Toxic clothes

45 min. 2004 DVD / VHS german
Many textiles today have labels instructing you to wash before wearing. That’s because of the toxic chemicals which are known to be inside the garment. What clothing manufacturers do not inform you about, however, is how dangerous these chemicals are both to those manufacturing the textiles and selling them. The highly toxic chemicals inside many clothes are released into the atmosphere. Shop assistants breath in air which is bad for their health and which in the worst cases can even lead to serious damage of the nervous system.
This film follows the cycle of pesticides in cotton wool textiles. Most of the textiles that are sold in Germany come from developing countries like India. During the production process a multitude of chemicals are used, including some which have long been banned in Europe. These chemicals are sprayed onto cotton plantations, poisoning the farmers who work there and the women and children who harvest the cotton and make the clothes. The physical symptoms include paralysis, dizziness and bodily weakness. The remains of these pesticides also harm the people selling and buying the cheap but toxic clothing in the developed world. The Altemeier & Hornung film team takes a critical look at the role of German chemical giant Bayer, a major retailer of the toxic pesticides used. The film team ask Bayer some uncomfortable questions and confronts well-known textile retailers with the bitter truth about their dangerous and unethical trade.