In the Press
Covering our commitment to sustainability, championship of African and diaspora designers and forward-thinking approach to a new way of shopping online while driving positive social change, read what the world’s fashion editors and beauty experts are saying about ADJOAA.
A - Z of Glossary of sustainability
ADJOAA green glossary. Ever get confused with the countless new terminology and plethora of buzzwords and jargons in sustainability and climate conversations? Well us too (two).
Though we are in the business of fashion underpinned by sustainability, we can’t keep up with the developments in this space. To avoid drowning in the seas of jargon and for discussions not to get over our heads, we’ve compiled the A-Z of common keywords that get bandied around in the climate/sustainability policy dialogues.
Here’s your list to cut-through the noise of ‘’buzzwords’’ and jargon to make talks about climate change and sustainability more inclusive.
A for Awareness
Let’s untangle 101 of these words together to foster our collective understanding and active participation in sustainability chit-chats. Thank us later for your ability to make better informed choices in your quest to live sustainably and more climate conscious.
Refers to a for-profit business that prioritises meeting stringent criteria for verified social and environmental performance, governance, transparency, and legal accountability.
Achieving B-Corp status involves undergoing a rigorous evaluation, known as the Business Impact Assessment, conducted by the independent non-profit organisation B Lab. This assessment scrutinises various facets of a company's operations, including its impact on society and the environment, corporate governance, and its commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. B-Corp certification signifies a company's dedication to operating ethically, contributing positively to society, and prioritising sustainability alongside profitability within the fashion industry.
Fabric made from bamboo fibres, known for its sustainability due to the plant's fast growth and minimal need for pesticides.
Typically used to refer to wastes, biodegradable wastes originate from plant and animal sources which are capable of decaying through the action of living organisms. Otherwise biodegradability is the ability to break down and blend back in with the earth, given the right conditions and presence of microorganisms, fungi or bacteria.
These microorganisms are known as decomposers. If these microorganisms didn't eat these materials the world would be overcome with piles of dead materials and the plants would run out of raw materials needed for photosynthesis. Ideally, but not always, no toxins are left behind, simply something biodegradable means something capable of decaying into its basic components.
Have you ever wondered where waste goes after you dispose of it? Garbage is collected and usually dumped in landfills. Then garbage is covered with soil together with chemicals that break it down.There is trash that contains materials that rot and decay, they are known as biodegradable wastes.
Biodiversity embodies the intricate tapestry of life across our planet, encompassing the rich variety of living organisms, from microscopic genes to entire ecosystems. It's the sum total of Earth's biological diversity, reflecting the myriad species and their interdependent relationships within the natural world.
This expansive concept not only quantifies the sheer volume of life forms but also encapsulates the dynamic interactions among species and their interconnectedness with the physical environment.
Human activities impacting the environment often diminish this diversity, yet safeguarding and nurturing biodiversity is paramount for a sustainable and thriving society, underscoring the importance of preserving and promoting the multitude of life forms that sustain our planet's vitality and resilience.
Ever heard of biofuels, if not let me break it down for you. Biofuels are fuels that are created from organic material (biomass) either directly or indirectly.
Biomass can include those that come from plants or even animal waste.They are the only viable replacement to petroleum transportation fuels. They are fuels made from recently living organisms. Biofuels are what provide us with bioenergy, which takes care of around 10 percent of the world's energy needs and they can be in the form of either a liquid, solid, or a gas.
Due to the updates in current technology, biofuels can be extracted from a variety of materials; waste, wood or crops, for instance. There are both primary and secondary biofuels. Primary biofuels come from organic material that is used in its natural form such as firewood, wood chips, or pellets.
Secondary biofuels come from organic material that is processed such as bio-oil, ethanol, or biodiesel. You have noticed there is a lot of ‘bio’ as a prefix going on, and you'll see it more often as it simply means life
This is a permit that allows an owner to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
It is important to know about carbon credit since it helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Carbon emissions/ greenhouse gas emissions
Carbon emissions, also referred to as greenhouse gas emissions, are the release of gases—chiefly carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and others—into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat and contribute to the greenhouse effect, enhancing the Earth's natural insulation. Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels for energy, transportation, agricultural practices, and deforestation, are major sources of these emissions. They play a critical role in climate change by amplifying the planet's temperature, impacting ecosystems, weather patterns, and the overall health of our environment.
The carbon footprint represents the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide and its equivalents, stemming from the activities of individuals, organisations, or even entire nations within a specific timeframe. It encapsulates the environmental impact of daily choices, reflecting emissions from transportation, energy use, food production, and various aspects of modern life. This footprint serves as a measure of our collective contribution to climate change, urging a concerted effort towards reducing emissions through sustainable practices, cleaner energy adoption, efficiency improvements, and mindful consumption habits to curb our environmental impact.
It refers to achieving a state where the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a fashion company's activities is effectively counterbalanced by an equal amount of carbon removal or compensation. This equilibrium is typically attained through measures that eliminate or reduce emissions within the company's operations and supply chain, coupled with activities that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, such as investing in verified carbon offset projects. Achieving carbon neutrality involves a commitment to mitigating and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, thus aiming to minimise the fashion industry's overall environmental impact on climate change.
