Material diversity was the main topic discussed this week. Fletcher described material diversity as not getting rid of bad or over used fibers, yet allowing alternative, more resourceful and efficient responsive fibers to flourish. Because materials are so widely used in the apparel industry we are not only learning to source more cautiously but also learning how to extend the quality of life of a garment. How can we make a garment look the same throughout every phase of life? This would give recycling a whole new meaning. I feel as though material does play a large role in the product lifecycle, even the ability to create more local jobs by producing more regional fibers. If we produce and sell regionally, we would know exactly the type of climate and customer to produce for. I think this could be a huge advantage once we figure out how to produce in small towns like Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The most interesting topic that I believe Erin presented to our class this week was the concept of the cherry blossom tree. There are different types of production in nature and the cherry blossom uses “k production” pollinating many blossoms and hoping for at least one or two to flourish. This is redundant and I believe is exactly how fast fashion works. Fast fashion runs by putting their eggs and hopes into many baskets, just looking for one diamond in the ruff to catch fire. This is not a sustainable practice, in nature or in fast fashion. Erin clearly stated that not all systems looked at in nature give us fabulous “positive” reactions to our lifestyle but can actually be just the opposite. Nature can even persuade us to react and adapt just like the world around us do so beautifully. Sustainability is ADAPTATION. I feel as though her words are very applicable to our field. We may not go into a biomimicry career path but taking the concept of adaptation and making our jobs just that, adaptable.
Just like in material diversity, Fletcher states that “fiber choice is amid many interconnected factors that influence overall product sustainability.” I want to know more and will hopefully learn more as I advance in my career about how to create a free flowing system from the moment of sourcing to wash and wear of a product and how material influences that product service system.