Sustainable Fashion Glossary – The Definitive Guide

Sustainable Fashion Glossary

Welcome to our Sustainable Fashion Glossary!

Delve into a wealth of terms across key categories that define the eco-conscious fashion world.

This guide is your concise, go-to resource for understanding the intricacies of sustainable fashion.

To quickly find a definition, use the search form below:

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Fashion Industry Practices

Fashion Industry Practices


An artisan is a skilled craftsperson who creates products by hand, often using traditional methods.

Example: Artisans in textile industries often use age-old techniques to weave, dye, and print fabrics, preserving cultural heritage.

Circular Economy

A circular economy is a sustainable economic model focusing on minimizing waste and making the most of resources. It involves reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products.

Example: In fashion, a circular economy is exemplified by clothing brands that design products for longevity and facilitate recycling of garments at the end of their life cycle.

Ethical Fashion

Ethical fashion refers to clothing and accessories produced in ways that value social welfare and worker rights. It emphasizes fair wages, safe working conditions, and environmentally friendly practices.

Example: Brands practicing ethical fashion often ensure fair trade and labor practices in their supply chains, like paying living wages to garment workers.

Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is a business model characterized by rapid and cheap production of high-volume clothing, often replicating current fashion trends. It typically prioritizes speed and cost over quality and sustainability.

Example: Retailers like H&M and Zara are known for fast fashion, quickly turning designs seen on fashion runways into affordable garments.

Slow Fashion

Slow fashion counters the fast fashion model by focusing on sustainable and ethical practices, including the use of high-quality materials, local craftsmanship, and timeless design.

Example: A slow fashion brand might produce limited collections annually using locally sourced organic materials, ensuring each piece is made to last.

Supply Chain

In fashion, the supply chain refers to the entire process of producing clothing, from raw material sourcing to manufacturing, distribution, and retail.

Example: A transparent supply chain in fashion includes knowing where the cotton in a T-shirt was grown, where the fabric was woven, and where the shirt was sewn.

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion encompasses creating and consuming fashion in a way that conserves resources and minimizes environmental impact. It often involves ethical production, use of eco-friendly materials, and longevity of products.

Example: Brands like Patagonia use recycled materials and encourage customers to repair old items instead of buying new.


Transparency in fashion implies openness about the production processes and supply chains, allowing consumers to know where and how their clothes are made.

Example: Everlane, known for its transparent pricing model, breaks down the costs involved in making each of its products.


Traceability in the fashion industry is the ability to track the origin and journey of a product, from raw materials to final sale.

Example: A traceable wool sweater might have information about the farm where the wool was sourced, the mill where it was spun, and the factory where it was knitted.

Eco Textiles

Eco textiles are fabrics produced in environmentally and socially responsible ways, often using organic raw materials and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

Example: Fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp are considered eco textiles due to their low environmental impact.

Conscious Manufacturing

Conscious manufacturing in fashion involves mindful production processes that consider environmental and social impacts, aiming for sustainability and ethical standards.

Example: A brand practicing conscious manufacturing might use renewable energy in its factories and ensure fair labor practices.

Green Manufacturing

Green manufacturing in the fashion industry refers to producing clothing and accessories in ways that reduce environmental damage, such as using less water, reducing emissions, and minimizing waste.

Example: Using solar power in garment factories and employing water recycling methods are practices of green manufacturing.

Lifecycle Assessment

Lifecycle assessment in fashion evaluates the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life, from material sourcing to disposal.

Example: Assessing the carbon footprint of a pair of jeans over its lifecycle, including the growing of the cotton, manufacturing, transportation, use, and eventual disposal.

Responsible Sourcing

Responsible sourcing in fashion means obtaining materials and products in a sustainable and ethical manner, ensuring resources are renewable and workers are treated fairly.

Example: Choosing certified organic cotton from fair-trade farms is an example of responsible sourcing.

Fair Labor Practices

Fair labor practices in the fashion industry entail ensuring equitable wages, safe working conditions, and respecting workers’ rights throughout the production process.

Example: Brands such as Patagonia are committed to ethical and sustainable fashion. They emphasize environmental responsibility and fair labor practices, working closely with suppliers to ensure high standards in their production processes.

Textile Recycling

Textile recycling involves reprocessing old clothing, fabric scraps, and other textiles into new materials or products, reducing waste and resource consumption.

Example: Patagonia’s Worn Wear program encourages customers to return used items for recycling into new products.

Zero-Waste Design

Zero-waste design in fashion is a creative approach that aims to produce clothing with minimal to no fabric waste.

Example: Designers like Daniel Silverstein create garments using a zero-waste pattern-making technique, utilizing all fabric pieces.

Fashion Activism

Fashion activism is the practice of using fashion as a medium for advocating for social, environmental, and political change.

Example: The Fashion Revolution movement, which advocates for transparency and sustainability in fashion, exemplifies fashion activism.

Sustainable Retailing

Sustainable retailing in fashion involves selling products in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner, often featuring sustainable and ethical brands.

Example: Stores like Reformation offer sustainable fashion products and use eco-friendly practices in their retail operations.

Fashion Transparency Index

The Fashion Transparency Index is a tool that ranks fashion brands based on the level of transparency in their supply chain and business practices.

Example: The Index helps consumers make informed choices by revealing how much information brands disclose about their production processes.

Environmental Impact

Environmental Impact

Air Quality Impact

The effect of fashion industry practices on air quality, including emissions from manufacturing and transportation.

Example: Reducing reliance on air freight and opting for sea or land transportation to lower carbon emissions in logistics.

Biodiversity Preservation

In fashion, biodiversity preservation involves practices that protect the variety of life in ecosystems affected by the production of textiles and clothing.

