This week I have pulled together a glossary of terms for you to better understand the ethical lingo. It can be confusing and there are a lot of buzz words out there that can send our heads into a spin.
Here's a dedicated Ethical Terms A - Z especially for you:
Alternative - In ethical fashion alternative often refers to a "Fast Fashion alternative" for example, rather than buying fast fashion what could you buy?
Black Friday - Black Friday is the Friday before Christmas, retailers reduce their prices and consumers go a little crazy. It's a day that shows consumerism at it's worst.
Biodegradable - Consumers have forced a shift to more biodegradable products, these are products that are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and thereby avoiding pollution.
Capsule Collection - "A small collection of items including clothing, jewellery, accessories and shoes that encourage you to wear your favourite things every day (not the trendiest things, the most stylish things, or the perfect things … your favourite things)" - Courtney Carver, Project 333
Clothing swap – A clothes swap can be organised between friends, you take items of clothing that you no longer wear, yet are in good condition and swap them out between your friends. Have you ever been on a night out and seen your friend in an outfit, yeah well she might bring it along! Winning!
Carbon Footprint – The amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual. Think, flying multiple ASOS packages from the UK to Australia each month...yeah your Carbon Footprint would be huuuuge!
Conscious Consumer – A conscious consumer is a person who is aware of the impacts of their purchases. Therefore, when they make a purchase they do so with a lot of care and thought. Think "Do I need this?" "Where was it made?" "Who made my clothes?"
Circular Fashion System - A circular fashion system is a closed loop. "A circular model is rooted in reuse, eradicating waste by breaking down products at the end of their life cycle and turning them into the building blocks of new products, continuing the cycle as many times as possible" - Eva Kruse, Copenhagen Fashion Summit
Climate change - Did you ever see that Leonardo Di'Caprio speech on climate change...
Dyes - Natural dyes are coloured compounds that are sourced from natural resources. No chemical additives are needed to create the coloured dyes - Cossac.co.uk
Environmentally Friendly – Also known as eco-friendly, these are products that have minimal or no harm on the environment and ecosystem. Environmentally friendly manufacturers are taking steps towards bettering our planet and taking care of mother earth.
Ethical – Everyone has their own definition of ethical fashion. For us it is simple, ethical fashion is fashion that is designed and made mindfully with minimal negative impact on people and the planet.
Economics - is a social science concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
Empowerment - We believe in the basic principle that each and every person is entitled to equal opportunities. Empowerment and Independence go hand in hand. For example we work with brands who are offering training and employment to disadvantaged people and communities. Enabling them to permanently lift themselves out of poverty and gain back independence!
Ethical Fashion Report - is published through the Behind the Barcode project. The research published in this report will help you make better ethical fashion choices. Click here to view the 2017 report.
Fashion Revolution - Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.
Fashion Revolution Day - April 24 is Fashion Revolution Day – a day when we're asked to stop and think about where our clothing comes from. The day commemorates the 1134 deaths in the Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka in 2013 - a very visible and confronting reminder of how the clothes we enjoy are made.
Fair Trade - Fair Trade is a long term partnership between producers and traders based on mutual respect and transparency. Fair Trade enables people to put food on their tables and to send their children to school. Fair Trade has the potential to alleviate poverty at the household level. By changing the unfair structures of world trade, it creates a more democratic system. PeopleTree.co.uk
Fast Fashion - There used to be 4 fashion seasons in a year, now there are 52. The term “fast fashion” refers to a phenomenon in the fashion industry whereby production processes are expedited in order to get new trends to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible. As a result of this trend, the tradition of introducing new fashion lines on a seasonal basis is being challenged. Today, it is not uncommon for fast-fashion retailers to introduce new products multiple times in a single week. - Investopedia.com
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) - The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) integrates all of the textile processing stages, from the fibre to the finished product: the raw fibre must be organic farming certified and all the manufacturing processes involved must be inspected. The aim of this standard is to guarantee the traceability, the use of chemical friendly with the environment and the consumer’s health. ecocert.com
Green Fashion - Eco-fashion is also called as Green fashion that is designed to be environment friendly.Green fashion is part of the larger trend of sustainable design where a product is created and produced with consideration to the environmental and social impact it may have throughout its total life span. slideshare.net
#Grexy - #GREXY is that guy you see at your local grocer with the cloth bag swung casually over his shoulder. #GREXY is the woman in the power suit asking to have her latte-to-go in a keep cup. #GREXY is asking if the chicken’s free range. giveafork.com.au
Haulternative - Created by Fashion Revolution. You don’t need to buy new clothes to enjoy a haul. Instead of the traditional fashion haul, where you go shopping and post a video of what you’ve bought, try a #haulternative; a way of refreshing your wardrobe without buying new clothes.
Hand Made - In a world dominated by fast fashion, owning an item of clothing that has been crafted by hand and not by a machine adds an element of luxury and quality.
Investment Clothing - I should need to explain this, but investing in clothing seems to be a thing of the past so here goes. Investment clothing are items of clothing you have saved up for, spent a little more than you would normally spend and you will where them for many years to come.
"People used to save their money for years and buy something that was; whatever variable levels of expensive, expensive for them, treasure it, keep it and pass it down. That way of thinking, I think, has been lost" Vanessa Friedman - Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic, New York Times.
Leather (Up-cycled) - Up-cycled leather is leather goods that are repurposed. Parts or the entirety of the old leather product can be used again for another purpose reducing the need to produce fresh leather pelts. Cossac.co.uk
Lyocell - Tencel is a natural man made fibre also referred to a Lyocell. Tencel is made from wool pulp from sustainable tree farms. The production process is based on s closed loop solvent spinning that recovers or decomposes all solvents and emissions. Tencel has been budded the fabric of the future thanks to its eco-friendly and economical production process. Cossac.co.uk
Low Impact - Low impact fashion is fashion that had been designed and manufactured with minimal impact on people and the planet.
