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5 more ways you make a BIG difference when you buy organic cotton 0

Eat healthy, stay strong!
What’s in your cookies & chips? Read the labels: Carcinogenic pesticides and other additives are present in cottonseed oil and other byproducts of conventional cotton production, and our fat cells store them.

Eat healthy, stay strong II
Genetically engineered cotton has all kinds of stuff we’ve never eaten before: viral promoters, antibiotic-resistant genes, special bacteria.

Reduce premature death and suffering
Pesticide poisoning kills 20-40,000 people a year, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Three million suffer from pesticide-related disease.

Reduce cancer risks among California’s ag workers and millions who breathe the air and drink the water
Five of the nine most-used pesticides on California cotton fields are carcinogenic (cyanazine, dicofol, naled, propargite and trifluralin).

Preserve Nature’s insect predators–the good bugs
Pesticides and insecticides kill the good bugs–ladybugs, spiders, and parasitic wasps–who gobble up the bad bugs. When the bad bugs flare up again, farmers apply more poisons and the “pesticide treadmill” perpetuates.

 
  • Mikee Mercader

What is Spandex Allergy? 21

Spandex, also known as Lycra, is a synthetic fiber. Spandex can cause allergy, resulting in rashes, redness, itchiness and hives. The chemicals used in the processing of spandex are responsible for allergies. If an individual has spandex allergy, he/she should avoid spandex fabrics and switch to natural fabrics such as cotton.

Spandex is used in sock tops, bathing suits, lingerie straps and other elastic clothing. However, usually no clothing is made from 100 percent spandex.

Symptoms:
Spandex allergy can result in redness, itchiness, hives and rashes. In severe cases, the skin can also break out in blisters.

What causes Spandex Allergy?
Spandex is made by processing chemical agents. These chemical agents are responsible for irritating the skin and causing allergies. Here are some of the chemicals present in spandex which can result in an allergy:

MDI: MDI is used in the manufacturing of spandex. It can irritate the skin and result in rashes and redness
TDI: TDI is another chemical which is used in the making of spandex and it can cause allergy
Manufacturers have to ensure that there is no residual and unreacted TDI or MDI. This can prevent an allergic reaction.

How to Prevent Spandex Allergy?

Switch to natural fibers such as cotton. You can also choose 100% cotton products
Avoid synthetic fibers as they are more likely to cause allergy
Be careful with clothing containing elastic as they may contain spandex
If you suspect you have an allergy to spandex, try eliminating spandex containing products. If your allergy subsides, avoid spandex products.

Treatment:
If you experience spandex allergy, do consult your allergist. You would be prescribed topical corticosteroids or antihistamines for treating the reaction.

(http://allergies.ygoy.com/2010/06/09/what-is-spandex-allergy/)

  • Mikee Mercader

Why should you care about organic cotton? 1

Don’t ignore the hard facts when there are viable alternatives at the same price.

Organic cotton fabric allows your body to breathe more reducing perspiration and the feeling of stickiness.

So all you men out there, and you know who you are, who get the horrid feeling of underarm perspiration; organic cotton can help you reduce this.

Organic cotton allows the natural odours from your body to be released more easily and does not hold body odours or discolouration after washing.

Once again one for the sweaty men, but also for both genders when trying to shake the food and smoke smells from your clothes.

Organic cotton is softer to the touch and feels wonderful against your skin.

For those who like the skin they are in and wish to protect it, avoid putting pesticides and insecticides next to your skin. The soft feel is just magical.

Organic cotton garments contain no residual toxic substances. So you know your health and particularly your skin is safe.

This is a huge point, spending money to protect our skin from sun damage or ageing is a multi billion dollar industry. What is the point if we are ruining our skin with residual chemicals from pesticide and insecticide spraying present in regular cotton. Wear organic and avoid the cost to your skin and bank balance.

Organic cotton is not striped of its natural wax, this;

· increases the smoothness of the fabric;

· promotes a flattering drape;

· enhances the subtle yet mellowing way it absorbs and reflects light.

