When we are thinking about the relationship between fashion and sustainability, we usually do not think of it as a good relationship. Because fashion is all about what is the latest fad is and what is trendy at that point in time. It can be very wasteful and harmful to our environment. But it does not have to always be like that. We could make fashion a key element to making our world more sustainable. Fashion is extremely popular and everyone wants to jump on the new trends. So, when designing clothes, we can use more recyclable fibers and fabrics and if we designed clothes with a sense of humility and realization that fads come and go we could use the newness and materialistic values that fashion provides into a more sustainable way of living.
Sustainability sounds like a quick and easy fix to making our world a better place to live, but in Leyla Acargolu TED talk, she assures you that changing your ways to a more sustainable lifestyle is actually really hard. People just think that you can just get the eco-materials, but it’s actually a lot more complex than that, because at some point everything comes from nature. It’s not what materials you use, it is how you use those materials that really has the greater impact on the environment.
If we can figure out how to use our resources in a more sustainable, environment friendly way, we can cut back on our Environmental Degradation. Environmental Degradation is the loss of environmental quality from things such as pollutants, improper land use and natural disasters. Poverty is believed to be one of the main causes of this because the poor are forced into unsustainable practices; conservation of the environment is considered to be a luxury. In undeveloped countries they have to focus more on economic development. But, there is a way to improve both, economic development and the environment. If we could give the poor control over key environmental resources and offer a way to protect the current assets that they already have then we could help them in their sustainability journey. There is a way to balance sustainability and economic development.
There is also a way to balance sustainability and fashion. In the line of work that I want to go in, fashion, there are so many non-renewable resources being used. These resources are killing our environment! Many people in the fashion world are unaware of it too. So many non-reusable fabrics are just being thrown out and polluting the earth. But, if we focus more on the TED 10 way of designing we can eliminate some of the pollution that we suffer from. The TED 10 are 10 different ways to design more sustainable things, such as, design to minimize waste, cyclability, to reduce chemical impacts, to reduce energy and water use, design that explores clean/better technologies, that takes models from nature and history, ethical production, to reduce the need to consume, to dematerialize and develop systems and services, to design activism. If we focus on these things when we design, and make them the new fad, we can make the practice of fashion a more sustainable one.
Coming into this class I was not very sure what sustainability even was or how to include it in my everyday lifestyle. But, now I am confident that I know what sustainability is and how I can incorporate it into my daily life. I find myself recycling more and making sure that what I am recycling is what is supposed to be recycled, I am more conscious about how much water I am using, and I am more aware of reusing the products I can, instead of just throwing them away. I think that what made all of these things stick out to me more was that I realized how terrible of shape our world is in today. And that if we do not change our ways, it will just continue to snowball downhill. If we do not change our ways to a more sustainable practice, then our world will be no more.