I can easily say that the third week of this class was by far the most intriguing one so far. Covering topics such as the interrelationship between fashion and sustainability, the effects poverty has on environmental degradation, and introducing a new form of meditation. The first topic I would like to discuss is the interrelationship between fashion and sustainability.
Fashion is a term that implies change. With polarizing growth within the last decade or so, fashion is one of the leading causes of pollution we have today due to the fast fashion life cycle we have implemented into our society. Individuals might think this is a good indicator of a growing, thriving economy. However, it actually contributes to an overwhelming amount of waste in our environment. Contrary to the effects fashion might have on the environment, we can actually learn a few things from fashion in-regards to sustainability. The term ‘fashion is characterized as being innovative, creates change, and promotes creativity. We can use those key elements to our advantage in terms of our sustainable efforts. Stuart Walker said it best, “to transform our ways from “unsustainable” to “sustainable”, we need to employ those approaches that are precisely characterized by ‘fashion’”. What he means is that in order to increase our sustainability efforts, we need to be innovative and highly creative in order to succeed and cause substantial change in our society. Change can be made in many different ways, but the best approach is to implement it step-by-step, little by little. To many people, change carries a negative connotation to it, making them revolt back to their own, more comfortable ways. Attempting to steer clear of any conflict that might come from change, but if we can modify their behavior little by little. Making them change their perspective inch by inch, we can slowly see change come to fruition.
The second topic that we discussed in class was very interesting and made me think in a more globalized way. We discussed the possible effects poverty has on global environmental degradation. I was tasked with the role of viewing the perspective of a person who thinks poverty certainly plays a role in environmental degradation and it brought up some very intriguing arguments that supports the claim. The poor are usually forced into unsustainable practices in order to create a living for their family or even to financially contribute to the economy. Meaning that they are often forced into farming on marginal lands, deforestation of rain forests, and risking their fragile ecosystems which repeatedly leads to soil degradation and erosion. This makes perfect sense to me because countries that are relatively poor disregard environmental concerns because their lives are at stake. They need to produce for their families and economy in order to survive, so they will go to great lengths to fund that. Disregarding the fact that they are contributing to environmental degradation. The way I see it, poverty does play a significant role in global environmental degradation, but I do think our western philosophies play an even bigger role.
We were introduced a new form of meditation this week and I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. For me, meditation is a way for me to completely unwind and try to keep my focus on being in the moment. This week we were given two objects to hold onto while we go through our routine. In essence, it was nice to meditate with an object because it makes you really feel connected to it. However, I found it extremely hard to focus on my breathing and maintain being in the moment because all I wanted to do was play and twirl around the object(s) I had in my possession. It’s refreshing to learn the various ways one can meditate but I think I’m going to stick with our initial approach since I am a novice in the art of meditation. Like I mentioned above, small incremental steps at a time will contribute to the most change. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to graduate from our initial approach to one that is more challenging.