25 August 2011

Big Brands are Killing Us Softly

Yesterday I read a good post on rejecting advertising as the dominant form of conversation, and rediscovering true human interaction. It mentioned those people who, in their desperate attempts to show supremacy, dress up in expensive brands which only leads to them becoming walking billboards for those powerful manufacturers whose products they don't need in the first place.

Whether they are jogging with the Puma skin-tight T-shirt in latest fashion or in their old no-brand T-shirt, they will achieve the same – they will be jogging to the same old effect.

Photo: Kick Photo
Thanks to the powerful brainwashing machine called Marketing, a great majority of the population is intoxicated by the will to show off their ownership of pointless and often way overpriced stuff, while bragging about it live, on Facebook, Ğ¢witter, etc. 

I have to admit that I believe in what we call coincidents because I know they happen to us to open our eyes and to remind us we are on the right track. That is why it came as no surprise when soon after I learned about the toxic chemicals found in big brand names like Adidas, Calvin Klein, Lacoste and Ralph Lauren.
Photo: Bert van Diijk

It's nothing new, you'd say, we all know major corporations have moved their manufactures to China, to ruin their environment for a change (as if China is on another planet) but did you read well? The toxins, and more precisely, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), were located in the products, according to a recent research of Greenpeace.

NPEs are harmful to the environment and to human health and their effects are not limited to the location of manufacturing. In fact, they have been proved to cause male fish to develop female characteristics, or in other words, nonylphenol ethoxylates alter sexual development and affect the reproductive system. 

Photo: Paul G

Nonyphenol ethoxylates can be found in some household detergents outside of Europe. In Europe, due to environmental concerns, they have been replaced by more expensive alcohol ethoxylates, which are less problematic environmentally.

But since NPEs are used as detergents in the industrial process, residual quantities of the chemicals are released when clothes are washed, and in this way they get unnoticeably to the countries where their use is prohibited.

According to the report by Greenpeace, NPEs were detected in 70% of the samples from 14 of the most popular brands in the U.S., including Adidas, Uniqlo, Calvin Klein, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Lacoste, Converse and Ralph Lauren.

A list of toxic chemical in household detergents can be found here. and while you are getting acquainted with it I am still wondering:

Isn't it just about the right time to stop slaving to our vanity and live without too much unnecessary bragging?