It can mean having a minimal amount of clothes in your wardrobe if that’s what feels right to you, but it doesn’t have to. All these terms are used almost interchangeably, however, they all mean something different according to their definitions. Account; Checkout; Wishlist – Menu Carbon offsetting happens when a company, or even an individual, invests in one or more environmental projects to balance out their greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon neutral. Of course, being transparent is only the first step towards being more sustainable and ethical. Ethical and sustainable fashion are often used interchangeably. It is known as the 5 R's of fashion -- reduce, repair, recycle, repurpose, and reinvent. You can learn more about this topic in this comprehensive article by Good On You. Sustainable fashion? Simply put, the answer to ‘what is sustainable fashion’ differs according to who you ask. Second-hand is pretty straightforward: it refers to clothes that have had a previous owner and that were donated or resold. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has been advocating for a global circular economy, so if you’re interested, I recommend having a look at their website. Fashion Revolution is a global movement that believes in a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. Conscious fashion is a bit similar to slow fashion. companies with more diverse leadership have better environmental compliance reporting, in addition to stronger financial returns. Again based on the Cradle to Cradle approach, upcycling also turns waste into reusable material, but of better quality. Speaking of which, I wrote about my 9 tips to shopping more mindfully! By: Lauren Indvik. If a brand states they are fair trade, it doesn't mean their products are earth-friendly. Ethical fashion. Fair trade refers to the general movement, which encompasses many different organisations with the shared aim of supporting producers and protecting workers’ rights and the environment. Fashion-forward There are styles that are not currently in trend but are so good that will become fashionable pretty soon. (Green Strategy, June 2014) It seems that we have reached the peak of Fast Fashion and that big changes are being made. Fairtrade is also a term we see quite a lot in our supermarkets. It’s different from the legal minimum wage, which is usually far below the living wage! Vegan refers to products that have been made using zero animal products or by-products. Sustainable fashion also focuses on extending the life of clothes, using recycled materials and recycling in general. When you discover sustainable fashion, a whole new world of possibilities opens up before your very eyes. What to look for to support sustainable fashion Low impact natural and organic materials: Natural materials such as hemp, linen, cotton, silk, wool, leather, and cellulose fibers (i.e., synthetically made fibers originating from plant sources, including viscose, rayon, lyocell, etc.) Sustainable fashion means finding a balance when designing, manufacturing, and consuming clothes. Ethical fashion can also include the fair treatment of animals, vegan and cruelty-free fashion. If you keep up with fashion trends, you are likely to know what’s in vogue for a particular season. Sustainable fashion terminology can be confusing to most. 17 Nov, 2020 04:00 AM 15 minutes to read. One of the Sustainable Business Network’s four transformation areas, ‘building thriving communities’ requires strategic business investment in the localities in which they operate. For example, we’ve asked consumers what does sustainable fashion mean to them. Here at Good On You, we have diversity guidelines for our content that requires the regular inclusion and representation of minority groups, and we are currently reviewing our rating system to ensure we adequately address issues of racial justice while also working to have more BIPOC-owned brands rated and recommended soon! The Good On You team does the work to read between the seams for you, and pulls all the information together by using expert analysis to give each brand an easy-to-understand score. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in particular, has been advocating for a global circular economy. In 1987, the UN defined sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Conscious Fashion is an all-encompassing term. A capsule wardrobe is a logical selection of clothing that you not only love to wear, but that is practical and versatile. In the process, you also encounter a whole new lot of terminology you didn’t know before. Being sustainable also means maintaining this balance well into the future by taking a long term approach to the production and consumption of clothes and accessories. Upcycling removes waste from the system, requires less energy than recycling, and so has a better environmental impact. It was born on 24th April 2013, when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed, killing 1138 people and injuring many more. That´s why we have put together this glossary for you. As a result, Fashion Revolution launched its Fashion Revolution Week, which happens every April and promotes their #whomademyclothes campaign. Music-related fashion from the early and mid 1970s with colorful ambisexual outfits, such as platform shoes and single piece glitter suits. You might come across brands with biodegradable packaging, which is one of the most eco-friendly packaging options! It’s different from the legal minimum wage which is usually way below the living wage. All materials break down eventually, but some of them can take thousands of years and can release chemicals and harmful substances in the process. Circular fashion moves away from the traditional take-make-dispose business model. It is like a living organism — always evolving and changing. This might look like brands that cater to plus-size individuals, have racially diverse