Enabling the Poor or Controlling the Fashion?

This week I dug deep into the concepts of fashion and poverty as well as the impact my industry has on consumers of all financial status. I learned that fashion is described as a process of change and that process of change often affects the poor class because they are not able to keep up with this continuing change which then often leads to the poor having to use different resources to keep stable. Going into this week, I was really hesitant because the readings seemed to scream negativity of the interior design business and I was scared to learn what impact the industry I want to be in has to consumers of all types. However, reading the articles helped me understand the ways in which I can change some of the habits of the interior design industry as well as painting me a picture of the ways in which poverty can destroy the environment.

In the article over fashion and industry, the author’s main purpose was to explain that fashion is not just clothing, it is a trend in which change occurs in a society and that the change can be transformed into a more sustainable society. I agree with this article completely. Not only because fashion is required in my field but also because I believe that most people are going to follow the social norms regarding fashion. This means that if many companies begin to create a style in which incorporates sustainability, then all of the fashion blogs and magazines will catch on and start raving about sustainable fashion and then it will snowball into a whole new fashion trend. Although this would be great for the new fashion to be sustainable, what happens when the poor are not able to feed into that trend? I pondered on this question all week. There is the amazing side of fashion that can transform the western society but that amazing side may only include those who have which means for those who do not have, they are still using the practices in which degrade the environment. I have still not been able to come up with any ideas to include both fashion and poverty aspects into a solution for sustainability but the first thing I think of when combining fashion and poverty is Kanye West’s clothing line which is a line that includes expensive, torn clothes.

The other reading was about poverty and whether or not it contributes to environmental degradation. I was on the “yes” side which means the main argument the author was arguing was that poverty does lead to environmental degradation. In the article, the author described poverty as vulnerability and deprivation. This stuck out to me because vulnerability to disasters and control has a major impact on the way people live. I would describe the vulnerability of poverty as vulnerable to oblivion, power, control, disasters, and “only way” circumstances. In developing countries, I picture most of the poor to be oblivious to what they are doing to the environment because they do not have the education to know any better. They are also more susceptible to big businesses coming in and controlling them. When the poor are handed their circumstances their only option to survive may be environmentally degrading. To solve this, I think we should try to send educated people to mentor the poor in developing countries as well as give private ownership to companies in the country in order let the poor gain economic stability slowly and focus more on their sustainable practices more than the government would. I came out of this week both more aware of the poverty problem and also very confused because it is hard for me to picture a balance between poverty and fashion.

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