Thursday, April 30, 2009

Phillip Lim's zipper dress.

An old Threadbanger post made me near-giddy with this dress by Phillip Lim. Hemp, organic silk, and recycled zippers. It's pretty much perfect.

Unfortunately, this Kate Bosworth girl that's sporting it is a bit misled. When asked about the dress, she said she chose it because she wanted to show how one could make a design that's "100 percent green."

She didn't prove anything.

The problem is, when using words like "eco-friendly," "sustainable," and "green," it gives people the false impression that there is a neutral carbon footprint, when, in fact, there is almost always something you can't offset. You can move towards a point of your design being more "eco-forward" or "more sustainable," but sustainability in itself is almost impossible. You always need to weigh the pro's and con's when making a decision on which is "more green." For example, is it more green to wash and reuse zip-lock bags or to buy a new box? You have to consider the energy used to make the bags, the non-recyclable/renewable nature of the material, the energy used to make the cardboard box, the water used to wash the get the idea. You can drive yourself insane contemplating what decisions are better for the environment, and, in turn, for us as a species.

I think that it is really important to acknowledge that survivalist side of the "green movement." Certainly an affinity for the Earth is a great motivation for some people to evaluate their options carefully in everyday life, but preserving the Earth should also be about saving it for future generations. I know this is almost grossly overused when talking about sustainability, but I really think that the quote, "In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation" (Great Law of the Iroquois) rings true. Basically, we must think carefully about our use of resources and the directions we take in life so that the seventh generation will still have the same quality of life and the same Earth that we have (well, hopefully better on the Earth part!). That means ending wars, forging plans to preserve resources, improving the conditions of everyone in our country, and of course, making good personal decisions about resource management.

I think about this a lot, because even though I don't want to have children, I know many people who do. I remember growing up very angry at all of the things that my parents and their generation allowed to happen--how the free love movement devolved into cheap consumerism like everything else, how they let the importance of environmental protection fall to the wayside, how they elected representatives and presidents that were so corrupt it was sickening, how they were part of a huge counterculture movement, with massive change at their fingertips, and it all ended up being nothing. (I suppose studying history is kind of depressing.) I don't want future generations to look back and think that we blew it. As a species, we are incredibly powerful in shaping how things evolve for our children, and I think we should definitely not let the "green movement" go to waste!

However, I digress on my "100 percent green" point because really, trying to be more eco-focused is better than ignoring the problem altogether. I am also very excited that we have moved from a place of fatalism to positivism--just in a few years!--as far as environmentalism goes. Although I think we are misled to think that our classic consumerism can save us, I do think that the current state of affairs is a better place to be, in the very least. At least more positive than James Lovelock's gloomy (and then some!) prediction in a 2007 Rolling Stone article. Yikes. But. All of that for another time.


The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Thanks for the black house link, Elyse (you have a beautiful name, btw!) it's funny because not fifteen minutes ago I found a post about black buildings on a French blog. Must be in the zeitgeist....
I do find them ineffably stylish.

Yoli said...

Oh that little dress is to die for! Came wandering by through Maia's blog.