noRep are a grassroots boardshort company, based on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. Their manifesto declares a commitment to creating products that deliver form, fit and function, and their range even includes a print by surf artist extraordinaire, Drew Brophy.
Another Drew has teamed up with the noRep crew, providing a special edition artwork for their new ‘Evict Monsanto’ protest shorts. North Shore-based artist Drew Toonz created a collage of activist-inspired illustrations to highlight a cause which is close to the heart of many Hawaiians, including former ASP Tour charger Dustin Barca, who is running for mayor of Kauai.
We caught up with Tomas Kloosterboer from noRep to talk about life, boardshorts and the business of food supply.
Hey Tomas, nice to meet you. how’s your day going?
Hey Brad! Nice to meet you too! Right now I’m at home, finished work at the surf school, working on some shorts with an Aussie photographer who lives in the North Shore, Sean Davey! Looking sick! Day off tomorrow and swell in town, can’t wait!
Had any good waves lately?
It’s been a pretty slow summer, though the waves finally started to pick up past couple of weeks. Forecast looks promising!
Awesome. So we heard about the Evict Monsanto movement and that you’ve been getting involved. What’s it all about?
It’s really well known on Oahu – you hear about it with friends, see it on social media, read about it online. It’s big here.
Personally, though, it goes back to home. I’m from Argentina and, as a developing country that’s had a lot of financial and social problems, companies like Monsanto become “friendly” with the government. They exploit weaknesses, preying on poor farmers to test GMO seeds and pesticides with little accountability. People with fewer resources are suffering the most. But just like with everything, it’ll be news for a couple of days or weeks and then something else breaks through and no one pays attention anymore.
Also, how come we are not allowed to know what we are buying? We have the right to know if we are getting some GMO food or not.
3 Reasons why people should be concerned…
There’s too little accountability and long-term research. First, here in Hawaii there’s a critical problem where they test and spray pesticides that wind up running off into our water. There’s little knowledge about the health effects on humans, let alone the unique ecosystems that only exist in Hawaii.
Thinking a bit bigger, it affects everyone who consumes produce at grocery stores, meat from animals being fed… none of us know the long term health effects and GMO corporations are very good at spinning up their PR machines and government lobbyists, spreading fear that if it weren’t for them, the world wouldn’t have enough food.
Lastly, they prey upon farmers all over the world who need to buy the seeds annually because of how they’ve been engineered, to get their new “features” and buy the pesticides engineered to be sprayed on them. The guys who are actually selling you the seeds are also selling you the pesticides to control them. Needless to say, they’ve been preaching that their pesticides are harmless and they couldn’t be any further away from it. These guys are not looking at improving the world, their goal is to control the food supply.
Drew Toonz did a great job with your boardshort artwork… how did the partnership come about?
It was actually funny, we met him through a mutual friend and at first he wouldn’t even talk to us! So I figured, OK, I’ll tell him about what we are doing; maybe he wants to hear that!
We started telling him about noRep Boardshorts and why we are doing it and the whole idea of the Protest Shorts came up. Drew has a gift that he can tell you whatever is wrong with a cartoon. I couldn’t be happier to be working with him.
Also, as I mentioned before, being from Argentina it meant a lot to me too. Monsanto is doing some huge damage over there as well, maybe instead of evicting them from Haleiwa we should have gone bigger and evict them from the planet!
What can people do to get involved?
Evict Monsanto is just one name – there are no-GMO organizations and centers for activism the world over. Find them, ask how to get involved, trying to buy from local farms and be conscious of where our food is coming from.
For now, our focus is what is close to us – Hawaii. We’ve partnered with Drew Toonz and some local non-profits who organize and spread awareness. We’ve got our Evict Monsanto shorts available and not only are they amazing to lounge and surf in, but they were also inspired by protest signs at the Aloha ‘Aina March last December. They’re available on our web site – only a few left – but we do ship internationally and it’s not expensive. The art is pretty incredible and we’re donating proceeds to two local non-profits that need resources to fight these corporations and their lobbyists.
We are also sending some shorts and the rest of our line over to Beach Street Surf Scene in Shellharbour for late September/October and are really thankful for the support we are getting. We believe this is a matter that’s a call to action: we can’t sit down and watch them doing whatever the F they want just because they can afford it, or pay people off.
Cool Tomas, awesome boardies and good luck with your cause.
Thanks Brad and thanks to all for taking the time!
Find out more and connect with noRep Boardshorts.
Dustin takes on a gm corn cob
While we’re on the subject, check out a Dustin Barca and Drew Toonz collaboration.