This week our class talked about the effects that the fashion industry had on the environment. I had some prior knowledge about this topic due to my environmental systems class, yet I still learned some new facts. Consumers, such as myself and everyone else, desire to be on-trend 24/7 without a second thought to the behind the scenes process of that product. Discussing back and forth in class about this topic allowed me to realize how serious of a problem it currently is. While I know, it is hard to stop certain habits, one that society needs to stop is following trends. The more popular and talked about a product is, the more desirable it becomes. New trends lead to the remaking of products that we, as a society, do not even need to survive. This process repeats itself when that product becomes “uncool” or “out of style” or when a better version of that product is created, such as iPhones. I know that ending trends and the constant want for something new sounds impossible in a developing world, I believe that it would help the environment tremendously.
Next, we discussed poverty and how that related to environmental degradation. This subject was a little difficult for me to argue because I felt that the article provided was hard to follow. I read and complete the attached assignment the best I could with the given information. Out of all the reading and discussions we have had in the class, I would have to say that this was my least favorite. I did learn new factors and facts about poverty that I had not previously known, but I was not as passionate about this reading and discussion as others. One thing that I did like about this article was when J.B. Opschoor defined poverty as “not a number but a social relationship.” By this, he means that poverty is the result of an inability of people to gain access to life-supporting assets while others are capable of securing the conditions for stable, productive lives.
Additionally this week, we were assigned to continue our meditation practice but up it up to 10 minutes instead of only 5 minutes. One thing that I noticed from the first week of practicing meditation was that it was hard for me to focus. So to try to fix this, I decided to try doing yoga as my meditation instead of just sitting with my eyes closed going through the steps. My roommate already had yoga in her daily routine, so she not only encouraged me to try this method of meditation, but she also kept me accountable. This way of meditation helped reduce my stress and anxiety way more than my original method did. Making the different moves helped my focus because I would have to think about my body and breathing more so than when I was sitting. It also helped me feel healthier physically, not just mentally. While I was experimenting outside of class with meditation, we also tried some new methods in class. One was similar to our routine, yet we added an object; flowers. After we finished our routine, we then moved on to the flower and focused our mind on that. This method also helped because I was still relaxed, not letting thoughts into my head, yet I was allowed to focus my mind on the simple flower.
In the end, I think that I contributed to the class by arguing that the fact of poverty and how it is a factor of environmental degradation as well as how trends are affecting us. A significant factor in the future: What are we as the new and upcoming designers going to do about these problems? Discussing these problems not only helps us improve our daily lives but also the world’s future.