Example: Sourcing organic cotton from farms practicing crop rotation, which helps maintain soil health and supports diverse ecosystems.

Chemical Management

Chemical management in fashion refers to controlling and reducing the use of harmful chemicals in the production process.

Example: Implementing strict standards for chemical use in dyeing processes to prevent environmental contamination.

Deforestation Impact

The impact of fashion production on forests, including the loss of forested land due to material sourcing like wood-based fibers.

Example: Choosing alternatives to rayon and viscose that are sourced from endangered forests, to prevent deforestation.

Energy Efficiency in Production

This involves reducing the amount of energy used in the manufacturing process, often through sustainable practices and technologies.

Example: A garment factory using solar panels to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Eco-friendly Dyes

Eco-friendly dyes are non-toxic colorants used in textile production, causing minimal environmental harm.

Example: Using plant-based dyes for coloring fabrics, which are biodegradable and don’t contaminate water.


Eco-labeling in fashion refers to certifications that verify the environmental and social sustainability of products and practices.

Example: Products certified with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), ensuring organic status and sustainable production.

Life Cycle Analysis

Life cycle analysis in fashion assesses the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life cycle, from raw material to disposal.

Example: Evaluating the carbon footprint of a pair of jeans, considering the energy used in cotton production, fabric manufacturing, garment making, transportation, consumer use, and end-of-life disposal.

Natural Resource Conservation

The practice of using natural resources such as water, soil, and forests in a sustainable manner to prevent depletion.

Example: Employing water-saving techniques in cotton farming to conserve water resources.

Pollution Reduction

Pollution reduction in fashion involves minimizing the environmental pollution caused by the production and disposal of clothing.

Example: Brands using closed-loop water systems to reduce water pollution in the dyeing process.

Renewable Energy Use

Utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydro power in the production of fashion items to reduce carbon emissions.

Example: A factory powered entirely by solar energy, minimizing its carbon footprint.

Soil Health

Soil health refers to maintaining and improving the quality of soil through sustainable practices.

Example: Using organic farming methods that avoid harmful pesticides, thus preserving soil fertility.

Sustainable Fibers and Materials

Using fibers and materials in fashion that are sourced and produced in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Example: Utilizing organic hemp or cactus, which require less water and pesticides compared to conventional cotton.

Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging involves using materials and methods for packaging that are environmentally friendly, often being recyclable, biodegradable, or reusable.

Example: A clothing brand using recycled cardboard boxes and biodegradable packing peanuts.

Waste Management and Reduction

Implementing strategies to minimize waste in the fashion industry, including recycling, upcycling, and designing for longevity.

Example: A brand that recycles textile scraps into new fabrics or accessories, reducing landfill waste.

Water Pollution Control

Measures in the fashion industry to minimize the contamination of water resources during manufacturing and processing.

Example: Implementing wastewater treatment systems in textile mills to prevent harmful chemicals from entering waterways.

Materials and Fabrics

Materials & Fabrics

Alternative Materials (Bamboo, Hemp)

Eco-conscious materials that serve as sustainable substitutes for traditional fabrics, focusing on environmental impact and renewable resources.

Example: Bamboo fabric is favored for its softness and sustainable growth, making it a top choice in eco-friendly fashion. Hemp, known for its durability and minimal environmental footprint, is another excellent sustainable alternative. These materials offer both functionality and environmental responsibility, catering to the growing demand for sustainable living.

Animal Fiber

Fibers derived from animals, such as wool and cashmere, known for their warmth and texture.

Example: Merino wool used for high-quality, warm sweaters.

Bamboo Fiber

A sustainable fabric made from the pulp of bamboo grass, known for its softness and antibacterial properties.

Example: Bamboo socks and towels are popular for their softness and moisture-wicking properties.

Banana Fiber

Eco-friendly fiber made from the stem of banana plants, known for its durability and natural sheen.

Example: Banana fiber is used in making ropes, mats, and ethnic wear.

Cork Fabric

A natural, renewable material harvested from cork oak trees, used in fashion for its durability and unique texture.

Example: Cork is used in vegan accessories like handbags and wallets.

Deadstock Fabric

Surplus fabrics left over from larger productions, used to reduce waste in the fashion industry.

Example: Small designers often use deadstock fabrics for limited edition collections.

Eco Wool

Wool produced using environmentally friendly practices, without harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Example: Eco wool sweaters known for being sustainable and gentle on the skin.

Fruit Waste Fabric

Innovative textile made from the waste of fruit processing, turning by-products into valuable materials.

Example: Orange Fiber fabric, derived from citrus fruit waste, is used in creating sustainable and luxurious garments.

Hemp Fabric

A durable and eco-friendly fabric made from the fibers of the hemp plant.

Example: Hemp is used in making eco-friendly jeans and bags due to its strength and sustainability.

Jute Fabric

A natural fiber known for its coarse texture, derived from the jute plant, commonly used in sustainable packaging and home décor.

Example: Jute is widely used in making eco-friendly tote bags and rugs.


A sustainable fabric made from wood pulp, known for its softness, strength, and eco-friendly production process.

Example: Tencel clothing is popular for its smooth texture and moisture-wicking properties, ideal for sensitive skin.

Modal Fabric

A type of rayon fabric made from beech tree pulp, known for its softness and breathability.

Example: Modal is often used in underwear and activewear for its comfort and moisture-wicking properties.

Mushroom Leather (Mylo)

A sustainable and biodegradable material made from mycelium (mushroom roots), offering an eco-friendly alternative to animal leather.

Example: Mylo is used in high-end fashion for accessories like handbags and shoes, praised for its leather-like qualities and sustainability.

Nettle Fiber

A sustainable fiber obtained from the stinging nettle plant, used for its durability and natural resistance to pests.

