By Elena Picci

Is it safe to buy clothes during the pandemic?

Spring arrived and it is finally time to give a refresh to our closet.
However, you are wondering whether it is safe to buy online.
Is it safe to buy second-hand clothes with the virus around?  Is it safe to buy clothes at all?

Spring arrived and it is finally time to refresh our closets.

The quarantine has given us time to research and shop sustainably with hopes of creating a better “normal” once this is all over.

However, some are still wondering whether it is safe to buy online.

Is it safe to buy second-hand clothes with the virus around?  Is it safe to buy clothes at all?

Some doctors change their clothes as soon as they’re home. Does that mean the virus can spread through clothing?

New information about COVID-19 is emerging every day. At the moment, there are many different theories on how the virus has spread, but it is widely agreed that the risk of contamination through clothing is low.

Here a recap of the most recent studies, as of today (April 10th), on whether the virus can spread through clothing.

Image credit: ArmedAngels

Pandemic Clothing Purchases FAQ

#How long does the virus stay on clothes?

Let’s be honest, the data is changing all the time. However, it is currently thought that the virus lasts longer on flat and solid surfaces.

While metal and plastic can host for the virus for 2 to 3 days, clothing is not considered a material conducive to its survival.  (Healthline ; National Institute of Health). Unfortunately, it is not yet clear how long the virus can remain on textile (BBC).

The areas of your clothes to pay extra attention to are the flat surfaces such as buttons or zippers where the virus could linger. (Medicine Net).

Some studies show that the virus has a better chance of survival on “artificial fibers” such as polyester than on natural ones like cotton. (MarketWatch;Healthline).

Hey! One more reason to wear sustainable materials such as organic cotton. Shop organic cotton on Renoon.

So can you get the virus through clothes? The risk is very low!

Sarah Fortune, chair of the department of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard says, ‘’it is all about hands and face’’ (MarketWatch; Vogue)

So no, you don’t need to change your clothes when you come back from grocery shopping (The Philadelphia Inquirer).

But please, if you someone sneezes on you don’t take the risk and wash your clothes!

Image credit: Adidas X Stella McCartney

#Is it safe to buy online?

Even if you buy second hand, the risk of catching the virus from clothing ordered online is super low!

You actually have a higher chance of catching it from the cardboard box, where the virus could remain up to 24hours (i-D; Bustle). You might have MC Hammer song  “You can’t touch this” in your head every time you receive a package. But don’t worry, just open the box and wash your hands immediately after and you’ll be safe. Or not.

Let’s imagine the worst-case scenario where someone with the virus cough on your item just before to send it to you.

The package would need to reach your door in less than 24hours and the item would need to contain enough viral load to actually contaminate you.

It’s almost impossible.

In fact, Julia L. Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist, believes it is safe to buy vintage clothes given the time the clothes will spend in transit.

The risk of buying second-hand clothes online is actually the same as buying new clothes (i-D). There is no excuse not to thrift! Find pre-owned sustainable clothes on Renoon.

However, it is always best to wash your new or second-hand clothes before wearing them to eliminate chemicals and bacteria.

Image Credit: Beaumont Organic

#How to be helpful right now?

You may have heard to avoid non-essential shopping at the moment. And clothing might fall into this category for you.

Keep in mind that many sustainable businesses might not survive this crisis as they have less resources than the bigger brands.

Did you decide to use this quarantine to break up with fast fashion?

Are you dreaming of a better normal when all this is over?
The moment is now & the choice is ours.

A more sustainable fashion industry is within reach. 

You might want to start with sustainable sweatpants that will keep you cozy during this quarantine.

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