Hazardous Chemicals in Clothing

By Juliana Tirone

Did you know 25% of chemicals produced worldwide are used for textiles? Most people worry about what goes into their body, but have you ever thought about what goes on it? Your skin is the largest organ of the human body. So if we take the time to look at where our produce is grown, or to make sure there aren’t any GMOs in the food we feed our children, why don’t we take that type of precaution in our clothing choices?

Creating clothing is more than just creating a design, choosing a color, and selling it in a retail stores.  First, agricultural industries must grow the fibers used to make the fabric. Cotton, one of the most popular fabrics, is the most toxic agricultural crop in the world. Cotton crops account for 14% of all agricultural insecticides and 6% of all pesticides. It’s also one of the top genetically modified crops in the world. Polyester and nylon are the most common synthetic fabrics. These are both made from petroleum, which takes 30 to 40 years to decompose. On top of being non-biodegradable, manufacturing nylon releases a greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide.  

After the fabrics are grown, or synthetically made, they must be cleaned and treated. Textile manufactures will clean their fabrics before they are shipped off to yet another factory. Instead of throwing them in the wash with a Tide Pod, they use chlorinated solvents. One of the most used solvents includes trichloroethylene, a chemical said to be toxic to neuro-, kidney-, reproductive-, and developmental- systems. These fabrics must also be protected against moths and mold. Chlorophenols, a known pesticide, is used to do just that. Not only is this chemical toxic to multiple organs, but also banned in the European Union.

Finally, the fabric is cut, sewn and dyed to the designer’s liking. The majority of dyes are made from synthetic chemicals. Azo dyes, which are also banned in the EU, because they break down into “aromatic amines” which have been linked to cancer. Other dyes are heavy in metal like lead. If lead paint was banned in 1978, then why is it ok to put lead in our clothing? Don’t even get me started on water, stain and wrinkle resistant clothing. Although I do enjoy a waterproof jacket on those rainy days, it’s not worth all the chemical treatment my jacket went through. I’d also rather iron my pants, or hang them while I’m in the shower to get the wrinkles out instead of having them coated in formaldehyde.

The next time you purchase clothing, be mindful of what it’s made of. Simply Natural Clothing, along with many other brands, chooses to keep chemicals out of our products. Try wearing clothing made from natural fabrics and other organic material. The Earth, and your body, will thank you.

Why Support Small Business?

SBS imageSmall Business Saturday is a shopping event held annually during Thanksgiving weekend and one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. It encourages people across America to shop local businesses, which strengthens the economy and puts people to work. It’s counterpart “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” mainly feature big box retail and e-commerce stores that typically mass manufacture goods outside of the United States.

The first Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express and held November 27, 2010. In just a few years, it is estimated that over $5.5 billion is spent at small businesses on that one day. It has been a sustainable event that has been growing and is making a big impact on the American economy. This year the Small Business Saturday shopping event will be held on November 28th and we hope you will join us in support of local small business.

Small businesses are normally privately owned companies, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that provide 60% to 80% of the net new jobs created annually in the United States. There are 28 million small businesses registered in America, which outnumber public corporations at a ratio of 1162 to 1. Of these, there are over 10 million women-owned businesses with 70 % of all small businesses owned and operated by a single person. U.S. Small businesses account for:

  • 52.6% of all retail sales
  • 46.8% of all wholesale sales
  • 24.8% of all manufacturing sales

In 2014, 55 percent of U.S. consumers reported that they are aware of the day and 83 percent say Small Business Saturday inspires them to Shop Small all year long.

Our Simply Natural products will be featured @Furnishings, a newly opened shop at 500 Main Street in Buffalo NY, @End of the Road Boutique, located at Center Street in Lewiston and @small boutiques and farm stores in 7 different states across America including NY, PA, TN, MD, MI, CO and GA.

Supporting small business makes the purchase feel better, knowing you are helping others in a big way, not only during the holiday season but all year long!