Locally Made - Shopping locally made products allows for better product knowledge, supports local entrepreneurs and keeps skills local. It also reduces your carbon footprint which impacts Global Warming...Leo would be proud!
Linear Economy - Today's linear 'take, make, dispose' economic model relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and is a model that is reaching its physical limits. ellenmacarthurfoundation.org
Land Fill - A landfill site is a site for the disposal of waste materials. In Australia alone, more than 500,000 tonnes of textiles and leather end up in landfill each year. abc.net.au
Minimal Waste - The fashion and textile industry is the second most polluting industry after Oil...that is huge. Brands are reducing the amount of waste hitting landfill by creating made to order products. Having something made especially for you ensures you won’t be wearing the same dress as Sue from Accounts at the next office party.
Markets - Markets are the best for buying second hand clothing and accessories. Be sure to get up early to be in with a chance of scoring the bargains. The early bird catches the worm.
Mass Production / Manufacturing - Mass Production is something that is made/produced in large quantities quickly and often cheaply. For fashion, much of the mass produced garments are made in garment factories in Bangladesh, India and South East Asia.
Minimalism - Is a lifestyle trend that’s been growing over the last few years. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately. If you’re passionate about sustainability you can’t help but notice these are connected. Moving away from crazy consumerism means moving towards buying long lasting quality over available quantity, and encourages a more ethical approach to buying.
Mirco Fibres - Is a form of Micro-plastic, micro-fibers (less than 5mm in length) detach from our synthetic clothes during washing. Synthetic fabrics include polyester, acrylic and nylon, which means most of us own clothing made from plastic. Micro-plastics may be small, but they’re causing big problems for our environment and our health. You can read more about it here.
Natural Fibres - Natural fibre clothing is made from natural materials that have been used to make clothing for thousands of years. Natural fibres include: empoweredsustenance.com
- Linen (made from flax)
Organic - This refers to garments and accessories produced with minimal or no use of chemicals. An organic cotton t-shirt is an example of organic fashion. ethicallyengaged.co
Op Shops - Short for opportunity shop, also know as second hand shop or thrift shop. One man's trash is another mans come up.
Girl #1: I love your shirt.
Girl #2: Isn’t it gorgeous? You know it’s Scanlan.
Girl #1: Serious?
Girl #2: You won’t believe this... but I found it at the op shop.... $7.50.
Girl #1: Oh. My. God. I am sick with envy.
Pesticides - a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals. Often used on cotton farms.
Pleather - Otherwise know as vegan leather is leather made from animal friendly materials.
Quality Over Quantity - Similar to "Investment Pieces" above buying quality clothing that will stand the test of time will save you $$$ in the long run. A wise women once said "Buy less, choose well, make it last" - Vivienne Westwood
Recycle - For Example Donating your clothes to a local charity shop
Repairing - Sewing on some new buttons, repair that rip on the seam.
Reselling - Selling your unwanted clothing on a Facebook buy/sell group, at a local market or garage sale.
Reducing - Simple, not buying as much as you would usually. Think about how often you buy new clothes, I challenge you to half it over the next month.
Sustainable - innovative and problem solving manufacturing, from Natural and Organic fabrics, biodegradable materials and non-toxic dyes
Supply Chain - Is a network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a specific product, and the supply chain represents the steps it takes to get the product or service to the customer. Investopedia.com
Slow Fashion - a term introduced by sustainable design consultant Kate Fletcher in 2008. Quality rather than quantity is valued in slow fashion. It is the opposite of the fast fashion industry (see definition above). EthicallyEngaged.Co
Synthetic Fibres - Synthetic fabrics are textiles made from man-made rather than natural fibres. Examples of synthetic fabrics include polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, acetate, spandex, latex, Orlon and Kevlar.
Slave to Fashion - A book and campaign by the wonderful Safia Minney to raise awareness of modern slavery in the fashion industry and shows how it can be eradicated by business and us as consumers.
Transparent Production - Brands that can tell you who, how, where and when their products were made. A simple and transparent supply chain from crop to shop.
Trans-seasonal - Clothing that can be worn all year round in summer and in winter, like a classic tee.
Textile Waste - is a material that is deemed unusable for it's original purpose. Textile waste can include fashion and textile industry waste which is created during clothing production, and consumer waste, created during consumer use and disposal. Read up on some scary stats here.
The True Cost - A documentary film that go behind the scenes and puts the fashion industry under the magnifying glass. It is a real eye opener and if you haven't yet watched it. Here's the trailer.
Up-Cycled - It’s almost like giving unwanted materials a facelift. Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
Vegan Friendly - It’s simple. We like animals. No animals were harmed in the making of these products.
Vintage - Vintage clothing is a generic term for garments originating from a previous era. The phrase is also used in connection with a retail outlet, e.g. "vintage clothing store.
Values - Every person has different values, that's what make us all interesting. So when it comes to shopping you should also have the option to choose to shop brands that align with your values.
Water Waste - It can take more than 20,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of cotton; equivalent to a single T-shirt and pair of jeans. wwf.panda.org
War on Waste - Craig Reucassel presents a three-part series, on a mission to see if we, as a nation, can reduce our waste. #WarOnWasteAU
Zero Waste - Today’s throw-away societies create and dispose of vast quantities of waste every day. Zero waste means setting a new goal for how we live in the world – one that aims to reduce what we trash in landfills and incinerators to zero – and to rebuild our local economies in support of community health, sustainability, and justice.