Cheap coffee, cheap cotton

You probably have read that the price of cotton is on the rise, has been for a while. Wool is facing the same fate. Higher prices have been explained by natural disasters, e.g. floods. Towards the end of year 2010, the global market prices of cotton were at the highest level since 1996.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. Surely the cheap t-shirts can be sold with a higher price, say 10-15% higher?

At least in Finland coffee has been sold in a similar way. Very cheap, with a very low sales margin, if any at all. Just to invite customers in. That’s what some of the larger clothing retailers are doing with cheap cotton t-shirts and the like.

I mean seriously. If a t-shirt is sold for 2 euros somewhere in Europe, how much money will the person sewing the t-shirt get? Or the person who swims in the pails of chemicals to dye the fabric?

I much prefer bamboo and lyocell (often known as Tencel) as materials. They are often also mixed with cotton. The fabrics are wonderfully soft and comfortable. Like the fabric of the perfect piece of clothing that I just can’t wear often enough. If you haven’t yet tested e.g. bamboo, check it out. It’s worth it.

As for books, the next thing on my list is Eating Animals. Jonathan Safran Foer is a good writer, I thoroughly enjoyed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close that I read last year. Any book with a a nine-year old vegan and pacifist protagonist is interesting. I would also be interested in reading Great House by Nicole Krauss. I read her second novel, History of Love, when I was travelling in Portugal some years ago, and I’ve recently learned that the film might be coming out sometime next year (some conflicting info available on this). Anyway, of course, these two gifted writers are married to one another. It’s like Auster and Hustvedt but just one generation or so younger.

BTW, I have been promised an interview with Yalo. Be patient, I’ll contact the ladies for a chat and let’s see what comes out.

♠ In the meantime: So if I need a loan, I could use the possibilities of peer lending, e.g. Zopa, instead of a bank.

♦ Song of the day: Marvin Gaye, Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

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