We pledge to shop local #SmallBusiness. Won’t you?



Color the Runway: Fashion for Charity

By: MacKenzie Tierney

As summer is coming to a close and we are just about to wrap up the month of August, one of our favorite events is quickly sneaking up on us: Color the Runway. Why is this one of our favorites? That’s easy; it’s an event that not only allows our creativity to shine through, but also gives us a chance to give back to our community and donate to one of our nation’s best cancer care hospitals, Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Roswell Park is located right here in Buffalo, New York and was recently ranked number 43 on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals – Cancer List. Roswell is not only known for its outstanding clinical performances, but also its quality care that is offered to patients, helping to improve every patient’s visit.

As a company that strongly believes in giving back to our environment, we deemed it a perfect fit to participate in an event that supports charity and gives back to some of the people who need it most. We are excited to participate for our second year and to be working with other designers and boutiques in an event that will bring awareness to Roswell Park Cancer Institute! Money will be donated to further Roswell’s cancer research and make patients’ visits even more comfortable.

Zandalee Delgado, the founder and director of Color the Runway, holds this event in loving memory of both her grandparents. While being patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, they received top of the line care helping to make their stay comfortable. Zandalee is grateful for everything Roswell has done for her and her family, even after their passing.

Come support this Sunday August 23rd from 3-8 PM! Details are located below.


Also, check out the links below to learn more about Color the Runway and Roswell Park Cancer Institute!

Color the Runway: https://www.facebook.com/Colortherunway/timeline

Roswell Park Cancer Institute: https://www.roswellpark.org

Eco-Friendly: More Than a Fad

By: MacKenzie Tierney

“Eco-friendly,” “organic,” “sustainable,” all words that are heard on a day-to-day basis in this 21st century where “going green” has become all the talk. Due to this new fad, we must take a step back and question the integrity of these eco-friendly companies. Are they really trying to be environmentally friendly through their labor and products, or is it just another marketing ploy? It can be hard to distinguish, but it makes a huge difference as to whether we are helping this green Earth we live on, or continuing to partake in practices that show nothing but negative effects.

It is important to remember that there are many aspects to being sustainable and eco-friendly, including both labor practices and materials. Just because a sweatshirt may be 100% organic cotton, does not mean that the labor practices going into making that sweatshirt were ethical and fair. The manufacturing could have been outsourced to a factory in a third world country, where they could be overworking their employees for a less than livable wage. Also, just because it is listed that it is 100% organic cotton, does not mean other synthetic materials do not go into the threading and accessories on the sweatshirt.

At Simply Natural Clothing, we realize the importance of being a transparent sustainable business. From design to the final product, we are sure to fulfill every version of eco-friendly. Using 100% Alpaca or Mohair, we are able to create products that do not only exemplify luxury fashion, but can also stay true to their name. We are sourced and made in the USA, meaning we know exactly where our labor is coming from and are sure to maintain fair labor practices. Also, as an added benefit, we are contributing to jobs right here in the United States!

We fully believe that being “eco-friendly” and “going green” should be more than just a trend, it should be a permanent way of life. After all, what we put in and on our bodies affect us everyday of our lives, and should not be treated as a passing fad. The best part about this is we can control what we let affect our skin by choosing the clothing we wear! Doing the research on companies and really finding where their material is coming from and the specifics of their labor practices can make a world of difference. Remember, Google can be your best friend. A simple Google search can show you all the trouble companies have been involved in, whether it is unlawful labor practices or being caught up in a lie about the supposedly “organic” materials they’re using.

Let’s take hold of the information we have at our fingertips and vow to live a life that positively affects not only us, but also the Earth we live on!

Wear Art Meets Fashion 4.17.2015

by Stephanie Malangone

This Friday, April 17th, we are happy to announce that Simply Natural Clothing will be presenting three very unique pieces in the “Evolution Zen:2015” fashion show, the theme of which is “Wear Art Meets Fashion.”