Example: Nettle fiber is incorporated into eco-friendly outdoor clothing for its strength and natural properties.

Non-Mulesed Wool

A humane type of wool harvested from sheep that have not undergone mulesing, a painful procedure to remove skin folds around the tail. This wool is sought after for its ethical sourcing and high quality.

Example: Non-mulesed wool sweaters and blankets are favored for their softness and the assurance that the sheep were treated with care.

Organic Cotton

Cotton grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms.

Example: Organic cotton t-shirts are popular for their softness and sustainability.

Organic Linen

Linen made from flax plants grown without harmful chemicals or pesticides, known for its breathability and strength.

Example: Organic linen dresses and shirts are favored in summer for their lightweight and airy qualities.

Piñatex (Pineapple Leather)

A sustainable textile made from pineapple leaf fibers, serving as an eco-friendly alternative to leather.

Example: Piñatex is used in making wallets, shoes, and bags, appealing for its unique texture and sustainability.

Recycled Nylon

Nylon fabric made from recycled materials, such as fishing nets and industrial plastic, reducing waste and energy consumption.

Example: Recycled nylon is often used in sustainable swimwear and activewear due to its durability and environmental benefits.

Recycled Polyester

A sustainable fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and textile waste, reducing dependence on virgin resources.

Example: Recycled polyester used in sportswear and outdoor gear.

Regenerated Fibers

Fibers created by converting natural materials through chemical processes, often more sustainable than purely synthetic fibers.

Example: Modal and viscose are examples of regenerated fibers used for their silk-like feel in various garments.

Soy Fabric

A soft and silky fabric made from the by-products of soybean processing, known for its eco-friendly and biodegradable qualities.

Example: Soy fabric is utilized in making eco-conscious apparel like loungewear and scarves.

Synthetic Fibers

Man-made fibers like nylon and polyester, known for their durability and versatility.

Example: Polyester used in various garments for its wrinkle-resistance and durability.

Upcycled Fabrics

Fabrics that are repurposed from pre-existing materials or products, contributing to waste reduction in fashion.

Example: Upcycled fabric is used in creating unique clothing pieces from discarded textiles.

Vegan Leather

A cruelty-free alternative to animal leather, made from synthetic or plant materials.

Example: Vegan leather bags and shoes made from materials like pineapple leaves or cactus.

Certifications and Standards

Certifications & Standards

1% for the Planet

A certification for businesses committing at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes.

Example: A clothing brand donating 1% of its revenue to environmental nonprofits.

B Corporation

A certification for businesses meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Example: A fashion brand certified as a B Corp for its ethical labor practices and sustainable materials.

Bluesign Certification

A certification indicating that a product has met rigorous environmental, health, and safety standards in its production.

Example: Outdoor clothing with Bluesign certification, ensuring it’s made with safe chemicals and processes.

Carbon Neutral

A certification for companies, services, or products that have a net-zero carbon footprint.

Example: A fashion brand achieving carbon neutrality through emissions reductions and carbon offsetting.

Climate Neutral Certified

A label for businesses that have measured, reduced, and offset their entire carbon footprint.

Example: A retailer that has offset all emissions from its operations, earning Climate Neutral certification.

Cradle to Cradle Certification

A certification for products designed with materials that can be perpetually cycled and have minimal environmental impact.

Example: Clothing made with materials that can be recycled into new garments, earning Cradle to Cradle certification.

EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool)

A global rating system for electronics based on environmental criteria, including energy use and recyclability.

Example: A laptop with an EPEAT Gold rating for its energy efficiency and recyclable components.

Ethical Clothing Australia

An accreditation for Australian textile, clothing, and footwear companies that ensure their Australian supply chains are fully transparent and legally compliant.

Example: An Australian clothing brand accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia for maintaining a transparent and ethical supply chain.

Fair Trade/Fairtrade

This certification signifies that fashion products are created in accordance with principles that support sustainable livelihoods, safe working environments, and environmental stewardship.

Example: Fair trade certified clothing ensures that garment workers receive fair wages and work under safe conditions. This approach promotes ethical practices throughout the fashion supply chain, from the farming of natural fibers to the final production of garments.

Fair Wear Foundation

An organization that works with brands, factories, trade unions, NGOs, and governments to improve labor conditions in garment factories.

Example: A clothing brand part of the Fair Wear Foundation, demonstrating commitment to improving factory conditions.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

A certification for wood and paper products, ensuring they come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Example: FSC-certified paper used in sustainable fashion packaging.


Certification indicating that products originate from forests managed in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable manner.

Example: FSC-certified wood is used in creating eco-friendly fashion store fixtures, showcasing a commitment to sustainability not only in clothing but also in retail environment design.

Global GreenTag

A global certification assessing a product’s environmental, health, and social impact, with rigorous standards for sustainability.

Example: Flooring materials in retail stores that are Global GreenTag certified for low emissions and sustainable sourcing.

Global Recycle Standard

A standard for products made from recycled content, ensuring proper social, environmental, and chemical practices in production.

Example: A line of activewear made from recycled polyester meeting the Global Recycle Standard.

GOTS Certified

The Global Organic Textile Standard certifies textiles made from organic fibers, ensuring environmental and social criteria are met throughout the supply chain.

Example: A baby clothing line that is GOTS certified, using organic cotton and non-toxic dyes.

ISO 14001 (Environmental Management)

An international standard that specifies requirements for effective environmental management systems.

Example: A manufacturing facility with ISO 14001 certification for its sustainable and efficient use of resources.

LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for buildings that are resource-efficient and use less water and energy.

Example: A LEED-certified corporate headquarters for a fashion brand, featuring energy-efficient lighting and heating.

MSC Certified (Marine Stewardship Council)

A certification for sustainable fishing practices that ensure healthy ocean ecosystems and fish populations.

