Final Blog

To me, sustainability is being aware of what effects you have on the earth and how to go about making proactive change. Throughout this course, I have learned all about different ways to practice sustainability and how the fashion industry does or does not utilize sustainability. At the beginning of the semester, I did not really know what sustainability was, just that it was important for us to know.

Something I really loved about this course was having so many opportunities to be creative and collaborate with the people in my learning community. I loved the design slams and getting to feel like I was creating a real life solution. I also really liked hearing more about the behind the scenes of the recycling office. I had no idea that some of the things that are classified as “recyclable” were not actually recyclable and were just taken to a landfill. I think this information needs to be made more public because not everyone knows the ins and outs of recycling.

This course was one of the most informative classes I have ever taken. I have learned so much in such little amount of time. I really enjoyed getting to have out of class activities and getting a chance to work more with others in the learning communities.

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Final Blog

Throughout this semester, I learned a lot about sustainability and all of the different theories to accomplish a sustainable lifestyle.  After learning everything I have from this course, I would describe sustainability as designing products and making lifestyle choices that benefit the world without hindering our future environment.  At the beginning of this course I knew about sustainable living but was too lazy/ignorant to make the lifestyle choices to obtain a more sustainable environment.  As I learned more concepts of sustainability throughout this class such as cradle to cradle, these concepts really explained the entire aspect of sustainability. I caught onto its importance and how easy it actually is to live a more sustainable lifestyle.  Since that lecture, I began making small changes throughout my daily life.  The changes I made included recycling items as much as I could, as well focusing on living a less materialistic lifestyle and truly appreciating what I already have.  I never realized before this class how ridiculous over consumption in the United States- actually a lot of places around the world truly is.  I believe that is the most important lesson that I will take away from this course- understanding needs vs. wants and always being thankful for what I am already blessed with, instead of aspiring to obtain unnecessary material objects.  Knowing what I know as of now, I hope to learn more about being a communicator and advocate for other people to be able to come to the realizations that I have from this course.  I hope to be able to communicate the importance of living sustainability in a way that will inspire others and lead to a healthier environment for everyone. I also hope to implement the theories I learned into my future career and work for companies that ensure the same sustainable values that I have learned.

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Final Blog!

As we near the end of the semester, I’m reflecting on the number of theories, practices, and ideologies we learned to help aid us in designing for a more sustainable future. Sustainability is defined as something which won’t cause harm to the environment by prolonging to exist. It is something which will benefit human’s needs in the long run, as well as create economic and ecological balance through its design. A sustainable design has long lasting positive effects on the environment and economy, by using practices such as biomimicry or active design to achieve this. At the beginning of this course, I considered that sustainability only focused on the importance of “saving the planet.” Now I’ve learned that sustainability is broader than only that. Business’s sustainability effects not only the environment but also the economy in the long run.

This course challenged our creativity, intuitions, and current notions on sustainability. An epiphany I had was actually on the first day of class when I was shocked to hear how many people didn’t know what sustainability or climate change even were. It made me wonder about the millions of people in our country (that aren’t in college or part of our industry) that are also unaware. I also learned how treacherous the fashion industry actually is on our environment; so much so that I actually had moments of regret choosing to be a part of it all. However, because of all of our fun design slams, and LOLA show presentations, and other sustainable design projects, I do have hope and more motivation to make our industry more sustainable.

Knowing what I know now, I’d love to learn more about which companies are lying about being sustainable. I would also like to learn to become and advocate and convince people to make more sustainable choices, as some people don’t even believe in global warming. A lot of the time Dr. Adityas would ask how we could motivate people to use our sustainable solution, and that was the hardest to answer because convincing people to change their way of life is almost impossible. I wish I knew more about how to fix this overlying issue which seems to be the majority of our nation’s problem. Overall, I highly enjoyed this class and felt that it was extremely necessary to be informed of these issues, while it was also fun to use our creativity, and design ideas for the future generations to come.

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Final Blog!

