp knits, inspires us to do even better and make more essential products for the everyday needs of chemically sensitive people.
In 1999, we found out we were highly chemically-sensitive (& chemically-averse); we looked high and low and could not find clothing, bodycare, and home products that our compromised immune systems could tolerate. So we started manufacturing them.
It is an artificial distinction to diagnose some with chemical sensitivities and give others a clean bill - how could any human body be tolerant of things such as DDT, BPA, Dioxin? We humans are all sensitive to exposure to toxic chemicals, no matter how small a dose; only it shows differently in different people. Some break out in rashes upon contact; others get an asthma attack; yet others don't show immediate signs but build it up internally until a cancer or nervous disease results.
In addition to physical purity, we keep manufacturing as close to home base as possible by offering products made in USA, Canada, and Europe. No sweatshop, no cheap labor for us: we value human dignity too much to ever consider such options.
For people with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities), the world can be a truly scary place. Common household, bodycare, and clothing items can trigger asthma attacks, headaches, inflammation of skin and joints, fatigue, impaired mental capabilities, and indigestion. The most commonly used things (like industrial carpeting, cleaning liquids, scents, detergents, shampoos and soaps; paint; smoke; pesticide residues in foods, rubber in elastic and kitchen gloves) can for you cause a serious crisis.
Even worse, the offenders keep increasing: things you had no problem with one day can do the worst to you the next, and ever new sensitivities to ever lower levels seems to be a daily experience. Seriously, how can you avoid plastics in this day and age?
Adding insult, or rather, isolation to injury, this plight is often only half-heartedly accepted by Medical Doctors and the general population. Worse yet, you'll be often considered a hypochondriac, suffering under a paranoid mind. But make no mistake, there are very many people with chemical sensitivities, from all walks of life.
At PureClothes.com, we offer practical solutions, borne out of our own necessity to avoid chemicals. We offer 100% natural and organic one-ingredient shampoos, facial cleansers, facial toner, and laundry detergent. Yes, just one ingredient in each product, organic and naturally powerful! So simple and yet so effective, and chemical-free.
Check out our blog to see how we got rid of toxins in our living space. There is much you can do immediately: Use zero-VOC milk-based paints and solid wood furniture with organic cushions and solid wood or tile flooring without varnish. Sleep on organic mattresses in organic sheets, made in a facility that manufactures only organic products to avoid cross-contamination. PureClothes.com offers organic cotton, hemp, and linen products for the whole home, as well as organic clothing and accessories that are made without harsh chemicals, heavy metals, and common industrial intoxicants such as dioxin, BPA, PVC, and formaldehyde.
You can turn your living space into a sanctuary of purity. Avoid all synthetic fibers and everything non-organic, anything that has conventional dyes, softeners, and anti-wrinkling properties. Many only find reprieve when going so far as to avoid all products made in countries where even organic standards are suspect, where chemicals are used even though organic regulations forbid them. As a small manufacturer, we have the advantage of overseeing every step of production in the USA, Canada, and Europe, to make sure that the growing, processing, cutting, sewing, and dyeing of our products are done to the strictest and highest European and North American standards.
Here's a quick action-list on how to create a safe home:
- Avoid all chemical cleaning substances, bodycare products, scents, etc. We make organic, purely natural alternatives. And none the worse for it - many customers report that not only can they tolerate our products, but they also work surprisingly well. Remember, there was human life before the age of chemical pollution, and a much healthier life at that! For instance, the hemp oil we use for making our soaps is so rich that many customers can stop using moisturizers, conditioners, and shaving creams!
- Concentrate your limited resources on those items giving you the most benefit. Sleep only on the purest, organic, natural fiber bedding; in sheets made of organic linen or hemp, undyed and unbleached - we spend a third of our life in bed, so that is the place to start with. Strictly avoid anything with fire-retardant chemicals. Our mattresses use just a thin layer of wool on the outside to achieve sufficient fire-retardancy, without any chemicals whatsoeverl.
- Your intimate areas have soft absorbing membranes that make for the most vulnerable area of contact with chemicals. Wear only underwear, T-shirts, sleepwear, and bras that are organic, natural, and free of any chemicals.
- For mental and physical health, include yoga and mediation in your daily routines - but only using clothing and mats that are organic and chemical-free.
- Avoid petro-chemical dyes. We offer a wide range of either naturally beautiful undyed clothing items, bed sheets, towels and bathrobes, even in color-grown green and brown organic cotton; or petrochemical-free eco fiber-reactive and natural dyes that most people with MCS can tolerate just fine.
- All-important is the fuel your body runs on. Eat only organic foods: the less processed the better.
