Today I sit with the question: If we are all so clear about eating organic, why are we not wearing organic clothing? Our conventional clothes contain toxic fertilizers/pesticides/herbicides/insecticides, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, teratogens (causes birth defects) and carcinogens. The question lingers from a blissful day yesterday spent at a "Native Dye" workshop with my friends and colleague, eco-artist Rebecca Burgess, at the California School of Herbal Studies (CSHS) in Forestville, CA (County of Sonoma).
A friend texted me, after hearing the title of my talk, "Look at you going all NRDC on us."
- Pokeberry (see photo below) acts as a lymphatic cleanser
- Woad - contains 20 times as much glucobrassica as brocolli and I hypothesize may improve estrogen dominance similar to DIM (di-indole methane)
- Horsetail - decreases bone loss in women
Those pretty berries above got smooshed and made into this gorgeous dye vat - remember this cleanses your lymphatics to work with these berries and wear them.
- 2/3 pounds of toxic pesticides and fertilizer are used to make one pair of jeans
- water from conventional denim textile companies is full of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, chrome, copper, zinc, antimony
- 7 million pounds of toxic chemicals are used annually for cotton in California alone
As the local Chief Medical Officer in Guarngzhou, Dr. Tony Lu, states, this black muck is full of chemicals that may be: "neurotoxic, carcinogenic, they disrupt the endocrine system. They cause cancer of different organs."
People, we have alternatives. We are on board with organic food, but let's take the next step and get mindful about what we put against our skin, and especially the skin of the most vulnerable among us, fetuses in utero, babies, children.
Here are a few more pics of the brilliant Rebecca Burgess, spreading the good word.
Let's find some foxy organic cotton jeans, colored with natural dyes. My Seven jeans now hold less appeal, Now, I'm eye-ing my Lululemon brightly-colored yogawear in a whole new way.
If you're worried the alternative is not pretty, check out some of the samples from our workshop yesterday.
While it's true that I'm a relative beginner at changing out my wardrobe, Rebecca is much farther along of the path. She writes a gorgeous blog, and walks the talk - she now wears for the next year clothing that is sourced and dyed with local resources within a 150-mile radius. The experiment is called "fibershed" and I can't wait to check her heavy metals before and after. So much fun for this integrative gynecologist!