So you are not convinced by the above well this must have got you. If there is a point to buying new clothing it is to look damn good, right?! So if organic cotton garments are going to look better on you then they simply are a must.

The simple fact that organic cotton is better; for the environment, for the farmers and the workers is not the principle reason that you as regular consumers will feel it necessary to go out and purchase organic cotton clothing. Why?! Because quite literally this goes against your human desire. Human desire comes down to what you get out of it. Now on a basic level the majority of the market will not see the far reaching benefits of organic over regular cotton. So forget the far reaching humanitarian and environmental advantages and listen to the direct benefits to you as the purchaser, wearer or giver. Don’t ignore the glaringly obvious, buy organic cotton.

by: James McAloon, March 3,2010 (http://excentree.com/blog/?p=119)

 

  • Mikee Mercader

Why Natural Organic Cotton Clothing is Better For the Environment 1

First let me explain all the valuable uses of natural fibers, which can be used to create over 25,000 different products! It is superior to cotton; it can be made into rope, paper, concrete, toiletries, paint, and so much more. It is amazing how one plant can be so resourceful and useful, yet remain so controversial.
The short version of why hemp is illegal is because the cotton farmers in the early 1900’s, the wealthy class, protested the newly found material, hemp, from the cannabis plant. Since the wealthy did not want to change their plantations, they lobbied the government (paying them off in handouts) to keep the plant and any offspring of it illegal. Luckily, now most countries realize the benefits of hemp and are making it legal once again.

Cotton is a good product, but a better textile is natural cotton. Organic cotton grows much quicker, is a lot stronger, and lasts longer than regular cotton does. Environmentally friendly cotton makes excellent textiles that adapt to the environment. What this means is that when it is sunny outside the natural cotton will reflect the sunlight, keeping you cool. In contrast, when it is cold out, the hemp will prevent your natural body heat from escaping through your clothing.

Natural cotton has a much faster growing season than cotton; while producing higher yields. Cotton can take anywhere from six to eight months to harvest, while organic fibers only needs three months. Organic fibers grows twice as fast as cotton! Cotton also uses tons of pesticides and herbicides to manage weeds, bacterial growth, fungal diseases, and insects. Hemp is naturally grown organically, so the product is much cleaner and healthier to use.

With all these benefits, it is surprising to see that the majority of products that can be improved using natural cotton are not. Hopefully, spreading the word and lobbying the government will help increase the usage of organic hemp products. Not only will you be saving the environment, but you will have far superior products than those in the past.

by: Andy Air (http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Andy_Ar)


  • Mikee Mercader

Products Leading To Latex Contact Dermatitis 0

Latex finds use in the many products in our day-to-day lives. One can see them at home in the form of hot-water bottles, balloons, swimming goggles, diaphragms, sanitary pads, rubber bands, baby nipples, bicycle parts like tubes, tires and other commonly used items like carpeting, clothes primarily on waste bands, collars, bra straps, and underwear leg openings. All these are potential health hazards for those susceptible to latex contact dermatitis.

  • Mikee Mercader

Cottonique: Love at first sight 0

Cottonique. It was love at first sight, but would it last a lifetime? As I slid the chemise over my head, I noticed its softness and sturdy construction. It made me feel cozy all under. But would it be the same after the spin cycle in my washing machine? Would it stand up to the heat of my dryer?

I plucked it out of the pile of freshly laundered clothes and folded it. It felt softer and kinder. So I wore it again, this time as a tank top underneath a lightweight jacket. Just a simple little thing, but it looked great.

Next time I took it out of the dryer, I wore it as a pajama top. Yes, spending this much time together means this love has lasting power. I’m about to go to http://www.cottonique.com/ and order some more great cotton apparel.

I should mention that I have latex allergies and have seen my share of unmentionables that remain unmentioned because although they were latex-free, they also didn’t fit well or feel anything like Cottonique’s latex-free, formaldehyde-free, dye-free, chemical-free, Spandex-free, pH-balanced, 100 percent natural cotton apparel with inverted seams technology.

