Neil Young took to his website on Friday to speak out against the purchase of non-organic cotton. The FarmAid co-founder and veteran activist, who has championed environmental, social and aural causes over the years, has vowed to phase the material out of his tour merchandise in favor of 100% organic cotton immediately.
"Friends, on my last tour of Europe, I started to give our music loving (sic) audience free organic cotton t-shirts as a way to show that we appreciate you," he writes in a statement on the homepage. "I'm hoping that when you wear your PROTECT / EARTH t-shirt, you will vow to PROTECT EARTH & to take a stand for EARTH in the ways that you can."
Young goes on to explain the reasons non-organic cotton is harmful to the environment -- "2,700 liters of water is used to grow the cotton for just 1 t-shirt!!! ( & that doesn't even account for the processing dying etc....)" -- as well as steps his fans can take to eliminate their own consumption of the material as well as tips on preserving the quality of organic fabrics.
This is the second cause Young has taken on in the past month; earlier in July, he canceled a scheduled concert in Tel Aviv after receiving an open letter from Pink Floyd's Roger Waters urging him to do so in light of the current Israeli-Hamas crisis. Warner Bros., his label, cited "tensions which have rendered the event unsafe at this time" in its cancellation announcement; Young instead donated to two Israeli-Palestinian nonprofits that teach music to children from both sides of the conflict together.