The Ongoing Significance of Easter Island and Sustainability

Before reading about Easter Island in this class, I had previous knowledge about the island’s history through research and informative historical television series. However, I never realized the role sustainability, or the lack thereof, played in Easter Island’s story. A point that really stuck out to me was that the people of Easter Island suffered from deforestation, which has been quite an issue in the present. The islanders did not manage their resources wisely, leading to the depletion of the resources, and eventually a major decrease in population; This historical situation poses a lesson to be learned by the present: If we do not protect and preserve our natural resources, society with face detrimental and irreversible consequences and wicked problems. This reading led to my consideration of how sustainability plays a role in the wicked problem I chose: sweatshops. A lack of sustainable methods and a high demand for fast fashion, among other factors, have resulted in unsafe and unjust working conditions in many garment factories. I’m learning more about unsustainable fast fashion that leads to outsourcing production in sweatshops where workers are not paid enough, work long hours, and are left unprotected in unsafe environments. I was able to discuss this further with my learning group because we all were studying wicked problems relative to fast fashion, sustainability, and sweatshops, so we discussed how using more sustainable fabrics and producing less collections would possibly help the situation. However, more needs to be done to ensure the safety and well-being of factory workers. When it comes to changes in my practice, I do my best to purchase more sustainable clothing and less fast fashion, as well as study the manufacturing/factory conditions of the places at which I shop. However, I believe there is always room for improvement.

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