For the past ten years I’ve worked for an environment/communications consultancy whose commissions were mostly for large infrastructure projects. The company owners believed that it was often better to work for an organisation that wasn’t doing the greatest job sustainability-wise, and help them move 10 per cent in the right direction, than it was to work for an organisation that largely did the right thing already, and help them shift maybe a further 1 per cent.
While my role fell more on the communications side than the environment side, I felt, for a lot of the time I worked there, that I was doing something with purpose – and while moving into the world of textiles, gives me the opportunity to nurture my creative side – the sustainability aspect, and sometimes even the ethics of the industry has me wondering how I’m going to find that same sense of purpose.
Knowing how unsustainable cotton production can be, or how environmentally damaging some dying methods are, or how treacherous the conditions textile workers in third world countries operate under, has me thinking about how I can find a place I'm comfortable in, gives me meaning and doesn’t just contribute to the ever-growing mountain of ‘stuff’ that none of us really needs.
Tonight in class we watched this. I’ve seen it a few times before, but it’s through the eyes of a textile designer I’m watching it again and trying to navigate my way towards a new purpose.