news 2014
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Sept 2014

“The problem is what to do this winter for socks,” Barb says (name changed). She has tried numerous brands of socks with few solutions - the socks burn her feet. “I fold the band down, where the elastic often is. If my toes still burn, it’s the dye.”
 
Barb’s sensitivities affect her entire body. Shirts, slacks, even loose-fitting sweatpants burn. Reactions can present unpredictable as well: one foot may feel fine, while the other burns. Bel reports similar results with lotions: one arm tolerating the product, and the other breaking out in a rash.
 
Barb is one of many customers we talk to. Symptoms vary widely, as solutions – some clients can wear easily what others don’t. Having sensitive skin myself, a son who has had to handle many health problems and a husband with diabetes, we search for good products all the time. Socks are especially tricky.  “I want only un-dyed products” we hear. There is more to it, though.

Think of it – you don’t just “wear” socks. You drive your skin with the pressure of body weight into the fiber and then rub it back and forth! Nylon, added to most of the socks for the purpose of strengthening and prolonging socks’ life is not very forgiving to the skin. Imagine friction on thin nylon, like fishing line. Not very comfy! Nylon, outside of being made of crude oil, is a synthetic broken down only by harsh chemicals (not easy to get spots from oily rags, is it?). Nylon does not absorb moisture, so the sweat combined with body heat is heaven for bacteria growth.
 
After switching to all organic decade ago – I am a believer. Gradually all my previous problems fell away. I love our bamboo socks – they feel like having cushion and they wick moisture like crazy. They feel bit different - my own son rejected them: “they get wet” he said. Well, maybe better to wash more socks but keep feet dry. Good circulation is trickiest for feet, they deserve the best treatment. 

saleNatural Clothing Co carries many different types of socks; newest arrivals are merino wool and hemp. Try just one pair if not sure (they are not returnable) and find out which type works best. Socks and organic underwear is one the best investments for your family.
 
It hasn’t always been this hard for Barb. “As a child, I didn’t have these problems,” she muses. “I don’t know how the chemical sensitivity developed to be so severe.” Barb shares that she has worked in paper mills, nursing homes and a hospital, where toxic load may have built.
I think that our lives are soaked in synthetic chemicals, our bodies overloaded. We are unable to detoxify fast enough all the additives in food, water and clothes. Look at the reports from Greenpeace research to see how chemicals in clothes disrupt our hormones.
The good news - this the best time for information flowing freely. The pharmaceutical industry makes us believe that they are the only solution. That we are supposed to expect cancer, health problems in a family and cure it only with drugs. Our family uses medicine. But we also turn to nature and its wisdom that has been there for thousands of years. It might be time for making a bit of U-turn in our habits. Let us know what you think.

                                                            
Visit us again this Fall! New arrivals are coming daily, please keep checking our website as we photograph them and list the on our site. Also, don't miss our sales rack - bit work to find the right size but most sales are half a price, great savings on organic clothes!

As always - Thank You! for supporting small and green business. We appreciate that very much.
Earth Day Walk-about April 22

Earth Day 2014

This Earth Day week, we invite you to walk around your town, notice the beauty we are given, reflect on where we stand. 

Strides were made since 70's but concerns are many:
we lose species daily, we modify crops to something else than food, we pretend that trash can go “away”. We never made up for what was damaged, cut and drilled. The recent tragedy in Oso deserves reflection and reverence not only for the frightening power of natural disasters but also the weakness of this planet at mercy of our activities.

Can we all do a single small act of green, every single day? Can we support efforts, people, products  that cause least harm?

Per our Snohomish artist Tim Noah’s newest song: 

“On a Little Blue Marble in the Milky Way
There’s a million marvelous
Miracles happening every day ”.  

History of Earth Day

Earth Day, April 22,1970 was the birth of the modern environmental movement in the U.S. 
Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, recalls this: "The objective was to organize a national demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda. It was a gamble, but it worked." At that time, we were driving our big vehicles powered with leaded gasoline, factories were spouting pollution into the air, no strict guidelines for hazardous materials, no recycling. In 1969 infamous fire burst on Cuyahoga River, where sparks from a passing train ignited an oilslick in the polluted to extremes river.

