You know that nursery rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down? London is truly falling, ecologically that is. As a result of the industrial revolution, the fashion industry is booming. However, the pollution in London is at an all-time high and the health of children has deteriorated significantly.
Children are exposed to harsh chemicals and pollution in the air daily because apparel companies fail to create sustainable clothing. People have proposed to make cities more walkable as a solution for childhood illnesses and obesity. In "The Walkable City" Jeff Davenhall states, making cities more "walkable" will lower the weight of its citizens. However, the idea proposed is completely unrealistic because healthy habits have to be taught at home and the fashion industry needs to stop cutting corners on sustainability.
Some may argue that the fashion industry is more sustainable than it has ever been. For example, designer Susan Lee can create clothing by growing bacteria in a petri dish. Though this is true, big strides that a few designers are making to be more ecologically sustainable is masked by the thousands of designers who choose not to.
Therefore, the presence of pollution increase in London has to be an issue dealt with nationally and addressed by the government. The fashion industry needs more ethics. Period. Designers should have their work protected under law and also big companies need to be held accountable for their crimes against planet earth. When it comes to fashion, ethics always seems to be thrown out the window. From underpaid workers to environmental destruction.
Ultimately, London’s government should dictate what is considered legal within the fashion industry. London has a section of government for health and environmental ethics but why has no one ever thought of how much the fashion industry impacts both of them? Until that question is answered, there will be no progress.
AEG: The Next Black- A film about the Future of Clothing
TEDtalk “The Walkable City” by Jeff Speck
Lost art is not lost art. Art is essential to our society's culture. This notion drives our ethical practices. For example in "Raiders of The Lost Art", Nazi officials who were alive at the end of World War Two were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law after stealing art from historic museums. Art is a part of history, but that makes me wonder is history a part of art?
This is an image of Nazis stealing art from a European museum.
Art as seen from the Nuremberg Trials and the "Rape of Europa" shows that history is very much a part of art. There are many laws that protect artists and their work. However, few are offered this protection for their work when alive. Would "The Starry Night" by Van Gogh be as famous as it is if someone had stolen it? Or the "Mona Lisa" by Da Vinci? Art should be prioritized from the moment it is created.
Some may argue that the value of art when it is first creative isn't high. Though this true, that should never be an excuse not to protect an artist's creativity because it is expensive. All art whether fashion, graffiti, or paintings should be protected and it is up to us as a society to do so.
Raiders of The Lost Art, Season 1, Ep. 4:
We can literally see fashion with our naked eye. It’s the sneakers you’re wearing on your feet all the way down to the style of panties you wear on laundry day. However, fashion is way more than that. Fashion is who you are.
What one wears illustrates how they perceive themselves. Colors, shapes, and patterns all correlate with someone’s self-confidence and psychological state. Have you ever noticed that you where sweatpants when you’re sick or unhappy? Or that people where plain black clothes to funerals? What you wear expresses what you’re feeling.
In “Future of Fashion” Frederic Tcheng says, “Fashion is not disconnected from society.” The impact that fashion has on our subconscious and societal standards causes the fashion industry to grow in power and influence.
Since fashion has more of an impact on people than we realize, fashion designers have used our naiveté to capitalize by cutting corners on ecological ethics. For example, Canada Goose kills coyotes for their fur to make winter coats that sell for up too $1500. This is completely unethical because no living animal should have to die for the sake of fashion and capatilism. However, there are some designers who are doing groundbreaking research like using living cells to create sustainable clothing.
Designer Susan Lee uses this method and she was inspired by a biologist who once said “If you really wanted to completely rethink how you might create a piece of clothing, you can imagine growing a dress in a vat of liquid using bacteria.” People often believe creating clothing happens within the four walls of a factory room with sewing machines but designers like Susan Lee show there is more to the world of fashion than textiles.
Toliver, Zachary. "The Video Canada Goose Doesn't Want You to See." PETA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, 05 Feb. 2017. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
AEG: The Next Black- A film about the Future of Clothing
Alexa Chung Uncovers Fashion Industry Secrets | Full Series One | Future of Fashion | British Vogue
Fast food restaurants have learned to target the taste buds of people in order to capatilize on their ignornace of healthy eating. These days, parents would rather take their children to McDonald's after school than giving them a proper home cooked meal.