I think that we all have grown up to have some idea of what sustainability is. Before the class, I had always just pictured recycle bins, solar energy and those “conserve water, shower together” people. There is so much more to sustainability, and I think this class taught me that it is very important that we are all informed. After taking sustainability, I would define it as using our resource in a practical and efficient way that will positively impact the Earth for future generations. I think that sustainable design is crucial this day and age. We need more designers and producers to approach creating in a sustainable way. It is crucial that we make a change. One difference between my early perceptions of sustainability and what I know now is that there is more to sustainability than just environmental responsibility. After learning about the triple bottom line (people, plant, profit), it makes a lot of sense that we must sustain and nurture each one of these aspects if we want a tolerable future. I enjoyed all of the TED talks and think a lot of the videos shared in class were huge eye-openers to what is really happening in the world, outside of our little Oklahoma bubble.

I really loved learning about how nature is being implemented into design and how it has positively impacted the world. First, I think that biomimicry is absolutely genius. Why have we not already been living by this concept? I think after our focus on biomimicry, I will think about this in any future projects I have in my career. We really have so much to learn from nature, because it has been sustaining itself long before we were even on Earth. I also enjoyed learning about Biophilic design. I know that in my personal experience, I am so much more comfortable and relaxed in a place that has incorporated natural features. We as human beings are soothed by nature, so it makes so much sense that we should incorporate it in places that have not done so traditionally.

The most important lessons we learned in my opinion were the ones covering empathic design. I have never been a very empathetic person, and I have learned a lot about why it is a very important characteristic for people in our industry. I know that when designing or merchandising it is so important to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes so that you can design something that they value. After all, designs aren’t worth anything if they aren’t valued. I am going to work on improving my empathic skills and will take more time putting myself in others’ positions.

Since I wasn’t particularly informed about sustainability before this class, I really came in not knowing what to expect. That being said, I think I learned much more that I could have guessed! I had no idea what all went into living a sustainable life. I am glad to have learned so that I can take the steps to improve my own sustainability journey. I think I just want to know more about what I can do as an individual to make an impact. I think that I have gotten the tools to get a good start. Overall, my eyes were really opened to what we need to do to improve the world for generations to come. It was a great learning experience and I think I would have a very different attitude had I not learned what I have throughout the semester.

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Sustainability – Final Blog

After being in this sustainability class, and other sustainability classes that I have taken in the past, I would describe sustainability as being able to keep our earth clean and being able to live in a healthier way then the way that we are living now. When using sustainability in the way that we design we are able to produce products that are safer for us and also safer for the environment. Before taking a sustainability class I was never aware of the problems that are around us and how much of these problems are produced by things that we do, even if we aren’t aware of it. I think that everyone should be aware of these problems that are around us and know how we are able to solve these problems. It would take some change in the way that we are doing thing snow, but the earlier we start practicing sustainable way the quicker they will catch onto others and the quicker our bad habits will start to change.
One of the concepts that we have talked about many times in class but has always caught my interest every time is the concept of biomimicry. This is not a normal way that people connect nature and things that we do every day together. This concept is one that is very creative and uses the way that nature does things and applies these ways to the way that we do things to make them more effect and work better. Over the thanksgiving break I came across an example of this because some of my family was talking about elk and how their antlers will grow so strong and never fail to come back after they lose them. They talked about how if we could find out how they do this and then apply this to the way that humans grow their bones then doctors would be able to help people grow strong bones. I thought that this was very interesting and would be a good thing to know and a discovery that could be very helpful.
Since I never knew anything about sustainability in the first place there was nothing that I expected to learn about but didn’t. Although after being done with this class and knowing what I know now, I would like to see how sustainable ways progress in the future. Now that I am aware of them they will be something that I will be looking out for. Now that sustainability classes have to be taken by DHM students I think that the word about being sustainable will start to spread around more and more. After we all graduate we will be taking these ideas that we have learned to where we start to work at. We will ether act on them or we will spread the word about them and tell others about the ways we could be doing things for the better. I think that even if some of us don’t have intentions of applying these practices we will still think about them and keep them in mind in the way that we do things day to day.