I don’t want to give away too much information on our pieces (for that, you’ll have to come out and see the show.) It’s at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, located on North Campus. Doors open at 6:30, I know we’ll see you there!

However, I will indulge you with a small sneak peek of what Simply Natural Clothing will be bringing to the stage. One piece we’ll be presenting is inspired by the continent of Asia. I won’t tell you what she’s wearing, but I will say that our model will be in traditional Asian pancake makeup…to compliment her stunning surprise outfit, of course.

Our other two pieces were inspired by the same thing – nature. More specifically, this picture…

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Please feel free to use your imagination in how we can take these flowers, twigs and a single peacock feather and create two one-of-a-kind outfits. Then, come and see us on Friday to see how accurate your ideas were. And wish me (Stephanie, the intern) a happy 20th birthday on Friday as well!

What’s Your Fashion Footprint?

by Stephanie Malangone

When we get dressed in the morning, a lot of thoughts are going through our heads. The weather, who we want to impress today, which accessory to take off (they say you should always remove one before you leave the house). But something we often don’t think about is our fashion footprint. Sounds silly, right? I mean, how much could my polyester tee really be affecting my health? Well…a lot more than you’d think.

A few days ago, we were sitting around the office, discussing the idea of fashion footprints when Holly asked me a question that changed my entire outlook on the subject. “Shouldn’t we be as concerned with what we’re putting on our bodies as what we’re putting into them?” And she’s absolutely right. In the past couple of years, organic foods have been trending to the max, with people more concerned about health in terms of where their meat is coming from, how it was handled, what chemicals were fed to animals or injected into plants that we end up consuming. Shouldn’t we be equally concerned with what we’re putting on top of our skin for eight hours a day?

Currently, at SNC, we’re filing the paperwork to become organically certified. That’s right – food isn’t the only thing that can be organic. So, what’s organic clothing? In general, it has all of the same qualities as organic foods: it is made with all natural ingredients. That means EVERYTHING – right down to the thread. What you put on your body should be healthy for your skin. Your skin is your biggest organ, and your number one defense system. It’s a lot more important than you realize.

The quality of our clothing is important to us. At SNC, we will not sell you a product that you won’t love – for all the right reasons. We believe that style is about more than the way you look; it’s about the way you feel. How can you expect to feel good when your skin is covered in chemicals? Feeling clean and healthy can make all the difference when it comes to something as impressionable as your appearance.

Hottest City in America = 25 Degrees

by Stephanie Malangone

If you’ve kept up on your big girl reading, you’ll remember that The Washington Post recently took away the title of “it-city” from Austin and promptly handed it over to, of all places, Buffalo.

This risky move got a lot of negative feedback. Buffalo, the it-city of America?! It simply couldn’t be. What about New York, Los Angeles, you know…all the cool places?

And yes, Buffalo is cool – in temperature. That’s what people say, anyway. We believe Buffalo is an it-city, and here’s why:

1) Recently, Buffalo has come into some luck with fashion – Tony Walker & Co. supplying brands like Vince and Free People, and boutiques like Her Story and End of the Road featuring trendy fashion pieces from yours truly.

2) Governor Cuomo has initiated a “start-up NY” program that has been really successful in stimulating the economy – particularly here in Buffalo. This program takes a lot of credit for the growth the city has seen in the past few months.

3) YES, it’s cold. Rather that complain about it, let’s embrace it! Did you forget how much you love winter fashion? The boots, the sweaters, the scarves, gloves and hats! So what if you have to wear them a few extra months of the year? That just gives you ample excuse to add more variety to your closet. And, while you’re at it, a little alpaca clothing from Simply Natural to keep you warm.

So, we would have to agree with The Washington Post that Buffalo has blossomed into an it-city, and quite frankly, we’re proud! And to all the haters out there, come and visit before you judge us. But don’t forget your winter coat!