So on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate on behalf of a healthy, sustainable environment. That first Earth Day led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. In 2010 Earth Day it was estimated that at least 1.5 billion people participated in different global events and programs.

Please, share your ideas or programs you are taking to honor Earth Day. We will be glad to post them here! Email us info (at) NaturalClothingCompany (dot) com.

Mud, Earth Day & CherryBlossom

oso-mudslide

     April 2014
   
     While driving home Saturday a week ago, I was startled by news about a catastrophic slide in Oso, WA and evacuation instructions for that area. Oso is about 30 miles away north from us, a tiny community in a scenic area of our county. It is similar to where we live – a true heaven of nature with mountains, rivers, tall firs. Not after that day. 

     A whole neighborhood disappeared covered with mud and tree debris. The mudslide moved homes hundreds of feet and destroyed everything in its way. Today, there are 30 people found dead and more are still missing. Hundreds of search and rescue people have been working in excruciating conditions of stories high compacted mud and no survivors after that initial day.
 
     The tragedy of this small town has touched the hearts of thousands and showed the truly breathtaking strength of communities responding with love, care, resilience, sacrifices and courage. The feeling of deeply personal loss is shared by our whole county. As the time keeps rolling, the question “Why” looms in many minds. The investigation will consider many contributing factors but few of them keep coming to view: the reports about geological instability of that area and the extensive logging right above the mudslide. Data is preliminary as the focus is on the search and recovery.
cherry-tree-blooming
  Personally, I cannot shake off the nagging question: “How do we repair our relationship with nature? How do we do it faster? What else can I do?” I feel there is a giant U-turn needed for all of us. The road we used is dead ending. We still can turn around and find some of the lost respect we owe this planet for its resources. In just one more decade there will be a billion more of us, standing on this finite sized planet, constantly logged, drilled, sprayed with poisons and fumigated with exhausts of our activities. Illogic of shrinking our resources, while growing exponentially, makes my engineering oriented mind twist silly.
 
    I know that I am preaching to the choir because you are the one who knows and cares. A young customer yesterday noted that not sustainable actions will not continue long simply because that defies the definition of the word itself. Only what can keep going will sustain. There is no question in my mind that with this awareness growing fast, we can find the heart, the wisdom, the knowledge of occupying this planet respectfully and then the earth will graciously allow us to stay here as she did for eons.
 
      Can we accomplish that understanding faster than we cut the branches we are sitting on? I think this is a right question to reflect upon for the upcoming Earth Day. For Snohomish this year Earth Day will be a simple day of reverence, respect and reflection. I invite all my county to a Snohomish Earth Day Walkabout.
To go for a walk along our risen with rain river, to gaze at mountains and hills, volcanos and forests. So gorgeous, so giving, so vulnerable if we cut their roots and deprive them of stability.
Let’s admire the cherry blossom on street, if it rains (again), let’s thank for the rain.
Let’s stop by the neighbor, say "Hi!" to the owner of the corner store.
We need to ask each other “How do you care for this planet?”, “Which efforts do you consider worth supporting?”.

Let’s have a conversation about it and keep having it, every day.

      What is your favorite act of sustainability? What do you do? What efforts will you increase personally? How do you plan to celebrate Earth day?
Write us and we will post your comments on our website and reward you with small perks. We love hearing from you.
 
