When I was a child, I was taught the story of the hummingbird. It went something like this: Once there was a forest fire that drove all the animals out. They stood watching the fire burn their home. Then the hummingbird seeing a river decided to take a drop of water and put it on the fire. The hummingbird did this over and over again. The other animals watched the hummingbird do this and said why do this you can not put out the fire. You are too small. The hummingbird answered I am doing the best I can. The other animals saw this and decided to join in and together they put out the fire.
What I learned is that when work is one in a collective effort true change happens. I want this to reflect in everything I do.
So this spring break I took a course in Eco- Friendly Textiles and Design.I am interested in working in fashion and textiles but I also know that the Fashion Industry is very complicit in pollution. The fashion industry is the largest contributing franchise to pollution. There are initiatives that have been made to shift this but still human right issues. Rana Plaza is a prime example of this. 1138 people when a factory in Bangladesh collapsed. This was Rana Plaza Factory and many companies that a lot of people know of had their products made there. Much of these problems are a result of Fast Fashion post-industrial revolution.
Knowing this, I want to be mindful of the work that I do and design. This also means that I need to advocate for Fair Trade and worker rights. Globalization consequently produced a demand for more, faster and cheaper. What is unfortunate is that certain regions benefit while others starve. In the seminar, we focused on this problem and looked at other alternatives.
As of currently, we can completely erase our carbon footprint however it can be greatly reduced. Alternative materials are definitely better for the environment. We need to think about things like recyclability, biodegradability, and sustainability. For My project this coming week I'll be creating two collections. I'll be upcycling materials to create a garment. I'm focusing on upcycling materials and using bulk fabric that is often discarded if there is no use for it.
It can be difficult for young people to afford what would be considered more sustainable and Fast Fashion industries like H&M and Forever 21 provide what people want at a premium price. However, the market controls what producers make and a conscious effort despite what the impact you think you may have is working like a hummingbird.
Links to look at.