We connect to a great many people with MCS who have lived freer, healthier, happier lives after purifying their private spaces. Here's to a future world that’s as clean as the one our distant ancestors lived in! If a merchant doesn't state the country of origin, ask! If a merchant says an item they sell is "imported," ask where from. Chances are, if it's not stated where an item is made, it is probably made in a country rife with sweatshop working conditions and toxic chemical use. Be informed - and by doing so, create a better world for all.
If you observe allergic reactions upon contact with products that contain latex, you are one of a growing portion of around 10% of the population. The sensitivity can range from annoying (skin rashes, itching, swelling, lesions mostly on the finger tips) to dangerous (anaphylactic shock and acute severe asthma attacks), and it tends to worsen with continued exposure to the offending products. That’s why health care workers are more likely to develop problems - latex is an effective barrier against contagious transmission and is widely used in health care facilities.
Allergic reactions are triggered not only by touching a latex material, but just as easily by inhaling particles from those materials. Rubber gloves are often powdered with corn starch to make them less sticky, and easier to put on and take off; but this powder picks up the proteins in latex, and when inhaled triggers the allergic reaction in the lungs.
With a proper latex allergy, the immune system reacts to the protein contained in the sap of the rubber tree as if it was a dangerous substance. Anti-bodies are produced, and they are responsible for ‘sounding alarm bells’ next time this protein is detected. The defense mechanism triggered by this alarm consists of the release of histamine and other chemicals in the blood stream.
Unfortunately, this is not only a false alarm, but it's also an imprecise alarm system. Because some fruits contain proteins similar in structure to the one in the rubber tree, some people with latex allergy are also allergic to those fruits (banana, pineapple, chestnut, kiwi, mango, passionfruit, fig, strawberry, and soy). That's really to bad, when you're a raw-foodist like me - these are main staples. Only good oranges and apples didn't make the list.
How does histamine fight foreign proteins? Like using a baseball bat to chase a burglar out of a China shop, it is the big gun responsible for collateral damage in the process of achieving its mission. It makes capillary walls swell up, in order to let white blood cells and proteins (produced for the occasion in near-by stem cells) enter the area where the offending protein was detected. Calling white blood cells and proteins to the scene in itself is a good thing, as they are the ‘police to stop the crime’. They do that by neutralizing the foreign protein and eventually throw it in the sewers that the lymph and blood drainage systems are.
However, this swelling of the membranes is what constricts airflow if it’s in the lungs, and what causes itching elsewhere. That’s the collateral damage part of the process - and it’s what leads people to grab their anti-histamine puffers. Those puffers are so widely used, that I’m sure it is a very common sight at airport controls where agents check out the contents of pockets and purses. If you have some money saved up, you should consider investing in companies producing such anti-histamine puffers. It sure looks like a growth industry to me. Only, of course, the body gets used to constant anti-histamines in the body, and they loose their effectiveness, just like with anti-biotics.
Now to the good news and the bad news. The bad first - nobody has a clue why the immune system treats latex proteins with such hatred, and there is no cure. The good news - as long as you avoid contact of latex with any membrane of the body, you’ll have absolutely no problem. Sounds easy, right - at least as long as you don’t work in the medical field? Well, latex is in many commonly used products, such as shoe soles, elastic waist bands in underwear and swim wear, yoga mats, bike handles, condoms, balloons, rubber erasers, rubber bands, hair scrunchies, … you get the idea that to completely escape contact with the thing, you’ll need to set up shop all by yourself in a cave up high in the Himalayas, or retire as ship wrecked to an undiscovered island. In both scenarios, visitors are not welcome, as they more likely than not carry latex products with them. Email preferred over visits; unlike Robinson Crusoe, you would not light a signal fire to alert passing ships to your presence - you’d prefer the company of the cannibals from the other island over visitors from the modern world!
There’s more good news, so cheer up already. If you can’t rent a cave in the mountains, and haven’t found your dream undiscovered tropical island yet, the next best course of action is staying where you are, and throwing out all products containing latex. The good news is that there are clean and pure alternatives available.
Rawganique PureClothes has recently added a few core products to their offering of organic, natural fiber clothing items that are elastic-free: Women’s 100% Organic Cotton Boy Shorts, soft as can be, and with an organic cotton drawstring in place of the elastic waist band; Men’s and Women’s 100% organic hemp drawstring boxers; 100% organic cotton socks (in development); and many other latex- and elastic-free wardrobe essentials for every occasion. And because menstrual pads often contain latex as moisture barrier, we also offer 100% cotton latex-free pads and liners. With such wonderful alternatives, who really needs latex clothing products any more?
It matters little that often the allergy is caused not by the rubber proteins themselves, but rather by chemicals used in the production process, and the dyes used; and that the man-made (but more expensive) elastic alternative Spandex is often tolerated by latex-allergic people, but creates allergy issues of its own - choosing all natural, all organic, and all elastic-free products solves the problem, and in a perfectly beautiful way.