Blog 4: Design WITH nature. Design FOR nature.

Week 5 of class was so much fun! I felt like we had so much freedom as learning communities to truly put what we have learned over the past few weeks in sustainability class to the test. Getting to spend class at the botanical garden on Tuesday was such a great opportunity. Being able to be outside and amongst nature when we were doing our activity really helped a lot. When doing an activity that asks us to relate it back to nature or to get inspiration from nature, like this activity did, it is truly not the same when you are trapped in a classroom. It makes me wonder what our answers would have been if we did the activity inside instead of at the botanical garden! Being with my learning community, who are all merchandising students like me, and being in nature, allowed me to really submerge myself into the activity and the questions that were being asked that had us relate our field of merchandising to nature and vice versa! One of my biggest takeaways from this activity was that being outside and in nature can really open your mind and help you think. It opens up a whole new door of creativity. The environment you choose to surround yourself in will impact the way you think. Knowing this will contribute immensely to my sustainable journey. Nature is beautiful and I want to continue to surround myself in this type of environment that gives me an open mind and the only way to keep the beauty of nature around is to start living a more sustainable life!

Tuesday’s class was a breath of fresh air (literally) and I think it opened our minds and prepared us for Thursday’s design slam! In my learning community, we had to come up with a narrative for a garment considering where it came from and where it will be in 50 years from now. Tuesday’s class prepared us for this question because we were already relating the fashion industry to our environment, so it was fresh on our minds. I think our learning community put a unique and funny twist to our problem/solution with our story of, “Sally’s Short Lived Shirt.” It was fun getting to bounce ideas off of each other that created this story of Sally and the bad date she went on that ended up causing her shirt to be thrown away which then lead to her shirt being tossed in a landfill. Even though this was a funny story, silly situations like this happen all the time that result in an item of clothing being thrown away! Our solution that we came up with was the DHM clothing recycle bin. We thought that maybe we could have a group of DHM students be in charge of this recycling community that collects unwanted clothing around campus. Instead of Sally just throwing away her shirt, she could give it to the DHM clothing recycle bin. This idea could be applied to colleges and high schools around the world!

I would like to give a shout out to learning community 4! They definitely had my first place vote in the design slam with their idea of Conserge. I often find myself wondering how I could live a more sustainable life which leads me to think I wish I knew how to live more sustainably by doing things like conserving energy. I know for sure that I pointlessly use way too much energy, just because I am not aware! I would love to have an app that tells me where my energy consumption is going and how I could improve it and the fact that it would be able to control itself is even better! Way to go learning community 4!

Another idea that stood out to me was leaning community 7’s idea, “Virtual U.” I think they proved that they are headed in the right direction because this is where the retail fashion industry is heading. Having interactive holographic mannequins that show you what you would look like in a store’s clothing without actually trying it on would be AMAZING. Not only would this benefit the consumer, but it would also benefit the store AND the environment. The store would draw in more people and they could recycle their mannequins and never have to use them again. This would eliminate waste for the environment and decrease cost for the store. Great idea, learning community 7!

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