Why plant-based clothing matters
At Inner Waves, we are dedicated to using organic, plant-based fibers. Every article of clothing is BPA-free and made with super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton. We only use eco-friendly dyes and never use harsh chemicals in the creation of any of our clothing.
We usually associate the chemical BPA, or Bisphenol A with plastic or canned goods, but a new finding shows that it is also lurking in what we wear. A detailed investigation by the Center for Environmental Health recently found BPA in polyester-based clothing with spandex, including eight major brands of sports bras and six major brands of athletic shirts. Their research found these clothing items could expose individuals to nearly 22 times the safe limit of BPA.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which means it upends the normal healthy functioning of the hormonal systems that control nearly all of the processes within your body and can cause a multitude of long-term health issues.
To understand why we should all be incredibly concerned, let’s first talk about the two main parts of our amazing bodies that are directly affected.
The skin. Our largest organ is wrapped around the outside of us to serve as the very first line of protection. The layers of skin create a thick barrier to prevent harmful substances from sneaking in and wreaking havoc on our internal machine. But not only is it a defense line, it’s also a place of elimination by ridding our body of toxins through porous glands. Ultimately, two of its main goals are to not let anything bad in, and sweat out anything the body doesn’t need or want.
The endocrine system. This is your body’s central command that controls nearly every process in your body. Think of the glands as communication outposts stationed throughout your anatomy. They send out hormones, or messengers, through your blood stream to specific parts to tell it what to do and when to do it, like physical development, emotions, sexual function, metabolism, and sleep. The pituitary gland is the watchdog for all this activity. It continuously monitors the amount of hormone levels and then tells the other glands what to do. If levels of a hormone are too high, it’ll tell the other glands to stop producing. If they’re too low, it’ll tell them to kick it up and produce more.
Ultimately, when everything is balanced, our bodies can be a beautifully well-oiled machine. However, as the new study shows, there are major offenders hiding where we didn’t expect that could undo this amazing system and cause harm to us. So here’s why these new findings are alarming.
Even though the skin serves as a protective barrier to prevent most harmful things from getting in, it can in fact absorb what you put on it through those glands that are meant for elimination. In fact, according to the American Journal of Public Health, studies have shown the skin can absorb at least 64% of chemicals found in products, including beauty, body care, and even regular tap water. If toxic chemicals are sitting on your skin (like in sports wear with elevated levels of BPA), they can creep right through hair follicles or sweat ducts and get swept away into your bloodstream.
BPA mimics the hormone estrogen, so once it’s in your bloodstream, your central command may read these false hormones and respond by potentially blocking other hormone receptors and changing the concentration of hormones. This can lead to abnormalities that may increase the likelihood of major issues, such as high blood pressure or even an increased risk of cancer.
Inner Waves is on a mission to create high-quality, plant-based organic yoga clothing that’s better for you and for the planet. With these new findings coming to light, we want to assure you that we believe that what we put on our bodies should be chosen as carefully as what we put in our bodies. Wearing organic plant-based fiber clothing is not only a pledge to protect our environment, it’s also protecting our personal health.