My biggest take away from week five is that there are so many different small things we can do in the fashion industry to help the environment by utilizing practices like upcycling, recycling and reusing our old things. By doing the C2C activity and Design Slam 1 I have started thinking about the small things in my industry that could be changed that will make a positive impact on the environment.
C2C is the concept that a product is made in a way that is efficient and at the end of its lifecycle every part of it can be upcycled or repurposed. The waste = food concept is using waste as a resource. I like when it is described as closing the gap, which means that in both the biosphere and technosphere we can find a way to reuse waste created to start the cycle over. The biological metabolism is the sphere of natural processes. Technological metabolism is the sphere of technical processes. The biosphere is everything that has to do with nature and the technosphere is everything that has to do with technology. To me recycling and reusing kind of go hand-in-hand. Recycling is instead of throwing something away for it just to end up in landfills or maybe even the environment, you give it to something/ someone who will find a better end use of it. For example, my mom is very big about donating clothes. I love shopping and buying clothes and by the end of every year I have a pile of clothes that I never wear anymore, so instead of throwing my clothes away we donate them to Goodwill so the clothes will be reused. Reusing is when the goods are used again in a different way. Reusing is such a simple, yet over-looked sustainability concept that could save our environment. The C2C activity taught me that there are so many ways that we can utilize reusing and recycling to change the things that are making huge negative impacts on the environment in the fashion industry. For example, our learning community said that we would use all recycled plastic for our mannequins and grow our own flowers to use as decorations in our store window instead of buying other artificial flowers. It is simple things like those ideas that could help the environment.
One of my all time favorite stores to shop at is FreePeople. The FreePeople company has an entire section called “vegan leather.” They have a wide variety of products that are made of vegan or recycled leather. They have anything from leather jackets to hats to boots to purses. Along with that, the FreePeople company has a store called Urban Outfitters that is extremely popular. Urban Outfitters has a group of people called their “Urban Renewal Team.” The Urban Renewal team takes old clothing and changes them into new, unique, and vintage clothing items that can be bought online and at Urban stores. It makes me really happy that FreePeople have these sustainability practices because as a brand they have a lot of impact and it makes me want to support them even more as a company.
Our problem for design slam one was the waste that is produced by plastic mannequins after they are thrown away. Our solution was to make a robot mannequin that scans your body and adjusts to your body type. We used the concept of biomimicry by basing the mechanics of our mannequin off of a blowfish. By switching from plastic mannequins to the ‘Humanequin,’ we would reduce the plastic waste exponentially because the ‘Humanequin’ will never needed to be thrown away and is made out of recycled rubber. As a learning community we didn’t need to brain storm because one of the girls in our group had already previously thought of the ‘Humanequin’ idea. I think that our idea was very cool and will go along well with expanding technologies in the fashion industry. Personally, the concept of our ‘Humanequin’ seems a bit far fetched but it would be extremely cool if eventually robot mannequins are used in stores. Other than our idea, learning communities four and learning community five. I really liked learning community four’s idea because I feel like it was the most realistic one. Their idea was to do a completion between dorms on campus to see who can use the least amount of energy and whoever wins gets a little off of their tuition or more money added to their meal plan. The extra money they would give to the winners would come from all the money OSU would save from their electricity bill being cheaper. Learning community five’s idea was to create a green house as their store front. I really liked this idea because of how outside of the box the idea was. Even though there were some problems with their idea, I thought it was very well thought through and could potentially become a reality. Doing this design slam brought to my attention how many sustainability problems that could be fixed if someone would just sit down and actively address the problem.