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April 30th, 2014 | By Alicia Silverstone

This material is made from both petro and carcinogenic chemicals, is often shipped from far away places, and is non-biodegradable.

The mere manufacturing of nylon creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Then, during the manufacturing process, lubricants are used that additionally pollute and contaminate the environment. On top of the tremendous amount of energy and toxins it takes to create this material, manufacturers use significant amounts of water to cool it after it’s made. As if that wasn’t bad enough, since nylon cannot be naturally degraded, it is often burned, which re-emits these toxic fumes into the atmosphere. Scary.

Some items that are commonly made with nylon include: swimwear, some sports/work out clothes, umbrellas, luggage, waterproof bags, many types of mascara and mascara brushes, some shoes, some car interiors and lots of other stuff. Luckily, there are lots of alternatives to nylon. Opt to choose and support apparel and household items made from natural substances like organic cotton, bamboo, linen, inego, soy, and hemp. Not only are these more eco friendly but they are way more breathable!

Similar to educating yourself on your diet, try to approach clothing and household purchases in the same way. Have fun de-coding labels and if possible buy used. If you already have clothes or products made with nylon, don’t throw them out. There are great brands out there that are recycling nylon and repurposing them in to new items like swimsuits, which is much better than expending the energy and resources to manufacture new nylon.

Do whatever is within your reach. Remember to be kind and not too hard on yourself!

How do you shop for kind clothes and household items? Do you always CHECK labels before buying? Share your shopping tips and tricks in the comments below. 

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