Sustainable and toxin-free living

Sustainable and toxin-free living

Greenwashing Alert: Can Fabrics Be Naturally Antimicrobial?

Hospital bed in white room made up with white sheets and a purple blanket

Have you seen the brands claiming that their sheets or t-shirts are made from a “naturally” antibacterial or antimicrobial fiber? I’ve seen this claim for everything from merino wool to hemp and bamboo.

It sounds awesome. The implied promise is that these products have performance properties like being anti-odor or healthful, without the addition of any hazardous finishes. Yes! I want plant-based sheets that gently kill odor-causing bacteria without negatively affecting my skin microbiome. I sweat like a pig at night — maybe this means I can go three weeks instead of two between changing the sheets? Take my money!

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