We don’t know about you, but we’re starting to get a little bit peed off with the ‘wellness’ industry. The niggly thing about the health and wellness space in 2019 is that we can be told by brands, magazines, influencers, friends etc (and believe) that we’re doing great things for the environment and our health, when in fact we’re still making choices that are damaging both us and our habitats.
Frankly, we’ve had enough of the smoke and mirrors and are hereby committing to finding out the truth about our health and wellness choices so we can be sure we’re actually making the positive impact we think we are.
So here we are, staring down the barrel of a topic that breaks our hearts a little bit. Synthetic fibres in the fashion industry, specifically, the activewear industry, and their effects on our hormone health.
We’ve chatted to our super knowledgeable friends at lifestyle and yoga brand WE-AR to better inform ourselves about these fabrics.
Plastic Strikes Again
If you haven’t read our blog about how plastics disrupt the male and female hormone systems (and how to limit your exposure), check it out now.
Basically, plastics are xenoestrogens, which means that they mimic oestrogen in the body.
Our scientists frequently observe high oestrogen levels in Eve test results. It’s thought that the abundance of plastic and toxins in our environments are leading to this outcome.
Over long term exposure xenoestrogens have been linked to increased risk of hormonal issues such as:
- Oestrogen dominance symptoms such as heavy periods, weight gain around the hips and thighs and PMS (this is the most common hormonal side effect of plastic exposure, and we test for this hormone imbalance in the Eve test)
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Increased risk of ovarian cancer
- Fertility issues in men and women
- Impaired foetus development
- Libido and erectile issues in men
- Early onset puberty in young females.
So you’ve swapped out your plastic drink bottle for one made out of stainless steel or glass? Great! Your next step is to address your activewear collection.
Research is building fast around the damage the synthetic fibres used to make your lovely yoga tights and running shorts can do to our hormones. You might know them as ‘Luon’, ‘Pilayo’ or ‘Studiolux’ but these, and other, plastic based polyamide textiles are made out of oil, making these fibres extremely dangerous.
So You’re Telling Me My Yoga Tights are Bad for Me?
Sadly, that’s exactly what we’re telling you. Honestly? We’re mad about it too. We skip along to hot yoga in our sweat wicking, form hugging tights feeling like we’re giving our bodies a gift. When actually, in the process of stretching and flowing, we might be leaching plastic chemicals into our bloodstream.
Through the simple process of abrasion, each time we wear these textiles tiny plastic fibres are rubbed off and absorbed into the biggest organ in our bodies: our skin, which absorbs approximately 80% of whatever we put on it. When we exercise, our bodies regulate our temperature through sweating, which opens our pores up nice and wide, letting the fibres jump on in.
Are Recycled Plastic Yoga Leggings Any Better?
Although many brands have good intentions of creating better alternatives with activewear made out of recycled plastic, as if in some mean twist of fate, it’s been found that recycled plastic products actually shed micro-fibres at an even faster rate than their non-recycled counterparts.
We’re massive fans of recycling plastic, but making it into fabric which needs to be washed frequently may not be that great... Studies show that an eco-fleece jacket made from recycled plastics sheds almost two thousand plastic fibers per wash, which is more than other fabrics that are made from non-recycled materials. We can feel our oestrogen rising just thinking about that.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
We’ve just dropped a big bomb, we know. So, here’s some good news: there are some epic conscious designers out there using natural fibres like organic cotton, bamboo, hemp and linen combined with minimal amounts of spandex to bring us the hugging, flattering yoga pants that we love without harming our oceans or our hormones.
At Eve, we LOVE WE-AR. As well as having a dreamy line of clothing, their yoga wear is next level heavenly. WE-AR’s leggings are 90% organic cotton with 10% elastane – the minimum needed in a textile to yield two-way stretch, body hugging functionality and longevity.
They want to make sure everyone knows about this activewear secret, and the harm these synthetic fibres can do, so be sure to follow them as they unravel this story and speak up about making a conscious choice for our planet and bodies.
In the meantime we’ll gradually be phasing our activewear wardrobes into more hormone friendly collections, and keeping our eyes peeled for other ‘wellness’ untruths.
Looking for more information? Head over to our FAQs page where you can find out about Eve, what the Eve Hormone Balance Test measures, when the best time to test your hormones is, and more.