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sustainable fashion terminology

It’s about ensuring the fashion industry both creates good and avoids harm, whether to people, the planet, or animals. 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. Fast Fashion brands are incredibly cheap and have been associated with overproduction, waste, deplorable working conditions and terrible environmental impact. Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Fast Fashion pioneers include H&M, Zara and TopShop, although SUPER Fast Fashion (so even worse than their elders) brands have been emerging, such as Fashion Nova, Zaful, Missguided and Boohoo. Microplastics or microfibres refer to plastic particles smaller than 5mm. 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, … Fashion-forward There are styles that are not currently in trend but are so good that will become fashionable pretty soon. Vegan refers to products that have been made using zero animal products or by-products. The industry's marketing may be … A living wage is the bare minimum wage required for workers to live a decent life. In light of this definition, sustainable fashion refers to a more environmentally-friendly approach to designing, manufacturing and consuming clothes, making sure we cause little to no harm to our planet and don’t use up all its natural resources. 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”. Plus, animal rights in the fashion industry can often be linked to broader environmental issues. 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. 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. Minimalism is about reducing the amount of stuff (in our case, clothes) that you own. A Delhi-based fashion studio called “Doodlage” uses waste materials to make new clothes. It’s a movement and approach to fashion which considers the processes and resources required to make clothing, particularly focusing on sustainability. It’s a growing concern nowadays as some companies are trying to benefit from the growing demand for sustainable and ethical clothes. At Good On You, we believe fashion brands have a responsibility and should be transparent about their impact. Plus it encourages creativity and innovation! Sustainable fashion also focuses on extending the life of clothes, using recycled materials and recycling in general. It’s different from the legal minimum wage, which is usually far below the living wage! It plays into the idea that outfit repeating is a fashion faux pas, and that if you want to stay “in fashion”, you have to have the latest looks as they happen. 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 (..).”. 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. Conscious fashion is all about positively rethinking our decision and buying process to move away from mindless consumerism. A true cyclical life cycle guarantees recycle or reuse, feeding the end waste back into the system to be used again. Good on people,the planet and animals.Good on you. Lush, for example, is a well-known cruelty-free company. A capsule wardrobe is a logical selection of clothing that you not only love to wear, but that is practical and versatile. Download our app to discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up. Sustainable fashion terminology: slow fashion. 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. How to become a sustainable fashion designer . In fact, on average, a whopping 9 million synthetic microfibres go down the drain in an average load of washing in Europe! It is like a living organism — always evolving and changing. It is based partly on William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle design philosophy. Gunmetal A color that refers to an Alloy popular in the 1890's which is a mixture of 90\% copper and 10\% tin. You can learn more about this topic in this comprehensive article by Good On You. Again based on the Cradle to Cradle approach, upcycling also turns waste into reusable material, but of better quality. Pros and Cons of second hand, slow & fair fashion, vegan, organic cotton, clothing swaps, minimalism, local production and recycled materials. Did you find it helpful? Greenwashing is when a company gives a false impression that its products are more ethical and sustainable than they really are. Fashion Revolution launched its Fashion Revolution Week, which happens every April and promotes their #whomademyclothes campaign. Sustainable fashion concerns more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. 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. Transparency is the practice of openly sharing information about how, where, and by whom a product was made. If you’re interested in minimalism but are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole process, then capsule wardrobes are a good place to start! Being transparent means publishing all information about every actor involved in the production process, from start to finish, from the fields to the store shelves. Ethical fashion, sustainable fashion, eco-friendly, organic, fair trade, vegan… what do they all mean?! 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. Diversity and sustainability are closely linked, and it’s been shown that “companies with more diverse leadership have better environmental compliance reporting, in addition to stronger financial returns.”. It means buying better quality garments less often that will last for longer, and values fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet. Ethical fashion. Conscious Fashion is an all-encompassing term. Biodegradable items, on the contrary, can naturally decompose in the environment and avoid pollution. It’s based partly on William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle design philosophy (they wrote a book about it, which I highly recommend). Hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as being 100% sustainable with fashion… Or preferably, all three! People are increasingly looking for products that are better for them and for the environment. Let me know in the comments below! Wear the change you want to see. Ethical and sustainable fashion are often used interchangeably. For some, ‘ethical fashion’ focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry … Several organisations, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) are helping consumers find certified organic clothes. There are many fashion brands throwing “green terminology” around. At Good On You, one of the three areas we are most passionate about and look closely at when rating brands is animal welfare, so this is a definition close to our hearts! The Home of Slow & Sustainable Fashion. But since recycled plastic clothing is still plastic after all, the topic is contentious and highly debated in the industry. The Sustainable Fashion Glossary is our long-standing commitment to drive change in the world of fashion, design, and style, bringing together academic rigour and Condé Nast’s diverse point of view. In short, they’re not exactly ethical and sustainable. This might look like brands that cater to plus-size individuals, have racially diverse employees, or celebrate and support LGBTQIA+ organisations. You might come across brands with biodegradable packaging, which is one of the most eco-friendly packaging options! 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. 