Sustainability – a lifestyle

During my sustainable journey there are numerous things I have learned. When first asked in class, what is sustainability and how would you define it”, my answer mainly consist of thinking about things that are green and things that save the environment. Little did I know that in this class I would learn so much more than I thought I would and my knowledge of sustainability would advance greatly. My definition of sustainability is bringing back the natural way of living through bettering the environment and conserving what we put into it. Sustainability is a lifestyle. My definition of sustainable design is an idea or theory that one has through research and values and implements these ideas to better the environment. The way we do this is by understanding first our environment and what harmful chemicals and substance are being transmitted into the atmosphere. Especially in apparel design, there are many aspects for a designer to choose to be sustainable by conserving energy, water, using natural fibers instead of dyed or chemically made fibers, not sending materials to be made overseas, etc. ‘

Throughout this semester I have many different learning outcomes based on what was taught in class and read and discussed in our learning communities. One of the biggest learning outcomes that I discovered was the different types of empathic approaches that are reached in the human needs aspect of empathy. As an apparel merchandiser, my whole college experience I have learned that we create what we do and sell what we do in order to give the customer what they want. What has been really interesting and an automatic light bulb “click” I had, was how designers design specific things in order to reach certain human needs of the customers. I have always learned about this but through in-class examples and the Lola show I have learned numerous ways as to why this is a sustainable design concept and not only a marketing concept. I have been able to evaluate and see how customers recognize their need for certain items because the designer has made it that way. As a merchandizer this will help me in my future career be able to aid the store or company I work for and better understand what human needs empathic approach the designer is creating for consumers.

As I am on my way toward finding a career, this course has helped me in so many ways. One of the most useful things that I have learned in this class is how bad different thing negatively impact our environment and society. Due to this understanding, I have now committed to be intentional in whatever workplace I enter to first understand the way that they are sustainable (if they even are working toward a more sustainable society). Not only was this a great course of gaining additional knowledge and new understanding about sustainability I did not know possible, I am now, even if I do not choose to work within the apparel industry, able to understand and ask the company what their sustainable values are as a company and better be able to choose a company based off of what sustainable areas they are committing their company to. The knowledge, examples, and materials I have learned about sustainability are not something that I just learned for a semester but I desire to use this information to better be a more sustainable person. This class was very useful to me and I have started applying numerous things I have already learned (limiting the amount of times I wash and dry clothing to have longer lasting clothing items, buying from companies who are committed to sustainable designs, and watching the water consumption I use on a day to day life).

Knowing what I now know I want to continue learning about how I can live more sustainably in my day to day life. I want to know what future trials I will face as I continue to change my habits and live more sustainable and what downfall will arise. I already know that living sustainable can be more expensive but I want to continue to try to apply what I have learned in order to educate others and to continue to save the environment. To continue on my sustainable journey after this class I know I will need to know continued information about sustainability and how to be sustainable in different parts of the states and when I have a family one day.

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