Blog 2


In the past two lectures we consumed a lot of information through articles about sustainability and its future impact. My favorite part of the two lectures was listening to two different ted talks. One of which was by Suzanne Lee who talks about how she grows her own fabric through green tea, microfiber, sugar, a bathtub, and a heating mat. It’s a kombucha process that she implemented in order to find a sustainable way to create materials. She discussed her ideal end goal for her creation would be to make more products through this sustainable process while discovering a way to make it hydrophobic and capable to form into 3D shapes. Her design process is recyclable, biodegradable, and is not a replacement for current fashion materials but rather a sustainable addition. While these materials aren’t necessarily pleasing to the eye for fashion purposes, making lamps and other home accessories through this process could easily be applicable. There are multiple materials we as people, designers, and business people have to consider when trying to live a more sustainable life.


Through these two articles we are able to see futuristic results caused by people using all of their natural resources. For the Easter Island, the people living on the island were using their limited supply of natural resources with no concern or plan for when they run out. Since they are on an island, they have to find a more sustainable way to live such as growing their food, using up fewer trees, and limiting their usage of materials per person so that they would not eventually run out. The Dust Bowl shows how if people continue to abuse the environment and the resources earth has provided then this can lead to natural disasters in the future.


Merchandising is a field that has many categories where unsustainable practices apply: materials, fabric/ garment production, retail, usage, and disposal. Materials, the use of pesticides for the growth of cotton is harmful not only to the environment but also to cotton workers as well. Water usage in cotton materials is another major problem since it takes 10 tons of water to make one pair of jeans. There are human rights issues dealing with the labor conditions of employees from outsourcing countries. For fabric/ garment production problems such as chemical usage, untreated waste, and large amounts of energy/ water usage occur. Retail/Usage deals with the unsustainability practices from the consumer front. Since there is high consumption for clothing, we as merchandisers need to find away to recycle unwanted clothes by using the materials, fabrics, and fibers in new garments.


One aspect from this article that I learned was what a lateral thinker is. The definition that I came to conclusion with was someone who can create multiple situations for a scenario not limiting them to a specific genre of imagination. A cartoonist uses his imagination to create a futurist world by allowing himself to unconsciously tap into a mental state to where he can let his mind wander. Cartoonist and other futurist have the capability of coming up with concepts that sometimes come to real life. For example, I found it interesting that Morgan Robertson wrote about a ship sinking and all the tragic details that coincided with the titanic; however, she wrote it 14 years before it happened.


Through this exercise my group came to the conclusion that the best solution to our problem is creating “The Repurpose Act”. Through this the government would enact a law mandating that all clothing manufacturers must recycle their unused fabrics while store fronts would provide recycling bins for consumers to recycle their unwanted clothing. Going a little further, consumers could receive a discount at the store in which they recycled to.


When we think of an iceberg, we know that we can see the tip of it floating outside of the water, while a large part of it is submerged. Relating to sustainability the tip of the iceberg is what is visible to the human eye and how we perceive the world. The tip of the iceberg is current events; underneath it are patterns (industry), structures, and then paradigms. The paradigms are what often go undetected (like the part of the iceberg submerged) these are the deep values in which we have to come to self-realization and change. That’s where the self-narrative comes into play. Our self-narrative is how we perceive things (relating to our values, beliefs, assumptions) and in order to change the paradigm we must focus on changing how we think. In sustainability, to truly see a change in the world, we must first change how we perceive things. We have to change our mindset because our attitude affects our behavior.


The in class meditation allowed us as students to apply the advice from the cartoonist article of erasing the distractions and creating a blank mind. By doing this, our minds had the capability to wander and create an imaginative scenario. As Dr. Jayadas, stimulated thoughts we were able to imagine how we perceive our futures being. It was a unique experience because your mind is able to either see a big picture or focus on minor details that you wouldn’t normally think about. I for example, saw myself working in a bigger city (different from my current post graduation plans) while living in a suburb. I didn’t see kids or a husband coming home to, which is different than my future plans for 20 years down the road.



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