According to Standard, "A typical fast food meal contains nearly 60 percent of recommended daily calories, half of salt and saturated fat and no portions of fruit or vegetables (Evening Standard, Crerar)." Allowing your child to consume fast food as a part of their daily nutritional value, is detrimental to their health. Essentially, you are giving your child a chance at health issues and obesity later in life. Excersise and proper nutrition is immensely important to one's health. Therefore, its importance needs to be taught at home.
In "The Walkable City" Jeff Davenhall states, making cities more "walkable" will lower the wieght of its citizens. Though this is true, making a city more walkable does not get rid of human nature. If someone is accustomed to driving, they are not going to change their lifestyle because the government is telling them to.
Same way, children are not going to change their eating habits because a doctor said it. Children like to learn from people they love and trust. Therefore, a mother's guidance holds more wieght than any government and healthcare official. Lifestyles are taught at home !
Crerar, Pippa. "One in Five London Primary School Leavers 'very Overweight'." Evening Standard. N.p., 04 Aug. 2015. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
TEDtalk “The Walkable City” by Jeff Speck
1% vs 99%
“In all, the top 1 percent in the United States captured 85.1 percent of total income growth from 2009 to 2013.” (New York Times, Teresa Tritch)
“In 2013, the 1.6 million families in the top 1 percent made 25.3 times as much on average as the 161 million families in the bottom 99 percent.” (New York Times, Teresa Tritch)
“Between 2009 and 2013, for example — a period that encompasses most of the post-Great Recession era – the top 1 percent captured all of the income growth in 15 states (Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming).” (New York Times, Teresa Tritch)
“In another 9 states (Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas), the top 1 percent captured half to nearly all of the income growth.” (New York Times, Teresa Tritch)
“The mean income of the top 5 percent of households in Manhattan soared 9 percent in 2013 over 2012, giving Manhattan the biggest dollar income gap of any county in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau.” (New York Times, Sam Roberts)
LGBT Discrimination (SONDA)
“SONDA, which was passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in late 2002, became effective on January 16, 2003, and protects individuals who are discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation from that date forward.” (New York State Attorney General)
Exemptions of Sonda include “Limit employment, sales or rental of housing accommodations, and admission to persons of the same religion; give preferences to persons of the same religion or denomination; and take "such action as is calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained." (New York State Attorney General)
“The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, typically known by its acronym "SONDA," prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and the exercise of civil rights. New York has long prohibited discrimination on the basis of certain characteristics, such as race, sex, and religion.” (New York State Attorney General)
“A North Carolina law passed in March made it illegal for transgender people to use public restrooms that match their gender identity. The law drew condemnation from many artists, who boycotted the state, and from some companies, which canceled plans to do business there.” (New York Times, Lily Stack)
“Advocacy groups have encouraged enrollment in insurance offered under the Affordable Care Act, which was the first federal law to prohibit anti-L.G.B.T. discrimination in the health care system, said Mr. Baker.” (New York Times, Lily Stack)
“Cuomo also announced that the state Division of Human Rights recently settled 123 cases of alleged housing discrimination, including 44 in New York City, that resulted in damages for the victims as well as rent abatements, rent payment reductions, and improved housing conditions.” (New York Daily News, Kenneth Lovett)
On average more than 500 housing discrimination cases are filed with federal, state and local authorities, Cuomo said. (New York Daily News, Kenneth Lovett)
“The NYC Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in private and public housing, land, and commercial spaces in New York City. This means that any person selling, renting, or leasing (including landlords, superintendents, building managers, brokers, and relators) cannot discriminate because of a person's actual or perceived protected status under the law.” (City of New York)
“Last year, HUD and its Fair Housing Assistance Program partner agencies received more than 8,000 complaints alleging discrimination based on one or more of the Fair Housing Act’s seven protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.”
(U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary Ben Carson)
“HUD also directs part of the $42 million in fair housing enforcement and outreach grants it awards each year through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) toward addressing discrimination against families with children.” (U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary Ben Carson)
Roberts, Sam. "Gap Between Manhattan's Rich and Poor Is Greatest in U.S., Census Finds." The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 Sept. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Tritch, Teresa. "The United States of Inequality." The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 June 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
"The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act ("SONDA")." New York State Attorney General. New York State Attorney General, 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Lovett, Kenneth. "New Enforcement Program to Uncover NY Housing Discrimination." NY Daily News. NY Daily News, 14 Feb. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Stack, Liam. "The Challenges That Remain for L.G.B.T. People After Marriage Ruling." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 June 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
"Fair Housing NYC." NYC. City of NYC, 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Carson, Ben. "HUD MARKS NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING MONTH." U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, 4 Apr. 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.
