The outdoor activity asked for many things in connection with nature. It had five parts. The first part asked us to list functions of a building, jacket, and a tree. It then asked us to connect all of the functions that they have in common. We stated that holding things was a function that they all have, protection from the environment was something they all have, and providing a sense of comfort is something they all have as well as many other qualities. This part wasn’t particularly difficult for our group, although it took some time to come up with the functions that connect all together. Part two asked us to reflect on other products that we use in our field, and to look around us and come up with solutions that nature provides as alternatives. We discussed dyes as one. Dyes in clothing are extremely harmful man made colors for the most part. Nature does however, provide materials that we can utilize as dyes in clothing. Part three asked us how we are blinded by the actions that impact the environment. We spoke about how we all have this inherent need for the most trendy item. When we have this need unfortunately we do not think about how this trendy item was produced and just how it can affect the environment. We also talked about environmental challenges. Some environmental challenges listed for example were high levels of CO2 and greenhouse gases, and pollutions of oceans, water, and air. We stated that we wanted to address these issues by creating substitutions for Styrofoam as well as plastic. Part fours objective was to find items in nature. We all went out to find pictures and found them all successfully. Based on the two pictures both L and M, we were to think of how we will use something we like and dislike to create a sustainable solution to a unique challenge in the apparel-merchandising field. We came up with apparel production companies that can help reduce water waste by using nature dyes to stop polluting water. Part five was to think of a tree and its functions. We were asked to draw parallels to industrial ecology and discuss how we could use these principles and lessons learned from a tree as a model to increase the market competitiveness and stability with less impact to the environment for an apparel or interior product of a store environment. We stated that we could use principles three and four. Principle three was to gather and use energy efficiently. A tree’s leaves are positioned in a way to maximize exposure of the sun with some of the leaves moving to catch more exposure. We decided that we could use the solar powered energy that already exists and utilize this to harvest only the energy we need as a company. Principle four is to optimize rather than maximize. Tree’s start by growing rapidly to gain the bulk of its existence and then slows down and lives within its means. If we used the means of materials through upcycling or recycling we could bring a new life to materials that are already there for us to use.
The Lola show presentations were very insightful. They gave me a ton of information that I did not know before, and introduced me to a variety of companies that I could use. One student brought the attention of a company that cleans the ocean using carpet tile. They spoke about the dangers of even netting in the ocean. They spoke about a companies called Interface and Aquafill that aids other companies in closing the loop for the oceans sake. Interface is the worlds largest commercial carpet. They are aided by Aquafill. Interface wants to make the ocean a more stable place for its inhabitants so they developed a modular carpet for the ocean in order to protect the inhabitants of the ocean. Another topic that was introduced was companies that were certified in the cradle-to-cradle concept. To be cradle-to-cradle certified it takes many steps. Any company that is certified has to be re-certified every two years. Within this concept the speaker spoke about G-Diapers. They are biodegradable and compostable diapers. They are a combination of pants and inserts and the inserts can be flushed or can be composted if they are wet diapers only. G-Diapers are certified in cradle-to-cradle. I think the certification is important because sustainability is becoming more and more of an issue that people are aware of today. The cradle-to-cradle concept is becoming more of an important concept, which is amazing. The two-year re-certification is a good thing because it keeps companies wanting to better themselves and their companies in order to continue to be certified.