So yes, I’m in love and hope you’ll feel the same whether you have latex allergies or not.

By: NANCY SANDER (June 11,2010)

  • Admin Cottonique

How To Determine If Organic Baby Clothes Are Genuine 0

In order to find out whether they are real or not, look at the manufacturer of the clothing. See what kinds of materials are used to make this organic clothing.

Before organic clothing came out, there was only children’s clothing that was made from toxic chemicals that were abrasive to the skin. Children that had sensitive skin were subject to skin rashes. Organic baby clothes help to keep a child’s skin protected from rashes and other skin related ailments.

There are so many chemicals that are used when making a regular t-shirt. Most, if not all of those chemicals are toxic and harmful. When choosing organic clothing for your baby or children, look for labels that say 100% organic fabric. This way, you’ll know that the organic baby clothes are not toxic or harmful in any way.

There are no pesticides used when making organic material. Also, you will not find any bleach products in organic baby clothes. Using that along with chlorine is very harmful for babies and children.

Natural resources are used when producing dyes for authentic organic fabric. Chemical dyes are another form of toxic ingredients that can be harmful. A lot of times, you won’t hear about these because they are hardly ever disclosed.

When a baby’s or children’s clothing is made from authentic organic cotton, their skin stays smooth and soft. Parents don’t have to concern themselves with their child getting skin irritations.

Avoid buying organic clothes that are a mixture of regular cotton and organic cotton. This would prove that the clothing is not made of 100% organic cotton products. It also defeats the purpose of getting the real thing.

Parents may have to pay a little more for organic baby clothes, but it will be worth it. They should want the best for their child and don’t back down because the prices are cheaper. Parents need to know that these clothes are genuine and that they do not come from sweatshops that have people working for extremely cheap labor.

Once you have found organic baby clothes that are of the best quality of 100% organic material, make it your mission to protect your child from imminent dangers that occur with clothing that has toxic materials.
  • Mikee Mercader

Azo Dyes Could Be Banned From Skin Contact 0

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to restrict the use of azo dyes, a group of 43 chemicals that can cause cancer, and are dangerous to human genes or reproduction if used carelessly.

Azo dyes are used in special paints, printing inks, varnishes and adhesives. The EC is proposing a further amendment to Council Directive 76/769/EEC on the use of certain dangerous substances to ban their sale to the general public from 1 April 2003, although most producers have already stopped selling these substances to anyone except professional users.
Azo-dyed textiles and leathers that may come into close contact with the body will be banned. Tests, based on the current German analysis method, will have to be made on dyed products coming from outside Europe.
The group of products seen as potential dangers for skin/azo dye contact includes sleeping bags, neck-strap purses, clothes, bedding, towels, hairpieces, hats, footwear, gloves, wristwatch straps, handbags, purses, chair covers, textile or leather toys, and carpets apart from hand-made oriental ones. If any of these products contain azo dyes they will be banned. Oriental carpets were seen by both the European Parliament and Commission as low risk and have not therefore been added to the list of banned items.
“The Commission attaches great importance to harmonising the provisions concerning chemicals to ensure a single market, while simultaneously ensuring the protection of people’s health,” said Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen. “This new proposal brings the Community’s chemicals legislation up to the latest state of scientific evidence.”
The EC first restricted the use of some of these carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR) substances in 1994 as part of its action on public health, and to combat cancer.
Since then, the Commission has made several proposals to add extra chemicals to the list as and when scientific evidence emerged that they have CMR properties. Its strategy has been to try to balance the competitiveness of an industry with protecting human health and the environment, while also ensuring that the internal market functions efficiently.
The EC has already produced proposals for restricting the use of a list of hazardous substances including pthalates, short chain chlorinated paraffins, and pentabromodiphenyl ether.


  • Mikee Mercader

Organic vs Non-organic Cotton: Who wins? 0

Looking for simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint this year? When buying your next cotton t-shirt, buy organic and cut the carbon footprint of your purchase by over 15%.

