Can We Use Fashion Towards Poverty?

Fashion just by itself automatically has a negative connotation towards the environment. Trends happen so quick now, they just simply seem wasteful and unmeaningful. We saw that in past readings, that fashion could actually be essential to solving environmental degradation, we need that creativity, energy, and innovation we get from fashion. It has the power to revolutionize how we make, manufacture, and distribute items and materials. Could this idea of fashion also be used in this week’s readings? I definitely think there is a possibility. This week I was assigned with reading the “NO” article, essentially meaning that poverty is not a direct cause of environmental degradation. The author, John Amber, made it clear that there are too many confounding variables that play into environmental degradation and it is not a solution to blame it on poverty. Though he also brought up how poverty could actually help the environment. This includes reforming cities and policies that allow poorer communities the chance for employment and sustainable homes and buildings. I think the concept of fashion, creating new sustainable lifestyles for poorer communities, is what Amber was suggesting. Obviously, it is important to note that poorer communities do contribute to environmental degradation. However, they are not able to change their lifestyles as they can not even meet their basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter. At this point, it comes to those in power and with the ability and resources to reform poorer communities. Policies must be made that limit larger corporation’s corrupt practices and encourage them to change to sustainable practices. We can use fashion to help with this. Fashion has the possibility to transform poverty. Through fashion, we can discover new ways of building sustainable homes and buildings. We can also find new jobs that are suitable to poorer communities and increase employment rates. Though can only happen at the expense of our personal desire for material items. Eventually, we have to hit a turning point where we put our time, resources, and money towards research to find alternative resources and sustainable solutions. Today in society, it is a sad reality that large companies won’t change their practices, even if they are unethical. It is rooted in desire for profit and extreme wealth. Those in power must be the ones who take accountability and start a change towards sustainable practices that poorer communities can also adapt. This also correlates to mindfulness. We have to be aware of where our energies and incentives are coming from. If we do not hold ourselves accountable and constantly point fingers we can not ever face change. This week, I think everything we have learned so far can be applied to poverty. It is time we understand poorer communities are open to practicing sustainability, and we need to help encourage that. 

Now shifting to my reflections on mindfulness, it was more of a challenge this week. I completely believe in all the benefits of mindfulness and I practice it daily, but I will say 10 minutes was definitely more challenging than five minutes a day. Meditating for 10 minutes though did relax me more and reduced anxiety related symptoms. Though it was hard at times to carve out 10 minutes of my day to just sit and have quiet time, I truly did appreciate how it helped with my stress and overall well-being.

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