Translated with the help of Lucie Battaglia. Thank you Lucie!

As more and more chemicals go into the making of our underwear, those with sensitive skin increasingly struggle with with allergic reactions, characterized by irritation and redness. It is important to take the best approach to identify the cause of these reactions. Here is some helpful information that could help you find the cause of your skin allergies.

1. Latex


Latex is a known to be a common allergen. Although it is rare these days to find latex- composed fabrics, it is still present in most elastics used for the underwear waistband. In these cases, it is important to look at whether or not the elastic of the underwear is in direct contact with your skin or not (concealed).

2. Fiber Contents


Some people are allergic to nylon, polyester or even cotton (non-organic). You should be able to identify the fibers contents of a garment to figure out where the problem comes from. All clothing companies must disclose the fiber contents of the article in decreasing order of percentage on its label. In general, this label also specifies where the garment has been made and how to care for it. It’s usually found in the inner seams.

3. Dyes


Dyes may also be a cause of reaction. For example, you might not be allergic to the fiber itself, but to the dye that was used. First of all, choose Oeko-Tex 100 process dyes, which are certified safe for health. You can also buy underwear that is not dyed. They’ll be white (cotton) or cream (natural) for other fibers.

4. Pesticides & insecticides


You may have already heard the cotton industry is accountable for 25% of pesticides used worldwide. These products are sprayed directly on the plants, and residues from these products may still be found on the final product. Buying organic cotton clothing prevents the risk of allergens. This choice also helps prevent degradation of the environment and protects the health of cotton farmers, who are increasingly affected by serious diseases such as cancer.


Written by Ugo Dutil :
I grew up in the ecovillage Cite Ecologique. I like this way of life that values human relationships, sustainable development and personal growth. I’ve been working with Respecterre since 2013. Minimalism, #slowfashion and moving towards sustainability, especially in textiles, fascinate me.

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