employees, or celebrate and support LGBTQIA+ organisations. Traceability is crucial for transparency. Use our Directory to search more than 2,000 brands. Green fashion, ethical fashion, fair fashion, sustainable fashion? Minimalism is about stripping back the unnecessary, leaving only the things that provide you with real value and joy. Circular fashion is about designing waste and pollution out of our clothes, and ensuring they help regenerate natural systems at the end of their (long) lives. Second-hand refers to clothes that have been pre-loved, that have had a previous owner and that were donated or resold. It forms a key part of the toxic system of overproduction and consumption that has made fashion one of the largest polluters in the world. Organic cotton, in particular, is becoming popular, although its production is far from perfect. There’s an Overlooked Product That You Definitely Use That’s Destroying Vital Forests, Age of Super-Storms; Bane of Climate Change, Climate Change And Health: Get Ready For The Transition, National Environmental Policy Act Revisions — Another Case of Botch-ilism, A Quick Reflection On Our Use Of Plastics. All materials break down eventually, but some of them can take thousands of years and release harmful chemicals and substances in the process. This guide from The Guardian breaks down the sometimes confusing terminology around sustainable fashion. Ethical fashion covers a wide range of issues such as living wages, working conditions, health and safety, forced labour, child labour. Microplastics or microfibres refer to plastic particles smaller than 5mm. When applying the sustainability concept to fashion, " (…) sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible (..).”. Starting your sustainable fashion journey can be tricky and it's easy to feel overwhelmed - how do you navigate through this ocean of information and terminology? Whether you’re new to the world of sustainable fashion or an ethical fashion veteran, ethical and sustainable fashion terminology can be… confusing, to say the least. It is based partly on William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle design philosophy. That’s another word we’ve been hearing a lot since 2013. This industrial catastrophe, one of the worst in history, marked the start of the questioning of fast fashion and demand by consumers for more transparency. Lush, for example, is a well-known cruelty-free company. Greenwashing is an increasing concern nowadays as companies are trying to benefit from the growing demand for eco-friendly and ethical clothes. One of the most popular sustainable fashion terms to look for is organic clothing; a general label that refers to clothes made without harmful chemicals, pesticides, … Find out what each of these buzzword means in our Fair Fashion Glossary. When an organisation is ‘Fairtrade’, it means that Fairtrade International has specifically certified it. It is about re-using and re-purposing old items to make something new, like using old bedsheets to make a face mask. If you feel disheartened in your sustainability journey, just remember that it is a very personal one, so take your time to figure out what is important to you. The Home of Slow & Sustainable Fashion. Wear the change you want to see. Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. In addition, fashion companies should contribute to encouraging more sustainable consumption patterns, caring and washing practices, and overall attitudes to fashion. What are the differences? It means being able to trace back each component of an item throughout the supply chain, from the raw material to the zipper and everything in between. ( Green Strategy ). Fear not, we’re here to help! First some terminology before we get into the details and examples of sustainable fashion … During the process of my thesis I wondered more and more about which term to use and the meaning of them all and which one might be the “best” or most sustainable one. The search for “organic” products began in the food industry and is now reaching the fashion industry, with more and more brands starting to offer organic options. Companies usually market supposedly “environmentally-friendly” initiatives, like using recycled packaging, becoming a paperless office or “conscious” collections, while not addressing critical environmental and labour issues. You may have come across mentions of diversity or inclusivity in the ethical fashion sphere. For example, some brands have turned plastic bottles into yarn to make fleece sweaters or coats. Synthetic clothes, which are one of the largest sources of environmental pollution, are responsible for more than one-third of all microplastics polluting our waters. Most respondents defined sustainable fashion as a way of preserving resources in the process of supplying, manufacturing, transporting, selling and consuming fashion products. It’s a movement and approach to fashion which considers the processes and resources required to make clothing, particularly focusing on sustainability. They don’t always have to be a sustainable fashion brand, though some may be. Recycling is the action of converting waste into something new. At Good On You, we believe fashion brands have a responsibility and should be transparent about their impact. The current fashion landscape is experiencing pervasive greenwashing where ‘sustainability’ has become a buzzword used by marketeers to tout supposed ‘ethical’ credentials. Fairtrade, on the other hand, specifically refers to the certifying and labelling organisation Fairtrade International. Like many other industries, fashion is shaped by economic and political forces. This step is crucial to transparency: how can a company disclose information on a product if it doesn’t know all the steps involved in making it? Ethical fashion is a tiny bit different from sustainable fashion, in the sense that it focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry: ethical literally means “morally right”. Minimalism is about reducing the amount of stuff (in our case, clothes) that you own. There's no such thing. In light o f this definition, sustainable fashion refers to a more environmentally-friendly approach to designing, manufacturing and consuming clothes, making sure … Transparency is the practice of openly sharing information about how, where, and by whom a product was made. There you have it: the ultimate sustainable and ethical fashion glossary? Sustainable fashion means finding a balance when designing, manufacturing, and consuming clothes. Sustainable fashion is thus partly about producing clothes, shoes and accessories in environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manners, but also about more sustainable patterns of consumption and use, which necessitate shifts in individual attitudes and behaviour. Hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as being 100% sustainable with fashion… A Delhi-based fashion studio called “Doodlage” uses waste materials to make new clothes. We started talking about “ethical fashion” a lot after the collapse of the Rana Plaza in 2013, as we started realising the extreme conditions in which clothes are manufactured. What do they all mean? Plus it encourages creativity and innovation! If you’re interested in living more sustainably, I’ve listed 20 essential terms that are used in the sustainable and ethical fashion world: Let’s start with the basics: in 1987, the UN defined sustainability as: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. For some, ‘ethical fashion’ focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry and what is “morally right”. Read more about fair trade and what it means for the fashion industry, typical wages are only one quarter to one half of what a worker needs for a decent life, Here’s everything you need to know about the impact of a living wage for garment workers, What you need to know about the day that ignited an ethical fashion revolution. In the fashion industry, like in many industries, we hear a lot about recycled plastics. It can be a bit confusing. In fact, on average, a whopping 9 million synthetic microfibres go down the drain in an average load of washing in Europe! Plus, animal rights in the fashion industry can often be linked to broader environmental issues. Minimalism can also be applied to style: having straightforward, essential, often monochromatic pieces, so your style is as streamlined as possible. In Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia, for example, typical wages are only one quarter to one half of what a worker needs for a decent life. But what do these words really me It refers to raw materials that are not genetically modified (GM) and have been grown without any chemical pesticides and insecticides. Also based on the Cradle to Cradle approach, it’s a concept we’ve been hearing about more and more. All our grandmas were upcyclers, re-using and re-purposing old items to make something new. During this week, consumers ask brands #whomademyclothes, to promote transparency in the fashion supply chain. William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle, Learn more about the ins and outs of recycled plastic clothing, Discover the best ethical and sustainable fashion brands from all over the world, Here are some ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ organic brands, Discover our favourite vegan fashion brands, Read our guide to cruelty-free hair and skincare (on a budget), Here are our tips for selling old clothes online. If you’ve heard of Marie Kondo, then you might already have an idea of what minimalism is. So some companies have started looking at recycling plastic into new clothes: for example, turning plastic bottles into yarn to make fleece sweaters or leggings. In short, they’re not exactly ethical and sustainable. Transparency is the practice of openly sharing information about how, where and by whom a product was made. There are so many words and definitions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first. Companies usually market supposedly “environmentally-friendly” initiatives, like having one tiny eco-friendly line, using recycled packaging and switching to LED lights in their offices while not addressing critical environmental and labour issues. Coined by Kate Fletcher of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, following the phenomenon of the slow food movement, slow fashion is, put simply, the opposite of fast fashion. Diversity is an important part of the movement that directly addresses the representation of diverse peoples in everything from the supply chain, to the models used in advertisement, to the leadership positions. It’s about ensuring the fashion industry both creates good and avoids harm, whether to people, the planet, or animals. Ethical and sustainable fashion are often used interchangeably. Whether you have started, or are planning to become a sustainable fashion designer, designing on sustainability principles is a lot more than using organic fabrics, dyes, and textiles. Minimalism has become popular recently thanks to Marie Kondo (and her recent Netflix series, that I have yet to watch) and The Minimalists’ Netflix Documentary. It is often used to imply sustainability, ethical practices or eco fashion. Fast Fashion brands are incredibly cheap and have been associated with overproduction, waste, deplorable working conditions and terrible environmental impact. Upcycling is excellent because it removes waste from the system; it requires less energy than recycling, and so has a better environmental impact. It means avoiding the depletion of natural resources, but also the exploitation of individuals and communities. Let me know in the comments below! Circular Fashion moves away from the traditional linear take-make-dispose business model. 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