During week 4 of my sustainable journey I began to confidently envision my future as a sustainable merchandiser. As I studied this weeks lessons and readings I was able to grasp onto the idea of applying biomimicry and industrial ecology to my future profession. Prior to this week, my understanding of the subject terms were still developing and I was not clear on how to specifically apply them to my major. Now I feel inspired to make an environmental impact by redirecting the focus of sustainability to my personal life.
The past weekend I decided to clean out my entire closet to get rid of old clothes in order to make room for new Fall and Winter outfits. As my pile continued to grow I realized that over half of my old clothes could be upcycled and worn again. I started reconstructing my old garments and was able to modify my wardrobe in a sustainable way instead of simply throwing them out. By following the C2C tenets we learned in class, I brainstormed ways to turn my waste into a resource. Although this was just a single independent action, I was proud to admit that I was making personal progress within the waste hierarchy.
The world will see an environmental change once everybody focuses on designing to recycle and reuse. The 5 principles discussed in class taught us the important dynamics to committing to a sustainable environment. By implementing these principles into the work environment, as Michael Pawlyn did in his architecture, then we will begin to see the changes in business structure. Creating a natural capital requires respect and attention towards the beauty of our natural earth. As Merchandisers we may focus solely on the reconstruction of a garment to make an impact, but there are additional aspects to building a sustainable image than just that. During class we completed an assignment with our learning community, which was to redesign a merchandise store display in a sustainable way. Apart from making the clothes recyclable, we designed the layout to consist of no glass windows and hung our garments on wooden mannequins. This way customers could also trace the store image back to being the “sustainable store,” which then increases natural marketing competencies. This activity helped me understand that looping the 5 principles together can make a much bigger impact than just executing only one.
At the end of the week, whether you are recycling materials for garment end use or stimulating industrial ecology within big corporations, you are still making an impact. As I continue to learn, I hope to enhance my natural design process in addition to acquiring more sustainable practices. After the effects that the past two lectures had on my sustainable journey, I am eager to acquire more information about eco-friendly design.