In week 5, on Tuesday, we had the opportunity to travel to the Botanical Gardens and spend the afternoon having class there. I loved doing this because it gave me a real life example of what we discuss in class. I was able to witness nature first hand, and able to interact with it. This was an awesome and different experience for me. It actually gave me the idea to go out there more often and spend time doing homework while enjoying my surroundings. On Thursday, we did the design slam in class. This was an interesting assignment for me. This assignment was a little stressful at first because of the time restraints that were placed on us. I think overall we came up with a great solution to our presented problem.
Going to the Botanical Gardens was definitely something I will remember from this class. I got a lot out of this experience, and took away a lot that relates to the class. I realized that there is a lot to do and experience with the nature around us. Sometimes I get carried away in the hustle and bustle of my busy college days, and forget to take the time to stop and enjoy my surroundings. This assignment helped me to remember to do so. I enjoyed relating nature to the activity and experiencing how others did as well. This assignment related to my sustainable journey in a variety of ways. I was able to relate the environment to my career field, and think of ways to become more sustainable in the industry. We took the functions of a jacket, and related them to the functions of a tree. We also thought of sustainable solutions to replace products in our field. One thing that stood out to us was the ugly power lines that ran through the gardens. Because of this, we proposed the idea to convert all energy of factories to solar energy. With our industry being the 2nd largest unsustainable industry in the world, this would conserve energy and help tremendously. Overall, I enjoyed this activity and got a lot out of it.
For the design slam, our learning community was presented with the idea of starting a social media campaign to raise awareness and help modify behaviors that contributed to sustainability. We came up with the idea to contact inspirational fashion bloggers and have them put on a contest for young designers. Our campaign, “Seven Days of Sustainability,” would aim to target young fashionistas and inspire them to become more sustainable in the retail industry. Each day these bloggers would post about a way to modify everyday activities to become more sustainable, and how they went about doing so. Throughout the seven days, contestants would have to post on their social media different examples of how they were being sustainable. For instance, one day they would be required to take old clothing to a retailer to recycle and explain how they would personally aim to close the loop on clothing waste. Finally, at the end of the seven days, the top five performing contestants that had proven that they had modified their behaviors to become more sustainable would have the opportunity to go to New York Fashion Week. They could then go on to intern for one of the famous bloggers and have their designs showcased if they continued to prove they were modifying their behaviors. I feel as if my learning community brainstormed and developed a great idea.
It was interesting to hear other learning community’s pitches for their presented problems as well. After listening to each group, the two that stood out to me the most were learning community 1 and learning community 13. Learning community 1 created a narrative called, “Sally’s Short Lived Shirt.” I thought this was a creative and memorable way to teach about sustainable practices. Sally purchased a shirt at Forever 21 for a date, and ended up having a terrible time. Because of her bad date, she could not stand to look at the shirt any longer and threw it away. They then related this to sustainability and ways to practice better behaviors instead of throwing the t-shirt away. I enjoyed their pitch a lot. The second group, learning community 13, came up with the idea “Toss2Treasure.” The problem they were presented with was that their roommate continuously bought new clothes and threw the old away. They came up with three solutions to their issue. Toss2Treasure discussed trading old clothes for new, using old clothes to create new, and selling old clothes for money. My favorite of the three was using old clothes to create new. This relates to the concept of upcycling that we have been discussing in class and I found it very interesting. Each learning community presented great ideas, but these were two of my favorite. Overall, this activity was a fun way to hear others sustainable ideas and learn how to apply them to our journey.