Example: MSC-certified seafood used in a company cafeteria, promoting sustainable fishing.

OEKO-TEX Standard

A certification for textiles tested for harmful substances, ensuring product safety for consumers.

Example: Baby clothes with OEKO-TEX certification, guaranteeing they are free from harmful chemicals.

Rainforest Alliance Certified

Certification for products made with ingredients sourced from farms that follow rigorous environmental and social standards.

Example: Coffee and chocolate in a fashion brand’s café that are Rainforest Alliance Certified, supporting sustainable agriculture.

Responsible Down Standard

A standard ensuring that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to unnecessary harm.

Example: Jackets filled with down certified by the Responsible Down Standard, ensuring ethical treatment of birds.

Responsible Wool Standard

A standard that ensures wool comes from farms with a progressive approach to managing their land and treating their sheep ethically.

Example: Sweaters made from Responsible Wool Standard certified wool, promoting animal welfare and sustainable farming.

SA8000 (Social Accountability International)

An international certification standard focusing on workers’ rights, workplace conditions, and fair labor practices.

Example: Apparel companies with SA8000 certification, ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions in their garment factories.

WRAP Certification (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production)

An independent certification for lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing in the global apparel industry.

Example: A sportswear brand with WRAP certification, signifying compliance with global manufacturing standards.

Zero Impact

A certification for products or companies that achieve a net-zero environmental impact, often through carbon offsetting and sustainable practices.

Example: A footwear brand achieving Zero Impact status by offsetting emissions and using sustainable materials.

Ethical and Social Considerations

Ethical & Social Considerations

Artisan Empowerment

Supporting skilled artisans by providing fair compensation, sustainable working conditions, and preserving traditional craftsmanship.

Example: A fashion brand collaborating with local artisans for handmade products, ensuring fair pay and cultural preservation.

Child Labor

The illegal employment of children under the age required by law, often involving exploitation.

Example: International campaigns and laws prohibiting child labor in garment factories.

Collective Bargaining

The process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees to regulate salaries, working conditions, and benefits.

Example: Garment workers’ unions negotiating better wages and conditions through collective bargaining.

Community Engagement

Involvement and collaboration between businesses and local communities for mutual benefit.

Example: Fashion companies supporting local community projects or engaging in local events.


Products or practices that do not harm or kill animals, commonly seen in beauty and fashion industries.

Example: Cruelty-free cosmetics and clothing, ensuring no animal testing or animal harm.

Decent Work

Employment that respects workers’ rights, provides fair wages, and ensures safe working conditions.

Example: International labor organizations advocating for decent work in all sectors, including fashion.

Diversity and Inclusion

Policies and practices that promote representation and participation of different groups of people.

Example: Fashion brands employing diverse models and staff, ensuring inclusivity in marketing and operations.

Employee Wellbeing

Ensuring the mental and physical health of employees through supportive workplace environments and practices.

Example: Companies providing healthcare, mental health support, and positive work culture.

Ethical Sourcing

Procuring materials and labor in a responsible and sustainable manner, respecting human rights and the environment.

Example: Brands sourcing organic cotton from certified ethical suppliers.

Fair Pricing

Setting prices that are fair to both consumers and producers, ensuring ethical compensation along the supply chain.

Example: Fair pricing strategies in fashion that ensure artisans and workers are paid fairly.

Fair Trade Practices

Business practices that focus on fair terms of trade for workers and producers in developing countries.

Example: Fair Trade certified clothing brands that ensure producers receive a fair price and workers operate in safe conditions.

Fair Working Conditions

Work environments that uphold workers’ rights, safety, and wellbeing, free from exploitation and abuse.

Example: Factories adhering to international labor standards, providing safe and humane working conditions.

Forced Labor

Any work or service that people are forced to do against their will under threat of punishment.

Example: Global initiatives combating forced labor in supply chains, particularly in the textile industry.

Gender Equality

Equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for people of all genders.

Example: Fashion companies promoting gender equality through equal pay and leadership opportunities for all genders.

Human Rights

Basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death.

Example: Fashion brands upholding human rights by ensuring no child labor or forced labor in their supply chains.

Inclusive Sizing

Apparel sizing that caters to a diverse range of body types and sizes, promoting body positivity.

Example: Clothing lines offering extended sizes, ensuring fashion is accessible to all body types.

Labor Rights

The legal rights and protections granted to workers, including fair wages, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize.

Example: Labor rights advocacy ensuring garment workers receive fair wages and work in safe environments.

Living Wage

A wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living, covering basic needs and allowing for discretionary income.

Example: Campaigns for living wages in the fashion industry to ensure garment workers can afford a decent standard of living.

Modern Slavery

Severe exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain, often involving forced labor or human trafficking.

Example: Efforts to eliminate modern slavery in fashion supply chains through transparency and audits.

Social Compliance

Adherence to social and ethical standards, particularly regarding the treatment of workers in business operations.

Example: Fashion brands undergoing social compliance audits to verify ethical treatment of workers.

Supply Chain Accountability

Responsibility of companies to ensure ethical practices throughout their supply chain, from sourcing to production.

Example: Brands implementing traceability systems to ensure accountability in their supply chain.

Sustainable Livelihood

The ability of individuals, communities, and societies to meet their needs and improve their quality of life in a long-term, sustainable way.

Example: Supporting artisan communities through sustainable fashion initiatives, ensuring they have stable income and growth opportunities.


Factories or workshops, especially in the garment industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.

Example: Global movements against sweatshops, advocating for improved labor conditions in the fashion industry.

Worker Safety

Ensuring a safe working environment for employees, free from health hazards and risks, and providing necessary safety training and equipment.

