Brands Claim Their Clothes Kill Viruses. Will Consumers Buy It?


Professor Susan Scafidi, director of the Fashion Law Institute, was quoted in Business of Fashion on brands claiming their clothing can kill and protect from viruses.

Can your jeans protect you from coronavirus? How about your button-down?

It’s unlikely. A growing body of research has found that the coronavirus is more likely to be transmitted through airborne respiratory droplets, and that they can be more dangerous than contaminated soft surfaces such as clothing. Wearing a mask and practising social distancing remain the most effective forms of protection.

That hasn’t stopped brands from introducing clothes and accessories they claim will stop viruses.

Susan Scafidi, founder and director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University’s School of Law, said brands need to be careful not to make general health claims, like that their products can protect consumers from getting Covid-19. And that in the US, government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and Environmental Protection Agency are on the lookout for questionable antimicrobial claims.

“In the current environment, there is a market for anything that might protect us, and therefore these particular government agencies are trying to stand between unethical and overly enthusiastic companies and desperate and gullible consumers,” Scafidi said. “But that being said, the technologies are exciting.”

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