Do you worry about the amount of chemicals in your life? Want to know how to find toxic free alternatives to everyday products? It’s important to be informed, so we spoke with Jillian Exton, founder of the Chem Free Community to learn how we can all start living with a “Chemical Free state of mind’
What is the Chem Free Community?
The Chemical Free Community is an in depth resource for education and awareness about the chemicals in everyday products. Our online global directory, ChemFreeCom.com is a place to make it easy for everyone to find non-toxic and less toxic alternative products and services. We are focused on transparency and want to help the chemical free industry grow, through education and the sharing of knowledge.
What made you want to start the Chem Free Community?
Firstly, like 1 in 8 women I’ve had a breast cancer experience. While I was evaluating how I would reduce the risk of the cancer reoccurring, I made the connection between toxic chemicals and cancer, particular EDC’s (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals). That led me into looking for safer alternatives across all aspects of life. It started with food, but the list got longer; dry cleaning, paints and carpets, mattresses, clothing, accommodation.
Secondly, cancer tends to make you re-evaluate life and its purpose. So I quit my high powered executive job and began my chemical free journey. I would like to leave a legacy that contributes to the health and wellness of our global community.
I know we can never be Chemical Free, as there are good chemicals that we need for good health. The community is about fostering a ‘Chemical Free state of mind’ where every purchase of a product or service can be the least toxic option.
What types of business and services can you find on the Chem Free Community?
We have all types of businesses, those who are 100% certified organic and toxic chemical free and those that are less toxic than the conventional. Just as an individual will have a tendency to progress from a toxic life to a less toxic life, so can a business and we want to support them through that transition.
We created the ‘Chemical Free Status’ on a business listing so they can estimate the % of their entire product range, ingredient list or service offering that is certified organic, bio-dynamic, pesticide spray free, toxic chemical free and even certified at point of origin. So as a user you can better understand what they have to offer.
From formaldehyde free funeral caskets and funeral services, through to chemical free schools and parks that don’t use glyphosate, we cover the entire supply chain; manufactures, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, as well as what educational resources, courses, speakers and advocacy groups are out there to access.
Who would use this site and how do they connect with it?
The site is accessible to everyone and you can use the directory and library for free. New parents who are starting to question what they are putting in, on and around their children and are using our library of information (videos, books and apps) to become more informed. And with a growing awareness of how chemicals affect our health and our environment, more and more people are looking for way to live a toxic free life. They are choosing to eat organic foods, they are educating themselves and they want to know more about chemical free products.
What do you see as the future of the Chem Free Community?
I see ChemFreeCom as the ‘Google’ for non-toxic and less toxic everything. An online space where business can connect to collaborate and where everyone can access learning opportunities and events. We know we are new and have not even scratched the surface of what is now available. ChemFreeCom keeps morphing and responding to member and user needs. We’ve added membership logos, running Meet Ups events and in-store workshops, all driven by member requests. So who knows where we will end up!