Example: Implementing strict safety protocols and regular inspections in garment factories to prevent accidents and injuries.

Design and Production Techniques

Design & Production Techniques

3D Printing in Fashion

The use of 3D printing technology to create garments and accessories, allowing for innovative design and customization.

Example: Designers creating intricate 3D-printed dresses or accessories with minimal waste.

Biodegradable Materials

Materials that can naturally decompose or break down in the environment, reducing waste and pollution.

Example: Using biodegradable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo in clothing production.

Circular Design

Design philosophy that considers the lifecycle of a product, aiming to keep materials in use and out of landfills.

Example: Clothing designed for easy disassembly and recycling at the end of its life.

Closed Loop Cycle

A production system where the end-of-life of a product is planned for reuse, effectively creating a cycle of materials.

Example: A fashion brand that recycles old garments into new fabrics.


A metric to evaluate the value of a garment in terms of how many times it is worn versus its cost.

Example: Investing in a higher-priced durable jacket that can be worn for many years, reducing the cost-per-wear.

Digital Fabric Printing

The process of printing digital images directly onto fabric, reducing water and dye use compared to traditional methods.

Example: Using digital printing for intricate patterns on fabric, minimizing waste and chemical use.

Eco Design

Designing products with environmental considerations, focusing on reducing environmental impact throughout the product’s lifecycle.

Example: Designing a product with sustainable materials and considering its end-of-life recyclability.

Ethical Manufacturing

Manufacturing processes that prioritize workers’ rights, fair labor practices, and minimal environmental impact.

Example: Factories paying fair wages, maintaining safe working conditions, and using eco-friendly production methods.

Green Tailoring

The practice of creating custom-made clothing using environmentally sustainable methods and materials.

Example: Tailors using organic fabrics and natural dyes for custom suits.

Handcrafted Techniques

Traditional methods of creating products by hand, often involving skills passed down through generations.

Example: Hand-weaving textiles or hand-stitching garments, emphasizing craftsmanship and quality.

Life Cycle Assessment

The analysis of the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life, from raw material extraction to disposal.

Example: Assessing the carbon footprint and resource use of a garment over its entire life span.

Local Sourcing and Production

Obtaining materials and producing products within a close geographical area to reduce transportation emissions and support local economies.

Example: A brand sourcing cotton from nearby farms and producing garments in local factories.

Low-Impact Dyeing

Dyeing methods that use fewer chemicals, water, and energy compared to conventional dyeing processes.

Example: Using natural dyes extracted from plants, which require less water and produce less pollution.

Modular Design

Designing products with interchangeable parts or elements, allowing for customization and easy repair.

Example: Modular clothing that can be adapted for different styles or repaired by replacing individual parts.

Natural Dyeing Techniques

The use of dyes made from natural materials like plants, minerals, and insects, often involving traditional methods.

Example: Using indigo or madder root for dyeing fabrics, offering sustainable color options.

On-Demand Manufacturing

Producing products only when they are ordered, reducing overproduction and waste.

Example: Fashion brands that start producing a garment only after a customer places an order.

Organic Manufacturing

Producing goods using processes that minimize harm to the environment, often involving organic materials.

Example: Manufacturing clothing from GOTS certified organic cotton, ensuring eco-friendly practices.

Recycled and Repurposed Materials

Using materials that have been previously used or discarded to create new products, contributing to waste reduction.

Example: Creating new garments or accessories from recycled plastic bottles or textile waste.

Renewable Energy in Production

Utilizing energy from renewable sources like solar, wind, or hydro power in the manufacturing process.

Example: Factories powered by solar panels or wind turbines, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Slow Movement

A cultural shift towards slowing down life’s pace, emphasizing quality over quantity, particularly in fashion.

Example: Brands focusing on timeless designs and durable quality, moving away from fast fashion trends.

Sustainable Production

Manufacturing processes that minimize negative environmental impacts, conserve energy and natural resources.

Example: Implementing sustainable practices in garment production, like water recycling and using sustainable materials.

Textile Innovation

Developing new textiles and techniques in the fashion industry that are sustainable and technologically advanced.

Example: Innovations like lab-grown leather or fabrics made from recycled ocean plastics.


Repurposing waste materials or unwanted products into new materials or products of higher quality or value.

Example: Transforming vintage fabrics into modern, stylish garments.

Water-saving Techniques

Methods used in textile production that reduce water consumption, crucial in sustainable fashion.

Example: Using waterless dyeing technology or efficient washing methods to minimize water use in garment production.

Zero Waste Fashion

Designing and producing fashion with minimal to no material waste, often through creative pattern making or repurposing.

Example: Designers creating garments using zero waste patterns or utilizing all fabric scraps in new designs.

Consumer Practices

Consumer Practices

Buy Less, Choose Well

A shopping philosophy advocating for purchasing fewer but higher-quality items that last longer.

Example: Opting for a durable, classic coat rather than several fast-fashion alternatives.

Capsule Wardrobe

A minimalist approach to fashion, where a wardrobe consists of a limited number of versatile and interchangeable items.

Example: Curating a collection of 30 timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched for various occasions.

Conscious Consumer

A consumer who makes informed decisions about purchases, considering the environmental and social impacts of their choices.

Example: Choosing brands with sustainable practices and ethical labor standards.

Conscious Dressing

The practice of choosing clothing and fashion that align with personal values, like sustainability and ethics.

Example: Wearing garments made from organic or recycled materials.

DIY Clothing

Creating or modifying clothing oneself, often involving sewing, knitting, or customizing pre-existing garments.

Example: Upcycling an old shirt into a trendy crop top using basic sewing skills.

Eco-Friendly Accessories

Accessories made from sustainable, recycled, or ethically sourced materials.

