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  • Thumbnail for From Prada to Patagonia:  Culture, Consumption and Sustainability at Colorado College
    From Prada to Patagonia: Culture, Consumption and Sustainability at Colorado College by Dell, Olivia Tamara

    In this project, I’m motivated by a desire to understand how to create impactful change through the adoption of sustainable consumption practices and lifestyles. As the negative effects of climate change continue to grow, I seek to better understand how I and my peers can make changes in our own lives to move away from unsustainable consumption practices. In this project, I explore the unique community of Colorado College (CC) and ask questions about this community’s culture, values, and practices in an attempt to better understand how messages of sustainability infused into popular culture can translate into meaningful action. I use focus groups to build a dialogue around CC’s culture and shed light on some of the sustainability successes and challenges faced by this community. I found that many individuals within the Colorado College community perceive the school’s unique culture as supportive of a narrative of sustainability. When thought of through a sociological perspective, this finding can have implications for the ways individuals act and consume within their social realm. Additionally, I found that in some ways, the dominant culture at Colorado College depends on classed expressions of taste and positionality, thus pointing to the exclusionary potential of this culture. This research holds implications for the ways messages of sustainability can be infused into and supported by popular culture and sheds light on some of the challenges and successes faced by communities with a perceived strong emphasis on sustainable lifestyles. In the future, this research can lead to a discussion of how sustainable consumption practices and lifestyles can be promoted through the process of shifting cultural norms and the implementation of institutional initiatives.