This could mean using regeneration processes, like donating a portion of sales to plant trees, or even investing in carbon neutral shipping. It is based partly on William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle design philosophy. 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. This 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 leadership positions. What is sustainable fashion? This guide from The Guardian breaks down the sometimes confusing terminology around sustainable fashion. Lush is an excellent example of a cruelty-free company. Organic farming practices avoid using harmful chemicals while aiming for environmental sustainability and the use of fewer resources. A living wage is the bare minimum wage required for workers to live a decent life. 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, … "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. 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. Vegan refers to products that have been made using zero animal products or by-products. 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. 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. Ethical fashion goes beyond your local labour laws and covers a wide range of issues such as living wages, working conditions, animal welfare, and vegan fashion. In addition, fashion companies should contribute to encouraging more sustainable consumption patterns, caring and washing practices, and overall attitudes to fashion. Sustainable fashion. In this post, we cover some of the basics so that you can feel more comfortable in learning your sustainable fashion. Greenwashing is the use of marketing to portray an organisation’s products, activities, or policies as environmentally friendly when they are not. It has been created by Condé Nast, in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, University of Arts London. Fashion-forward There are styles that are not currently in trend but are so good that will become fashionable pretty soon. Biodegradable means an item can naturally break down in the environment without causing harm. 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! All our grandmas were upcyclers, re-using and re-purposing old items to make something new. What do they all mean? Account; Checkout; Wishlist – Menu 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. They don’t always have to be a sustainable fashion brand, though some may be. It’s usually cheap, trendy clothing, produced at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand, so shoppers can snap them up while they are still “hot”, and then, sadly, discard them after a few wears. For some, ‘ethical fashion’ focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry … 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. For fashion, it can mean having a minimal amount of clothes in your wardrobe that feel right for you and bring joy. A capsule wardrobe is a logical selection of clothing that you not only love to wear, but that is practical and versatile. It allows customers to know exactly what they’re buying, with details from every step of the production process. As you might already know, we humans produce and consume an enormous amount of plastic. You might come across brands with biodegradable packaging, which is one of the most eco-friendly packaging options! But what do these words really me By: Lauren Indvik. Brands & Consumers. Sustainable fashion concerns more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. 60-80% of a garment impact on sustainability depends on the choices made at design and development stage. Music-related fashion from the early and mid 1970s with colorful ambisexual outfits, such as platform shoes and single piece glitter suits. Fashion-forward also refers to people who have their fashion game right and know what will become a trend in the near future. Upcycling is excellent because it removes waste from the system; it requires less energy than recycling, and so has a better environmental impact. 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. If you’ve heard of Marie Kondo, then you might already have an idea of what minimalism is. For example, we’ve asked consumers what does sustainable fashion mean to them. For some, ‘ethical fashion’ focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry and what is “morally right”. 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. As well as ensuring good working conditions for all, businesses should look at all parts of their operations to make sure they are creating products and services that build, rather than erode, communities. Because organic products are becoming increasingly popular, using the word “organic” can be incredibly persuasive: beware of greenwashing and of fashion brands claiming to do better when they are still not addressing other vital issues. Upcycling also turns waste into reusable material, but of better quality. Wear the change you want to see. Or preferably, all three! Speaking of which, I wrote about my 9 tips to shopping more mindfully! If a brand states they are fair trade, it doesn't mean their products are earth-friendly. These chemicals can be harmful to the planet, the people that produce the plants and the consumer who wears the final product. Fair trade refers to a general movement that seeks greater equity in international trade and promotes sustainable development. Transparency is the practice of openly sharing information about how, where, and by whom a product was made. 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. Sustainable fashion means finding a balance when designing, manufacturing, and consuming clothes. There's no such thing. How to become a sustainable fashion designer . There are so many words and definitions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in particular, has been advocating for a global circular economy. Find out what each of these buzzword means in our Fair Fashion Glossary. Simply put, the answer to ‘what is sustainable fashion’ differs according to who you ask. But how do we know what’s good? Am I missing some words? The Home of Slow & Sustainable Fashion. Cruelty-free is closely linked to veganism: it refers to products, usually cosmetics, that have not been tested on animals. When you discover sustainable fashion, a whole new world of possibilities opens up before your very eyes. Second-hand refers to clothes that have been pre-loved, that have had a previous owner and that were donated or resold. Greenwashing is when a company gives a false impression that its products are more ethical and sustainable than they really are. Ethical fashion covers a wide range of issues such as living wages, working conditions, health and safety, forced labour, child labour. Minimalism is about reducing the amount of stuff (in our case, clothes) that you own. It’s different from the legal minimum wage, which is usually far below the living wage! It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion. Sustainable fashion? Here’s what to look out for if you want to buy better Clothes by Elizabeth Suzann an excellent example of an ‘ethical’ brand. Sustainable Fashion This term usually means eco-friendly practices in the fashion industry, referencing the approach of designing, producing and consuming clothes that respect the planet by causing little to no damage, and therefore sustaining the environment. It is about re-using and re-purposing old items to make something new, like using old bedsheets to make a face mask. 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. Minimalism can also be applied to style: having straightforward, essential, often monochromatic pieces, so your style is as streamlined as possible. It’s not about having nothing; it’s about having less. Conscious Fashion is an all-encompassing term. Sustainable fashion terminology can be confusing to most. It’s a growing concern nowadays as some companies are trying to benefit from the growing demand for sustainable and ethical 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. William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle, Climate urgency: it’s now, and it might be you. 