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? We talk about cruelty-free fashion when referring to a product (usually cosmetics) that has not been tested on animals. If you keep up with fashion trends, you are likely to know what’s in vogue for a particular season. Fear not, we’re here to help! This doesn’t mean they necessarily are a sustainable brand. It can be a bit confusing. By: Lauren Indvik. They don’t always have to be a sustainable fashion brand, though some may be. For some, ‘ethical fashion’ focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry and what is “morally right”. Plus it encourages creativity and innovation! It is often used to imply sustainability, ethical practices or eco fashion. Here is: How to be Sustainable! Slow Fashion is the opposite of Fast Fashion. But how do we know what’s good? Recycling is the action of converting waste into something new. During this week, consumers ask brands #whomademyclothes, to promote transparency in the fashion supply chain. It was born on 24th April 2013, when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed, killing 1138 people and injuring many more. Lush is an excellent example of a cruelty-free company. All materials break down eventually, but some of them can take thousands of years and can release chemicals and harmful substances in the process. 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. The current fashion landscape is experiencing pervasive greenwashing where ‘sustainability’ has become a buzzword used by marketeers to tout supposed ‘ethical’ credentials. Fashion-forward also refers to people who have their fashion game right and know what will become a trend in the near future. Green fashion, ethical fashion, fair fashion, sustainable fashion? Financial Times. In addition, fashion companies should contribute to encouraging more sustainable consumption patterns, caring and washing practices, and overall attitudes to fashion. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in particular, has been advocating for a global circular economy. Organic refers to raw materials that are not genetically modified (GM), and have been grown without any chemical pesticides and insecticides. Second-hand is pretty straightforward: it refers to clothes that have had a previous owner and that were donated or resold. In the fashion industry, like in many industries, we hear a lot about recycled plastics. But carbon offsetting is not that simple, and sadly is not a miracle solution to climate change! are generally preferable over virgin, petroleum-derived synthetics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon. Traceability is crucial for transparency. Organic is a term we see a lot in the food industry, but which also applies to fashion. Account; Checkout; Wishlist – Menu This guide from The Guardian breaks down the sometimes confusing terminology around sustainable fashion. 17 Nov, 2020 04:00 AM 15 minutes to read. For example, some brands have turned plastic bottles into yarn to make fleece sweaters or coats. Most respondents defined sustainable fashion as a way of preserving resources in the process of supplying, manufacturing, transporting, selling and consuming fashion products. For some brands it is used to imply mindful and purposeful and can also be used as a part of the brand name. Fast Fashion can be defined as a model of mass-producing cheaply made, “of-the-moment” items that are sold at a lower price point. Fair trade refers to a general movement that seeks greater equity in international trade and promotes sustainable development. This could mean using regeneration processes, like donating a portion of sales to plant trees, or even investing in carbon neutral shipping. There are so many words and definitions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first. Conscious fashion is a bit similar to slow fashion. It is about re-using and re-purposing old items to make something new, like using old bedsheets to make a face mask. Fair trade describes a brand or an individual product that has been certified and labelled by an independent organisation because it meets certain standards. It is best to check for more information on their website and even contact them to verify if that is something that is of real importance to you. William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle, Climate urgency: it’s now, and it might be you. These chemicals can be harmful to the planet, the people that produce the plants and the consumer who wears the final product. ( Green Strategy ). Upcycling also turns waste into reusable material, but of better quality. Like many other industries, fashion is shaped by economic and political forces. It’s not a new concept, although we’ve been hearing about it more and more. In 2013, the world had a reality check when the Rana Plaza clothing manufacturing complex in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,000 workers. There's no such thing. 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. "Many sustainable labels are genuine pioneers in seeking to transform the industry from inside out," Bel Jacobs, of Extinction Rebellion's "Boycott Fashion" campaign, said. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. Feature image via Unsplash. What are the differences? 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. 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? Sustainable fashion. Circular fashion refers to clothes that are designed, produced and sold to design out waste and pollution, keep the product and the materials that constitute it in use (while maintaining their quality), and to dispose of it in a way that regenerates the natural systems. In light o f this definition, sustainable fashion refers to a more environmentally-friendly approach to designing, manufacturing and consuming clothes, making sure … 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. 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”. As a result, organic materials, and especially organic cotton, are becoming popular. 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. 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. Look out for PETA-certified vegan products to ensure there are no hidden animal ingredients in your clothes and accessories. Vegan fashion refers to items that have been designed with zero animal products and by-products. Here are 22 sustainable and ethical fashion words you need to know! You may have come across mentions of diversity or inclusivity in the ethical fashion sphere. Ethical and sustainable fashion are often used interchangeably. Second-hand refers to clothes that have been pre-loved, that have had a previous owner and that were donated or resold. 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. Because a brand says they are sustainable, does n't mean they are ethical killing 1138 people and injuring more... Recycling, and have been made using zero animal products and by-products it means that Fairtrade International has specifically it... Clothing that you not only love to wear, but what is it exactly can be from. Affiliate links clothing is still plastic after all, the planet, celebrate! But are so many words and definitions, it ’ s not a miracle solution to Climate change you... Will become fashionable pretty soon there you have it: the ultimate sustainable and fashion... Its products are more ethical and sustainable planet, or celebrate and LGBTQIA+! 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