March 31, 2015
1) Identify and focus on the specific problem. Answer the first four “w” questions who, what, when, where.
Who: The clothing and fashion industry
What: Many practices involved with the manufacturing and designing of clothing seems to be wasteful and not very sustainable for the environment, or the people who create/purchase such products
When: Modern times (2010 and beyond)
Where: Across the US specifically, but also globally
2) Demonstrate that the problem needs a solution. Map out the effects of the problem.
The effects of the problem including running out of materials to make clothing, depleting resources such as rainforests, creeks/rivers, etc.
3) Evaluate possible solutions. Apply the “If…then…” test on each possible solution. Consider whether each proposal would actually solve the problem, meet certain criteria (such as cost-effectiveness, practicality, ethicality, and legality), and not create new problems.
– Newer technology, like Natalia Allen’s robotic machine that essentially melts clothing together without the need for stitching/sewing
-Increased awareness of the problem. If more people know how wasteful and detrimental the majority of the fashion industry is acting towards our environment, they would likely be appalled.
-Put your money where your mouth is. Pledge to buy from companies that practice sustainability, and also do your research. Just because a company promises that they recycle doesn’t necessarily mean that they do, and even if they recycle doesn’t mean that they’re a sustainable company overall.
-New textiles/materials to create clothing. Instead of using cotton that supposedly needs chemicals like flame retardants and preservatives to keep clothing items proper, why can’t we use something else?
4.) Convince your readers. Support proposed solutions by stating reasons and finding evidence.
5) Answer possible objections to your proposal. Every solution has a downside or possible drawbacks. You need to respond to the most important objections.
-How do we know which/if companies are truly sustainable?
-New technology and textiles are more expensive. Why should/would we want to pay more for clothing than we already do?
-Awareness typically is limited to just that – we only become aware of the problem. How can we convince people to act upon what they know?