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The Future of Sustainability- Final Blog

As the semester came to an end, I sat down to analyze my sustainable journey during this course. It was then that I realized I was not ending my journey, but just beginning it.

It would be a lie to say I was cautiously, environmentally aware previous to enrolling in this course. Sustainability was first introduced as a debate topic to me. The economic evidence exhibited right in front of our eyes was no illusion, however it was discussed as a problem that was too late to be fixed. Being one person out of billion living on this earth seemed as though nothing we could do would make an impact on the damage already done by large production companies. As a millennial, we were born into an economy that did whatever  it took to make their money. We are taught marketing tactics to manipulate consumers into buying products in order to increase success of a business. This course has taught me that the focus of sustainable design is to not only create a sustainable environment better for the planet, but also better for the people living on it.

At the beginning of the semester we were introduced to the carbon footprint, which showed our individual impact on the earth. Although the act of one person seems so small I continued to understand the significance that it could make. Allowing ones self to be transformative and to continuously learn is a critical aspect to success. The iceberg effect of converting a paradigm to structure, patterns, and events proves that a single act can become something much larger if properly practiced and normalized. Self-determination must be anticipated in order to get to the top of the iceberg.

Biomimicry and Industrial Ecology helped me have a better understanding of how a future merchandiser like myself can begin to facilitate sustainable actions. Recycling and using less electricity is just a portion of contribution. Studying the way earth revolves and adapts to itself by using the natural atmosphere given to it, proves that its living patterns have been successful for years. Creating an environment that is inspired by natures structures almost seems too simple. Everything we use is manmade and customized for the “average” person. By educating more people about the brilliance of nature’s patterns, we can begin to eliminate complex manufacturing methods and use manmade ideas for empathic designing.

Our economy tends to design and market towards the “average” American. What I have learned is that there is no “average” person. We are all different in many ways but there is one thing that every person alive has in common, that we are entirely living on this earth together. Empathic Design revealed the many issues people face on earth every day. By observing peoples actions and addressing human needs we can expand our minds to design for good and not strictly money. Design Activism showed me that a future merchandiser like myself can holistically achieve this within my profession.

In order to incorporate empathic design and design activism into your daily work ethics, it needs to become a culture within your business. From becoming an activist to a facilitator, creating a sustainable brand image can raise retail-manufacturing expectations. The amount of things you can produce for your brands merchandise by upcycling materials is almost limitless. Waste can be transformed into knits, wovens, labels, buttons, and even packaging. The importance is to focus on creating a sustainable design of the product, in order to make its usage sustainable for the needs of the consumer.

This course has showed me that sustainability is not just a vocabulary word or definition. Sustainability is a role in which us as merchandisers, designers, and human beings must rehearse to cultivate a system that is viable to the planet and our time on it. In the future, I would like to research more about the cost difference of using recycled materials for a business. In order to successfully influence sustainable design on to my industry, I would need to study the different cost methods used to achieve all aspects of this vision.

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Final Blog!!

In the beginning of this course I wasn’t fully familiar with sustainability or sustainable design but I could make a pretty good guess. However, throughout the course of this semester I was able to learn and make myself familiar with what these terms mean and how to implement suitability and sustainable design into my everyday life or future career. Sustainability in my own words is simply the action of sustaining your usages, recourses, etc. in a way that does not harmfully effect our environment socially, economically, or ecologically. Sustainability design is designing a product, store, or any physical object that benefit our environment socially, economically, and ecologically.

During this journey I have learned a lot more than I thought I would in one semester. The activities I enjoyed most in this class were the Lola shows and design slams. I think these activities taught me how to work in a group, get out of my comfort zone, think out side the box, and come up with ideas in a short amount of time. I believe these activities really changed the way I think. I also liked learning about empathetic design, biomimicry, design activism, sustainability facilities on campus, and so much more. I believe all the things I have earned in this course will follow me into my future career. In the future, I hope to continue learning about ways to be sustainable in my everyday life and ways to implement sustainable concepts into my career. I hope that my sustainability journey continues after this course ends.

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