BREAKING NEWS: Acid, Formaldehyde Found in Designer Clothing Brands

by , 03/17/10   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, Featured, The Big Idea

Hugo Boss

If you cast a gimlet eye at made-in-China merch, you might need to append a few more places to your blacklist, according to a story in China Daily. In a random sampling of department stores and boutiques in the southeastern province of Zhejiang, Chinese inspectors discovered that a staggering 60 percent of clothes made outside of China suffered from poor colorfastness or high levels of acid or formaldehyde—including products from high-end fashion houses.



Among the labels that failed quality-control tests are marquee names like Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Hermes, Trussardi, and Versace. These clothes, warn the government-run (cough) newspaper, “could have caused skin rashes, eye irritations, allergies, respiratory problems, and even cancer.”

The clothes could have caused skin rashes, allergies, respiratory problems, and even cancer, officials said.

Ranging from jeans and tees to sweaters and suits, the offending garments were manufactured in Italy, Morocco, Korea, France, Turkey, Vietnam, and India before they were imported to China, according to officials, who further noted that some were labeled incorrectly.

The Zhejiang Provincial Administration for Industry & Commerce has ordered for the dud duds to be recalled and the retailers fined. The labels themselves suffer no consequences because they’re not registered as businesses in China. Is that like diplomatic immunity, but for chinos?

+ China Daily

[Via The Telegraph]

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One Response to “BREAKING NEWS: Acid, Formaldehyde Found in Designer Clothing Brands”

  1. I’m far from an offshore apologist (exactly the opposite) but you can find plenty of items made in the US with formaldehyde. It’s been used in textile and fiber production for a long time. And it’s not just clothes. It’s in your mattress, your sofa & recliners, your bra cup pads, and stuffed animals. Anything that is soft and squishy that can catch fire. It’s also in Scotch Guard and those reduced wrinkling slacks.

    Speaking of, it wasn’t horrid uncaring manufacturers who decided to do this. No no. It was mandated by the US government for fire retardation. Now that we know more, things have swung back the other way. A recent law (CPSIA) has dictated acceptable levels so textile engineers are scrambling for other solutions to meet reduced formaldehyde levels while still meeting flame retardant standards.

    I can tell you that one use of formaldehyde really gets my goat and that’s when it’s basically unnecessary. If you buy faded, treated and tricked out designer denims with those washes, formaldehyde was used to do it. Even here in the US. You know what’s worse about it? Workers apply the stuff by hand from spray bottles. Denim washes and fades can only be done by hand. So, if you care about sustainability, health and worker safety, don’t buy those processed jeans.

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