This blog post is long overdue, but on February 16th I had the pleasure of attending of attending a talk on the College’s campus featuring representatives from Patagonia as well as PLAN (The Post-Landfill Action Network) about personal activism. Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the entire event, but from the hour or so that I was there I was moved in such an incredible way by the passion that was shown for the environment.
During the time that I was there, policy and the role of government was a major talking point. The current administration does not have a good track record for keeping the environments safety in mind while making policies. Issues such as the Endangered Species Act being under fire and the Dakota Access Pipeline given the go ahead show that the environment is the least of the Trump administration’s worries.
I think the most important part of this lecture was the fact that the speakers acknowledged that there is hope and that we can bridge the disconnect between people to create a movement to show that citizens are concerned about the environment and citizens expect their government to be concerned about the environment as well. The most powerful moment of the lecture for me was singing a song called “Jumbo the Elephant”. This song was about an elephant and a mayor, but the message of the song was much bigger. It was saying that people who are held down by a higher political power still have power. Essentially, there is power in numbers and if citizens want to enact change they much work together to show that their power is greater than that of the higher political powers.
Another important talking point of the night was the Worn Wear program itself. While I was unable to stay for the entire Worn Wear presentation, I still learned a few really interesting facts. The Worn Wear program is a program run by the brand Patagonia, which is a family owned business that started in 1973. The super cool thing about Patagonia is that it is still a privately owned business and is still run by the original family that started it all. The Work Wear program was started to repair items to try to keep clothing items from ending up in a landfill if something was wrong with the item.
It was incredible to hear the stories of people bringing in a piece of clothing that has once been their mothers or a piece that has traveled with them everywhere that they have been. Worn Wear is fixing these clothing items so people are able to hang on to these memories for even longer. This program is all about sustainability, repair, and reuse, all of which are incredibly important to keeping textile waste out of landfills and other dumping grounds.
Overall, this lecture was such a great experience. All of the speakers were so passionate about what they do and it was really inspiring. Personally, I believe that there were two big takeaways from this lecture, the first being that we can only enact change by coming together as one unit and the second being there’s not need to throw something away if there’s still live in that product.