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Dads against formaldehyde in kids’ clothes

When “Made in China” goes wrong … have you checked the labels of kids shops recently? I’m struggling to find anything that’s NOT made in China. I think that’s quite sad for a number of reasons (supporting local brands, product miles, etc.) but now we’ve got the formaldehyde problem.

formaldehyde formula Dads against formaldehyde in kids clothesformaldehyde Dads against formaldehyde in kids clothes

Formaldehyde in children’s clothing
Formaldehyde (gas) is commonly used in the manufacturing of clothes to make them wrinkle and stain resistant. The problem is that clothes from China have been found to levels up to 900 times higher than considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

Formaldehyde has been linked to serious illnesses like cancer and may trigger attacks in people with asthma in high concentrations. So this is the last thing I’d want anywhere near my kids.

What to do?
First of all it’s really important to check the labels of clothes – if the country of origin is not specified, I usually just ask in the shop. The other option is to buy clothes from certified organic or local shops who use only natural resources. There are quite a lot of clothes available made of pure cotton or wool (e.g. merino). Clothes from Europe tend to be safe as the use of formaldehyde in the production of clothes is no longer allowed.

Either way – watch what you are buying for your kids!


16 Responses to Dads against formaldehyde in kids’ clothes

  1. Steven Moncayo says:

    yes I am banning all made in china products in my home – cheap but mostly unsafe

  2. anonymous says:

    This really is one of the best intros on the subject I have ever read. I have been doing a lot of research and have read through hundreds of posts.

  3. Lars & Noemi (Germany) says:

    Hi Stefan,

    we think that Europe / Germany have to face the same trouble with “Made in China”. After we saw the news on TV3 (yes, we watch Kiwi-TV :) ) we got concerned for the health of our Lea (1 year old) and started looking more closely to the cloth’s labels. Many cloths don’t have a label at all (!), especially from discounters, and many other were labeled from China. So we are struggling too to find anything that’s NOT made in China.

    We feel uneasy about this development, because we can’t be sure where cloths really come from. Even a label “Made in EU” does not grant, that the cloths were really made in Europe. There are sneaky ways to declare something was “Made in Europe” with some importing / re-importing tricks.

    Furthermore, there has been a similar incident with toys from Mattel and Toys’R'Us. So you can’t be sure that the things babies and kids have the most contact with are 100% safe for their health.
    We have to see how things will turn out to be…

    In the meantime keep up that good work on this page ! :)

    Lars & Noemi with Lea

  4. stefan says:

    Hey Lars, Noemi and Lea! Many thanks for your encouraging comments! I think the MADE IN CHINA thing will become a big issue … even if the stuff wasn’t toxic I think some things just shouldn’t be made in China. Like try and buy souvenirs anywhere in the world and they are almost certainly made in China. Looks really daft when you buy some present for kids like a Koala Bear fluffy toy from Australia and it says “Made in China” on it????

    I have actually registered to see if we can set-up a directory of brands that are certified local producers.


  5. lianne says:

    HI Stef,
    notmadein china is a great idea but you should also check out our directory because there are a ton of products listed that are made locally – especially lovely natural skincare products that won’t irrate your baby’s skin (like regular products) and of course organic clothing! cheers, Lianne

  6. Dania says:

    Hi Stef,
    I’m reading these comments about a month after they were posted, but in any case I want to give out the name of a site that specializes in selling organic clothes for babies and toddlers. They also have Japanese clothing that does not contain formaldehyde. Go to:

    Their shipping rates are low and occasionally they also send out discount coupons to their subscribers.

    I hope this helps.

  7. stefan says:

    Hey Dania – many thanks for pointing this out … we’ll check out the site!


  8. Sam says:

    I refuse to buy anything made in China! I will go to whatever lengths I need to in order to buy things that are not made in that place.
    The stuff is total junk and false economy. Not only that, it is taking jobs away from people in our country – it has single-handedly been responsible for factories and businesses closing down resulting in major job losses and is just bad news for everyone.
    Sure, it costs me more to buy non-chinese stuff, but I’d sooner pay the extra and know it’s not coming from that place.
    Everything about the country and its products is bad news!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is completely new news for me and something that I did not even consider at all. Thanks you for shedding light on this new perception that I certainly need to be careful of since we have a new baby on the way.


  10. Rose says:

    I have no word to say that nice blog…..

    Thanks for great comments

  11. stefan says:

    Hey Sue – thanks for letting us know. great stuff!


  12. Sue says:

    There’s a great online store based in Vancouver, BC – They are very careful with all their purchases.

  13. anonymous says:

    The bigger problem is that some major companies make their items in collaboration with Chinese manufactures, but under the name of the company, so you can’t really be sure what your under garments or other sensitive things like that are made ok.

  14. Baron says:

    It’s true that Formaldehyde in clothing creates a greater risk of hypersensitivity on skin in young children. That’s why I use 100% organic clothing for my children after I learned about it.

  15. Jolly says:

    Yes, I agree with your thinking because if he is a good Dad so he is performing their role to care about their kids

  16. Nick1 says:

    Well this is something new for me which i have never heard before …

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