Why I Don't Trust "Natural" Brands

For a long time I got caught up in thinking that when I cleaned with Mrs. Meyers, I was getting a better cleaner that wasn't full of chemicals. Then I learned more and I realized I had been duped...and maybe you have been too. It makes me angry that hard-working Americans are being sold products under the guise that they are "healthier", "natural", "organic" when they actually aren't.

Did you know that any product that contains the ingredient "Fragrance", "Natural Fragrance", or "Parfum" can have ANY ingredients that the manufacture decides to include without having to disclose to you a single one? It's a trade-secret...and under that loop-hole, they can include all kinds of carcinogenic, developmentally toxic, or reproductively harmful chemicals and they can still put on the label that it is natural, plant-based, etc. It is absolutely un-ethical, but that is what our laws allow...and so companies take advantage of that fact. They do not tell you EVERY ingredient in their product. If you want to watch an excellent documentary about this, check out STINK on Netflix. It will blow your mind.

I now refuse to use any product that I cannot find the full ingredients for. It shows a lack of integrity on the part of any company to hide what they are putting into their products, whether it is natural or not!

I then learned who actually owned those "natural" brands at the store...when I actually researched this, I was absolutely shocked. 

  • Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox. 
  • Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate Palmolive.
  • The Body Shop is owned by L'Oreal. 
  • Mrs. Meyers is owned by SC Johnson.
  • Seventh Generation is owned by Unilever.
  • Honest Company agreed to pay $1.55 million to settle a nationwide class lawsuit claiming it misled buyers about ingredients in its laundry detergent and dish soap. source
  • Cascadian Farm is owned by General Mills. 
  • Lara Bar is owned by General Mills.
  • Annie's Homegrown is owned by General Mills. 
  • Bear Naked is owned by Kellogg's. 
  • Kashi is owned by Kellogg's. 
  • Silk is owned by Dean Foods. 
  • Odwalla is owned by Coco-Cola Company. 
  • Honest Tea is owned by Coco-Cola Company.
  • Naked Juice is owned by PepsiCo. 
What this tells me is that these companies just want a piece of the "crunchy" market share but they don't REALLY care what they are putting into their products...because if they REALLY cared about the health of their customers, they wouldn't still be ALSO making money selling things like bleach, soda, and toothpaste with fluoride. Can you do both? Yes. Should you do both? No. You can't straddle the fence and really mean anything you say.

So I have dumped these brands. And I buy from a family owned global business that has ALWAYS been about health and always will be. They tell me EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT in EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT. And they even let me visit the farms where they grow the plants that they turn into their plant-based products. Not only that, but they support the things I believe in like fighting human trafficking, giving their farmers and workers a living wage, and taking good care of the earth. Now that is a company I can get behind.

There Are Chemicals That Will Affect Our Great-Grandkids

This isn't a pleasant topic...but it's one of the most important things you could possibly know about. If you knew what I knew...you wouldn't be able to NOT talk about it. I can't help it. My heart is for the world, especially Americans, to stop being poisoned by the products on the store shelves. 

Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to human health...the diseases we're beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin - Rick Irvin, Toxicologist Texas A&M University source
You might think this ironic seeing as we are in the middle of a pandemic of a viral nature...but if you knew what I have learned, you'd understand why I'm concerned about the damage that people are doing to their bodies by the overuse of chemical-filled cleaners than even this virus.

You think I exaggerate? Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamiliton, an Oxford-educated physician in Britain and one of the leading authorities on food-borne toxins, states 

We are so contaminated that if we were cannibals, our meat would be banned for human consumption. source
We are CONSTANTLY being inundated with toxic, cancer-causing, and DNA-altering chemicals that are stealing our health, our longevity, and the future of our children. And this begins before our children are even born!

In July 14, 2005, EWG (Environmental Working Group) wrote on a benchmark study they performed testing the umbilical cords of 10 babies. It was the first test of its kind ever to be performed. What they found was shocking. Two hundred and eighty-seven industrial chemicals, some of which are banned, were identified in the cord blood samples. 

Of the chemicals detected, 180 are known to cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. On average, they found that each of the babies had been exposed to 200 chemicals and pollutants. source

Babies are quite literally being born pre-polluted. No mother would ever knowingly put these chemicals into their child...but that is the problem...they don't know that the products they are using are so full of toxic chemicals that that is exactly what these poor mothers are doing. I did it too. There is no judgement from me...I only wish to alert you to the dangers presented to you on the grocery store shelves. Almost all of the cleaning products and body products should be labeled with a poison symbol...if they were correctly labeled.

“Many of the carcinogens this study documents in people find their way into our bodies through food, air, water and consumer products every day. Dozens of them show up in human umbilical cord blood—which means Americans are exposed to carcinogens before they’ve left the womb,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “We should focus on preventing cancer by preventing human exposure to these chemicals.” source
Approximately 100,000 chemicals synthetic chemicals have been unleashed on this planet worldwide with more than 1000 new chemicals entering the market-place every year. No one knows how these chemicals interact with each other synergistically. Chemicals interact with each other in the lab and they also interact with each other in our bodies. We just have no idea how. Sheldon Krimsky, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Community Health at Tufts University School of Medicine wrote in 2008,

with up to 100,000 synthetic chemicals (approved for consumer use), the potential number of synergistic combinations becomes mind-boggling. It could take over 1000 years to complete a chemical by chemical testing program... source
There are at least 11 chemicals that we know are mutating our DNA and affect our children for the 3rd and 4th generations and beyond. The things we choose to use today really do affect our children and our grandchildren and even our great-grandchildren. I cannot even express to you how important this is to realize. This is an excellent article to read to learn how they discovered that this was even possible.  Also, check this out for additional reading.

