A World of Wears

This week we heard from Kirsi Niinimakai. A textile print designer from Finland turned sustainability advocate and teacher.  She enlightened us further on her research of what causes people to form attachments to items and use them frequently or for a long period of time.  During this discussion she made a remark towards Americans wearing a different outfit everyday and how they do not feel the need to do this in Finland. This comment lead to questioning from students because they did not believe they heard her right and that this meant that people in Finland wear their outfits more than one day in a row.  She confirmed that they in fact heard her correctly and that people in Finland, including her, may wear the same outfit all week and do not wash it in-between wears.

The shock that the students had was quite interesting and contrasted the different in cultures concerning this area of fashion.  I myself found it shocking that they wear the same outfit all week but I will admit that I will hang clothes back up after I wear them if I did not sweat in them. I occasionally pull things out of the clothes hamper if I really want to wear it.  Jeans especially may get worn more than a handful of times between washes. This is largely due to the fact that I live in an apartment and avoid using the public washing facility but even when I lived with a washing machine in my house, this was not completely uncommon behavior. While I may not start wearing my clothes ever day of the week anytime soon, I find my behavior less taboo than I did before.  It is not unsanitary and it saves not only my time but also resources and the wear a tear on my clothing and I may start advising others to do the same.

I look forward to learning what other sustainable ideas other cultures practice on a daily basis that may seem odd to Americans.  We have a lot to learn from these older cultures in many areas but especially in sustainable practices with America producing the most waste of any country in the world.

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