During class last week we discussed how fashion relates to sustainability. With fast fashion and fads constantly circulating and renewing, we are creating massive pollution through the production and disposal of these garments. This rate of change in fashion is good for the economy but bad for our environment. This topic hits pretty close to home because before starting this class I was totally immersed in the fast fashion rage. I bought almost all of my clothing from places like Forever 21 and Zara. As these companies produce aesthetically appealing clothing, they do not create these garments to last more than a little while. They want you to throw it out and buy the next trend; buy more for cheap. In order to produce clothing at this fast rate, heavy pollution is created, more garments are wasted after being used, and child labor is often taken advantage of. I have gotten to learn more about this topic as it relates to my investigative paper. Now that I am educated on the truth behind these companies, I know that the mindset of the entire industry needs to shift. Garments need to be created with sustainability in mind.
Although sustainability is not talked about nearly as much as it should be, people still have knowledge of it and are more conscious of it now more than ever. I believe that as people’s awareness of environmental issues rises they will be more willing to pay for products that are merchandised as sustainable. There is something to be said about people that care about and respect our environment and I believe people are latching onto this idea. If this continues we can then view fashion as a stepping stone to a more sustainable world rather than a setback.
After watching The Story of Stuff I realized how much we don’t see when it comes to where our trash goes and how products are produced. It is astonishing to learn how much damage we are causing to our environment and to people. I was also astonished by the reading on poverty. To blame the poor for our environmental issues does not sit right with me. In many cases, especially in third world countries, the people once were self-sustaining and lived off the land. We then came in and stripped the land of its resources and caused these people to turn towards another, a less sustainable way of life. I resonated most with the win-win solution of providing land and resources back to them so that they could once again be self-sustaining. This would help our environment as well as provide resources to them for survival.
Leyla’s Ted Talk made me realize that what you think is sustainable may not actually be. An example of this is the plastic versus the paper shopping bags. She also shared how we could create new systems that are more environmentally friendly; we have the knowledge and the resources to do so. This really resonated with me because it made me realize that there is more we could be doing but we aren’t. A lot of this should be emphasized on companies and how they create their products. These companies and we as a society need to focus our energy on being less wasteful and more sustainable as a whole.
My sustainability journey has progressed greatly since being in this class. I feel not only more mindful but more aware of what it means to be sustainable. I now try to recycle and practice a more environmentally friendly life.