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. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. Plus, animal rights in the fashion industry can often be linked to broader environmental issues. It’s when you decide to consume consciously, taking the time to reflect on the impact of your garments and trying to reduce it. All these terms are used almost interchangeably, however, they all mean something different according to their definitions. Ethical fashion. In light o f this definition, sustainable fashion refers to a more environmentally-friendly approach to designing, manufacturing and consuming clothes, making sure … Here is: How to be Sustainable! Organic cotton, in particular, is becoming popular, although its production is far from perfect. It is known as the 5 R's of fashion -- reduce, repair, recycle, repurpose, and reinvent. Again based on the Cradle to Cradle approach, upcycling also turns waste into reusable material, but of better quality. We talk about cruelty-free fashion when referring to a product (usually cosmetics) that has not been tested on animals. Fast Fashion, is derived from “Fast Food” and is used to describe clothes are that produced quickly and inexpensively to fit the latest trends, usually copied directly from the runway. 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. Conscious fashion is all about positively rethinking our decision and buying process to move away from mindless consumerism. Upcycling removes waste from the system, requires less energy than recycling, and so has a better environmental impact. Did you find it helpful? At Good On You, we believe fashion brands have a responsibility and should be transparent about their impact. As a result, Fashion Revolution launched its Fashion Revolution Week, which happens every April and promotes their #whomademyclothes campaign. We’ve created this super sustainable and ethical fashion glossary so you can navigate the ethical fashion world with ease. All materials break down eventually, but some of them can take thousands of years and release harmful chemicals and substances in the process. Green fashion, ethical fashion, fair fashion, sustainable fashion? Slow Fashion also focuses on “style” rather than “fashion”; this means developing a personal sense of taste instead of frantically following trends. 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. Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Feature image via Unsplash. Plus it encourages creativity and innovation! It’s a movement and approach to fashion which considers the processes and resources required to make clothing, particularly focusing on sustainability. Plus it encourages creativity and innovation! 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. Is a minimalist wardrobe the key to a happier and more sustainable lifestyle? 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. ( Green Strategy ). Several organisations, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) are helping consumers find certified organic clothes. That’s another word we’ve been hearing a lot since 2013. Minimalism is about stripping back the unnecessary, leaving only the things that provide you with real value and joy. 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! It’s about ensuring the fashion industry both creates good and avoids harm, whether to people, the planet, or animals. The terminology around sustainable fashion can feel confusing. Hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as being 100% sustainable with fashion… How Soon Will Climate Change Force You to Move? 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”. How can you tell when a fashion brand is greenwashing? It is worth noting, however, that cruelty-free doesn’t always mean vegan, so if you want your clothes and accessories entirely animal-free, don’t rely on this as the standard! Ethical and sustainable fashion are often used interchangeably. A Delhi-based fashion studio called “Doodlage” uses waste materials to make new clothes. Fairtrade, on the other hand, specifically refers to the certifying and labelling organisation Fairtrade International. 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 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. This doesn’t mean they necessarily are a sustainable brand. A living wage is the minimum wage income necessary for workers to meet their basic needs and live a decent life. Greenwashing is an increasing concern nowadays as companies are trying to benefit from the growing demand for eco-friendly and ethical clothes. Circular Fashion moves away from the traditional linear take-make-dispose business model. Sustainable fashion terminology: slow fashion. It refers to buying less, to reducing our consumption of clothes and focusing on things that will last longer (instead of that cheap polyester top that shrunk the first time you put in the washing machine, WHY). It was born on 24th April 2013, when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed, killing 1138 people and injuring many more. Fashion Revolution launched its Fashion Revolution Week, which happens every April and promotes their #whomademyclothes campaign. (Green Strategy, June 2014) It seems that we have reached the peak of Fast Fashion and that big changes are being made. You may have come across mentions of diversity or inclusivity in the ethical fashion sphere. 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”. Learn more about ethical and sustainable fashion, Discover how to spot a fast fashion brand, Here are some of our favourite slow fashion brands, capsule wardrobes are a good place to start. It’s not a new concept, although we’ve been hearing about it more and more. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links. Use our Directory to search more than 2,000 brands. 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. Organic is a term we see a lot in the food industry, but which also applies to fashion. During this week, consumers ask brands #whomademyclothes to promote transparency in the fashion supply chain. Though the trend tends to lean on if a brand to In the process, you also encounter a whole new lot of terminology you didn’t know before. You’ve probably heard about fair trade before or have seen certifications on products at the supermarket. There are many fashion brands throwing “green terminology” around. It’s different from the legal minimum wage which is usually way below the living wage. Ethical fashion can also include the fair treatment of animals, vegan and cruelty-free fashion. Several organisations, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) are helping consumers find certified organic items. A true cyclical life cycle guarantees recycle or reuse, feeding the end waste back into the system to be used again. 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? 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. Lush, for example, is a well-known cruelty-free company. 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). 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.”. Download our app to discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up. 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 means finding a balance when designing, manufacturing, and consuming clothes. Sustainable fashion also focuses on extending the life of clothes, using recycled materials and recycling in general. 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. It is often used to imply sustainability, ethical practices or eco fashion. It is like a living organism — always evolving and changing. 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 Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia, for example, typical wages are only one quarter to one half of what a worker needs for a decent life. You can learn more about this topic in this comprehensive article by Good On You. 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