This week’s class has really got me thinking about what our industry has to do with wicked problems. This is the first week that I finally see the clear connection. I mean, I know where we are connected in other ways, but when we were talking about poverty, it really clicked with me. In my mind, it was like some kind of crazy food chain. At the top is the corporations, and at the bottom is the poor who do all the material gathering. When we were talking about if the poor cause environmental degradation, I have my own opinions on this. I feel like if they are causing it by their jobs, what else are they supposed to do? I know mining was one of the jobs mentioned in Thursday’s class, and they can’t just quit their mining job to help save the environment, because they need that income to put food on the table. It’s hard for someone to focus on the bigger picture when they are stressed about their own/their family’s life. When we were talking about mindfulness, I remember that it was brought up that people who weren’t worried about anything had an easier time seeing the ‘bigger picture’. So how are the poor supposed to help save the environment if they can’t even save themselves? That’s one reason why I had the problem buying into the ‘No’ articles solution of letting the poor solve their problems. If they had outside help from richer people, I think it would be easier for them to solve some of these problems.
Another topic of conversation this week was fashion, which also tied in with the overall topic of poverty a bit. It was weird to talk about fashion in the way that we did. I never saw fashion as a dangerous thing until Tuesday. I think that’s because you never hear about how fashion is evil from anyone. Fashion is generally viewed a positive way to express yourself, and that’s still true, but now I know that there’s more to it. Fashion is a tool used by companies to help with their sales, by making trends that become obsolete at some point. This my friends, is the negative side of fashion, and it is not to be messed around with. Useless fashion trends are created and it seems that as soon as it’s created, a new trend is just around the corner it seems. This causes over-consumers to throw out the old trend they just got a few months ago to buy the newer one. The throwing out of perfectly good clothes is extremely wasteful, and all that waste has to go somewhere. Where you may ask? In poorer regions of course. We are degrading our environment by using up so many resources and wasting them for these short-lived trends. It’s mind boggling to think about, and it just leaves me asking ‘why’?
Well companies need to make money somehow, and making these trends is a great way for them to do that. It doesn’t help that there is such high demand for the ‘next big thing’. How can we change this toxic way of being fashionable? In my mind, maybe people can use their older clothes and change them up themselves in some sort of DIY way. To me that sounds like fun, take something old and make it new again. I know you can’t do that with all your old clothes, but it’s certainly a start. Also, instead of throwing out your perfectly old clothes, maybe you can donate them so the poor can get some support as well. Little things like this could really make a difference if we all did it. It’s the little things, AND the little people, that could change the world, and let’s face it, poverty is one of the many trends that isn’t stylish.