We wanted to make a hydrocarbon polo. So we took one of our organic polos and dowsed it in petrol, leaving it to dry in the spring sunshine. All we need now to complete our hydrocarbon based sports shirt are toxic flame retardant chemicals, anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking chemical textile finishers.
Polyester may sound like a parrot from ‘That’s Life’, however polyesters are hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. Granted it is the most inexpensive fibre to manufacture, which goes some way to explain its popularity with fashion brands.
‪#‎hydrocarbonpolo‬ ‪#‎golfrefugees‬



Fifa's unofficial dress code for delegates.
#corruptible #golfrefugees



2015 shirt by Golf Refugees called ‘19 thousand’. The graphic represents the 19,000 microfibres that leach out every time you wash a polyester or nylon sports shirt. These toxic non-biodegradable-synthetic-microfibres find their way through the drainage system into our oceans, where they pollute and mistaken for food by plankton eating creatures.
The numbers are mind boggling. From all over the world billions upon billions of these microfibers are polluting our oceans and entering the human food chain. Leading sportswear brands; Nike, Adidas and Puma were all asked to participate in research to try and find a solution to the problem, but they all declined. Profits before pollution.
I’ll have the fish, easy on the microfibres.
‪#‎19thousand‬ ‪#‎golfrefugees‬


Two changes we'd like to see.
1). Textiles designed to be worn directly next to your skin should contain chemical information for consumers.
2). Chemical information on consumer products should include substance classification. For example if a chemical is carcinogenic.



How many chemicals are our skins being exposed to when we play sport and how should chemical information be expressed on consumer products?
skin & hair care products, make-up and nail products, antiperspirants and sports shirt.
If you use all of the above the total number of chemicals would be in excess of 200. There is no legal obligation to test any combinations of individual chemicals used in consumer products.
Even though individual chemicals have to be listed except for textiles, there is a significant problem with how consumers can understand and evaluate chemical information on consumer products. Which is why categorizing chemicals should be researched.
carcinogenic, hormone disruptor, bioaccumulative etc



It doesn't say very much on your sports clothing label, but behind three little words is a whole story.
One-fifth of farmland in China is too polluted to grow crops, nearly 60% of groundwater is unfit for human use and air pollution is 20 times the recommended safe levels.
The human cost of this damage has been devastating: huge swaths of productive arable land taken out of food production over fears of rice contaminated with heavy metals, more than 450 so-called “cancer villages” where untreated or mistreated chemicals have polluted local communities, choking levels of air pollution causing underweight babies, rising levels of lung cancer and a decline in male fertility.
Is 'made in China' a price worth paying?



Sport deserves better.
Playing sport is great. It helps you to grow both physically and mentally and provides a pathway to friendship and community.
But when BBC film crews are imprisoned for reporting the abuse of migrant workers building infrastructure in Qatar for the football world cup
And when athletes have to take medication to avoid the health risks of sailing and rowing at venues in Brazil for the Olympics because of raw sewage in local harbours and rivers.
Even down to the sport clothes we all wear. Made from plastics and manufactured by exploiting predominantly young female textile workers.. You can’t even wash your sports clothes without causing toxic pollution to humans and the environment from microfibres.
There must be a better way for sport than this.


Men's white polo 'get plastered' by Golf Refugees
‪#‎getplastered‬ ‪#‎golfrefugees‬


Why its a bad idea to wash your plastic polyester sports clothes.

Most sports clothing companies use plastic man-made fabrics like polyester and nylon. Each time we wash a shirt, jacket or other clothing made from these materials, plastic microfibres get washed into the sewage system and flow into the ocean. From there the microfibres are ingested by small fish, and make their way up the food chain. And these fibres are everywhere. They contaminate not only our waterways, but also our food and air.

 When ecologist Mark Brown studied microplastics on shorelines across the globe, he discovered that 85% of the plastic came from man-made clothing fibres. Experiments with washing machines reveal that 1,900 pieces of plastic microfibres come off of a single piece of clothing every time it’s washed. Since nearly every major clothing company now uses these synthetic man-made fibres, it adds up to a huge amount of plastic microfibres entering our waterways, contributing toxins to our environment.

Plastic pollution has increased by 500% in the last 30 years, and the plastic litter that finds its ways into our oceans kills over 100,000 wild animals every year.



222 Scientists call for the reduced use of stain and waterproofing chemicals in clothing.
Highly fluorinated chemicals (also known as PFCs or PFASs or C8 and C6) are now everywhere – deep in the ocean, on mountaintops and in nearly all living creatures. A professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Toronto, has said that this class of chemicals will last in the environment for geological time – that is, millions of years – perhaps even longer than humanity. Making and using chemicals that could be harmful and persist longer than mankind is a serious matter, and it should not be undertaken lightly.



Many athletes are wearing it.
‪#‎puke ‪#‎golfrefugees‬



Overrated golfer organic polo by Golf Refugees.
#overratedpolo #golfrefugees



Are sponsored athletes heroes or part of the race to the bottom?

Last November, a US college reporter spent three weeks in Indonesia living with and interviewing workers who make goods for Nike, Adidas, and Puma. When you buy a pair of Nike shoes do you think of RM, a 32-year-old mother who works 55 hours, six days a week and makes just $184 a month after 12 years at the PT Nikomas factory? A Nike subcontractor that employs 25,000 people. That’s 83 cents an hour or $2,208 a year.

RM doesn't want Nike to leave Indonesia; she wants an end to verbal abuse and a 50% raise, which would allow her to better provide for her family.

Wages in Vietnam are even lower than Indonesia. Nike’s largest production centre is in Vietnam where 330,000 mostly young women workers with no legal rights earn just 48 to 69 cents an hour, according to the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (IGLHR).

According to the IGLHR’s A Race to the Bottom report, Those $100-$200 Nike shoes you buy in stores carry a declared customs value of $5.27 per pair, according to a sampling of ten shipments of Nike shoes from Vietnam destined for the US market.

In 2014, Nike contracted 150 factories in 14 countries to produce more than 365 million pairs of shoes, according to IGLHR. Vietnamese workers made 43 percent of those shoes; Chinese workers made 28 percent; and Indonesians made 25 percent. Not one pair was made in the United States.



What should consumers learn from the PFC episode?
The most effective stain and water repellent chemical used in textiles is also the most harmful to humans and the environment. The chemical industry and apparel brands hid this information from you, for years, denying consumers the right to make an informed decision.
The only people who can prevent this from happening again is you. By asking for transparency. Don't believe the marketing hype and ask about the toxic chemicals behind the performance capabilities of your sportswear and outdoor clothing.



We are asking for consumer guidelines from major apparel brands after the publication of damaging evidence to human health and the environment from PFC’s. (Perfluorinated chemicals)

Under the Greenpeace Detox campaign Adidas and Puma have agreed to phase out PFC’s by 2017.

With this in mind, what should consumers do?

Resist buying new sportswear until after 2017? Throw away their current sportswear which contains the cancer causing PFC C8 chemical?

Will the new generation of PFC’s be any safer than the ones which are being phased out? Are the chemical industry and or brands going to publish rigorous testing data prior to using the new generation of PFC's in consumer products?

It is clear that current regulations do not protect consumers from exposure to cancer causing chemicals and the financial penalties imposed on chemical companies are insufficient to prevent it happening again.

Unfortunately it is left to us, the consumer, to become more aware and start asking questions about the toxic chemicals which lay behind the various performance capabilities such as stain resistant and water proof with regard to PFC’s in textiles.

Below is a consumer awareness guide for chemical groups used in sportswear written by Golf Refugees.

Carcinogenic (cancer causing), Mutagenic or toxic to Reproduction - CMR

Heavy metals (cadmium, lead, mercury, chromium (VI))
Organotin compounds
Perfluorinated compounds
Halogenated solvents
Aromatic amines

Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxics - PBT

Heavy Metals (cadmium, lead, mercury, chromium (VI))
Organotin compounds
Perfluorinated compounds
Polyhalogenated alkanes

Endocrine (hormone) Disruptor Chemicals - EDC

Organotin compounds
Polyhalogenated aromatics




In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined chemical giant DuPont $16.5 million over its decades-long cover-up of the health hazards of a substance known as C8. One of a family of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs1, C8 was a key ingredient in making Teflon, the non-stick, waterproof, stain-resistant “miracle of modern chemistry” used in thousands of consumer products including textiles.

Internal documents revealed DuPont had long 
known that C8, also known as PFOA, caused cancer and polluted the blood of people and animals worldwide. But the company never told its workers,local officials and residents, state regulators or the EPA. After the truth came out, research by federal officials and public interest groups found that the blood of almost all Americans was contaminated with PFCs, which passed readily from mothers to unborn babies in the womb. In 2006 the EPA confirmed that PFOA is a likely human carcinogen.

The 2005 fine against DuPont remains the largest 
ever levied by the EPA. DuPont did not admit guilt but promised to phase out production and use of C8/PFOA by this year – 2015.

The 2005 fine, settlement and phase-out were widely hailed as a public health victory and justice for the victims. But 10 years later, a new investigation shows that it remains uncertain whether Americans are safe from the threat of PFCs and whether justice will be done for the victims. Production, use and importation of PFOA has ended in the United States, but in its place DuPont and other companies are using similar compounds that may not be much – if at all – safer. These next generation PFCs are used in waterproof clothing and other products. Few have been tested for safety, and the names, composition and health effects of most are hidden as trade secrets. With the new PFCs’ potential for harm, continued global production, the chemicals’ persistence in the environment and presence in drinking water in at least 29 states, we’re a long way from the day when PFCs will be no cause for concern.

Concerned consumers should ask for verification from brands whether their products contain any PFC’s either PFOA, PFOS or the new generation PFCs (which are named as PFASs2)