30.3.13

THE MASTERS SPECIAL



Those marketing peeps really know which side their bread is buttered. Just by adding the words ‘Masters’ and hiking the sale price a little on your normal products, hey presto you have a ‘Masters special edition’ that will fly.

We've seen lots of these ‘specials’ from leading golf brands, so here’s Golf Refugees take on the Masters.
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28.3.13

HOW DO THEY GET AWAY WITH IT PART 5


I was one of those naive people who thought that manufacturers were not “allowed” to sell me any product that contained something that might harm me. As I quickly learned, that’s basically not true, especially with respect to fabrics. The EU is light years ahead of the US with their REACH program, designed to replace the most harmful chemicals with less toxic alternatives, but even that program focuses only on the highest volume chemicals used in industry.
Let me just remind you why knowing what chemicals are used for processing your fabrics is important.
Because fabrics – all fabrics – are by weight about 25% finishing chemicals (i.e. dyes, finishes, softeners, etc.) And because the textile industry uses over 2000 chemicals routinely, how do we know the mix in the fabrics we’re living with are safe?
Well, you can ask the store where you’re buying the shirts – but they’ll probably look at you blankly.
You can demand information from the manufacturer; Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

MSDS sheets are sometimes used to substantiate the “safety” of a chemical product by requiring the listing of chemical components by CAS number, which is a unique numeric identifier of a chemical substance which links to a wealth of information about that chemical. But the reality is that many of the chemicals used in textile industry have never been evaluated for toxicity, and therefore in the toxicity evaluation there is no data to refer to. In addition, proprietary components do not need to be listed. So the sheets have inaccurate or missing information. According to a 2008 study, between 30 – 100% of products analyzed contained chemicals not declared on an MSDS.

In looking at an MSDS sheet, you might also find that any hazard classification or risk phase has “not been established” and “the toxicological properties of this product have not been thoroughly investigated”, or the hazard classification might be identified as “non hazardous” according to various codes, such as the TSCA. These codes are woefully inadequate as is now known so to say that a chemical is non hazardous according to a code that dismisses all chemicals for which there is no data – well, you can see the problem.
There is also a lack of enforceable quality criteria, probably one of the reasons some of the sheets are of such poor quality.

And finally, even if you were able to find out which particular chemicals are used in a product, it’s possible that you won’t know what you’re looking at. For example, most everyone knows to avoid formaldehyde, but manufactures can legally use over 30 different trade names for formaldehyde.

Source material: Oecotextiles.

It makes you wonder how they all get away with it. Using untested combinations of toxic chemicals in a consumer product and where your skin interacts with these chemicals through sweating during active play. Though flawed Europe’s REACH regulations and MSDS are currently the best we have.

But all consumers even sponsored sport stars should now be asking apparel manufacturers to thoroughly test their chemicals and provide accurate information, and list all of the toxic chemicals they use to make their sports apparel.

Sports media should also feel an obligation to their readers when reviewing apparel and ask questions of sportswear brands which chemical ingredients they use?

It really is up to you and me to call for action.

Join our campaign ‘Test your chemicals'
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Test-your-chemicals/538860512825163
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WIND FARM COMES UP TRUMPS



What's more important, golf or clean energy?
About a year ago, Donald Trump was throwing a public tantrum about Scotland's plans to build an offshore wind farm. Trump claimed that it would ruin the view from his new Aberdeenshire links golf course, and that "the reckless installation of these monsters will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history" and the proposed wind farm would cause the "destruction of Scotland's coastline".
At the time, Mr. Trump said that he and his staff would fight the wind farm with all legal means, and that he was doing it to "save Scotland." Well, it looks like Scotland didn't care to be saved. The government has green-lit the offshore wind farm near Aberdeen, ignoring Trump's rants.

The wind farm will have a capacity of around 100 megawatts, enough to power about half of Aberdeen's homes, and be composed of only 11 wind turbines. Part of the goal will be to evaluate new advanced turbine designs and help Scotland get the expertise needed to join the multi-billion dollar wind industry. Construction is expected to cost $347m.
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27.3.13

CONTROVERSIAL?


