Is Recycling Helping?

While on my sustainability journey I read about the history of Easter Island. Easter Island is warning and cautionary tale for our world today. They were natives of intelligence and were progressing thoughts and ideas in their society until their ideas went past their number of resources. Much like society today we are pushing for innovation at the cost of our limited resources like the people of Easter island. They only had a limited number of resources on the island and they used them up. If we continue on this path, we will run out of resources very soon and end up being as barbaric as the islanders were when explores found them.

In fast fashion the key problem is the amount of less quality materials and construction of each garment, however like most wicked problems there are many different problems which all effect the other. As consumer behavior becomes increasingly more in tune with instant gratification fast fashion companies what to keep up with the trends which means 10s of lines coming out per year of cheaply made garments. The problem here is with the solution because there are several, but synthetic fibers/fabrics are imbedded into our society because of the cheaper price. The responsibility of mapping activity was important because it allowed me to see how my progress in my sustainability journey.

A dream I have for the fashion industry is to introduce upscaling to generation z and millennials. Most of fast fashion is tailored to younger generations so they are used to the throwing away garments when ripped. They see garments as having very little shelf life so when introduced to a way where they get to have more creative freedom over what their garments look like because they are basically the designers of something uniquely theirs is what I want for the fashion industry. In today’s fashion world everybody dresses the same and has little self-expression so introducing upscaling would be very beneficial.

I have seen changes in my daily life. I have had conversations with my mom about what we as a family can do to reduce our carbon footprint in small ways just to help. I pride myself on recycling and I heard a commercial which stated that only 9% of what is recycled is actually recycled and the other 91% is trashed. I was so mad because I thought I was doing my part in getting plastics out of areas where it does need to be and helping in the effort of using waste to create new things but that’s not what’s happening. I want to make small changes in my household because I know for certain that I am helping the environment in some capacity.

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