Between The Sheets
Technology has changed the face of the textile industry, offering us more cutting-edge, smarter and stronger options, but are they really making our lives better? When the products of DwellStudio became available to the local market in 2007, I was intrigued. People are drawn to its collections of beddings, pillows and other accessories because of the beautiful patterns and high thread count. They are found in the homes of stylish mothers such as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts but there’s more to this brand than its designs. On its website, the company reveals that its products contain no heavy metals or other toxic substances. They are AZO free and formaldehyde free. Each set is constructed in Portugal in Oeke-Tex certified mills that use low-impact dye. So, why is this all important? To enhance the quality of our health, aside from eating and living well, the sheets you sleep on DO matter.
DwellStudio claims that none of its products have been treated or manufactured by the following: lead, formaldehyde, Fluorescent Whitening Agents (FWA) or Optical Brightening Agents (OBAs), AZO dyes, disperse dyes and other toxic chemical finishes. Here is a breakdown on what some of these elements can do to our body and the environment:
Formaldehyde: Studies show that it contributes to allergies, skin irritation, rashes, insomnia, headaches, eye and nose irritation. The vapors are not only toxic, but flammable and explosive.
Lead: It affects the neurological development of a child.
Fluorescent Whitening Agents (FWA) or Optical Brighteners (OBAs): They can cause allergies and eye irritation.
Toxic flame resistance Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether(PBDEs): Research shows their presence affects the thyroid function in pregnant women and children, affecting neurological development and causing low birthweights. It also decreases sperm count, impairs memory and hearing deficiencies. After high levels of PBDEs were discovered in breastmilk, the European Union started prohibiting them.
Adding formaldehyde-based resins to the formula is popular in the textile industry for securing wrinkle resistance at low costs. Formaldehyde helps increase stain resistance and keeps the fabrics from looking old. A majority of consumers look at affordable materials for their products or collections so in the competitive world of textiles, companies try to trim expenses however they can. While formaldehyde is receiving a lot of negative attention, there are other studies saying that as long as the textiles limit their usage of this chemical, the products are considered acceptable. Still, trading standards encourage consumers to give these textiles a good wash before usage.
There are still thousands of textile chemicals that are currently used by the industry that have not been tested for our safety. It is a relief to know that the brand DwellStudio does extensive testing on all its items to pass industry standards. Parents will also be pleased to know that DwellStudio also offers a line of bed linens, blankets, bib sets, hooded towels and toys for children.
As consumers, we should constantly educate ourselves about these matters to protect ourselves as well as our families. We can start by reading the labels and thereby avoid these toxic finishes. Look for fabrics that are certified by Oeko-Tex or The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Under the Oeko-Tex standard, the list of toxins is limited from the raw materials to the finished product. Both parties guarantee safe fabric but The Global Organic Textile Standard takes a step further by requiring water treatment. This is important because the textile industry also happens to be the leading industrial polluter of water. Another safe alternative is to choose textiles produced from organic cotton and silk, natural-fibers that easily absorb natural dyes. While there is no other chemical to take the place of formaldehyde as a flame-retardant, people can look at cruelty-free wool as an alternative. People sometimes tease that I tend to overreact but I can’t help it. Better to be safe about this now than pay for it later. Sleep well!
For more information on DwellStudio products, please visit http://www.quirksmarketingph.com/ for a complete list of retailers. They are also available at www.milkandhony.ph and www.quirksphonlinestore.com. You may also contact them at 632-2454846 or email them at [email protected]
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www.the-dermatologist.com; www.interaksyon.com; www.edition.cnn.com; www.ec.europa.eu; www.oecotextiles.wordpress.com; www.hearts.com; www.toxicfashion.org; www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz