The most important design tool for a sustainable future

“All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relationship to everything else” Buddha


At the core of developing sustainable design is to learn a basic set of values and understanding that things are connected. In posts and seminars have I stressed designers and creative people who work in sustainable processes = look at things with  a set of tools that is wide and not narrowed. In Buddhism, one of the fundamental pillars is everything is in relationship; everything exists in a dependent manner. In sustainable design Buddhism can teach us that an idea of causality is extremely important. Nothing can exist of its own accord. Translated into a language we understand is that influence through a design process of different scale influence someone or something directly or indirectly locally or global in our society. It can make an impact now, here or elsewhere or soon. If we follow Buddhism philosophy further we will end up talking to the law of cause and effect; called Karma, this is not the essence now.

Traditional fashion is extremely selfish and ego centred

In that sense what we can understand with fashion is that the habitual way of working with fashion is extremely selfish and ego centered. The basic of traditional fashion is that the designer creates and develops a collection of garments based in a concept; fashions relative free creative process. A design concept as described is abstract, illusionary and based upon actions were there is no limitation. This is a concept of buy, use and throw; and this, in fact, true as nearly 85% of all garments produced throughout the world ends as landfill. A traditional process as described has nothing or little to do with Earth, social, people and health of the local environment. In addition, walking in a high street looking at fashion garments (and label of fabric’s specifications), one can fast understand how streamlined and homogeneous the industry produces fashion. No wonder the consumer becomes more passive; as the lack choices wear away individual imagination and manifestation.

The question is can this continue when we have a limitation on Earth?

Earth has a limitation on global resources and infinite capacity, when it is gone with it will go forever and cannot reverse. Can it be said clearer than his? We have or develop a fashion culture based upon Ecology limitation, cherish of diversity of and life of other people who also have the same rights to exist in nature as we are. Therefore, we must find a new business strategy that involves a brand-new set of actions on a personal level, with responsibilities.

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them”? Buddha

How can we perform this? A complex question must demand simple answers. Call it design based on Eco-actions and Eco compassion.  An action-oriented process that included how goods are moving (distribution), influence consumer behavior (from passive to active consume), “design creativity” based upon limited resources, product customization  and products meant to be remade, reworked and recycled.  Perform just a few of the steps described and finally lower the percentage of garments ending as landfill.

Fashion design based upon a wider and broader look at things

Furthermore, invite to a transparent flow of garments into the market, co design, and local vs. global scale production, collective understanding, innovation sharing, quality vs. low price garments, and most of all start asking questions about things.  Ask questions about the way we produce, move, sell garments and start to listen to people with great knowledge about our common future across industries. Listen to global institutions as UNEP, Greenpeace, scientist and philosophers around the world; maybe even this post. After all to take person responsibility is the most important action we can perform.

Start challenges the consumers

  • Sustainability starts with basic values
  • Sustainable design is a part of an Eco Lifestyle; we are all a part of Earths Ecosphere.
  • UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme –
  • Everything is in relationship, the essence of Buddhism, Traleg Kyabgon.
  • Basic Buddhism – Buddha Net
  • About Engaged, Fashion and Sustainability, design for a change, Kate Fletcher and Lynda Grose, Lawrence King Publishing 2011,
  • Innovation sharing, Nike, sustainable business performance
  • Further visual understanding and reading; connected and everything is relationship in life and  science, string theory.



Recommended reading

Kenneth Lyngaas
Sustainable fashion designer & eco-philosopher Sustainable fashion dedicated the twenty-first century green living, design for change through system thinking, eco philosophy, spirituality and sustainability. Site made with passion for people who loves fashion and care for the environment.
Kenneth Lyngaas
Kenneth Lyngaas
Kenneth Lyngaas
sustainableFASHION// dedicated the twenty-first century sustainable community and living. Every day, I deliver selected news on Eco design across the Internet. Most people appreciate an update without searching latest news themselves. Therefore, it’s already served. Don’t miss it, subscribe!
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