100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
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This picture was taken June 6th on Bowling Ball Beach. My husband and I were there to renew our wedding vows. At first I was tempted to walk by the plastic pieces, leave it -- not have it enter our romantic moment -- but alas it was impossible for me to ignore.
As you know by now, in addition to being passionate about organic cotton, I also can get pretty worked up about plastic grocery bags and plastic water bottles. I just KNOW they will one day be the icons of our short-sighted insanity.
So, last week when the news came on the radio: Reusable Grocery Bags Contaminated with bacteria, my first thought was "I bet that study was funded by the plastic industry." So, I did a little digging... and sure enough... the study was brought to us by the American Chemistry Council. Just who and what is the American Chemistry Council? Well... in addition to their own home page, they are the ones behind the oh-so-lovely Plastics Make it Possible web site and also this gem: Stop the Bag Tax. sigh.
I decided to read the entire report. I like to know what the "science" is behind the "news". The timing of this release coupled with the impending vote on California AB 1998 is just too suspect to ignore.
What I learned:
They say that 80 of the 84 bags collected were woven polypropylene, but that seems highly unlikely. Most of those 99 cent at-the-counter "re-usable" bags are actually made of NON-woven polypropylene. I have emailed the authors to clarify. (I will report back what I hear...assuming I get a response. In the meantime, I am going to assume they meant non-woven polypropylene bags. To get such a fundamental piece of the study wrong was my first red flag.)
Don't get my husband started on how much he HATES this "eco" alternative (maybe I can get him to do a guest post for me on the topic). My problem is that non-woven polypropylene is still made from plastic.
People know cloth is washable. Is non-woven polypropylene washable? It doesn't feel like fabric and I completely agree with the study that BIG washing instructions should go in each of these sorts of bags. Non-woven polypropylene, although not single-use, still is made with fossil fuels and they don't last all that long. My friend Jane regularly washes hers and she found they last less than 6 months. Improvement, I guess... but my washed fabric bags have lasted YEARS and show no sign of needing replacement. Now THAT is a solution!
What the press left out was that "Attempts to isolate Salmonella and Listeria bacteria from the bags were not successful in this study, but this may only represent the limited number of samples that were collected."
Get this, the study actually tainted non-woven polypropylene bags with meat juice and put them in a trunk in the mid afternoon for 2 hours to see if bacteria grew. BIG surprise...HELLO! It did! My take away - don't eat meat.... and if you do, don't be stupid about it. Would you leave meat in your trunk for 2 hours? If meat juice spills, clean it up!
The other tidbit left out of the "news" story was that the report showed that "Hand or machine washing was found to reduce the bacteria in bags by >99.9%." Funny that the "news" was about fear and contamination rather than oh say, "Washing your reusable bags can keep you and your planet healthy" - oh, you're right, that probably won't sell as many papers. Fear sure is sexy. I have to admit that I resent the fact that this important statistic from the report which is featured both in the summary and the conclusion of the full report was missing entirely from the University of Arizona's own press release. Hummm... I am not someone who leans towards conspiracy theories but really?!
I am happy to report that Whispering Grass (aqua version) and the solid Pale Aqua sateens are back in stock! The color shifted (as discussed previously). I personally love the softness of the colors in this run. If you would like a swatch... just ask!
The cup in this picture was made by the super-talented Haiku priestess, beading maniac, Jane Reichhold. I feel very lucky to have nine of her one-of-a-kind haiku mugs. One of my favorites is:
She has moved on to beading from pottery. What a talented friend she is!
I am happy to report that our latest twill: Evelyn & Janette, measures over 100" wide! That's 10 extra inches per yard with no additional cost! Big thanks to Janette (YES, her real name) of Organic Fabric Online for catching this one. Don't you love it when things happen in your favor? Enjoy! Have a great weekend.
First up is a video essay about cotton farming in India produced by Greenpeace. The information isn't new, but the images are beautiful and if you aren't aware of the plight of India's cotton farmers this is a quick and easy tutorial. Enjoy.
If you are like me, the oil spill in the Gulf is weighing heavy on your head and heart. I truly believe we haven't even begun to realize the long term effects of this disaster. This video parody falls into the category of: sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.
Also, If you haven't yet heard about how to donate hair and fur to the clean up effort, here's a link to the official Matter of Trust site. Since videos are the theme today, here's a link to a video explaining Matter of Trust's work.
Why is 1998 a good number you ask? Well California Assembly Bill 1998 is the bill to ban single-use plastic shopping bags. It has made it through the California Assembly last week and its next stop is the state Senate! If all goes as we hope, this could mean the end of plastic bags in California! If passed, the bill goes into effect January 2012. I am very hopeful and proud of all the people who have gotten it this far.
The other reason why 1998 is a good number is that it was the year Sus and I got married. Tomorrow marks our 12th anniversary. As we do every year, we will be making a pilgrimage to Bowling Ball Beach to renew our vows. This year, after the vow exchange, we are heading off on a weasure (work+pleasure) road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway to southern California. We plan to meet with customers, friends, family and on the 12th I will be giving a lecture to the Surface Art Association and then we will be heading home. We believe this is the closest thing to a vacation we have taken with just the 2 of us in 12 years! Should be fun! Back to packing.... and prepping. Have a great week!!!
We have been talking about the negative repercussions of genetically modified cotton seeds for years. What seemed like a quick, easy fix to pests in the field has indeed turned out to be too good to be true. Last week Reuters reported: Monsanto set to help fight spread of "super-weeds". Their solution of course is more of their own products.
As I see it, the good news is that A. they are admitting there is a problem and B. Monsanto's stock prices are down 40% from a year ago. If they stop being able to make money on their poison, perhaps we have a chance.
NOTE: We have decided to extend our knit sale through June 4th.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.