We’re back from vacation and ready to continue our 10-part organic and natural fiber bra series.
Today we’re discussing a specialty line of Allergen-Free Bras that are 100% organic cotton, spandex-free, latex-free, dye-free, and chemical-free. These bras have been medically tested to reduce rashes and inflammation caused by eczema and dermatitis. There are several different styles to fit a variety of body shapes while still providing light support, modesty and most importantly, rash-free comfort.
Of the ones we show in the video, the Side-Tie version runs a little larger than the Front Close version in the same size. We’ve had several customers tell us this as well. While the Side-Tie doesn’t fit Kayla well since we don’t have the correct size for her, it’s actually a very popular style for women with C cups and above as it provides a little more coverage than any of the other Allergen-Free bras.
In 2005 two full tanks of propane oil spilled out into Mary’s basement due to a faulty valve. The entire house became a toxic oil spill. After two months of attempting to clean up the spill while still living in the house, Mary and her husband gave up and abandoned their home. Unfortunately, they had stayed longer than was prudent, and Mary’s slight chemical sensitivities turned acute.
Mary became allergic to almost every finishing agent, dye, pesticide and petroleum-based product in clothing. She would get paralyzing weakness and severe asthma-like reactions to most garments along with skin rashes and shortness of breath. She started a desperate search to find clothing that didn’t make her sick. She found one company that made 100% organic cotton men’s lounge pants with drawstring waistbands and plain organic cotton t-shirts that she didn’t react to and bought dozens of them. She found she could tolerate organically grown wool that had been processed without chemicals. With a deep love of animals, she was cautious to buy only hand sheared wool from pasture-raised sheep in Ireland. And for the next 8 years, she wore only men’s lounge pants, t-shirts and Irish wool sweaters.
In 2013 she lamented to a friend that what she missed the most was wearing a bra. As an older woman, she was uncomfortable going out without one, especially in summer. However, she couldn’t tolerate them at all and hadn’t been able to wear one in years. Her husband stepped in and did some internet searches for her, and he stumbled upon FaeriesDance.com. He bought her the Allergen-Free Side-Tie Bra.
When it arrived, Mary tried it on, and for the first time in many years, she was not only able to tolerate a bra, but also found it downright comfortable. While it wasn’t the most supportive bra she’d ever worn, she was absolutely thrilled to be able to wear a bra when going out in public and felt feminine for the first time in ages.
Excited and empowered, Mary called Faerie’s Dance to find out if we could help her with other clothing (and to buy a bunch more bras). After listening carefully to her list of allergies, we recommend a number of beautiful, feminine fashions. She purchased the first few tops manufactured by Indigenous Designs with both trepidation and hope. Every single piece worked! She called again and together we started working on getting her some skirts, and then cardigans, dresses, jackets and finally pants. She literally had no wardrobe at all, so she made a monthly budget and picked up a few new pieces every month.
Since 2013, Mary has not only become a consistent customer, but a friend as well, telling stories of her frog pond, her pets and her life in general. She starts every phone call with what she’s wearing. She picked up the Alba Padded Underwire Bra, and while it does have a touch of spandex in it, she is able to wear it for a few hours at a time for special occasions. She called excited one day to say that when she put on the Alba bra with her Sunny Day Dress, her husband actually did a double take, “checking her out” for the first time in years.
Today Mary says eco-fashion has saved her life. She feels beautiful, comfortable and feminine in her clothes (though she’s too shy to let us post her picture). She’s more comfortable in public and able to dress appropriately for any season. She doesn’t have a single pair of baggy men’s lounge pants left in her closet! When asked after all this time what her very favorite purchase was, she goes back to that original Cottonique bra. She has half a dozen now and wears them every day.
When I started Faerie’s Dance, my focus was on the environmental side of eco-fashion. I quickly learned about the social justice benefits as well. But I was wholly unaware of the many allergy sufferers who were literally getting sick from their clothing. It’s such an honor to help people like Mary find clean, sustainable, fairly traded fashion.
We’re thrilled to announce a new line of organic cotton underwear purposely designed to help folks with chemical sensitivities and skin contact allergies. We have 7 products in this new line (2 for men) and we’re giving away a few items for our customers to try out and review!
This bra is not only latex-free and spandex-free, but it actually contains no elastic whatsoever, using a drawstring design instead to hold it closed. Sizes are marked 34B, 36B, 38B, 38C, 40C, 42C and 40DD, though the manufacturer claims they run a little on the small side. We’ll work with you to pick the right size and then hopefully you can provide some feedback on the fit.
This bra is does contain a small amount of elastic at the straps and under the bust. However, the elastic is fully covered in organic cotton and contains no latex or spandex. Sizes again run from 34B – 40DD.
TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post including an e-mail address or phone number or some way to get in touch with you. (Note, if we can’t figure out how to tell you that you’ve won, we’ll have to pick someone else.) Contest ends Monday, April 25, 2011. Drawing will be held on Tuesday with the winner announced in the comments section.
There will be 2 winners – 1 for each bra. If you only want to be consider for one of the bras, please let us know. Otherwise, everyone gets in the draw for both picks.
Allergen Free Design Features:
Latex free and spandex free for sensitive skin
Bra #1 is also completely elastic free
Bra #2 has hypo-allergenic plastic front closures for easy wear
Purified organic cotton process
Double-layered cotton lining
Covered Seams prevent rubbing and agitation
Irritation-Free label for sensitive skin
Textile Dye-free & Resin-free for sensitive skin
Please, please pass this contest info along to anyone you know who might have skin contact allergies. We’re excited to get feedback both from women who just want to try them for fit and also from anyone who really needs the extra attention to what goes into their clothing.
Natural rubber latex is derived from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. The protein in latex is the sensitizer that causes allergies. Many individuals are not initially allergic to latex, but develop sensitivity to it after prolonged exposure.
Latex allergies are particularly tricky because latex can sometimes be found in elastic, but not always. Manufacturers are not required to specify if a product contains a small amount of elastic as trim. Even when they do note that elastic is present, the underlying source of the elastic is almost never listed. So it is rare to find a garment hang tag that will say with any certainty whether latex is present.
Many of our products are not labeled “Latex Free” only because we weren’t able to track down the source of the elastic. So they could be, but we just don’t know. A few of our vendors have been able to trace back to the exact make-up of their elastics. Here’s a compiled product list of manufacturer-confirmed Latex Free garments. For more information on latex allergies, visit the American Latex Allergy Association.