Our hearts and prayers are with people in Oso. To help those affected local organizations of relief are listed below. For Snohomish local customers, we have a donation box in our store and Natural Clothing Co. will match all donations. Stop by. 
Staff at Natural Clothing Co
Responses from our readers
"What a thought provoking e-mail.  Thank you for your words from the heart and food for thought as I reflect, along with my family, on the questions that you ask at the bottom of your e-mail." M.A.
_____
"Well said! K"
_____ 
" Hello. I am writing in to answer the questions asked. "What is [my] favorite act of sustainability?" I have two favorites, actually. 1) Re-using/Re-purposing, 2)Not using toxic chemicals everywhere for everything.
"What do [I] do?" I actively compost everything that can be composted-- in three years of doing this, the small compost 'bin' has not filled up, but has an amazing ecosystem that is fun to watch. 
I think of ways to reuse an item at least once before either recycling it (if possible) or burning it as fuel (such as non-glossy paper products to start our wood burning stove for heat-- for instance, an empty toilet paper roll w/ dryer lint stuffed in it makes a great fire starter!), and minimizing packaging (such as buying in bulk); I then practice the ways I've thought or have learned from elsewhere. It's taking action, not just thinking about it. 
I reuse plastic grocery bags (and produce bags) in a whole array of ways, because they are very versatile and can often be used many times before being "unusuable." (I have recently seen how to make "plarn" and plan to incorporate that soon). I've been using "reusable" grocery bags for at least 8 years or so for groceries; the totes can be used for a whole variety of ways also, not just groceries.
My most comfortable clothes I bought at Natural Clothing Company in Snohomish :-)
We shop at second hand stores often (kids grow fast) and donate to second hand stores (without claiming the "tax break").
I clean predominately with vinegar (also makes a great rinse for clothes and hair; white vinegar for the former, apple cider vinegar for the latter), baking soda, Borax; for cleaning wood, using whiskey (for dark woods) and vodka (for light colored wood); vodka works awesome for cleaning the freezer (especially from berries-from-the-yard that thawed into goopy messiness that nothing else could get) and fridge.
My "garbage can" is an old stock pot that I purchased at an antique store (couldn't find the kind I wanted at the second hand stores); the "compost holder" is a smaller stock pot that matches! (The black & white enamel stuff).
I sweep more often than vacuum (decreases electrical use).
I make "stock" from the remains of a bone/meat (usually chicken or turkey) dinner and freeze it in portion size bags..
I re-use the glass 100% juice bottles for my water bottle; washing as needed. I reuse all the glass containers and bottles I can, for everything from food storage to tool supply storage! Hubby re-uses the plastic containers (cottage cheese, sour cream, etc) for his lunches (he's not allowed to use metal or glass where he works).
I leave fruit tree trimmings and the fallen fruit on the ground for the deer and other wildlife that frequent our property (we have 5 acres and a variety of wildlife!). I re-use the mole hills to fill in holes or adding to garden areas.

Is that enough of a list? I haven't covered everything that we do, but to list our way of life would take a lot longer!

"What efforts will you increase personally?" 
I am going to continue to decrease my 'consumerism' by doing without or with less; and of course, always repurposing (that is just a way of life for me, and is what I've been teaching my children. 
I also aim to use the pine needles as mulch for my acid loving foliage this year (wanted to last year, but was ill). We have also been considering ways to direct and re-use the natural water around here (high water table); I use rain water to water the plants in dryer weather (yeah, doesn't happen that often, does it-- the dry thing).  
We also will be looking at how to keep our house from going down because of "mass land movement," given we just found out we're in a "landslide concern" area. 
I will make a concentrated effort on better garbage sorting so that we can recycle more; this is an ongoing process, but will being taking a priority this year.
I will continue crocheting & knitting items from natural fibers, and start using re-purposed material (such as old clothing, plastic bags, etc-- not the same as recycled material).

We will celebrate Earth Day by continuing and progressing in the way we live, striving for harmony in our natural environment and fully utilizing man-made materials as necessary. And maybe some new LED light bulbs to replace the CFLs (mercury hazards).

