Over the years, we’ve all learned to check ingredient labels when shopping for clean food and clean beauty. We’ve come to know the trusted certifications for non-GMO, no animal testing, organic, farm raised, and more. But how do we make educated decisions when buying clean fashion? Clean fashion hasn’t yet caught up to clean beauty and clean eating with mainstream certifications of do-no-harm, or government regulation for ingredient transparency.
Meet an expert: Heidi Lehmann. Heidi, Master Bra Designer at Vibrant Body Company, has more than 30 years experience in the intimate apparel industry, and knows the ins and outs of clothing design and manufacturing. She is a patent holder and designer of The Vibrant Bra and the Vibrant line of tops and underwear—all of which are certified 100% clean. (More on that later.) Additionally, Vibrant is offering 20% off with coupon code LIVEVIBRANT for those who want to expand their closet to include clean essentials.
Here are Heidi’s tips for shopping smarter for clean clothing.
“The first step is to assess the fabric. Many clean clothing lines use organic fabric, meaning, the fibers used to make the fabric were grown in an organic way. But that’s not the whole story.” Heidi explains that organic fabrics are made from natural fibers, but synthetic fabric does not mean it’s not “clean”. No matter the type of fabric, look for an OEKO-TEX® label—this is the European standard (given by a non-profit Swiss agency) to guarantee there’s no presence of toxins harmful to humans. “But processing and finishing fabric can take a lovely organic textile and make it unclean.”
“Organic cotton doesn’t grow in color. Remember, it is dyed.”When choosing the color of your clothing item, it’s better to stay with lighter colors—the deeper the color, the more likely the color needs a dose of heavy chemicals to adhere the color and keep it from fading. When unsure, look for the specific STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® label, which certifies every component of an article of clothing (every thread, dye, button, etc.) has been tested for harmful substances. Vibrant obtained this Standard 100 certification for their collection of clean intimates so shoppers can feel 100% confident their bras, undies and tops are non-harmful.
Even an organic or OEKO-TEX® certified fabric can be constructed into a garment and then finished with harmful chemicals to make it flame-retardant or wrinkle-free. (Especially in the U.S., which has far fewer regulations about toxins in clothing than Europe or Canada.) Heidi suggests that a handy guide to the most common chemicals to avoid is the Vibrant Dirty Laundry List. These are the harmful substances all Vibrant clean intimates are made without, but that unfortunately turn up in many other articles in our underwear drawers and closets.
Want more? Heidi Lehmann appears twice weekly to answer questions and share her unique clean fashion tips during the Braless Happy Hour, hosted live at 4 p.m. CDT, Tuesdays and Thursdays, on Vibrant Body Company’s Instagram.
For a limited time, Vibrant is offering 20% off your order of clean essentials when coupon code LIVEVIBRANT is entered at checkout.