What’s in a name, well quite a lot, think of our chancellor of the exchequer, he likes to be called George, which is palatable to the people, when his first name is Gideon.

A name can tell you quite a lot about someone or something. How about polyester, I think polyester sounds quite nice, somehow positive. However its real name is ‘polyethylene terephthalate’ (PET), which tells a whole new story, a tale of hazardous chemicals.

Next time try asking for a polyethylene terephthalate sports shirt. Or commenting, there goes Usain Bolt, dressed head to toe in polyethylene terephthalate.
It doesn't sound very good. And it isn't.

This week I came across an e-mail asking me to consider purchasing a classic polo shirt from a trendy, fashion retailer. Which got me thinking, what is a ‘classic polo’ for the modern world?

From a material perspective, it can be divided down between two lines; natural and synthetic fibres. Cotton, organic cotton, bamboo, hemp or polyethylene terephthalate (polyester) and polyamide (nylon). Just to confuse matters, you also have natural, synthetic combos called poly/cotton.

How about obtaining those desirable bright, long lasting colours? Dyeing any fabric is a complicated business with significant risk of pollution. Just ask yourself, how many leading sportswear brands use or own water treatment and / or water recycling plants? And yet they are manufacturing millions of brightly coloured garments which use significant amounts of dye chemicals and water.

Looking beyond fabric, cut and colour. What about sustainability, pollution and ethical manufacture?

So here at Golf Refugees we've concluded the ‘classic polo – pollute less’ for the modern world should be made from organic cotton. Only 1% of the World’s cotton is grown to organic standards, these standards are much higher compared with conventional cotton. A classic polo should only be coloured where the toxic dye water can be recycled and be manufactured using renewable energy resources; wind and solar power, to reduce harmful CO2 emissions.

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