Sustainability is an important aspect of the fashion industry, and needs to become even more important, now more than ever. Many companies and manufacturers are finally starting to realize how important this subject is and the harm that can be done if it is ignored. Fashion and textiles is one of the most polluting industries in the world. To me, sustainability is the act of reducing and reusing materials to benefit the environment; to create a system to aid the world we live in. Being sustainable is thinking of ways to be innovative and create things without hurting the environment. In order to be sustainable, we need to find a harmony between the people and nature. We need to change ourselves and our every day habits to make this world a healthier, better place.
The 11th Hour
In class, we watched the movie, the 11th Hour. This film opened my eyes to many things I did not expect. I never sat down and thought about how we were ruining our Earth one day at a time, many of us without noticing. While watching the film, I learned many ways of how the industrial revolution instigated an environmental crisis. Forests were being cut down to build factories; and our natural resources were quickly becoming depleted. Hazardous chemicals were being put into our air, and we were removing ocean life from the waters. I thought it was interesting to see the break down of climate change, especially with all the natural disasters that are occurring lately. I enjoyed listening to some of the proposed sustainable design approaches as well. The idea of these new designs is to become less destructive, and more sustainable; less about the visual design, and more about the structure and internal logic. This movie helped me realize that we as humans are causing these crises in the world, and we need to change our ways. Overall, this movie motivated me to change my ways as an individual and make it a goal to be sustainable each and every day.
Fashion and Sustainability
With having such a large fashion industry, we contribute to 7% of the world’s exports and are worth over 11 trillion dollars. With the amount of textiles produced and used in the industry, it is easy to become unsustainable. The industry is using an excessive amount of water to grow crops and to dye and finish products. There are harmful chemicals being applied to fabrics that can cause irreversible damage to the environment. This is causing unsafe working conditions and concerns for the fashion industry. Animal cruelty is becoming an issue due to the animals’ fur being used for products. Factory workers are at risk; our world that we live in is at risk. We need to change our habits on clothing care, recycle our clothing, and reduce packaging. Manufacturers and companies need to get a handle on their supply chain, support the standards that have been put into place, and make sure they are known throughout their company, and develop lines that incorporate sustainability, such as organic products. We need to raise awareness, change our habits, and take better care of our world.
I thought the wild things exercise was a fun way to see other people’s opinions in the class on sustainability and our issues in the world. It was cool to add on to each group’s activity and learn more about the class as a whole. I liked discussing the wild ideas people came up with to fix the said issues. While interacting with my community members, I learned a lot about their views on the industry and how they thought we could be more sustainable as a whole. It was interesting to see what was important to all of us, and what bothered us.
After answering the questions to find out my carbon footprint, I realized I needed to do better on how I am using my resources. My habbit was 6.2 tonnes, when an ideal habbit is 2 tonnes. Some factors leading to my high carbon footprint are using a lot of electricity and using a lot of steel cans, cardboard, and plastic. I also live in a household where laundry is done frequently, and could probably be reduced. In order to reduce my footprint, I need to turn off the lights and reduce the amount of waste I am creating, and when I do create it, I need to recycle recyle recycle!
Lessons from Easter Island and the Dust Bowl
Easter Island, being one of the most inhabited places on Earth, was a grim area of the world. The island had few resources, and little ability to make use of them. It lacked fresh water, plants, and animals. Eventually, the island’s society suddenly collapsed. The island was eventually deforested, which caused many negative effects. The islanders never figured out a system to aid their island, and the limited resources eventually depleted. This is an accurate representation of the world we live in today in many ways. We continue to use up our resources, when eventually there will be none left. Then what do we do? We have altered our world in a negative way, just like the islanders did. We need to become more aware and sustainable, so our society does not collapse like Easter Island’s did.
The Dust Bowl was a drought that occurred across the southern plains during the 1930’s. This disaster killed many individuals and livestock. Crops were ruined and farming families lives were changed for the worse. I believe it was a natural disaster, but was also caused by many man-made decisions and factors. There were changes in the weather, and farmers began to overplow their land. When crop prices plummeted, farmers felt the need to harvest more. At the beginning of the drought, crops began to fail and there was ton of overplowed land. The soil began to blow away with the high winds since there was no grass to hold it in place. Because of this, the dust storms were partially man-made in my opinion.
My Sustainable Journey
Throughout the first two weeks of lecture, I found myself becoming interested in the class and intrigued by our discussions. This is turn has caused me to want to become a more sustainable individual. It has made me more conscious of my surroundings and what I can do to benefit them. Over the next few months, I am going to make it a goal to reduce the amount of waste I create. I want to recycle, clothing and other materials. I will make an effort to make my world a better place. I am excited to see where all this class takes me on my journey, and what it brings close to my heart in the industry and my everyday life.