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Neil Young calls for boycott against non-organic cotton

Neil Young arriving on the red carpet at 2014 Grammys in Los Angeles
Neil Young arriving on the red carpet at 2014 Grammys in Los Angeles
Robyn Beck/Getty

Neil Young has written an online message urging fans not to purchase non-organic cotton. The Bridge School Benefit and FarmAid co-founder has been giving away free t-shirts made of non-organic cotton during his recent concert tour and says he has taken steps to remove all non-organic cotton merchandise from his online store and concerts.

According to an article posted Aug. 2 on Billboard.com, the two-time Grammy winner has posted at statement at his official website asking fans to "help protect the earth" in a number of ways, which includes purchasing only products made from 100 percent organic cotton. The legendary Canuck singer-songwriter lists multiple reasons why non-organic cotton is harmful to the environment, citing the industry as the second biggest consumer of harmful pesticides globally, the damage pesticide absorption creates in the soil and to nearby crops, as well as the industry's massive water consumption, noting, "2,700 litres of water is used to grow the cotton for just 1 t-shirt!" The "Heart of Gold" hitmaker also provides steps fans can take to eliminate their own consumption of the material, as well as tips on preserving the quality of organic fabrics.

The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and MusicCares Person of the Year, has long been a champion of environmental and social causes. Earlier this year, the ex-Buffalo Springfield star performed a solo benefit concert series, titled "Honor the Treaties" in Canada, to aid a northern Alberta aboriginal band in their fight to preserve their land from oil sands development.

Young recently released a new studio album titled A Letter Home, which contains low-fi acoustic renditions of classic songs by a range of artists who influenced him in his formative years. He also released a live box-set last month with "on again - off again" bandmates Crosby, Still & Nash, titled CSNY 74.

Young and company kicked off their summer European tour last month, playing for the first time ever in Iceland. The tour marked the debut of long-time Young associate Rick Rosas in the Crazy Horse line-up, replacing bassist Billy Talbot, who suffered a mild stroke in late June and had to sit out the tour on doctor's orders.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse continue their European trek with a headlining appearance Aug. 3 in Stockholm, Sweden at the Music and Arts Festival. Young will also be among the featured performers announced for the 2014 edition of Farm Aid, which will take place on Sept. 13 in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre.