Fashion has always ran my life. I am an avid buyer and search for the best deals. I came to college knowing I wanted to be a buyer for stores all over. After reading and listening about how many problems are caused by the fashion world , it is hard for me to overlook the sustainability issues. There are many wicked problems in the fashion world and why would I want to be a part of it? When reading the article about fashion and sustainability, that hope and joy was returned to me because the pros of the industry outweighed the cons. A good point the article brought up was that if the industry had no competitors, businesses would less likely be willing to be environmentally stable and have good human welfare. The reason is because without competitors they have no reason to compete to have the best products, but with competitors there is more of a drive to have the best working business.. People are able to create and let out their emotions through fashion. This is because the creators, the buyers, the business owners all experience the ingenuity, innovation, and creativity aspects of their job. They just have to be creative and explore new possibilities. Although the implications of designing and selling more, is hurting our environment, there are smarter ways to go about it. How can we devise a plan to dispose of materials in a better way? We can start making long lasting products to better the earth because there is no space for the amount of waste we produce. Leyla, who gave the TED Talk was explaining this. She explained that the landfills we have actually make the trash stay longer and not able to emit the right gasses into the earth. So the gasses being emitted are actually very bad for humans. So why would we keep putting trash into landfills? We know it’s a huge problem so it doesn’t make since to keep putting trash into the problem, accelerating the gas emittance. Leyla talked about how if we closed the problem loop we would stop throwing so much away. Closing the problem loop is just creating something with the mindset of disassembly. So if the designers of a product thought about the afterlife of their product, it would benefit our landfill waste and begin to clear up the problem. It was very interesting for me to see how well the reading and Leyla’s TED talk correlated. At the end of the day they both had talk about the problems in production.
Leyla’s TED talk also touched on the poverty and how they contribute to the waste in landfills. Most of what she said was about other countries, they burn their own way and it emits bad gasses, but they don’t contribute to the waste going into the landfills. Having this example as a background for the reading was helpful because the reading was difficult to follow. I began asking myself many questions about the article, it wasn’t about what the problem was but mostly the possible ways to fix it. This made reading the article hard to be able to pick off points that would be a good conversation starter in the discussion. I don’t think people in poverty make the landfills worse or contribute more to them, that’s because they most likely use all their resources before throwing them out. They don’t have the expenses to throw perfectly good items away. This reading helped me correlate biophilia to how the poverty view life. People in poverty want to love their life, and because they are surrounded by nature, they are able to see the beauty within that. Making their love stronger so they don’t want to hurt the Earth
The video, Story of Stuff, was so interesting. It went through what stages the products goes through. The saddest part is where the materials come from and what taking those materials cause in other people’s homes. We are taking so many resources from others that it forces them out and have to live in the slumps of the cities, working in the toxic factories. Most workers in the toxic factories are women who are fertile. This is very important because, all the toxins hurt the woman by ingesting them. Making the work she does inside the factory harmful for her and her soon to be child. Companies tend to externalize the products and make them cheaper for the buyers. This is a huge problems because who is the one paying for the price of production verses the price the items is being sold at? It doesn’t make sense, if a products cost of production is $5, the cheapest the product could ever be on the marker for would be $5. That is because no company wants to have debt, so if they are being sold at a lower price, whose pocket is all that money coming from? We also only keep 1% of the products we purchase after six months. This contributes to more disposal, we all produce 4 ½ lbs. of trash per day. Where does all that trash go? We either export it or burn it here. Both effect the world in some way. This is exactly why the government needs to stop doing whatever the companies are wanting and start being for the people again. That is the only way the companies will stop wasting and externalizing so much.
Researching the sustainability issues within the fast fashion market is very interesting because of all the problems. I am excited to continue my search through the final project and hopefully this will help me further my career. Knowing the problems will help prevent the repercussions. People need to know more about the problems with fast fashion to help the processes. I have become more aware of my surroundings and when I’m shopping I do now look into the websites and how they produce their clothes. It interests me because I want to see who is doing the best job with sustainability issues.