The "Secret" you may be allergic to, and how to avoid it

Remember the lawsuit against Victoria's Secret back in 2008? Let's take a trip down memory lane.

In 2008, a 37-year-old woman named Roberta Ritter filed a lawsuit against the lingerie company, claiming that their bras gave her horrible, itchy, blistering rashes. Hundreds of complaints followed, leading to a class-action lawsuit against Victoria's Secret. Shortly thereafter, their bras were tested positive for a chemical called formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is simultaneously:

  1. Used to make clothing and textiles wrinkle-free, shrink-resistant, anti-static, waterproof, and stain-resistant.
  2. Recognized as a known carcinogen by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.
  3. Not regulated by the USA, in manufacturing nor importing.

Lovely. I'd also like to note that, because formaldehyde creates a water-resistant property in textiles, the "wash-before-you-wear" trick won't always work on this one.

Charlize 100% organic cotton handmade bra lined with organic cotton fleece

Back to my story. The parent company, L Brands, claims “Victoria’s Secret does not add formaldehyde to its bras…” What they fail to indicate, however, is whether formaldehyde is already in the fabric they purchase to make bras. Also, “… multiple, independent tests confirm that Victoria’s Secret bras are formaldehyde-free or contain only traces which are significantly lower than allowed by the most stringent textile guidelines in the world…” [1, 2] So... is there formaldehyde or isn't there? Very informative, L Brands. Thank you for clarifying.

Formaldehyde is also a common allergen, which is why many people have reported reactions to Victoria's Secret bras. Formaldehyde, along with a dozen other chemicals, are thought to contribute to the development of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Chemical sensitivities are becoming more and more prevalent in the U.S., and we see the effects right here at Rawganique. Many of our customers have developed allergies and sensitivities to chemicals in textiles, which is why they shop with us. We are their only option for 100% organic clothing, bedding, and bath products.

Organic Cotton Contour Bra

Our website has a Beginner's Guide to Chemical-Free Clothing & Home Products, as well as an information page on MCS, which are specifically designed to educate those who have newly developed chemical sensitivities. In the Guide, we explain that starting close to the body is most important. Switch to organic intimates and undergarments. And what does that include? Bras.

Rawganique has over 20 different styles of 100% organic bras, made from organic hemp, linen, and cotton. We even have handmade, completely elastic-free bras to suit everyone's purity preferences.

Organic Cotton Cami Bra Top

The truth is, Victoria's Secret is not the only clothing company whose products contain formaldehyde. In fact, "Today’s clothing industry is a seven trillion dollar a year industry that uses an astounding 8,000 synthetic chemicals." [3] We encourage you to stop shopping at the huge department stores that offer cheap clothes with significant discounts. These clothes are more than likely being made overseas, where labor conditions are poor and the use of chemicals is prevalent.

If you can't stop shopping at department stores altogether, we cannot stress the importance of wearing organic undergarments enough. The last thing we want is for you beautiful people to be putting yourself at risk for debilitating sensitivities, allergies, and life-threatening diseases. Our goal is to educate, and save lives.

Shop our selection of 100% organic bras today. Your skin, your health, and the planet will thank you.

Organic Cotton Comfort Extreme Bra


Written by Brittany Maben

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