The book that finally prompted me to switch to natural, organic clothing – and why I’ll never go back – Sarah Best

I was just 12 when I first started to become interested in optimum nutrition, having found myself magnetically drawn to the Leslie Kenton books at my grandmother’s house in Pembrokeshire.

By 14 I was reading everything on the topic I could get my hands on, and over the years this interest in high-energy eating grew into a passion for all aspects of holistic health and eco living.

But it wasn’t until some years later, and around 12 years ago, that I started eating predominantly organic. It was the late 1990s – around the time this first became feasible for a twentysomething Londoner on a tight budget. And soon after that, I started to move over to natural, organic skin, hair and body care products.

For a long time now my policy has basically been that if there is an organic option for any food or beauty product I go for that, and if there isn’t, I really question whether I want or need it.

But there was still a major disconnect in there.

I was still doing all my clothes shopping on the high street.

Of course, I did get that synthetic fibres and dyes could not be a good nor healthy thing, and that natural, sustainable clothes were available. But they were expensive and hard to find – or so I thought – and I wasn’t motivated enough to make the effort.

All of that changed earlier this year when I read Killer Clothes: How seemingly innocent clothing choices endanger your health…and how to protect yourself by Anna Maria and Brian Clement, directors of the world-renowned Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.

One shocking fact this book hits you with is that man-made fibres (such as nylon and polyester) only replaced natural ones (such as cotton, wool and silk) around 60 years ago. And most of the cotton used in clothing today is doused in pesticides, making it a disaster for our bodies and the planet alike. Non-organic, synthetic fibres off-gas dangerous chemicals – albeit in minute amounts, but do we really want to be absorbing those through our skin and lungs day and night?

Also, we forget that the skin is the body’s main organ of elimination and must be able to ‘breathe’ in order to release toxins. Natural, organic fibres allow it to, while synthetic ones do not. This really blocks the skin in its essential detoxification role, with knock-on effects for the entire system.

The book reveals many other ways that synthetic fibres and the dyes and other chemicals added to them create health problems, backing this up with scientific evidence that the mainstream media has largely ignored. Read more