Orange you Glad we’re not Yellow, but Green?
The following information is based on a survey of information available in the public domain about conventional cotton growing. Prancing Leopard Organics believes strongly in organic cotton clothing. We believe that organic cotton clothing is highly preferable over man-made fibers or conventional cotton, and that significant environmental and human costs are involved with the growing, manufacture, wearing and disposal of man-made fibers and conventional cotton. However, we are not in the position to scientifically evaluate the veracity or accuracy of the information contained in the summary below, and of course we can not be held responsible.
We’ve all been too Yellow
We are just beginning to understand how BPA, pthalates and carcinogens from synthetic materials as well as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides etc. are influencing our public health. But we barely change our everyday consumer behavior. Oil-based plastics and synthetic materials are so convenient, cheap and have “performance” advantages. We’ve all been too “yellow” to make the changes we know we ought to.
What we’d rather not know
We’d rather not know how “performance” clothing is treated to be stain-resistant, anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant, fade-free, flame-resistant, fast-drying, long-wearing and all the other things we just cant live without. These “miracle” treatments include nano-particles, formaldehydes, pthalates, petrochemical dyes, perfluorinated compounds, plasticisers, polycrylonitriles and a host of other toxic ingredients.
We’d rather not know that more agricultural chemicals are used to grow cotton than any other crop. At least 70% of all cotton in the US is now genetically engineered, not only for resistance to insects but also for resistance to man-made herbicides! Despite this, around 80 billion pounds of agricultural chemicals are used each year in the US to grow cotton (data 2003 and 2004), using a wide variety of toxic chemicals. From an environmental standpoint, chemicals used in cotton crops pose a greater problem than from food crops.
But we wear this right next to our Skin!
While we work out, our sweat and body heat could leach harmful chemicals out of our clothing, whether cotton or synthetic. Our pores are open and blood is circulating in high volumes beneath the skin to help cool the body. Hopefully our skin is impervious to these toxins. But what if it isn’t?
Already many people complain that both cotton and synthetic fabrics cause rashes and irritation on their skin while exercising.
Solution: Go green, and go Organic for clothing
1. Reduce or eliminate synthetic materials and plastic bottles, containers, bags and plastic packaging. Use instead “cradle to cradle” sustainable materials like glass, cardboard, paper, metal, wood, cellophane and wicker. Plastic recycling and re-use are not going to get us there (97% of all plastic is NOT recycled).
2. Reduce or eliminate genetically engineered plants, chemical herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, defoliants, fungicides and fertilizers. Consume only organic food, clothing and materials.
Your Skin knows the Difference
Organic cotton (colored only with low-impact dyes) is non-allergenic and comfortable. Many people say they can taste the difference between organic and conventional food, and we think the same goes for clothes - you can feel the difference.
At Prancing Leopard Organics, we struggle with the fact we use up to 5% Lycra in some of our products to provide the stretch people want in fitness clothing. But we and our suppliers are working on alternatives, with the goal of being entirely plastic-free in our production and distribution process.
We invite you to contribute!
We want to stimulate discussion about organic vs. conventional clothing. So we are launching our “Orange you Glad” effort. Maybe you would like to add your own powerful voice to the discussion on these issues. So please use the comment section at the end of this page to add your voice to the discussion. We welcome all serious input on issues surrounding fashion, exercise, health, environment, social responsibility and lifestyle. You can also use our website contact page to reach us.