PrettyLittleThing Cancer Warning Explained: What Is Proposition 65 And What It Means For UK Shoppers

24 September 2019, 11:31

It's not just PrettyLittleThing who have to declare a cancer warning on their site
It's not just PrettyLittleThing who have to declare a cancer warning on their site. Picture: Twitter

PrettyLittleThing’s terms and conditions went viral this week, after shoppers spotted a warning about chemicals in their clothes possibly increasing customers’ chances of getting cancer.

PrettyLittleThing, who recently teamed up with Molly-Mae Hague for a collaboration, had to share a statement with their 310k Twitter followers to explain the Proposition 65 warning which sits in the terms and conditions on their website.

After shoppers noticed the statement, which warns customers in California there are chemicals in some of their products which could cause cancer, the online high street store assured it’s a legal requirement all businesses which sell to California must state.

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As well as PLT, brands such as Asos, and Fashion Nova also have a similar statement on their website. PrettyLittleThing’s sister company Boohoo also have it declared in their US site’s terms and conditions.

But what does it mean for UK shoppers? Here’s everything you need to know…

What is Proposition 65?

This is the warning that sits on the PLT's website
This is the warning that sits on the PLT's website. Picture: PrettyLittleThing/Twitter

California’s Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was introduced in 1986. explains it was created to help consumers make decisions about protecting themselves from chemicals that could cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

All companies which sell their products in California must have this warning stated clearly on their websites and product labels – and the majority of stores, restaurants, hotel rooms and even car parks in the state have it displayed in full view.

It is to stop businesses getting sued for not declaring the supposedly harmful chemicals in their products.

California has seen a huge change since the law was introduced, as most businesses have changed how they make their products and removed the harmful chemicals, in order to avoid having to display the warning labels.

What has PrettyLittleThing said about the viral backlash?

The fast fashion brand were quick to respond when their statement was shared online, tweeting: “This statement is in compliance with California’s Proposition 65. It is a legal requirement for all e-commerce sites that sell to the state of California. The list contains a wide range of chemicals that can be found in common household products, food, drugs, dyes, plastics etc.”

Will clothes from shops that have this warning give you cancer?

There are over 900 naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals on the list in Proposition 65 but the list is constantly changing.

The chemicals or ingredients are typically found in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes or solvents.

Fashion brands are most likely using some of these dyes in their clothing, which is why they have to declare the notice on their website.

If you want more information on the chemicals in your product, advises to check the name of the manufacturer on the packaging or any written information that comes with the product and search online.

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