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July 29 2014

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When Green Washing Is A Good Thing

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Let me start this off with a disclaimer: I’m not one to spring for fancy washing luxuries. I don’t hand-soak my delicates (who has time?) and I’ve never believed boutique brands had much to offer in the way of laundry essentials. But like my face, my body is pretty sensitive, and seeing as how it’s been itchy, red, and blotchy of late, I began to suspect that something had gone awry in my washing machine. To remedy the situation, I’ve turned to natural laundry care items from Vaska, an up-market but entirely down-to-earth detergent line made for skeptics like me. The Berkeley-based company was founded in 1999 by fashion designer Julia Fry, who creates cleaning products made from real herbs in lieu of harsh chemicals and soaps found in traditional solutions. The nontoxic, hypoallergenic collection includes four affordable and hard-working basics: Herbadetergent, a liquid detergent formulated with lavender and botanical cleansing compounds that comes in a scented or unscented version; Herbasoft fabric softener; Spotoff stain remover; and Oxygenbleach, a natural, chlorine-free bleach that’s safe on colors and fragile fabrics. Besides being a hero to sensitive types everywhere, the brand has also been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for its advanced eco-formulas, which break down quickly without polluting our waterways. And it’s not just earthy, hippie types who have taken to Vaska (which means “to wash” in Old Norse, so you know). Chic hotel properties like the Four Seasons’ outposts in northern California trust their linens to the brand, and the newly crowned World Series champs, the San Francisco Giants, also sud up their team laundry with this, er, natural hit. (Sorry, it had to be done.)

Photo: Courtesy of Vaska

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