The End is Near!

I can’t believe the time has come for me to write my final blog, yet again. I remember enrolling in sustainability last semester, while I was in problem solving, thinking about what else I would learn on the specific subject of sustainability. It has been an interesting journey, and I definitely have a different outlook on the word sustainability and the class as a whole after the semester.

Prior to taking both problem solving and this class, I would just be able to tell you that being sustainable was recycling and “going green.” Now that I have (almost) two semesters of sustainable like courses under my belt, I think of the term much differently. I would now define sustainability as the act and effort to reduce the use of resources and waste to benefit our environment and industries; working as a group with a main goal of being more efficient and worthy to our Earth. We, as humans, need to reflect on our actions more and take into account on how we could make the world a better, safer place. If we all worked together to become more sustainable and aware, we would have a much more enjoyable environment to live in. I believe sustainable design is designing something with sustainable practices in mind that will help the design in turn benefit the environment. It is reflecting on the resources you are using for your design, and thinking about how it is going to affect the Earth and industry. As I previously mentioned, my outlook on the course and my knowledge of the terms has changed over the semester. I am happy I have had that opportunity to gain a greater knowledge on the subject.

Throughout the course of the semester, I have learned a lot on different subjects pertaining to sustainability. When thinking back on my journey through the semester, there is still one thing in particular that sticks out to me from the beginning, the movie The 11th hour. This movie definitely put the negative affects we have on our environment into perspective for me. It was insane to think of all the damage we cause by being careless, and the horrible effects that come with it. That was definitely an “aha” moment for me when realizing I needed to become more sustainable. Another topic that sticks with me is the act of closing the loop, especially when dealing with the fashion industry. I thought it was an interesting concept to dwell on, and think of ways of how we could actually close the loop. Personally, I have noticed retailers who are trying to close the loop after we discussed the topic. One company that sticks out to me in particular when discussing this subject is H&M. They offer a discount if you bring in old clothing for them to recycle. Their sustainable fashion line has helped them collect over 32,000 tons of threads and reuse them, not to mention the countless amount of clothes they have had brought in. When reflecting on the semester, it has been a journey. I am glad I have gotten to learn about different topics like Biomimicry, the act of recycling and upcycling, active design, and design activism. I believe another topic I have had a variety of different thoughts and learning outcomes from was LOLA shows. I enjoyed getting to listen to students teach on a subject they were knowledgeable on. It was interesting to hear the different views they had on a variety of products, and how they thought their product/industry was sustainable. I am excited for the last round of LOLA shows. Overall, the learning journey I have experienced in this class was something I will remember and apply to my life in the future.

 Knowing what I know now, I would like to apply my knowledge in the real world/industry and learn more about companies that do the same. When searching for a job next year, I will investigate their sustainability practices. I would like to know more about the industry side of sustainability, especially since I am involved in fashion. Coming up with new ways to be sustainable in the industry and applying them is something I would take interest in. I think it would also be interesting to learn tips on how to be sustainable when opening your own company. Since my knowledge level on the subject was low coming into the course, I don’t believe there is anything I expected to learn coming into this class that I didn’t throughout the course of the semester. I was pleased with the course and my journey throughout the class! Thank you Dr. Jayadas for a great two semesters of learning!

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