PuraKai

PuraKai-03On October 19th and 20th, a green haze hovered over Los Angeles as the third annual Green Festival came to town, bringing together people from all walks of life who have one thing in common: a passion to protect the environment.

Surfers are environmentalists by default: if the beach is closed due to pollution, it means no surfing! But not every surfer spends his free time actively working on improving the environment. Well, at the Green Festival, I was lucky enough to meet one such surfer, Noel Huelsenbeck.

Noel has been a surfer all his life. Like most surfers, he used to wear the popular brands such as Billabong, O’Neill, Hurley and Quiksilver. But what sets Noel apart from other surfers is that he went a step further and inquired about which of these brands considers its impact on the environment. Noel was shocked to find that each brand fell short in the area of sustainability.

None of these brands use 100% organic cotton. Billabong, for example, uses some organic cotton, but they will not disclose the percentage. The use of organic cotton is important because conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop. In fact, cotton, alone, accounts for 10% of the world’s total pesticide use.

Would you believe that formaldehyde is used on cotton as a pre-shrinking treatment? Lead and cadmium are often used to stabilize pigments, even though lead is known to disrupt the nervous system and cadmium is classified as ‘carcinogenic’ by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Noel realized all of this and decided to change the way things are done. Noel and his daughter, Megan, decided to create a brand of clothing that uses 100% organic cotton. When deciding on a name for their company, they took into account that it’s not only people who are affected by chemicals. All of these toxic chemicals eventually make their way to a water source and finally end up in our oceans. Noel and Megan named their clothing brand PuraKai, which means pure water.

All of PuraKai’s clothing is made from responsible threads like organic cotton and hemp. If a synthetic fabric such as polyester is used, it’s made from recycled plastic bottles. No herbicides, pesticides, GMO’s or toxic dyes are used in the making of PuraKai’s clothing.

PuraKai 02Not only is PuraKai’s clothing ethically sound, it’s fashionable! I fell in love with so many of their designs, it was hard for me to choose. In the end, I decided on a navy blue shirt with sea turtles surfing on a wave. When I felt how soft it is, I realized it’s going to be one of those shirts I never want to take off.

But my biggest surprise occurred when I looked at the price tags. PuraKai’s prices are on par with those of their traditionally-manufactured counterparts. This is a rare occurrence. Specialty clothing is typically double the price of traditional clothing because traditional clothing is made from the cheapest materials possible.

All of this is enough for me to shout the praises of PuraKai, but the good news doesn’t stop there. PuraKai goes a step beyond and donates part of its proceeds to environmental causes. Currently they support the Billion Baby Turtle Project and the San Diego Coastkeepers. In fact, PuraKai’s ultimate goal is to donate $1 million to environmental causes.

Please visit their website. Then tell your friends about PuraKai. A company like this deserves our business.

On one of the pages of their website, PuraKai reminds us, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”

Jen Pizzolo

Jen is a freelance writer and editor, with a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Swarthmore College and a master’s degree in Multicultural Education. Jen has been a Blogger for Green Lifestyles Network since 2013. When asked, she has worn many hats for GLN over the years (Blogging Manager, Board Secretary, Grant Writer, ED) because she believes deeply in its mission. Jen enjoys writing short stories, essays, and is currently putting the finishing touches on her first novel.

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Author: Jen Pizzolo

Jen is a freelance writer and editor, with a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Swarthmore College and a master’s degree in Multicultural Education. Jen has been a Blogger for Green Lifestyles Network since 2013. When asked, she has worn many hats for GLN over the years (Blogging Manager, Board Secretary, Grant Writer, ED) because she believes deeply in its mission. Jen enjoys writing short stories, essays, and is currently putting the finishing touches on her first novel.

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