Sustainability to me in May of 2017 is keeping the product of something alive longer than its original life expectancy. It can also mean using the littlest amount of materials to create a product. Personally I think that sustainability is not a specific definition. There are many industries and areas that sustainability is involved in. Within these areas and industries, sustainability could mean different things, but generally it’s about conserving, reusing, and recycling properly. In January of 2017 I thought of recycling being the only thing I knew about sustainability.

Sustainable design to me in May 2017 is designing something to with sustainable practices in mind. Either with sustainable materials or something to stay in the sustainable life cycle. Back in January of 2017 I thought that sustainable design was just designing something that could be recycled. I never thought of a product going past leaving my hands. The afterthought of myself being involved in the process never occurred to me.

Starting off I thought this class would be like creative problem solving. Sustainability class was a more in depth learning about a product and its life cycle plus the terminology and principles that go along with sustainability. Creative problem solving was just a basis on how to think and develop an idea so that this class you can take those principles taught to create a solution to a problem with sustainability in mind.

Recycling is about the only thing that an average person thinks about when being sustainable. I thought this until learning more about the terminology and principles this semester. I now think the process of being sustainable starts with your first thought. I want to be a stainable person from every angle of my life, i.e. clothing, food consumption, every day products, water bottles, and more. I also learned that recycling isn’t just recycling. It is an industrial ecology cycle and I want to keep my products in these for as long as possible. Hoping that a company is well aware of their industrial ecology cycle helps them to be more sustainable as well. The company designs/ produces a product that the consumer will want or use then go to a pre-determined recycling option to help keep the product’s material in the cycle.

Another thing that helps keep a product circling in the cycle is empathic design. If a company designs a product with the consumer in mind, then the consumer will more than likely keep it for a more extended period of time. Yes this does go against today’s fast fashion trend, but think about those staple/ basic items that’s you always need in your closet. Now think about how a lot of millennials are becoming minimalistic and/ or don’t have the space. If you can design something more geared to something I will need for the next 20 years then I will think that I have to have this not just need.

I think this class has made me think more about the overall life cycles that a garment or product goes through. Also, it makes me think twice when I look at an item that I am disposing of.

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