A deeper dive into the issue of toxic fashion

Parents face several issues with regards to toxic materials used in everyday items like clothing and footwear. A significant concern is the widespread use of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), often referred to as ‘forever chemicals’ due to their persistence in the environment and the human body. These chemicals are used in various products for their stain and water resistance properties.
PFAS have been found in a range of consumer textile products like bedding, tablecloths, sportswear, and unfortunately, in children’s products such as bibs, pyjamas and shoes. These substances are concerning because of their potential health hazards, including links to various illnesses and environmental contamination. 
Apart from PFAS, the textile industry uses a plethora of other chemicals. Thousands of different synthetic chemicals are involved in the apparel industry, from material production to the finished product. Some of these chemicals, like flame retardants, lead, chromium, phthalates, chlorine bleach, AZO dyes, and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, have been linked to serious health risks including cancer, infertility, neurotoxicity, and endocrine disruption.
Studies show that chemicals used in clothing can be absorbed through the skin, posing a danger to human health. For example, substances used in pyjamas were found in children’s urine five days after wearing them for just one night. Among the items tested from major brands, 63% contained hazardous chemicals.
One of the main challenges for parents and consumers to address these issues is the lack of transparency and labelling regarding the chemical content of textiles. Consumers are often unaware of the presence and potential risks of these chemicals in their clothing and footwear. This lack of awareness makes it difficult for them to make informed choices about the products they purchase.
In the UK and EU consumer markets, the issues with toxic materials in clothing and footwear are being addressed through a combination of regulatory action and industry initiatives. The EU has taken significant steps to protect consumers from hazardous chemicals in textiles, with regulations like the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) limiting exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction (CMR) chemicals in clothing, textiles, and footwear. These regulations ensure safety standards across the market. Certain clothing and footwear brands, such as Brazil's Bibi, have adopted these standards and have firm commitments to adhere to the development of safe products. 
The EU’s action against hazardous chemicals includes restricting 33 CMR chemicals, covering substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cadmium, chromium, lead, and phthalates. This restriction aims to reduce environmental emissions of these hazardous substances, which can occur during washing, and improve the quality of recycled textile materials. 
Ethical consumerism is also on the rise in the UK and EU, with consumers becoming more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their purchases. This awareness is reflected in the growing popularity of brands that prioritise sustainability and ethical practices in their production processes. Brands are being evaluated based on various criteria, including their environmental impact, labour practices, and the sustainability of their products. This shift in consumer behaviour is encouraging more brands to adopt sustainable and ethical practices. 
Despite these efforts, challenges remain, particularly in the fast fashion industry. This sector is notorious for its environmental and social impacts, with huge volumes of oil-based clothes produced and a high rate of textile waste. The fast fashion business model has been criticised for its reliance on hazardous chemicals and the lack of enforcement of regulations designed to protect the environment and the health and safety of workers and consumers. 
Overall, the UK and EU are making significant strides in addressing the issues of toxic materials in clothing and footwear, with stringent regulations and a growing focus on sustainability and ethical production practices. However, continued vigilance and consumer awareness are essential to ensure the effective implementation of these measures and to address ongoing challenges in the industry. 

Bibi, along with IBTec (Brazilian Institute of Leather, Footwear and Related Products) monitors all of the raw materials used in Bibi production, which are only those in compliance with international standards (REACH Reg. 1907/2006) for toxic substances that are known to be safe.

This gives peace of mind to parents that their little ones are not coming into contact with toxic materials, which is especially important during those early years when everything ends up in their mouth! Bibi products are safe for your kids, and safe for the environment too. 

At Stellar Blue, we are dedicated to nurturing every step of a child's journey by providing exceptional, non-toxic, eco-friendly, and technologically advanced footwear. Our mission is to foster healthy walking habits from the very first steps, ensuring each pair of shoes not only supports optimal foot development but also reflects our commitment to sustainability and innovation. We strive to be more than a footwear brand; we aim to be a trusted companion in every child's adventure, leaving a positive footprint for generations to come.