Clothing: Enemy #1


What you don’t know about your clothes will kill you, claims a new book.

It’s not enough to ensure your clothing is made by people being paid fair wages, is constructed of organic fibers sustainably harvested and is manufactured consciously. Killer Clothes, by Anna Maria and Brian Clement, explores topics related to documented studies regarding the toxic role of spandex, how petro-chemicals affect hormonal balances in women, and how the military is using service men and women as guinea pigs for garment testing.

Helpfully for such a heavy topic, the authors give readers the tools and resources to make more empowered clothing choices. Co-authors Dr. Brian Clement and Dr. Anna Maria Clement are Co-Directors of the internationally known Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida and have created wellness and disease prevention programs followed by more than 300,000 people. (They have authored a dozen previous books on natural health antidotes to illness and disease.)

We caught up with them recently to ask some questions about their book.

We think about where our clothes come from and who makes them but why don’t we consider how toxic they are? Why are we not worried enough?

Most people never consider that the clothes they adorn their bodies with are often made out of petro-chemicals. These man-made fibers notoriously spew out chemicals and fumes that inherently go through your skin and contaminate your bodies systems. There have been many well documented studies that highlight the disease-causing effects of these disastrous fashions. People think more about the way they look than their health and this is why this profoundly obvious issue is not front and center in the consciousness of the public.

It seems logical with the increase in spandex that there’s been an increase in obesity. You talk about how the increase in man-made clothing has coincided with fertility problems and cancer. Can you explain your thoughts on this?

The skyrocketing use of spandex may be like the historic question, what came first the chicken or the egg. These stretchable clothes allow for belly expansion. Does that not mean the garment industry is giving license to eat more? We also see a direct connection between tight under garments, most often made with oil fibers, and infertility. There have been several studies over the years that have revealed this serious concern. The tightness with males, pressures the testicles, reducing sperm counts. In addition with both female and males, the petro-chemical cloth mimics estrogen which is readily absorbed through the skin causing hormonal imbalances.

I found the quote referencing The Emperor’s New Clothes to be interesting. You explain how the Western fashion world sees the “Emperor” as “an economic altar on which our considerations of health and safety have largely been sacrificed.”  Are we that obedient?

After World War II, the rapidly expanding oil industry was not satisfied with the mass profits they made by producing fuel. This spawned a type of insanity where they convinced farmers to grow food with their chemicals (fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides), and in addition began weaving their chemistry into less expensive cloth. This created an economic alter that negated the precious question of whether or not this effected our overall health. This is not only obedience it is insane.

On your chapter called “We Are All Guinea Pigs,” you say the military has been knowingly using service men and women as guinea pigs for wider consumer applications for civilians. Have there been studies showing the effects on the service men and women from having toxic uniforms?

When one enlists in the service to protect their country, they unknowingly present their self as a research subject for a wide variety of military and civilian study. As you have read in our book Killer Clothes, the man-made fibers in hot desert conditions were literally igniting and burning soldiers. Rather than this being reported as a lead story in international news, it was buried and soldiers were told they could not wear these garments when off-duty.

What does the future of our clothing look like and how can we best make our voices audible enough for The Emperor?

If you are conscious enough to be concerned about our present state of affairs in the clothing industry, wait until infrared anti-odor socks are in your local shops or how about the nano clothing which places metallic in the man-made fiber. One must be astute or they can be fooled. Nano particles (The NY Times reported potential problems they may cause in the brain and other organs in the body), are actually being used to make the
wood fiber tencel clothing that is emerging as a new “Natural” fiber. How about the resist static fabric that literally can throw off neurological function in the body as well as the brain waves. The only term that can be rightfully used in describing these obvious missteps is a dangerous future for garments.

Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.