Say it Green! (www.sayitgreen.com), provider of organic, fair trade apparel custom printed with eco-friendly inks, has calculated that, all other things being equal, the carbon footprint of apparel made from organic cotton is 16% lower than that of apparel made from conventional cotton. Organic cotton is grown pesticide free, lowering the carbon footprint of organic cotton apparel by not having to process and distribute the toxic pesticides used in farming conventional cotton.

“The toxic pesticides used to grow conventional cotton contaminate our soil, water, air, and even remain in our food and clothing. We knew that, which is why we chose to offer clothing made exclusively from organic cotton. What we didn’t know was that the manufacture and distribution of these pesticides leads to such a high level of greenhouse gases being emitted into our atmosphere,” says Kira Dominguez-Hultgren, Say it Green! co-founder and Operational Manager.

Carbon footprinting is one tool used to track the level of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions associated with a product or business. There is broad consensus that man-made greenhouse gases (GHGs) cause global climate change. The scientific community has indicated that global climate change is already occurring, making it imperative that we start reducing greenhouse gas emissions now.

Eliminating our use of cotton pesticides is one easy way we can do this. Cotton pesticides are manufactured by big chemical companies and distributed to cotton farmers worldwide, and cotton requires a much higher pesticide level than the average crop. Even though it only makes up 5% of crop acreage in America, cotton crops account for 10% of all US farm pesticide use. In addition, worldwide cotton production accounts for 25% of all worldwide insecticide use (insecticides are a type of pesticide). Organic cotton does not require the use of these toxic pesticides.

Just how toxic are these pesticides? According to a 2001 EPA study, the EPA considers seven of the top fifteen cotton pesticides used in the US to be “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human cancer-causing chemicals.

The research for this study was done by Andy Hultgren, co-founder of Say it Green! and Kira’s husband. Andy currently works for the sustainability consultancy Environmental Performance Group and is the company’s technical expert in carbon footprinting. Andy has conducted numerous carbon footprint studies for a wide range of businesses and government organizations, and has served on a technical expert panel for The Climate Registry, North America’s leading provider of carbon footprint standards and data reporting.

“This carbon footprint study was actually quite limited in the potential GHG-reduction benefits of organic cotton that were considered,” says Hultgren. “For example, organic cotton farmers use environmentally friendly fertilizers, often from very local sources. That means they are often not buying their fertilizers from big chemical companies, who produce them in factories and have them shipped all over the world. And organic cotton farmers typically use better soil management practices, leading to increased soil health and potentially less need for GHG emitting farmland expansion. So really, the potential GHG reducing benefits of organic cotton could be much higher than the 16% we calculated as resulting solely from the elimination of toxic pesticides. Pesticide elimination was just the easiest aspect to look at.”

Data for the study was sourced from the US Department of Agriculture and from the Carnegie Mellon University Green Design Institute Industry Benchmark model.

For more information regarding Andy’s assumptions and calculations, feel free to read the detailed Organic vs. Conventional cotton GHG calculations and assumptions.

Your clothes. Your voice. Say it Green!

Additional Information:

“Conventional cotton has any number of problems associated with it,” says Hultgren. “For example, the fertilizers used by conventional cotton growers typically run off into our water ways, contaminating them and contributing to massive algae growths that kill off other aquatic plant and animal species. And as for our carbon footprint study, it really was a limited study of the potential GHG reduction benefits of organic cotton.”

According to records held by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, in 1999 a work crew started work in a cotton field five hours after it has been treated with pesticides. Seven members of that work crew sought medical treatment and five continue to face health problems.


  • Mikee Mercader

Benefits of Buying Organic Cotton Fabrics 0

Is Formaldehyde a safe ingredient? 0

Formaldehyde and many formaldehyde releasing preservatives have found home in the many products we use on a daily basis such as shampoo, conditioners, hair gels, and tooth paste. Is it safe or not, you be the judge.

Believe it or not the strong smelling chemical compound Formaldehyde, which is colorless, and flammable and is used in manufacturing building supplies such as insulation, plywood, particle board, glues and adhesives is also commonly found in a lot of personal care products as well like, shampoo, soaps, and cosmetics
used as a preservative; even certain vitamins are known to have this nasty chemical as well as clothes and many more surprising products.

