For & Against

For and Against: Velcro

10 October 2017

FOR: Alaina Dean

Velcro is just a revolutionary hook-and-loop fastener standing in front of the world asking us to love it.

But the world is being naïve and childish, refusing to give Velcro the love it aches for. We’re just, you know, talking. The world needs to grow up, stop ghosting Velcro and publicly embrace it for the strong independent piece of biomimicry it is. Velcro has to realise that it’s not love it needs, but some goddamn respect, because Velcro has done more in its short life than the button and the zipper combined ever have.

In the first ever artificial heart transplant, Velcro tenderly held a beating human heart together as surgeons prodded and poked within the empty chest cavity. Velcro was there when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out onto the lunarscape in front of millions of home viewers. Velcro has been the best friend of kids with underdeveloped fine motor skills thrust too early into the realm of lace-up Clarks. Velcro is selfless and always puts others first. All it wants in return is for the world to hold it tight during the night.

It took its Swiss inventor 14 years to perfect the Velcro design in the ’50s, and since then it has flirted with international popularity. It has appeared on the catwalks in Paris and Mulan, on Orlando Bloom’s gorgeous feet and has been splashed across thousands of Pinterest DIY boards.

Velcro is also a handy household item, holding cushion covers closed, electrical cables neat and tidy, and can even hide the spare key under the verandah instead of in the pot plant by the doorbell. Yet Velcro is relatively shunned from everyday street wear as it’s still associated with kindergartens and camping trips spent playing GripBall with the kids from the other side of the caravan park.

Velcro is struggling to find its footing in this new millennium, and the debacle with the US Army incorporating it into its uniform without considering the dangerously loud rip of Velcro isn’t helping its plight. But for all its perceived daggy-ness, Velcro has managed to produce the best video on the Internet – ‘Letterman in a Suit of Velcro’ – and for that it deserves both an accolade and a declaration of love.

So world, if you’re listening, it’s time get down off your high horse and take Velcro home to meet your parents – it deserves nothing less.

 

AGAINST: Elizabeth Haigh

I’m just going to come out and say it – Velcro should have a world-wide ban on it. Besides being one of the ugliest materials to have ever existed, it also makes one of the most annoying sounds in the world.

Originating from Switzerland in the ‘40s, Velcro has been nothing but trouble since its creation. Once a revolutionary new product, it’s now an annoying material which makes a sound irritating enough to make you want to surgically remove your ear drums, just so you never have to hear it again.

Have you ever tried to clean Velcro? No? That’s because it’s IMPOSSIBLE. My first realisation of this was when I was seven, and my parents used to have those soft padded things that wrap around your seatbelt to make it more comfortable – mine even had a smiling shark on it. One day I realised that there were bits of glitter in the Velcro, and in my vanity, I spent the entire car trip trying to get them out. It turns out you can’t – Velcro hoards glitter and doesn’t ever let it go. Velcro literally sucks the glitter out of life.

We also need to address the use of Velcro in fashion. It’s simple, DO NOT WEAR VELCRO UNLESS YOU’RE FIVE. It’s time to learn how to tie your shoes people, and leave the annoying, slowly losing their stickiness, Velcro shoes to the children who can’t spell their own names. And it’s not just shoes that Velcro is used on, oh no, it is also used as a replacement for belts in pants, and I have even come across Velcro replacing zippers on dresses. It’s time we all stop being lazy and spend an extra three to four seconds zipping that zipper, or buckling that belt.

Velcro is also unreliable. This seemingly convenient material is just like a bad relationship. It starts out all shiny and new, and you wonder how you lived your life before you met Velcro. But slowly and surely it begins to lose its stickiness and you’re left with an uncommitted piece of Velcro that is tired and doesn’t want to be there anymore because you’ve taken it for granted.

Please, everyone, stop using Velcro. The sun rose before we had Velcro, and it will still rise the next day, even if we all get together and communally burn every piece of Velcro into dust.