I can’t believe that we have already come full circle on the blogging loop.
This week I learned a lot. I learned a lot about the subject of alternative materials and a lot about myself.
Because I was intrigued by the LOLA show topics this week, I decided to do a little research to see what’s out there in the “alternative materials” area. It is now inspiring to see alternative materials used in clothing production. Today I came across Nike Air Force 1s Bespoke By Show Ideez made out of cork. I am sure that with big companies, like NIKE, beginning to use alternative materials, we will start to see more and more alternative materials used in clothing and shoe production.
Over the course of this class, I have become more and more interested in ways to better produce items–especially clothing and shoes. We should be creating items that will last, items that will benefit the customer, and items that will enhance our lives while not taking away from planet Earth. It almost scares me to think of all that I didn’t know prior to taking this class. I simply looked at putting something in the trash (vs. littering) as “doing my part” for the world. Honestly, that idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Sadly, many fail to think of the life of a product after its primary usage is over. Where does that shirt we donate to charity actually go? Where does the couch we set out for big trash day end up? Over the last twelve weeks I have become aware of our planet and the influence that we, as designers, can have.
In this week’s reading I was very interested in the waste hierarchy. The “waste hierarchy” ranks waste management options according to what is best for the environment. It gives top priority to preventing waste in the first place. When waste is created, it gives priority to preparing it for re-use, then recycling, then recovery, and last of all disposal (e.g. landfill).
If more people could see this chart and visualize it when disposing of things, we may be able to dramatically reduce the size of our landfills. As designers we must create and sell items that can be reused or recycled many times. By doing that—we help people make the decision to reuse or reduce much easier. Over my lifetime, I can’t wait to see where the creative ideas shared in class appear. I think that we are on the right track to sustainable living and working.