We became interested in living an organic lifestyle when we were playing professional water polo in Europe back in 2011. We quickly learned how European farmers and consumers care about natural living, as most produce was organic. America is pretty far behind, organic food accounts for only ~6% of food sold and we believe this is because we don't realize the health benefits. Other organic products (clothing and household products) are even a smaller percentage.
But why should you consider organic products? For starters, pesticides are extremely toxic to insects, animals, AND humans. It’s a fact, cancer rates are higher near industrial farms that use pesticides and farmers. In 2010, a study found that 19 out of 32 pesticides were associated with at least one type of cancer, including lung, pancreatic, bowel (colon and rectal), prostate, brain and bladder cancer, melanoma, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. And this is just pesticides.
Organic farming also prohibits 700+ chemicals, and that’s just the growing phase. There is a massive list of chemicals that manufactures use to treat clothing with making them “fresh” smelling and wrinkle free including Teflon, Chlorine, and formaldehyde (which are all considered carcinogenic). Conventional cotton is grown with genetically modified seeds and sprayed heavily with toxic pesticides like Roundup (glyphosate is linked to cancer) and these persist in the fabric even after manufacturing.
But doesn’t washing your food and clothes remove these chemicals? Pesticides aren’t just on the surface layer, they are ingrained throughout the whole product as plants drink pesticide ridden water. Organic clothing is almost just as important as organic food because studies show that these chemicals end up in your bloodstream by inhaling and absorbing through skin contact. What is scary is that these chemicals are still present in clothing even after 50 washes.
Delta Airlines recently had to replace all of their uniforms because workers were becoming sick from the toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing. In a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court against the clothing maker in December, the group says chemical additives to give the uniforms high-stretch, wrinkle-free and stain-resistant properties have resulted in a wide variety of health problems, including respiratory issues, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, and rashes, hives and other skin inflammation. The lawsuit contends Delta self-reported that 1,900 of its employees had concerns about the uniforms by the middle of 2019 and that the number of employees injured by the uniforms is “significantly higher.”
Delta says it sent the uniforms for testing at three laboratories and all found that they were safe.... This tells you that there basically isn't any regulations around clothing if they passed their testing protocol. Pretty concerning.
The good news is that by being more aware of what we are putting on our bodies, we can reduce exposure to unhealthy compounds. If you are health conscious and cancer runs if your genes, try living a fully organic life by purchasing as many organic products as possible.
Opok is an organic men’s clothing company that sells organic boxer briefs that are made from GOTS certified organic cotton and organic dyes. Our goal is to help educate the consumers and provide the most fashionable, comfortable, versatile organic underwear on the market.