Fashion Films: Stink! - Your Health and Chemicals Lurking in Our Clothes

What got you into film-making?

Pajamas. One Christmas I bought my daughter pajamas online and when I opened the package it had peculiar odor. So I called the company to make sure they were safe and they completely stone walled me. I was angry that a company wouldn’t give me the information I needed to protect my kids so I decided to make a documentary about what makes the pajamas smell. That’s how “Stink!” the movie was born.

Film Stink Jon Whelan Toxic Chemicals in Textiles and Clothing Fashion Films Article Series at Amberoot 2

When and why you decided to make this movie?

We started filming Stink! in 2014. I believe that people have a right to know about what’s in the products they buy and I am suspicious of companies that want to keep this information secret. My suspicions were confirmed after I sent a number of products to a lab for chemical analysis.

Film Stink Jon Whelan Toxic Chemicals in Textiles and Clothing Fashion Films Article Series at Amberoot 3

What you want people to know?

There’s a reason why companies aren’t transparent. They’re afraid that if you knew more about their supply chain and the chemical composition of their products then you might not buy it. Don’t confuse brand trust with name recognition. The fact that a brand has been around for a long time or that they can afford national advertising companies and sponsorships doesn’t mean it’s good. As a rule of thumb, if a company is unwilling to disclose all of its ingredients then don’t buy it.

You and your clothes: tell me all.

I try to buy from conscious brands. I am still evolving. I have actually learned a lot more from your website. I would rather pay more for fewer items if they are built to last. It’s definitely harder buying for my daughters because they are growing and are more brand conscious and -as you know- the fast fashion brands are the worst.

Any future plans you'd like to share?

I am on the board of New York based organization that is fighting to get toxic chemicals out of the air, water, products and children. I am involved in a few start-up companies and looking at other opportunities tangential to what I uncovered in “Stink!.” I think there’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to reinvent every product; to make it better, greener and more sustainable. It’s exciting.

🎞️Watch the film on Vimeo or Netflix.

Checkout the official Stink! movie site. See if you could take any of these actions to fight the issue.

Stink! has a very active Twitter account filled with lots of passion and useful information. Do follow. You can also follow Stink! on Instagram.

Great sources on chemicals in the fashion industry

Some hazardous chemicals are used more frequently than others in the textile manufacturing process. Here are the most commonly used hazardous chemicals, where and why they are used and what problems they may cause.

Chemicals are present in all parts of textile processing - from fibre to finished garment – this list should give you an idea of the kind of chemicals used.

You can also watch the free "On-Demand Webinar: Removing Dangerous Chemicals" at American Apparel & Footwear Association's site.

Learn about the certifications for the toxic chemical free apparel - Green Screen and GOTS.

 Checkout the GOTS product range we sell on our international online shop.

What do you think of Stink!? Share your thoughts by tweeting us @Amberoot, or in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!


This article is part of the article series "Fashion Films":

The River Blue - What's the Connection Between Rivers and Your Jeans?
The Stink - Your Health and Chemicals Lurking in our Clothes

cancer | chemicals | chemicals in your clothes | Documentary | fashion industry | health | pollution | stink | toxic | toxic clothing | toxins

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