Street art is something I never ignored. Bright colors, funny shapes, and bold messages always grasps my attention during my inner city travels. Contrastingly, chicken scratch illegally spray painted on a United States Post Office mailbox catches my attention too, but instead of staring in awe, I look away in disgust.
There has always been an ongoing debate on graffiti. Some say it’s art, others say it’s a form of vandalism. Ultimately, it comes down to a person’s motives at heart and if the graffiti has been approved to be there. The presence of tagging in the streets is often looked upon at as “gang territory” or delinquency. “Mural” by NYC Art Cypher shows politicians like, Andrew J. Lanza often expressing their urgency to lock up those who vandalize. On the other hand, several artists believe criminal actions comes with the territory.
In the documentary, Infamy, Earsnot steals from stores and damages property in order to leave his “signature”. His immaturity and egotistic mindset makes it hard for proper street artists to exhibit their work. Earsnot believes his name on a rusty mailbox leaves his print on NYC, but he is sadly mistaking. Committing crimes in order to do things out of spite is no way to live. Don’t get me wrong, street art is beautiful only when done correctly and appropriately. Murals are art, but tagging is not.
Though I am against tagging at all costs, street art has positively impacted my life. Street art unifies my high school community. During my sophomore year of high school, a student named Rayquan passed away of terminal cancer and a mural was created to commemorate his life. The mural was done by a group of students from RAW arts who specialize in street art. The students used bright colors and incorporated everything that made Rayquan who he was into the mural. At an event called “Locks of Love”, the street artists presented the mural to our school and it solidified our community during a time of need. Here is what the mural looks like:
The difference between Rayquan’s mural and tagging is that it had permission to be there and it was executed in a presentable fashion. His life is celebrated through art and it has become a landmark in our community. Art is a powerful thing when used correctly. I’m sorry but swiggly lines and illegible handwriting on the side of a rusty stop sign will never be art to me.
Infamy. Dir. Doug Pray. Perf. Claw and Earsnot. Infamy. 1171 Production Group, 18 Sept. 2015. Web. 2 Apr. 2017. -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3WUXA3V7nY
"Mural" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3WUXA3V7nY
At a grocery store, $4 is a head of lettuce, tomatoes, and a cucumber. At Wendy’s, $4 is a double cheeseburger, French fries, 4 pc chicken nuggets, and a fountain drink. One might ask, how can you remain healthy if society requires that are you economically stable in order to do so? When looking at rural versus urban health, you notice citizens who live in rural areas have less access to proper healthcare, nutritional meals, and live sedentary lives.
Health isn’t something that should be unattainable based on what you can afford. Hence, our society needs to create easier ways to access affordable food rather than capitalizing on fast food. Eating right allows you to grow mentally and physically which should not be a privilige. After acknowleding the gap in healthcare between urban and rural settings, it makes me question if location has just as much as an impact on one's health.
In Bill Davenhall’s TED talk “Your Health Depends on Where You Live”, he expresses how though he lived a healthy life with frequent exercise and proper meals, he still faced a heart attack later in life. It was because he was living in areas with high pollution rates in the United States. The fumes and gases from factories are destroying ecosystems and making it more likely for people to get asthma and other life-long illnesses.
Mass production of clothing and a McDonald's cheeseburger should not be more important than one's health. As a nation, we care more about our economy than the health of our people and that is a BIG problem. Therefore, there needs to be more solutions to bridge the gaps in healthcare.
In “Why Urban Health Matters”, one of their action steps is to “make urban areas resilient to emergencies and disasters” (World Health Organization 15). Vague, vague, and vague. How can you make urban areas more adaptable if you can’t predict emergencies that will arise in the future? You never know what can happen. For instance, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, FEMA, the Red Cross, and the UN tried to make the country more resilient. However, Hurricane Matthew in 2016 wiped away all their hard work.
Emergencies are not predictable. That’s why they are emergencies to begin with. Making cities and countries less susceptible to disaster is not a realistic solution. Educating people on the value of health and providing more healthcare officials will create equality in rural and urban healthcare.
Your Health Depends on Where You Live. Perf. Bill Davenhall. Youtube. TEDMed, 25 Jan. 2010. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.
"Why Urban Health Matters." World Health Organization. World Health Organization, 2010. Web.