The 11 chemicals that we know for sure are changing our DNA are: source 
  • Permethrin - Insecticide 
  • Deet - Insect Repellant 
  • Bisphenol A - Used in Plastics 
  • Phthalates - Used to Soften Plastics 
  • Dioxin & PCB's - Chlorine Processing Chemicals 
  • Jet Fuel Mixtures 
  • Tributyltin - Paint on Boats 
  • Nicotine - Tabacco 
  • Methoxychlor - Insecticide 
  • Vinclozin - Fungicide 
  • DDT - Insecticide 

Can you really avoid enough chemicals to make a difference? I do believe that you can. You cannot possibly avoid all of them...they are on your furniture, on your walls, and in industrial buildings...but the chemicals that you have the largest exposure to are the things you use daily in your home and on your body.  As our family began to go toxin-free, our health slowly got better and better. It wasn't that I could even put a finger on some of the changes but I could feel them. 

My husband stopped getting migraine headaches completely...except when he goes into a store. His body was so inflamed that he was always in pain everywhere just from inflammation. We later learned that his skin detox pathways don't even work. The only thing that is detoxing his body is his liver which is severely taxed as you might imagine. 

Once we ditched every chemical we were using daily, his health did a 180 degree turn. It is completely possible to go toxin-free...and it's actually not hard like you might think and I am here to walk with you every step of the way and show you how to go toxin-free on a budget so you can feel the difference for yourself! I promise you, it is 200% worth every single penny.

I’m on a mission to help a whole lot of people break free and empower themselves with the knowledge and resources I’ve worked so hard to get myself. Come join our group of fearless moms and learn how you can find health & freedom with the knowledge and information we share in our exclusive community

Planning Your Capsule Wardrobe

Now that you have chosen your capsule wardrobe colors, it is time to plan out your capsule wardrobe pieces!
Look in your current closet and look for any pieces that fit the neutrals you choose or your color palette: whether they are going to be main pieces or accessories like scarves, jackets, etc. Figure out what you already have and write them down so you can see how many pieces you have.

For Example: 
  • 1 black long-sleeved shirt 
  • 1 black tank-top 
  • 2 pairs of jeans 
  • 1 long-sleeve purple shirt 
  • 1 quarter length sleeve purple & turquoise shirt
If you are feeling like it is too difficult to choose 2-3 colors for your whole year, you can choose to make capsule wardrobes for each season, or a fall/winter wardrobe and a spring/summer wardrobe. You may end up keeping more clothes this way, but it is totally up to you! If you decide you want to plan out two wardrobes, then do this whole process to plan both before you go shopping to see what you need for both capsule wardrobes.

What I did to finish planning my capsule wardrobe is I drew out my ideal pieces. (And no, you don't have to be a great artist as you will see from my drawings. LOL) You don't have to draw them, but it helped me think it through. I prefer to wear my neutrals on the bottom and wear colors on the top to draw people's eyes up to my face, but some people really enjoy and look good in colorful pants! You actually will have more options with creating different outfits if you do decide to have some color pieces on the top as well as the bottom but just figure out what you enjoy wearing and go from there. 

Hopefully these pictures will help you see how to plan your own capsule wardrobe, starting with the pieces that you have and then figuring out what additional pieces you'd like to have to layer and make multiple looks! You might find looking on Pinterest for outfit ideas will also help you see ideas for using the same pieces in multiple ways or new ways of using colors together! Make it yours!

Once you have finished planning your wardrobe, here's the fun part! Go shopping! I suggest going with a friend who will help you choose your pieces ruthlessly...what I mean by this is: you do not want to come home with any pieces that you feel iffy about. You have to absolutely LOVE them.

Think about the fabric you are choosing. Will the pieces wash well? Are they dry-clean only or washable? 
Are they going to last well through multiple washings? Will they stain easily? I found that some of my cotton shirts that were only one color got stained while my shirts with prints went much longer without looking worn out. 

Do they fit perfect? Are they too small or too big? Don't buy it if it doesn't look really nice on you RIGHT NOW. You aren't buying for later. You are buying clothes to look good right now. Bonus if they will look good even as you are losing weight, but they still need to look nice right now. I found the flowing shirts were some of the best for disguising a post-partum tummy.

Look for prints that contain 2 or more of your capsule colors! Having fun jackets or long-sleeve pieces to layer will change up your look too! When it comes to your neutral core pieces like pants, skirts, and jackets, look for quality as much as you can. These pieces can last much longer and be used for multiple capsule wardrobes. Think about accessories that you like to wear and find them in the fun colors that you picked so you have even more options to mix up for new wardrobes!

It is ok if your first capsule wardrobe pieces aren't perfect. You'll know how to shop even better next time once the pieces you get wear out! (Which they do a bit faster since you are washing them more since you have less clothes to begin with...but I think it's nice because it gives you a good reason to go clothes shopping on occasion!)

Those are my tips for building your own capsule wardrobe! If you have questions that I haven't answered in these last blog posts, I'd love to know what they are so I can make sure to answer them for you!
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