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23.3.13

APPLE REMOVES SWEATSHOP GAME


When Apple removes a game from App Store it’s usually because one or more of the many rules has been broken. But in the case of Sweatshop HD, the game just made Apple uncomfortable.
Sweatshop HD was created by BAFTA-winning creative studio Littleloud. The players are tasked with running a sweatshop producing clothing and footwear. It is aimed at young people in a bid to get them thinking about where the clothes we buy come from and the conditions workers in some of these factories suffer.
Over its 30 levels the player has to deal with ever larger orders, more types of products to make, but also problems like fires, no toilets, unions, and employees getting tired or ill. It’s realistic because the choice of what to do–look after the workers or complete the orders–falls to the player, and hopefully teaches them the difficulties in balancing the two in the process.
For Apple though, such an educational game ended up being too uncomfortable for them to sell. Littleloud tried to get the game back by informing Apple that the charity Labor Behind the Label was involved to ensure everything being depicted was true to life.
Sweatshop HD remains missing from the App Store, though, and is unlikely to return. That seems totally unfair as it was educational and Apple’s response clearly shows it doesn’t want to deal with difficult issues.
The good news is, you can still play Sweatshop as it was also released as a browser-based Flash game.
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20.3.13

MXV TOUR POLO



The World’s First “Healthy” Golf Shirt. Introducing The MxVGolf Tour Polo
powered by Golf Refugees.
 

Did you know that most every golf shirt in your closet contains hidden skin irritants and/or carcinogenic chemicals? Synthetic (polyester/nylon) sports apparel made by the major manufacturers can contain up to fifteen chemicals, which are used to increase the performance of the garment in terms of moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties. However, when you play and sweat, the body’s largest organ, your 'skin' interacts with these chemicals which may cause long term detrimental effects.

Now imagine apparel that is clean to wear, clean to own.

Our MxV Tour Polo is the first of its kind... organic cotton with “direct to garment” water-based inks developed exclusively by Golf Refugees. Each shirt is made of premium 100% organic cotton and printed with our unique design. No other sports shirt on the market is “healthier” than that!

In sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL - white - $70 USD
Imported from UK
Pre Order now to get yours first at mxvgolf.com.
Available April 10, 2013

Chosen for their innovation and consciousness, Golf Refugees are the leader in green and sensible design - from the aerofoil driver head to the most visible ball in golf - The Spiral™.
 — with Golf Refugees.
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17.3.13

TEST YOUR CHEMICALS


Golf Refugees believe no combinations of skin irritant and/or carcinogenic chemicals should be used in synthetic sports apparel until they are thoroughly tested. How about you?


If you would like to help persuade the Chemical Industry to test the toxicity levels for combinations of chemicals they supply to sport apparel brands, please support our campaign ‘Test your chemicals’

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Test-your-chemicals/538860512825163


Chemicals used in sports apparel are only tested on an individual basis.
Synthetic (polyester/nylon) sports apparel can contain up to fifteen chemicals, which are used to increase the performance of the garment in terms of moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties. When you play active sport your largest organ 'skin' interacts with these chemicals through sweating.

Please join us to help persuade the relevant bodies to test the toxicity levels of combinations of chemicals used in synthetic sports apparel.
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14.3.13

ANY QUESTIONS?


Q.
Who would think of putting skin irritant chemicals into sportswear?
A.
That’ll be the Chemical Industry.
Q.
Does it make any sense to put known skin irritant chemicals into a consumer product you wear next to your skin?
A.
Sports apparel is a very lucrative market for the Chemical Industry.
Q.
Is there any health risk to consumers?
A.
The toxicity of chemical combinations used in synthetic sports apparel has never been tested by any regulatory body.
Q.
Why not?
A.
That’s a good question.