Example: Jewelry made from recycled metals or bags crafted from sustainable fabrics.

Eco-Friendly Laundering

Washing clothes in a way that minimizes environmental impact, such as using cold water and eco-friendly detergents.

Example: Using a low-energy washing machine and biodegradable soap.

Ethical Shopping

Purchasing products from brands that uphold ethical standards in their production and business practices.

Example: Buying from a brand known for fair labor practices and sustainable sourcing.

Fashion Swapping

Exchanging clothes with others instead of buying new, reducing waste and promoting a circular fashion economy.

Example: Participating in a community clothing swap event.

Green Consumerism

Making purchasing decisions that prioritize environmental sustainability and responsible production.

Example: Choosing products with minimal packaging and low carbon footprints.

Green Wardrobe

A wardrobe comprised mainly of eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically produced clothing.

Example: A closet filled with garments made from organic cotton, hemp, and recycled materials.

Lifecycle Thinking in Fashion

Considering the entire lifecycle of fashion products, from design and production to use and disposal, to minimize environmental impact.

Example: Choosing a garment based on its durability, potential for recycling, and the environmental footprint of its production.

Low-Impact Lifestyle

A way of living that seeks to reduce one’s environmental footprint, often through sustainable practices and choices.

Example: Reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, and choosing sustainable transportation options.


A lifestyle and aesthetic that emphasizes simplicity and focuses on the essentials, often leading to reduced consumption.

Example: Embracing a minimalist wardrobe with fewer, but more versatile, high-quality pieces.

Rental/Clothes on Rent

The practice of renting clothing instead of buying, often for special occasions, reducing the need for ownership and waste.

Example: Renting a designer dress for a one-time event instead of purchasing a new one.

Repair and Maintenance

The practice of fixing and maintaining clothes to extend their lifespan, rather than discarding them.

Example: Mending a torn shirt or replacing a broken zipper to keep clothing in use longer.


The act of selling previously owned clothing, often through consignment shops or online platforms, promoting a circular economy.

Example: Selling gently used clothes on a resale platform like Depop or Poshmark.

Second Hand

Pre-owned clothing that is bought or received from someone else, promoting reuse and reducing waste.

Example: Shopping at thrift stores or vintage shops for unique, previously worn items.

Sustainable Accessorizing

Choosing accessories made from sustainable, recycled, or ethically sourced materials.

Example: Wearing a necklace made from recycled glass beads or a sustainable bamboo watch.

Sustainable Gifting

Giving gifts that are environmentally friendly, ethically made, or support sustainable practices.

Example: Gifting organic skincare products or items made by local artisans.

Thrift Shopping

Shopping for second-hand clothing and goods, often at thrift stores or garage sales, to reduce consumption and waste.

Example: Finding unique clothing pieces at a local thrift store, promoting sustainable fashion.

Upcycled Fashion DIY

The practice of creatively repurposing old or discarded materials into new fashion items.

Example: Transforming an old pair of jeans into a trendy denim bag or a skirt.

Vintage Clothing

Clothing from past decades that is valued for its age, style, and quality, often seen as a sustainable fashion choice.

Example: Wearing a 1970s vintage dress, which is both a stylish and environmentally conscious choice.

Wardrobe Auditing

The process of evaluating and organizing one’s wardrobe to optimize usage and minimize unnecessary purchases.

Example: Assessing clothing items for fit, style, and frequency of use to make informed decisions about future purchases.

Zero-Waste Lifestyle

A lifestyle choice aimed at reducing waste to zero through sustainable practices like reusing, recycling, and avoiding single-use items.

Example: Embracing practices like using reusable bags and containers, composting, and buying products with minimal packaging.

Trends & Movements

Anti-Fast Fashion

A movement against fast fashion that emphasizes sustainable, ethical production and consumption of clothing.

Example: Choosing quality over quantity, supporting brands with ethical manufacturing processes.

Capsule Wardrobe

A minimalist approach to fashion, where a wardrobe consists of a limited number of versatile and interchangeable items.

Example: Curating a collection of 30 timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched for various occasions.

Circular Fashion Movement

A sustainable fashion movement focusing on a closed-loop system where products are reused, recycled, or composted, minimizing waste.

Example: Brands designing products with end-of-life in mind, facilitating recycling or composting.

Clean Beauty Movement

A movement in the beauty industry focusing on products that are non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and ethically made.

Example: Using skincare and cosmetics free from harmful chemicals and packaged sustainably.

Craftsmanship Revival

A renewed appreciation for traditional craftsmanship, focusing on handcrafted, quality products.

Example: Artisan-made products gaining popularity for their unique, handcrafted quality.

Eco Fashion

Fashion that is environmentally friendly, using sustainable materials and production methods.

Example: Clothing lines using organic cotton, bamboo fibers, and recycled materials.

Eco Minimalism

A lifestyle that combines ecological consciousness with minimalist principles, aiming to reduce environmental impact.

Example: Embracing a lifestyle with fewer possessions and focusing on sustainable and ethical products.

Ethical Consumerism

Making purchasing decisions based on ethical considerations, such as sustainability, fair labor practices, and animal welfare.

Example: Choosing products from companies that prioritize workers’ rights and environmental conservation.

Ethical Luxury

Luxury products that are made ethically, ensuring high standards of sustainability and social responsibility.

Example: High-end brands adopting ethical practices in sourcing and production.

Fair Trade Movement

A movement advocating for better prices, decent working conditions, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.

Example: Purchasing fair trade certified products to ensure producers in developing countries get a fair deal.

Fashion Activism

Using fashion as a tool to advocate for social, environmental, and political change.

Example: Campaigns and fashion shows highlighting issues like climate change and workers’ rights.

Fashion Revolution

A global movement calling for transparency, sustainability, and ethics in the fashion industry.

