Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Change starts with your underpants

Once all politicians are replaced, there will be peace; once the banks are back in public hands, financial equality will be only a question of time; and once Monsanto is dead, everything will be just fine. Hm...

A few weeks ago I was in a healthfood shop, buying organic oats and fairtrade chocolate. As I was standing in the queue, waiting to pay, I noticed a small section nearby with a few different cloth items: t-shirts, socks, underpants, pyjamas and a couple of nice jumpers. All made from organic cotton, dyed with natural colours and produced under fair conditions. I grabbed a pair of boxershorts and proceeded to checkout.
„That’s 22,68 Euros”, the old lady at the till said.
„What? How much are the underpants?“
Really? Almost 20 Euros for a piece of cloth that soon will be destroyed by frequent washing cycles and unavoidable farting – a bit expensive, innit? At H&M you get similar ones for 4,95 and in some other places they’re even cheaper. Perhaps I ought to scrap the idea of organic underwear and instead get more chocolate…

Who's evil?

Here’s some nice little background information: almost 50% of all cotton is genetically modified. In the EU, growing GM cotton is not allowed – but hardly anybody buys clothes anymore which are made in the EU. And now guess who’s the industry leader for GM cotton? Bingo: Monsanto! And those child-labour factories in Bangladesh, China and India, do they use organic cotton? I know, stupid question.

Our capitalist world is ruled by demand. That’s not good and neither is it bad, it’s just the way it is. What really matters is this: who demands all this cheap stuff? The evil rulers? Do they force us into the shopping malls and make us consume crap? Or is it us?
Who allows companies like Monsanto to grow?

The main argument against clothes made from organic cotton is the price. But that’s ridiculous: If it said ‘Calvin Klein’ on the label, most people wouldn’t hesitate to spend 20 Euros on a pair of underpants. As so often, it’s simply a question of priorities.
Another common argument is the lack of availability – ‘but where can I find organic clothes?’ Strange, when looking for new games, cheap flights or free porn, everybody knows where to go. But when it comes to finding out useful stuff, the internet seems to disappear miraculously from the face the Earth.

Small is beautiful - and very powerful!

We are attracted by ‘big’ solutions and put our hopes in everything that promises to solve all of our problems in one go: new elections, new inventions, the new job and of course, the new year. But big changes will only ever happen when many of us make lots of small changes in our everyday lives, starting today!
Who cares if the new president gets a solar-heated indoor pool and ‘considers’ less subsidies for seed empires? It’s normal people like you and me who have to take responsibility and create real changes. Remember, we are the 99%!

The clothes you wear, the food you eat, the transport you use – on a daily basis you can make little changes that, when added up, can make a huge difference. And yes, it starts with the underpants you wear. Or in other words: if you ain’t gonna change yourself, don’t expect to see a better world!

PS: It’s Christmas time – why not surprise a loved one with some really clean underwear?