If you have any questions regarding the chemicals used in synthetic sports apparel, please ask them here. We will endeavour to forward them to the appropriate people.
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13.3.13

WIND POWER



Just been reading about VW’s XL1 aero-vehicle which can achieve 314 mph.
I love aerodynamic forms, they are so elegant and it’s great that such beautiful forms increase efficiency.
Golf Refugees designed the best aerodynamic feature for a golf club head called the 'swept hosel', and not Callaway Golf. But much more could be achieved through greater use of aerodynamics for golf clubs in terms of increasing swing speeds for all. If only rule makers would allow aerofoil-shaped shafts and air-flow through the club head.
Perhaps with nore wind turbines being built in windy Scotland, the R&A blazer-squad-rulers will observe the power of the wind.
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12.3.13

SKIN AND SWEAT CARE FOR GOLFERS


'random argyle' for women by golf refugees
This is not a plastic (polyester) polo shirt. It does not have any toxic antimony embedded into it's fibres.
It does not contain between 10-15 other toxic chemicals used in sportswear. Why would anyone want their skin to sweat and interact with combinations of untested toxic chemicals. Especially when you are not even told which chemicals are being used in your sports apparel.

Instead our polo shirt uses water based inks and the factory recycles its dye-coloured water.
Please check out our Facebook page for our latest designs.
http://www.facebook.com/golfrefugeespage
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8.3.13

SPORTY SHOPPING BAG



Only 5% of the world’s plastic is recycled, leaving many plastic consumer products to end up in landfill or left polluting our oceans.


It’s a big problem.
We need to find new ways to re-use plastic products.
If you happen to grow out of or buy a new plastic sports shirt, yes polyester is a plastic, what can you do with your old one?
How about folding and sealing the sleeves, neck and using it as a plastic shopping bag?
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7.3.13

HELP SAVE CAMBRIDGE GOLF CLUB


Former Ladies European Tour pro golfer Adrienne Engleman fears she will lose her driving range business and potentially her home when construction of a new town starts.
Adrienne has worked at Cambridge Golf Club in Longstanton for more than 20 years on and off, and four years ago spent £100,000 refurbishing the driving range – when she was under the impression she would be helped to relocate when Northstowe is built on the land.
The new driving range was constructed so it could be dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere, but the move would cost up to £60,000, and Ms Engleman believed developer Gallagher Estates would be prepared to help with this.
Now Gallagher, which wants to put the first phase of the new town on the golf course, has said no assistance will be available, and  no offer was ever made.
This leaves Ms Engleman, 41, facing financial ruin – because the loan which bankrolled the renovation was secured against the value of her home.
Construction of Northstowe, the biggest new town in the UK since Milton Keynes, is expected to begin late this year or early next year.
Ms Engleman, who played on the LET in the 90’s said: “I’m incredibly worried, not only about my future, but about the future of golf in this area.
“Cambridge Golf Club was the cheapest golf club in a county which has no municipal golf courses – every other county has got local authority courses that are accessible to all golfers.
“They can’t go anywhere else because they can’t afford anywhere else.”
She argued a golf facility in the area would be valuable for Northstowe residents.
Ms Engleman added: “Potentially I’m about to lose my job, my livelihood and even my home because I had to use it as security for my loan.”
Alan Joyner, executive director of Gallagher, said planning permission for the driving range had been on a temporary basis and had now expired.
He said: “It’s very unfortunate but the golf driving range operator must have known what the situation was all along and it’s not our business to fund the relocation.”
Help save Cambridge Golf Club by following their Facebook and Twitter accounts to raise awareness and put pressure on developers Gallagher.
 

http://www.facebook.com/SaveOurGolfFacility?fref=nf_fr
https://twitter.com/SaveOurGolf
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6.3.13

RANDOM ARGYLE FOR MEN


'Random argyle' for men 2013 by Golf Refugees
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5.3.13

RANDOM ARGYLE


We've been experimenting and searching for inspiration and came up with the little idea of 'random argyle'.
Think of it as screen printing with a blind fold.
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2.3.13

DEAL OR NO DEAL?

Graham McDowell says "there is not a player in this field would have turned Rory's Nike contract down". Is he right?
Yes the money is mind-blowing, but on the other-side the huge deal perhaps could only be possible by paying your textile workers less than a living wage and by simply washing away your untreated pollution into local rivers. 
If there is a golf professional male or female who would have turned down the deal, please raise your head above the field.
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