Example: The annual Fashion Revolution Week event, promoting the #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign.

Green Fashion

Fashion practices and products that are environmentally friendly, focusing on reducing the environmental footprint.

Example: Brands using sustainable materials and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

Locally Made Movement

A trend focusing on locally produced fashion, supporting local economies and reducing transportation emissions.

Example: Consumers opting for clothing made by local artisans and manufacturers.

Minimalist Lifestyle

A lifestyle choice characterized by simplicity and having fewer, but more meaningful, possessions, often to reduce consumption and waste.

Example: Adopting a minimalist wardrobe, owning fewer items of higher quality and versatility.

Organic Movement

A movement promoting the use of organic products, from food to clothing, that are produced without harmful chemicals.

Example: Choosing clothing made from organic cotton or natural fibers grown without pesticides.

Regenerative Fashion

Fashion practices that not only aim to minimize harm but also contribute positively to the environment, such as regenerative agriculture.

Example: Brands sourcing materials from regenerative farming practices that restore soil health.

Responsible Consumption

The practice of consuming goods in a way that minimizes environmental impact and supports ethical practices.

Example: Being mindful about purchases, opting for products from companies with sustainable and ethical practices.

Slow Fashion Movement

A movement advocating for sustainable and ethical fashion practices, focusing on quality and longevity rather than fast fashion trends.

Example: Choosing timeless pieces that are durable and ethically made, over trendy fast fashion items.

Sustainable Streetwear

A genre of fashion that blends streetwear styles with sustainable and ethical practices.

Example: Streetwear brands using organic or recycled materials and fair labor practices.

Sustainable Style

A fashion approach that emphasizes sustainability in both the creation and consumption of clothing and accessories.

Example: Curating a wardrobe that is both stylish and made from sustainable, ethically sourced materials.

Transparency in Fashion

The practice of openly disclosing information about how and where clothing is made, covering aspects like manufacturing processes and labor conditions.

Example: Brands providing detailed information about their supply chain, from raw materials to finished products.

Vegan Fashion Movement

A movement in fashion that promotes the use of materials and practices that do not exploit animals.

Example: Choosing clothing and accessories made without leather, wool, or other animal-derived materials.

Vintage Revival

The trend of bringing back styles from past decades, often incorporating vintage pieces into modern fashion.

Example: Incorporating vintage clothing from the ’60s or ’70s into contemporary outfits.

Zero-Waste Movement

A lifestyle and design principle focused on reducing waste to zero, often through sustainable practices like reusing and recycling.

Example: Adopting zero-waste practices in fashion, like designing garments to use all fabric without waste.

Business and Marketing

Business & Marketing

Brand Transparency

The practice of openly sharing information about how a company operates, including sourcing, labor practices, and environmental impact.

Example: A fashion brand providing detailed information about its supply chain and production methods on its website.

Cause Marketing

Marketing efforts by a company to support a social cause, aligning its values with community interests and social responsibilities.

Example: A brand partnering with an environmental organization to promote sustainability through its products and campaigns.

Consumer Awareness

Efforts to educate consumers about products, including the ethical and environmental aspects of production and use.

Example: Campaigns that inform consumers about the environmental impact of fast fashion and promote sustainable alternatives.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A business model where companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their operations and interactions with stakeholders.

Example: A company implementing programs to reduce carbon emissions and ensure fair labor practices in its factories.


The practice of marking products with labels that certify their environmental friendliness, such as energy efficiency or organic materials.

Example: Clothing tagged with an eco-label indicating it is made from organic cotton or produced using renewable energy.

Environmental Impact Communication

The process of conveying information about the environmental effects of a company’s products or services.

Example: Publishing a sustainability report outlining a company’s carbon footprint and environmental initiatives.

Ethical Advertising

Advertising that is honest, respects consumer rights, and promotes socially responsible messages.

Example: An ad campaign focusing on the ethical aspects of products, such as fair labor practices or cruelty-free materials.

Ethical Marketing

Marketing practices that reflect the ethical values of a company, focusing on honesty, integrity, and social responsibility.

Example: Promoting products based on their sustainable attributes and ethical production methods.

Ethical Retail Practices

Retail operations that prioritize ethical standards, including fair labor, sustainability, and transparency.

Example: A retailer ensuring all products sold meet certain ethical and environmental standards.

Fair Trade Marketing

Marketing fashion products in a way that highlights their fair trade credentials, ensuring that garment workers and textile producers are compensated fairly and work in safe conditions.

Example: Fashion brands showcasing their fair trade certified clothing lines in marketing campaigns, emphasizing the ethical sourcing of materials and fair wages paid to textile workers.

Green Marketing

The practice of promoting products or services based on their environmental benefits, such as energy efficiency, organic materials, or low carbon footprint.

Example: Advertising campaigns focusing on a brand’s commitment to using renewable energy sources or biodegradable packaging.

Green Public Relations

Public relations strategies focused on enhancing a company’s image in terms of its environmental initiatives and sustainability efforts.

Example: A PR campaign highlighting a company’s transition to zero-waste manufacturing processes or community environmental projects.


Misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product.

Example: A brand falsely claiming its products are ‘eco-friendly’ without substantial evidence or certification.

Impact Marketing

Marketing strategies that focus on demonstrating a company’s positive impact on society or the environment.

Example: Showcasing a company’s contributions to social causes or environmental conservation in its marketing campaigns.

Sustainable Branding

The process of building a brand identity that reflects a commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical practices.

Example: A fashion brand that uses its sustainable and ethical sourcing as a key element of its brand identity.

Sustainable E-commerce Practices

Online retail practices that reduce environmental impact, such as using eco-friendly packaging and efficient logistics.

Example: An e-commerce platform implementing carbon-neutral shipping and using recycled materials for packaging.

Sustainable Fashion Collaborations

Partnerships between fashion brands, designers, or other entities to create products that are environmentally and socially responsible.

Example: A collaboration between a well-known designer and a sustainable brand to create a limited-edition eco-friendly clothing line

Sustainability Reporting

The practice of disclosing and reporting on a company’s sustainability performance, including environmental, social, and governance aspects.

Example: A company publishing an annual sustainability report detailing its progress on reducing carbon emissions and enhancing worker welfare.

Sustainability-Driven Branding Strategies

Branding strategies that emphasize a company’s commitment to sustainability, often used to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

Example: A brand focusing its messaging on the use of sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing processes in its products.

Transparent Supply Chain Marketing

Marketing tactics that focus on showcasing a company’s transparent supply chain practices, including sourcing and production methods.

Example: Advertising campaigns that provide detailed information about the origins of the materials used and the conditions in which products are made.

Value-Based Marketing

Marketing strategies that align with and promote a company’s core values, such as sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility.

Example: A company’s marketing efforts focused on its commitment to social justice, environmental protection, and community support.

Global and Cultural Perspectives

Global & Cultural Perspectives

Artisan Crafts

Traditional craft techniques often handed down through generations, creating unique, handcrafted items.

Example: Handwoven textiles or handmade jewelry from local artisans, showcasing traditional skills.

Cultural Appropriation

The adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture, often without permission or understanding, which can be controversial or offensive.

Example: A fashion brand using indigenous patterns in their designs without acknowledging or compensating the originating culture.

Cultural Exchange in Fashion

The mutual sharing of cultural elements, styles, and practices in fashion between different cultures.

Example: Collaborative fashion projects between designers from different cultural backgrounds sharing and blending their styles.

Cultural Sustainability in Fashion

Practices in fashion that preserve and promote cultural heritage and diversity.

Example: Fashion initiatives that support traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage.

Cross-cultural Perspectives

Viewing fashion and its practices through the lens of different cultural backgrounds and traditions.

Example: Analyzing global fashion trends and their interpretations in various cultural contexts.

Ethical Outsourcing

The practice of contracting work to suppliers while ensuring ethical working conditions and fair labor practices.

Example: A brand outsourcing production to a factory that adheres to ethical labor standards and provides fair wages.

Fair Trade Practices Worldwide

Trade practices that promote fair compensation, safe and healthy conditions, and sustainable livelihoods for workers and producers globally.

Example: Global initiatives ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions in the supply chains of international brands.

Global Environmental Regulations

Environmental laws and regulations enforced on a global scale to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

Example: International agreements and protocols aimed at reducing pollution and carbon emissions in the fashion industry.

Global Fashion Movements

Collective efforts and trends in fashion that have a global influence and promote widespread changes, such as sustainability or ethical production.

Example: The rise of sustainable fashion movements influencing designers and brands worldwide.

Global Supply Chain

The network of suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors involved in producing and delivering products on a global scale.

Example: The complex network from cotton growers to garment factories to retail stores in the global fashion industry.


The process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide, often impacting fashion trends and production.

Example: The influence of globalization on fashion, leading to a blend of styles and practices from different cultures.

Heritage and Craft Preservation

The act of maintaining and preserving traditional crafts and cultural heritage, often in the context of fashion.

Example: Initiatives to keep traditional weaving techniques alive and relevant in modern fashion design.

Indigenous Textile Traditions

Textile-making practices that are native to a particular culture or region, often passed down through generations.

Example: Traditional indigenous weaving or dyeing techniques used to create unique textiles.

International Fashion NGOs and Initiatives

Non-governmental organizations and global initiatives focused on improving various aspects of the fashion industry, such as sustainability, ethical production, and workers’ rights.

Example: NGOs working to promote fair labor practices and environmental sustainability in the global fashion industry.

International Labor Standards

Standards set by international bodies to ensure safe, fair, and humane working conditions across the globe.

Example: Adherence to International Labour Organization (ILO) standards in garment factories worldwide.

International Trade and Tariffs in Fashion

Regulations and taxes imposed on fashion goods as they are traded internationally, affecting global fashion markets.

Example: The impact of tariffs on the import and export of textiles and clothing between countries.

Local Production

The practice of producing goods within a local or regional context, often to support local economies and reduce carbon footprint.

Example: Fashion brands producing garments locally to minimize transportation emissions and support local artisans.

Social Impact of Global Fashion

The effects of the global fashion industry on societies, including aspects like employment, culture, and the environment.

Example: The influence of global fashion trends on local cultures and the economic impact on garment-producing regions.

Sustainable Fashion Diplomacy

Efforts to promote sustainable fashion practices through international relations and policy-making.

Example: Diplomatic initiatives that encourage international cooperation in adopting sustainable fashion standards.

Sustainable Fashion in Developing Countries

The promotion and adoption of sustainable fashion practices in developing countries, often focusing on improving labor conditions and environmental stewardship.

Example: Programs that support sustainable textile production in developing countries, ensuring fair wages and reduced environmental impact.

Transnational Fashion Collaboration

Collaborative efforts between fashion entities across different countries, often aiming to merge diverse styles and practices or address global fashion issues.

Example: A collaboration between designers from different countries to create a collection that blends cultural influences.

World Textile Heritage

The rich history and variety of textiles from different cultures around the world, often revered for their craftsmanship and cultural significance.

Example: Museums and exhibitions showcasing historic textiles from various cultures, highlighting their heritage and craftsmanship.

Worldwide Fashion Trends

Fashion styles and movements that gain popularity and influence on a global scale, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries.

Example: Global trends such as sustainable fashion or streetwear styles that become popular worldwide.