Do you love those new wet look leggings you just bought? Or can’t get enough of your shiny, waterproof trench? I’m sorry to break it to ya but it’s probably made of PVC.
Polyvinyl chloride, aka “PVC”, aka “the poison plastic”, is the world’s third most common type of plastic. Unfortunately of all the plastics, PVC poses the most harm to animal and human health.
Where will I find it?
PVC is used in millions of products, including pipes, medical equipment, kitchen material, blistered packaging (think pill packs), shampoo bottles, and even clothing.
Many countries have already banned the use of PVC in babies’ clothing, and consumer groups and environmental advocates have banded forces, pushing for PVC textiles to be banned outright.
Here’s 8 steps to making sure your wardrobe is PVC free.
Always check labels before making a purchase.
Look out for labels with “vinyl”, “vinyon”, “phthalate”, “V” or “PVC” which means that the garment contains a form of PVC. Don’t assume that because something is designer, it’s PVC free. In recent years some fashion houses have made PVC the star of their collections.
The slippery slope of the “waterproof”.
Heralded for its water-resistant properties, PVC is a popular material in rainwear. So next time you’re buying a new raincoat or rain boots, check to make sure these don’t contain PVC.
Ring the alarm when something is “fire-resistant”.
PVC fabrics are known for their toughness and often incorporated in “fire-resistant” clothing. Because it’s so durable PVC is also popular in boots and shoes.
Steer clear of anything see-through!
Do you have a see-through toiletries bag? A clear clutch? A transparent tote? A pair of sandals with a translucent strap? Unfortunately, these kitschy items that reveal what lies within are almost always made from PVC.
Don’t be fooled by the promise of vegan leather.
The booming vegan leather industry is perched to revolutionize fashion, replacing animal skin with “sustainable” leather alternatives. Sadly, some faux leathers don’t always rely on bio-materials. Instead, they incorporate PVC to make synthetic leather that’s just as if not more harmful than its animal counterparts.
Even the sun doesn’t shine forever.
PVC fabrics are often shiny and glossy. Combined with PVC’s wetlook, and figure-hugging fit, the poison plastic has been increasingly used in the production of miniskirts, minidresses, coats, corsets, and stage wear.
Latex lingerie isn’t as sexy as it sounds.
PVC’s leathery look makes it common in erotic lingerie. The next time you are picking out lingerie and accessories for a sensual night of bedroom fun, make sure your catsuit, corset, or thong are PVC free.
Warning: some graphic tees contain graphic content.
While we all love graphic tees that pay homage to our favourite rock bands, many screen-printing companies actually use PVC in their prints. As a general guide, prints that feature a shiny ink are telltale sign of PVC.