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A young woman shopping

Denmark urges young people to shop sustainably and avoid chemicals in clothes

Denmark urges young people to shop sustainably and avoid chemicals in clothes

The “Chemicals should not be in vogue” campaign seeks to change the consumption habits of 16 to 22-year-olds

When shopping, few people stop to think about the chemicals that are found in the clothes they buy. A recent study by the Danish Ministry of the Environment confirmed this as it found that 63% of boys and 70% of girls in the age group 16-22 have little to no knowledge about chemicals in textiles. What is more, 55% (every other person) is not concerned or interested in the subject.

Following these findings, the Ministry decided to raise awareness about the dangers of chemicals in textiles by launching a new campaign: “Chemicals should not be in vogue”. According to the municipality, 3 kgs of chemicals are needed for the production of 1 kg of cotton t-shirts. Commenting on the need to inform young people about this issue, Minister of the Environment Lea Wermelin shared:

“The campaign must both make it easier for the individual to avoid harmful chemicals in the wardrobe, but it must also focus on what the consumption of chemicals in the clothing industry means for the climate and the environment, and thus also the young people’s own future.”

Three ways to shop sustainably

As part of the campaign, the Ministry of the Environment has revealed three ways in which young people can change their clothing consumption habits to reduce the climate and environmental footprint as well as to protect themselves.

The first piece of advice is to shop from brands that have one of the following eco-labels: GOTS, EU Flower, or The Nordic Ecolabel. In a press release, the ministry explained that these labels are only given to brands with responsibly produced clothing.

The second tip is to wash clothes immediately after you buy them as the chemicals must first be rinsed out. Otherwise, one may experience allergic reactions, skin irritation, and even disruptions to their endocrine system.

Finally, the ministry advises young people to shop second-hand, recycle, share, and exchange their clothes. In doing so, they will decrease the need for extra production and thus, save resources.

With “Chemicals should not be in vogue”, the Danish government is urging young people (ages 16-22) to shop sustainably and avoid chemicals in textiles. To appeal to the target audience, the ministry has organised competitions and collaborated with famous influencers that will inspire young people to change their consumption habits.

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