At the beginning of the semester I defined sustainability as ” finding new or innovative ways to do things that retain efficiency but are more environmentally friendly”, and I actually think I got the first part of that definition right, but didn’t realize what it truly meant. When I said that, I was thinking more along the lines of altering production techniques or finding ways that use less energy, but I definitely did not realize how in depth sustainability as a design concept went, and I also now realize that it encompasses more than just being “environmentally friendly”.
One of my biggest revelations is how sustainability is so much more than just recycling, using less energy, or the basics that you always hear about, but it has so many more facets than that. Even in your everyday shopping choices I have learned to think more sustainably and am recognizing that aspect when choosing pieces and how important it is to choose things that are more timeless and have that quality. Things like that I never associated with sustainability before because I only thought about the super obvious and direct environmental issues, like pollution and waste, however even taking that simple step of buying clothing more critically can help make an impact.
One of the other highlights from the entire semester for me was researching and exploring what other brands are doing to positively impact the earth in a big way. Through Lola shows and just in class discussion with my peers, it has been really exciting hearing and learning about all of the wonderful things that are happening and the initiative people are taking.
In this course I do with that there could be a bit more focus on sustainable concepts for merchandising majors. It seemed that most of the examples we discussed involved windows and store design. Although most all of the concepts are still applicable to our field, it would have been nice to have learned a bit more about sustainable buying practices or even how to run an existing store more sustainably in a manager role, since many of us might not be in positions to make big sustainable decisions like we simulated in class Design Slams and other projects. Additionally, in my own future I would like to learn more about sustainable housing and materials. It was one of the most interesting things to me, although Interior Design is not my major, it would just always catch my eye when we discussed things like the bamboo houses or the Frank Lloyd Wright homes and even the tiny home was just really interesting to hear about to me.
All in all I feel that this course has helped me begin my journey in sustainability and has shown me knew and innovative ways to think about sustainability in my career and in my every day life.