Feed Me

The idea of cradle to cradle is such a new concept for me. We are such creatures of over consumption that waste just seems to be part of the process. I guess with over consumption, waste truly is part of the process, but not in an intentional or good way. I don’t think that I’ve ever stopped to think about what happens with excess. Excess anything. An easy industry example of waste would be over production. Lets pretend for a minute that Levi’s does particularly well with a specific pair of women’s skinny coated denim for Fall 2014. Its trendy and popular so they produce and additional 5,000 pairs. They sell out of that denim within the first month, so they decide to re-cut that same style denim. This time, they only sell through half of the cut, which leaves Levi’s with 2,500 pairs of denim. What does Levi’s do with this denim? Do they reuse the denim for another pair? Do they give them away? Or do they just decide that they don’t have time to deal with them and throw them away? This is only an example of one denim company out of thousands that ends up with waste that takes us up space. In a cradle-to-cradle type situation, this denim would be repurposed and made into something else, or we would use the denim to break down and make something new. Maybe if this denim were produced with an end result in mind, the denim would be made out of something that would biodegrade back into the earth.

I also thought that the concept of monstrous hybrids from our reading, “Waste Equals Food” was really interesting. This was one of the more interesting readings for me. I think I’ve mentioned it one of my blogs before, but in order to really design sustainably, you have to do your research. The reading used the example of a conventional leather shoe when talking about a “Frankenstein product”. The way that shoes used to be made was Eco-friendly and biodegradable. Today, to meet the demands of mass consumption, shoes are produces differently and neither the technical or biological aspect of the product can be salvaged. We may think that we are designing sustainably, but the tanning process of the leather is toxic and causes the products waste to truly turn into waste.

This is applicable to my field in the area of design, because as I mentioned before, if designers did their research on what effects their products and processes were really having on the environment, they would be able to eliminate waste and/ or use the waste that came from their production process to “feed” something else.

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