Blog: The story the cotton seed

Redactie SDGs on Stage - 16 Dec 2019

Geschreven door: Puck Gerritse en Sabine de Meer

Have you heard of the story of the cotton seed? 
Its roots are rooted in warm climate countries from the U.S. to China and India. Once grown after 140 days it blossoms like its brothers and sisters and is ready to be processed by humans and machines. Eventually it will travel overseas to find a place between all the other beautiful fabrics in the store, waiting to find a human that will love him so much to take him home.  
But do you really love all the pieces you are buying? Was it love at first sight? Or wasn’t it even love at all? And if not, who do you blame? Yourself for believing it was the right thing to do, or the shop that made you blind? 
I will put an ease; you are not to blame when wanting another piece of clothing. It lays in our nature to seek growth and progress. And it forms the underlying framework for development, so actually you are just a very normal human if you find yourself seeking for more items.  But behind big fashion corporations there are humans too, just like me and you whom also seek for growth and process and their way to accomplish this is by using our seek for better and more clothes. As there clearly is a problem when it comes to the emissions the fashion industry is responsible for, it is always easy to point fingers to others first. But as with every problem, the solutions lies in ourselves. We cannot blame others for our own actions when we have the ability and freedom to make our own choices. If we go inside ourselves, we can see where the core problem lies. When we do this we can tell, if we are deeply honest, that we are the solution ourselves. And as I say we I mean us as buyers, as well as the people working or involved in fashion industries.  
But even when we do know we are the solution ourselves it is still really hard to make a choice for the benefit of others. Especially when it feels like others are not sacrificing anything, but only you are. And here is another thing about our nature; it lays in our nature to be emphatic, but we have been teached to be selfish and put our own needs above that of others. Our brain has an advanced empathy circuit which makes us want to help others. But because we are told we are selfish from nature; we also act like we are.  
As we now know we are not selfish from nature, how do we corporate when everything in our society is about individualism? First of all, it is very important to build a system that relies on engagement, communication, and a sense of common purpose and identity. But because the chain in the fashion industry is so long, there are also a lot of people involved in the whole process. That is what makes the process to corporation harder, but not impossible.  Big companies need new business models that can help designing better systems where planet and people are a big part of. We as humans are a lot more cooperative, trustworthy and generous than the business models big companies say we are today. If they recognize our willingness to change and help, they can start building together with us.  
By Puck Gerritse & Sabine de Meer CWF 2019

Foto: Adobe Stock

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