Formaldehyde has been classified by the EPA as a carcinogen which is a (cancer causing chemical). Those who suffer from sensitivity to Formaldehyde can experience symptoms such as nose, throat and eye irritation, headaches, rashes, and hives. Other symptoms could include, trouble sleeping, memory lose, trouble focusing, ear infections, migraines, difficulty breathing, aching muscles and joints, and abdominal pain.

It is said that the air in your home may be 3-70 times higher in air pollution that the air outside. I have a close friend who was so sensitive to formaldehyde; he had to eventually move out of his house and now lives in an older home in a warmer climate with lots of ventilation. Prior to his move doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. He would suffer from very intense, severe migraines. Finally when it all boiled down to it being Formaldehyde, the carpets came up, wood floors went down, and they continued to try to eliminate the amount of Formaldehyde in their house to the point they gave up and eventually moved. Of course not everyone is as sensitive to Formaldehyde as he is, but it does go to show how nasty this chemical can be to those who are sensative and how invasive it is. It’s in a lot of products.

I understand that the companies that use these harmful ingredients in products such as our soaps, and shampoos are in small regulated amounts that you can easily find on the internet, but if other countries such as Japan and Sweden have put bans on ingredients such as Formaldehyde in toiletries and cosmetics should that raise some concern, especially when child hood asthma and cancer are so rapid.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, we live in a chemical world and though it does seem hopeless to be chemical free, every little effort and decision will help. You may not be able to avoid them all, but shouldn’t we at least start becoming more informed and educated on these ingredients our government tells us is safe and make the decisions for ourselves.


  • Mikee Mercader

The Health and Environmental Problems with Clothes Dyes 0

Do you ever experience occasional headaches? Or, perhaps you’ve had difficulty breathing on occasion? Or, maybe you’ve developed an intermittent skin rash?

Sometimes these things just seem to happen “for no apparent reason” right?

Well, maybe there is always a reason. Things don’t just happen. We might not know the reason, but there’s bound to be one.

In many cases, your clothes could be the culprit.

Your clothes could be causing you health problems and you don’t even know it. Most of today’s clothes have been dyed and/or laminated so that they look good, and continue to do so for many months/years to come. Unfortunately, it is these dyes that cause so many health problems for people around the world. The same dyes cause problems for the natural environment too.

Here’s a look at some of these problems.
Health Problems

Clothing dyes can cause the following health problems:

* skin rashes
* headaches
* trouble concentrating
* nausea
* diarrhea
* fatigue
* muscle and joint pain
* dizziness
* breathing difficulties
* irregular heart beat
* seizures

Furthermore, children can experience the following:

* red cheeks and ears
* dark circles under the eyes
* hyperactivity
* behavioral problems
* learning problems

Because clothing is in constant contact with your skin, the chemicals are absorbed into your skin through your pores. They can then enter your liver, kidney, bones, heart and brain.

Most people have some sort of chemical sensitivity. Some are more sensitive to chemicals than others. Those who are more sensitive will notice the impact of clothing dyes more than others. Those of us who aren’t as sensitive, may still experience some symptoms but just not realize it.
Environmental Problems

The biggest environmental problem with clothing dyes is it’s effect on our waterways – rivers, creeks, oceans, drinking water, etc.

Large amounts of water is needed to flush dyes from garments. Because conventional synthetic dyes contain chemicals, these chemicals are washed away with the water. In theory, the heavy metals and toxins should be removed from the water before it’s returned to the water systems. In practice, this is rarely the case – especially in developing countries where pollution laws/standards are often non-existent.

The result of this, is that the polluted water goes straight into the rivers, creeks, and oceans. Not good for the environment.
A More Eco Friendly Solution?

There are a range of healthier and eco-friendly alternatives when it comes to dying our clothes. Some are better than others. These range from using natural dyes, to “low impact” dyes, to not dying at all!


  • Mikee Mercader