People that suffer from skin allergies, such as psoriasis or eczema are forced to be more cautious about what they put on their skin; they check the ingredients of skin care products, use only certain types of soaps and shampoos, and purchase allergen-free detergents and fabric softeners when doing their laundry. What clothing is made from can also play a big part in the way skin feels; certain fabrics are better than others for sensitive skin.
While there is a consensus that natural fibers are the way to go, not all natural fibers are created equal. Some wool and linens can be scratchy and irritating, making a skin condition worse rather than having the hoped-for soothing effect. Generally speaking, softer, lighter fabrics such as cotton, silk, and viscose can be better suited to sensitive skins.
Why should a designer opt for using natural fibers over polyester, nylon or other petroleum-based synthetics? Consider that in the US alone, 9.5 million children have skin allergies; worldwide 1 in 5 people (20%) have a lifetime recurrence of urticaria; psoriasis affects 125 million people worldwide — around 8 million in the US alone. The same way gluten-free aisles in supermarkets have opened the door to a larger market for food products, designers that manufacturer their clothing with an awareness of the growing number of people with skin sensitivities have an opportunity to earn credibility with a broader consumer population.
Apparel Network understands the value of such opportunities and brings this expertise to the designers we work with when helping them develop products for their target market. The fashion industry is always forward-looking, incorporating modern needs and practices into the garment manufacturing process. Looking fashionable without giving up comfort is becoming a higher priority as consumers, and the shift back to natural, lighter fabrics is one the prevalent developments in this year’s fashion world.