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How Your Clothing Is Affecting Your Skin and Your Health

Save Your Skin: How Your Clothing Is Affecting Your Skin and Your Health

As health conscious people, we work hard to limit the type of chemicals that go into our bodies. Most of us do this by seeking locally farmed organic food. Some of us take it a step further and use all-natural body and cleaning products.

However, we rarely think twice when deciding which clothing to purchase.

Did you know that the process that turns a bail of cotton into your favorite pair of jeans can include over 8000 chemicals? Many of these are not proven to be safe for your body to absorb - in fact, some of them have potentially harmful side effects.

Don’t toss your jeans quite yet. There are ways you can make informed decisions to minimize the risk of unknown chemicals making it into your bloodstream.


Here's our watch-list of chemicals to avoid:


You may not know triclosan by name, but if you’ve heard the news about the recent antibacterial soap bans, well, triclosan is the culprit. The chemical was pulled from shelves in a number of cleaning and antibacterial products.

A list of harmful side-effects was shown in animals who were tested after contact with the substance, like lack of cardiac function, muscle function and skeletal muscle contractility.  

Studies have proven that triclosan can even act as a hormone disruptor, imitating estrogen, which can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer.

This antibacterial chemical could pose health risks such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects, yet it still lurks in some of your favorite outfits.

Since triclosan is often used as a coating in antibacterial and antimicrobial products, it’s most often found in workout clothes - especially those claiming to be stain and sweat repellent.

Buying clothing made of natural fabrics is the best way to avoid triclosan and other harmful garment chemicals. However, if you must buy synthetic fabrics, make sure your favorite brand is bluesign® verified. This means harmful substances are left out of the manufacturing process, ensuring a safe and eco-friendly final product for consumers.


Nanoparticles are a technology that clothing manufacturers use in clothing to make fabrics UV-resistant and to minimize the growth of bacteria. They’re mostly found in - you guessed it - workout clothing. The intended benefit of nanoparticles on fabrics is to minimize odors from a workout or increased everyday wear, but what you don’t often see on the tag is that these nanoparticles are composed of silver, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. In fact, they’re so small, they can be absorbed into your skin; sweating during a workout expedites this process.

The side effects of absorbing a high level of nanoparticles is not yet proven, but one study suggests that by wearing these sporting materials while working up a sweat, you’ll expose yourself to more than “three times the amount you’d get if you take a dietary supplement that contains silver.”

At Ably®, all apparel is activated with Filium®, our eco-friendly technology that does not use nanoparticles or harmful chemicals. Ably’s lightweight hoodies and shirts are safe for your skin for everyday wear, yet durable enough to withstand a tough workout and active lifestyle.

Surfactants and Xenoestrogens

Have you ever questioned why your laundry detergent container warns you to avoid contact of the product with your skin, despite the fact that it is used to wash clothing that is in contact with your skin all day?

Your regular detergent includes a ‘laundry list’ of chemicals that can disrupt the natural processes of your body. Many laundry detergents contain surfactants that not only dry out your skin, but also strip away natural oils that your skin needs for protection against disease-causing bacteria.

These same detergents also include xenoestrogens that, just like triclosan, can trigger estrogen-like reactions in the body. This can cause a variety of side effects, such as decreased fertility in males and increased breast cancer risk in females.

One way to mitigate exposure to chemicals in your detergents? Wash less. Ably’s bacteria and odor resistant fabrics allow you to do just that. Instead of wicking away sweat like many synthetic fabrics do, our unique technology Filium allows sweat to evaporate naturally, leaving you feeling and smelling fresh. When you wear Ably, you get all the benefits of antibacterial fabrics, without the harsh chemicals and uncomfortable material.

Be Aware Of What’s In Your Clothes

When you choose Ably, you're choosing a brand that fights to minimize its carbon footprint by design. Our all-natural apparel is safe for you and the planet, produced according to bluesign® standards - that means no nanoparticles or chemicals that break down and leach into your skin or the environment.

Ably’s Filium-activated clothing resists both stains and odors. You’ll find yourself spending a lot less time doing laundry and in doing so, making a significant dent in your carbon footprint. So go ahead - wear your outfit to the gym, then to dinner and don’t throw it in the hamper when you get home. Ably is saving your skin - and the environment too.

Preorder your Ably Apparel now!