Are there toxins in your sportswear? We all know that doing yoga and keeping active is good for your health, but could your trendy sports gear be sabotaging your efforts? According to Greenpeace sportswear companies aren’t regulating the use of hazardous chemicals in their clothing. Glossy finishes applied to synthetic fabrics contain highly toxic substances (Phthalats (PFCs) Dimethylformarmide (DMF) Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) and Nonylphenols (NPs). These chemicals have been linked to cancer, obesity and developmental disabilities. Making sports bras sweat, grease and stain proof can come at a serious cost to your health. Especially as sweat and friction during exercise can prompt more rapid absorption of these toxins through your skin’s pores into the body. We wouldn’t eat toxic chemicals so why do we wear them?
Su Dodd, founder of FROM Clothing, has launched a “Yoga Bra” free of chemicals and made from organic cotton. Recently featured on Huffington Post, and gaining interest and followers from around the world From Clothing is the natural next step in a life of adventure. “I had an ambition to dance professionally which gave me a lifelong passion for physical activity and a subsequent addiction to its associated well-being effects on the body. Passing this on to others, via a first career in teaching, was an easy option with one single mantra ‘find that thing that flicks your switch, then staying active becomes a lifelong joy, not a hindrance’.
An entrepreneurial, tenacious spirit took Su on an adventurous business path from opening a 1000 private membership holistic health club, to co-founding a Pilates Studio, to establishing an RYA sailing school, to training and examining instructors. With her ‘work hard; play hard, life is precious’ attitude she was inspired by the big outdoors. A more recent venture, in organic soft fruit farming, truly connected her with the environment. “I learnt how everything we did had an impact on our land’s delicate eco systems and ultimately it’s produce. It broadened my perspective on global agriculture, and how conventional farming has little respect for the natural health of soil, it’s ecosystems and local communities”.
From this background grew “FROM Clothing” which she describes as an emerging ethical fashion brand. “It is a collaboration of these experiences, born out of concern for the planet’s fragility. It is a demonstration of how an integrated socially responsible approach to business can work towards ‘giving back’ and make a difference, contributing to the well being of our planet to help protect it for futures to come”.
Committed to product provenance FROM Clothing creates, designs and manufactures eco friendly clothing for the active and yoga lifestyle. Multifunctional, sports luxury active wear that will take you effortlessly from yoga, to the office, onto the evening. Eco yoga wear that uses beautiful fabrications, feels soft against the skin, is kind to the environment, and sourced from sustainable resources. A minimum of 90% of the raw materials used in their designs are made from ethically sourced, certified organic and sustainable sources. Classic, timeless, wardrobe staples that impact far beyond your yoga class. They use a range of GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton which is grown and harvested in India. It is then shipped to Portugal for manufacturing into the active-wear and yoga clothing. Using organic cotton means GOTS cotton farmers are treated fairly and receive a fair wage for their produce, in addition their communities are not exposed to the toxins and chemicals used in conventional cotton farming.
FROM’s Organic Cotton Yoga Bra helps women sustain themselves by raising awareness to the potential harmful chemicals found in modern day synthetic sportswear. But Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity, removed FROM’s Organic Cotton Bra from this year’s corporate partner list because, “The charity couldn’t be seen to be supporting the concept that organic fabric was better than other fabrics, and because their other promotional clothing partners weren’t organic,” says Su. She was asked to drop references to organic clothing which she refused to do. “As a small brand this messaging was integral to our values, and we weren’t able to ignore what was clearly information applicable to half of the global population.” With breast cancer rates increasing, FROM wanted to raise awareness to the potential risks associated with wearing tight fitting, synthetic sports bras, especially during physical activity when the skin’s pores are open and more receptive to absorption.
“It’s a beautiful, classic shaped Yoga Bra, made from 95% GOTS certified organic cotton, giving you a super soft hand feel, that’s kind to your skin and the environment” Su explains. “It’s multi functional, lightweight support, with double layer fabric at front, pretty straps and self-panel stitching detail. Ideal for Yoga, Pilates and all low impact activities, on its own, or great layered under your favourite t-shirt or yoga vest. When Greenpeace recently released a report on ‘Toxins In Sportswear,’ it was clear to us, as an emerging ethical fashion brand specialising in organic and sustainable active wear, that women needed a more natural fabric to wear during physical activity, particularly against the breasts, which is why we also support Breast Cancer Awareness”. Made with super-soft organic cotton, the fabric is certified by GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard, which prohibits the use of allergenic, carcinogenic and toxic chemicals in all stages of production making the Yoga Bra 95% chemical and toxin free, giving the wearer assurance that while they’re working out, their yoga bra isn’t affecting their health.
“We are a young business with old heads. We are trying to do what we aspire and believe in. We are realistic and have had to ‘tame’ some of our initial objectives until we are suitably resourced to widen our ‘reach.’ We have and will make mistakes but we will continue to do what we think is right by people, the planet and it’s environment. True to our core values, we aren’t bystanders and will break the mould, and will take risks to achieve our aims. We are creative innovators, solutionists, and give conscious thought to the social and environmental impact of all our business activities on every level – a business with purpose, not just for profit”.
But it’s not just down to the suppliers, it’s also down to us, the consumers. We have to educate ourselves and make informed choices. The information is out there; you just have to ask the tough questions. You can start with checking out http://www.fromclothing.com
More stories about Majorca: mallorcamatters.com