As a side note, can your company help spread the word (in honor of Earth Day, which really should be every day) that there is a difference between "recycling" and "re-using/re-repurposing"? Recycling, in general, requires more fuel (whether from fossil fuel or wind, or solar, or electricity) to produce a different product. Re-using/Re-purposing, in general, is just that-- it doesn't take extra energy to make something useful! There are countless ways posted all over the internet of re-using and re-purposing items before they ever hit a landfill. The best part is, an item can be repeatedly re-used/re-purposed before ever needing to go to recycling or a landfill and may perhaps never reach a landfill! Now that's awesome!
Examples--
Recycling: You rinse out your plastic bottle (using water, by the way) and put it into a recycle receptacle (whether pick up or drop off). It's hauled (using fuel) to some place, sorted (using person power or other sources of energy), broken/mashed up (using energy), then made into something else (using energy), like a plastic bag, or a re-usable tote. Notice all that energy consumption for "recycling?"
Re-using/Re-purposing: You wash the glass juice bottle and then use it as a water bottle for ______ (I'm a complete klutz, but have only broken maybe one in the several years of doing this, and I take my 32 oz water bottle with me everywhere!). Oops, it drops and shatters! Now those pieces can be used to make an artful suncatcher or mosaic, painted on (for the larger pieces) for unique "glass art," made into a cutting instrument, _fill in the blank__; or it can be put into recycle at this point. Notice the lack of energy consumption? Other than your imagination!
This is why I LOVE the latter and is my favorite form of "sustainability." Imagination is the key.
I hope you enjoyed reading the ways we live in harmony with our natural environment, and I hope it spurs more ideas and creativity.
Sincerely, C.S., Disabled American Veteran (DAV)
________
"We Permaculture every place we damage, as soon as we have access to it again. 
We have to move over our usage away from the final products that originally or associatively cause damage to the surface of the planet.  That surface provides us our food, clothing, and shelter.  We will suffer for abusing it without repairing it!  Permaculture repairs permanently while feeding us and clothing us more abundantly and effortlessly!  Check it out!" R.G.
Help victims of Oso Mudslide

Here are few small organizations that are right in the heart of the disaster and have been helping people from Oso, Darrington and Arlibgton right from the start. 100% of the money will go directly to services needed for victims and probably the fastest:

  • The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is accepting monetary donations online at youcaring.org/ososlide or donations can be sent to either Union Bank, ATTN: Tina Davis, 525 N. Olympic Ave, Arlington WA 98223, or to Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation, 330 Stillaguamish Ave., Arlington WA 98223.
The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is a local organization that is giving 100 percent of donations directly to those affected. The Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington treated several victims in the aftermath of the mudslide. Donate on site above or by phone at 360-435-2133, ext. 7805. You can drop off/mail donations to 330 S. Stillaguamish Ave. in Arlington or donate to the fund through an account at any Union Bank.
  • The Coastal Community Bank is accepting donations for mudslide victims at all branches for the North Counties Relief Fund to benefit 530 Mudslide victims. Tht site is Branches are in Darrington, Camano Island, Everett, Monroe, Stanwood, Sultan, Silver Lake, Smokey Point, Snohomish and Whidbey Island.

Other:   Red Cross have been huge provider of services in disaster area you can help by donating money there youn simply text "RedCross" to 90999 to make $10 donation. Donations on line to the Red Cross Snohomish County can be made at:

http://www.redcross.org/news/galleries/Photos-Red-Cross-Response-to-Washington-Landslide

Money are needed but also words of love and support. Victims often lost everything. To the ones in Harborview Medical Center, you can send card by addressing: Oso Landslide Patient, Harborview Med Center, 325 9th Ave, Seattle WA 98104

Oso, WA

Snohomish County mud slide 1Snohomish County mudslide 2    
Earth Day in Snohomish

 “We need to act like we only have one planet.” ( Paul Gilding).

April 22nd coming soon. Join our Earth Day Walkabout in Snohomish. With over one billion Acts of Green® to date internationally, this is the largest environmental campaign in the world; we are proud to be part of it. This planet keeps lending us her resources and beauty for ages.


a note from us...

natural products

It is easy to get quite zealous about green life.

We are all in different places of commitment and interest of "greening" this planet. It is not our purpose, from the business view, to incite you into changing the whole wardrobe on a spot. But we do want to provide honest, affordable alternatives to traditional toxic laden textiles. The rewards are many-fold. Our skin and well-being (and of our children's) is enhanced by using natural fibers. Organic growers and manufacturers deserve all the support and backup, too.

But most important - unless we say "No!" to manufacturers of hazardous pesticides and insecticides, how can we expect clean, fresh streams, fish, plants and life? We do need to vote with our dollars for life without toxins. 

Read more about different natural fibers. Feel free to email us at info (at) NaturalClothingCompany (dot) com with your ideas and comments. We LOVE to hear from you!

stop by if in Seattle area

January 2014

We wish you a fabulous New 2014. Your patronage of our store is so much appreciated!

We proudly present our first video, featuring Snohomish High School grads, Jenna and Liam; click on a picture to the right to watch. 

Staff at Natural Clothing Co.