Is there someone we can blame for poor tactics in sustainability? Is that fair to pin the blame on that one single group? This week was definitely one of the heavier topics of discussion thus far and it truly left an impression on me this past week. Our first day in class was centered on the wastefulness of the fashion industry and how it has a very negative impact on our environment. I have always believed that the fashion industry promotes a poor message regarding having “the newest of the new” and how it’s always ever-changing, but that notion generates so much unnecessary waste in our world through over consumers, or me. It left a realization on how much the fashion industry generates mass pollution, whether that is through production, supplies, or the idea of always staying in fashion. The best way to describe my feelings towards this conclusion was just being bummed out. When I thought that was as serious as our discussion was going to go for the week, we had to discuss whether or not the poor are responsible for contributing pollution due to their poor sustainability acts. I wanted to disagree with this idea, but it made sense to me. Now I do not believe that the poor are the sole reason for the degradation of the environment entirely, but most factories are in third world countries, countries that put economic needs first before their environmental needs for the sole reason to survive. Towards the end of Thursday’s class all I could think is, “why did those topics of discussion go hand in hand with each other?” but through some contemplation I think I figured out the answer to my question. Both of these discussions made me uncomfortable and I think that was the reason we had the discussions, we needed to talk about the things that no one considers to be the problem or simply just does not want to bring up. But can both of these problems help each other out?
I spent some time in thinking of possible solutions for my future industry and the poverty issue that is spreading around the world and I believe these issues can benefit each other. The fashion industry should switch to using clean energy, whether that is through solar energy or wind turbines. Renewable energy requires a lot of manpower and would create jobs! Though this idea sounds easier said than done, it would kill two birds with one stone, teaching sustainable practices to those who simply aren’t aware and creating less waste in a wasteful industry. Our future is so promising for those who are lacking the basic needs and all it would require is a change in resources and education. This idea would definitely take many, many, MANY years to fully come to my vision, but think of how much better our world would be! When I start to doubt my industry, I think of my future role and how I would love to employ my passion for sustainability in the fashion industry. Even though I was feeling a bit down about our discussions this week, they have left me feeling truly inspired.