This past week in Sustainability we went over topics such as cradle to cradle (C2C), waste= food concept, Life’s principles, and more. C2C is a biomimetic concept that a product is designed to function efficiently while at the same time designed in such a way that it can be broken down at the end of it’s lifecycle and that EVERY part can be upcycled or repurposed. A way that I could upcycle could be me taking an old shirt that I don’t use anymore and breaking it down to it the threads and then remaking it into another piece of clothing that I now might wear. The 3 design protocol tenets of C2C are Use current solar income, celebrate diversity, and waste=food. The waste = food has been popularized by industries like apparel and interiors, because it is a way to make products more efficient. This concept has a lot to do with recycling and reusing, which breaks down to two categories; Biological metabolism and technological metabolism. Both material metabolisms in an effort to either design things to decompose safely or to reuse them infinitely.
Using C2C our learning community had to do an exercise demonstrating the fundamentals of the merchandising field in which sustainability can be applied through in-store window displays. For our materials we decided to use mushroom plastic for the decorations and using virtual mannequins in the window display. By having virtual mannequins, retailers can change outfit designs, styles, etc. while not having to use new materials. If it were to be an outside mall store display, then the use of solar panels for lights will be utilized instead of other energy sources. From this activity I learned that it is not difficult to incorporate sustainable designs, you just have to have the knowledge of what to use, how to use them, and where to get the resources.
A retail company that I have a high interest in would be Nike. After researching their sustainable practices I actually found out that they are doing a lot through their business to become more sustainable in their work. On their website I found great information about them becoming more sustainable with their waste, energy, chemical, and water use. Just with their waste they have focused on eliminating waste through more efficient product design and manufacturing technologies. In FY15 alone, 54 million pounds of factory scrap was transformed into premium materials used in Nike performance footwear and apparel. In footwear manufacturing, we diverted 92% of total waste from landfill and incineration without energy recovery. Here I am adding a link of facts and videos that I think many would finding interesting about Nike’s sustainable practices. http://about.nike.com/pages/sustainable-innovation
This week we also did our first Design Slam. In this design slam we were to get with our learning communities and solve the topic issue presented to us. Our issue was the over use of plastic bags. We had to create awareness, repurpose existing bags, how to address the issue, and find 3 different stakeholders then provide strategies for each. We decided how we would create awareness would be to encourage and give discounts to people that would bring their own bags into the stores. We would also put recycling bins outside the stores, making it easier for people to recycle. Another way to create awareness would be to put signs up in the windows of these stores listing the facts and stats of plastic bags, how bad they are for our world. We decided that our first stakeholder would college students. We would encourage these students to make DIY bags from their old t-shirts. The second stakeholder would be retail stores. In these retail stores they would offer no bags at all, instead they would only offer baskets and carts for their customers. The last stakeholder that we came up with was manufacturers of bags. We would have the manufactures make only bags our of recycled material such as paper. I really enjoyed working with my team on this activity. I feel like we executed our problem well and came up with great solutions. Two other group that I enjoyed were Shopping Clean and #OSUCLOTHINGSWAP. Shopping Clean did a great job of presenting us ways in which business can become more sustainable. One example that they used to encourage people to become more sustainable was by having benefits for those shoppers that would recycle through their store. What I found interesting about #OSUCLOTHINGSWAP is that I could actually see this working here on campus. Using social media to inform student of these clothes swaps I think would be a hit. I know I would attend these events because I always have clothes that I am trying to get rid of.