Henry Charles aims to avoid PVC in its products because it’s the single most toxic plastic known to all living beings and our planet, period.
We consider it our crucial responsibility to educate consumers about how PVC on most makeup bags are leaching toxic chemicals onto your skin by contact and indirect contact through your makeup. These toxic chemicals are linked to a long list of diseases. It is our mission to research, use, and promote alternative materials whenever possible.
We also test our products well beyond USA standard requirements for critical substances and performance to ensure all our bags are non-toxic and have the longest lifespan possible. This is only the beginning of our eco-mission, The more we grow, the further we’ll pave the way in the discovery of new manufacturing methods and alternatives to help the beauty and travel industry become 100% non-toxic.
- Most PVCs used for makeup bags contain a plasticizer (softener) called Phthalates, which is one of the most toxic substances known in all plastics. Phthalates have been provenly linked to:
- Many Forms of Cancer
- Kidney Damage
- Endocrine Disruption
- Fetal Development Complications
- Brain Function Impairment
- Asthma and Respitory Diseases
- And more
- Skin absorption of phthalates happens in seconds, and the more PVC products we touch and come into contact with by air and water pollution, the greater our exposure
- According to the EPA, Phthalates human absorption is actually increasing at an alarming rate, with women and children absorbing the most
- The demand for PVC products and its manufacturing is increasing worldwide—ranking 3rd in overall plastic output and consumption
- Dioxins are released during the manufacturing process, which pollutes air and water and is highly hazardous to workers. Dioxins are some of the most toxic chemicals ever studied by the EPA
- A very low percentage of PVC actually gets recycled, only .1—3%
- PVC never fully decomposes in landfills, in fact, the pieces just become smaller by granulation. Granulation takes up to 1,000 years and the pieces end up in ground water, oceans, and become consumed by wildlife—resulting in a vicious cycle of omnipresent toxicity for generations to come.
Henry Charles is currently exploring and using alternatives such as PU (polyurethane), for its marginal toxicity and environmental impact compared to PVC. The PU industry is constantly researching and innovating new techniques to improve environmental benefit.
- PU is partly made from waste Co2, using it as a recycled raw material which helps lift a very heavy environmental burden from our planet
- In the right conditions and made with the right manufacturing techniques, PU is 100% biodegradable. Much further research and funding is needed to ensure that all PU will in fact become biodegraded through landfill conditions.
- PU is already flexible, which eliminates the need for toxic additives such phthalates
- PU is an excellent insulator, helping reduce energy consumption worldwide at an increasing rate
- PU is a wonderful leather alternative (AKA vegan leather). Leather is a known key contributor to global warming through livestock raising Co2 emissions and toxic chromium tanning that pollutes air and water systems. However, Henry Charles does recognize the benefit of leather’s long life-cycle and will continue to research the sustainability possibilities of leather.
Cotton & Polyester
Henry Charles is currently exploring and using cotton, although still an imperfect alternative. While cotton is fully non-toxic and recyclable in its raw state from start to finish, it has a very short lifecycle for consumer use and it requires vast amounts of water to produce. That is why Henry Charles currently coats its cotton fabrics with PU, to make them longer-lasting. Alternatively, Polyester yarns are known for their ability to be created from 100% recycled ocean plastic, so we are actively using and researching polyester as an alternative to PVC.
When it comes to materials, taking a moderate approach is key. There is no perfectly sustainable material. The goal is to be more aware of the ways in which our material decisions matter in places far beyond our closets.Nadine Farag, Writer for manrepeller.com
- The Poison Plastic — chej.org
- How Long Does it Take Plastic to Decompose — brighthub.com
- National Institute of Health
- EPA — Phthalates
- EPA — FAQ on Plastics
- What Does Eco-Friendly Vinyl Mean? — Oeco Textiles
- PVC Environmental Facts — vinyl.org
- Polyvinyl Chloride — Wikipedia
- Phthlataes Fact Sheet — CDC
- Polyurethane — Wikipedia
- Southeastern University
- Sustainability — polyurethanes.org
- Options / Practise — polyurethanes.org
- Polyurethane Recycling — American Chemistry