Are We Doing the Best We Can?

My biggest take away from Wicked Problems is a changed perspective. Through the mindful practices and material covered in class, this course really opened my eyes to the reality of the world around me, especially in relation to my future career in the fashion industry.

Though many areas of sustainability were covered in the past four weeks, the concepts concerning consumerism and fashion stuck with me the most. I truly believe that in order to make any significant change, society as a whole must shift its paradigm. I think this could be accomplished by redefining the way people look at fashion. Instead of automatically throwing out our old clothes when we buy something new, we could stop and consider if we could restyle our current clothes and possibly even use the new item to do so. I have started doing this already, and I have felt my perspective shift because of it. Also, instead of going straight to the mall when I feel like my wardrobe is missing something, I check my mom’s and my sister’s closets first. If it’s an article that I need for a one-time occasion, then I can simply borrow it, or if it’s something that I need for multiple uses, my mom or sister are likely already tired of it and happy to let me have it. These approaches have inspired me to be more creative and unique in my outfit choices while also saving unwanted clothes from ending up in landfills. Another concept that is exciting to me is the idea of using unwanted garments to create new, “fashionable” clothing. I think that doing this could lead to creative and innovative designs and even usher in a new era of fashion.

One of the ideas that really stuck out to me from The Eleventh Hour was that we are doing the best we can with the knowledge that we have. I feel like this is true because before this class I was tragically unaware of the wicked problems that surround me every day, but now that I know I am more inspired to take action and do my part. I think other people are likely in the same position, and this somewhat ties into the question that Dr. Armstrong asked us on the last day of class: “What is your source of hope?” For me, my source of hope is believing that people have an innate desire to survive and perform acts of good. I do think that the focus on consumerism has obscured our desire to be as good to each other and our planet as we should be, but I still believe that desire is there, and if we shifted our paradigm to more sustainable behavior then it would eventually become dominant again.

So are we really doing the best we can? We are trying, and that’s great, but I feel we can continue to do better. We have to become more informed to do so though. I think sustainable fashion and various forms of media could be used to spread this information. I also believe that educating people at a younger age would be very beneficial too. If we were taught to practice more sustainable methods at a younger age, it would be second nature to us, and we wouldn’t have to worry about making such drastic changes now. This class has inspired me to start making more sustainable choices in my everyday life, and I look forward to continuing to learn about how I can make a difference and being inspired to make changes to improve our future.

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