This practice involves investing in green practices such as tree planting as a way to balance carbon emissions. In simple terms it means pollution released into the atmosphere from carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Carbon Offsetting is important because it will allow you to make a positive contribution to the environment when your emissions can't be avoided. In addition, the increased funding these causes receive can change lives, bringing economic, social and health improvements to whole communities.
Carbon positive signifies an initiative or activity that not only mitigates its own greenhouse gas emissions but surpasses this by actively reducing or removing more emissions from the atmosphere than it generates.
It goes beyond mere carbon neutrality, emphasising a proactive stance in combating climate change by contributing to a net reduction in greenhouse gases, thereby aiding in the restoration and preservation of environmental balance.
A circular economy is an economic system designed to minimise waste and maximise resource efficiency by shifting from the traditional linear model of 'take-make-dispose' to one focused on reusing, sharing, repairing, and recycling resources.
In this system, waste and pollution are minimised by design, products and materials are kept in use for as long as possible, and natural systems are regenerated.
It aims to create a closed-loop system where resources are continuously utilised, repurposed, and regenerated, thereby reducing the strain on natural resources and promoting sustainability throughout the production, consumption, and disposal cycles
Climate action encompasses a diverse range of efforts and initiatives aimed at addressing, mitigating, or reversing the causes and impacts of climate change. It involves a spectrum of activities geared towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering sustainability, and enhancing resilience against the adverse effects of a changing climate.
These actions span a broad spectrum, from policy implementations, technological innovations, and community engagements to individual lifestyle changes, all striving to combat the drivers of climate change and promote a more sustainable, climate-resilient future for generations to come.
Climate change refers to the enduring modifications in global weather patterns and average temperatures over an extended period, typically resulting from a variety of factors.
While natural processes have historically influenced climate fluctuations, since the Industrial Revolution, human activities—predominantly the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas—have been the primary catalyst for rapid and unprecedented changes in Earth's climate system.
This human-induced alteration significantly elevates greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and oceans, surpassing natural cycles. Consequently, the planet has warmed by an average of 1.1°C since the late 1800s, accelerating a spectrum of climatic effects beyond rising temperatures.
These repercussions encompass intensified extreme weather events such as heatwaves, floods, droughts, storms, alongside a multitude of cascading impacts including dwindling water and food resources, ecological disruptions, and societal instability.
Climate change extends beyond local shifts, affecting ecosystems worldwide and necessitating urgent global efforts to mitigate its extensive ramifications.
Climate resilience embodies a set of strategies, policies, and measures implemented by societies, organisations, and communities to enhance their ability to withstand, adapt to, and recover from the adverse effects of climate change.
These efforts focus on bolstering resilience against a spectrum of climatic impacts, including but not limited to extreme weather events like floods, heatwaves, rising sea levels, and other climate-related disruptions.
By integrating proactive measures and fostering adaptive capacities, climate resilience aims to fortify infrastructures, ecosystems, and socio-economic systems, ensuring their durability and capacity to thrive amidst the challenges posed by a changing climate.
Closed-loop refers to a system or process designed to minimise waste by ensuring that materials, resources, or products are continuously recycled, reused, or repurposed within the system. It operates as a circular system where the output of one stage becomes the input for another, aiming to limit the extraction of new resources and reduce environmental impact by maximising the utilisation and longevity of existing resources.
Composting is a controlled natural process that involves the decomposition of organic materials, such as food scraps, yard waste, and certain biodegradable items, into nutrient-rich compost.
This process harnesses the power of microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, to break down organic matter aerobically, transforming it into a valuable soil amendment.
Composting not only diverts organic waste from landfills but also produces a nutrient-dense material that can enrich soil health, improve moisture retention, and support plant growth, fostering a sustainable approach to managing organic waste while enhancing soil fertility.
Conscious capitalism represents a business philosophy and approach that emphasises utilising the power of capitalism to drive positive change, benefitting not only financial stakeholders but also prioritising the well-being of people and the environment.
It involves businesses operating with a higher purpose beyond profit maximisation, integrating social responsibility, ethical practices, and sustainability into their core values and operations.
Conscious capitalism seeks to create value for all stakeholders, considering the impact of business decisions on employees, communities, customers, and the environment, while simultaneously pursuing financial success. This approach advocates for businesses to act as a force for good, contributing to societal well-being and environmental sustainability while generating economic prosperity.
Conscious consumerism embodies a mindful approach to purchasing wherein consumers make deliberate and informed choices to support products or services that align with their values and ethical considerations.
It involves a thoughtful assessment of the environmental, social, and ethical implications of consumption habits, leading individuals to prioritise products that are responsibly produced, environmentally friendly, ethically sourced, and often, sustainably manufactured.
By consciously opting for items that resonate with their values, conscious consumers aim to advocate for positive change, encourage sustainable practices, and promote responsible production and consumption patterns within the marketplace.
Conscious or mindful fashion embodies an approach to clothing and style that prioritises ethical, sustainable, and thoughtful practices throughout the entire lifecycle of garments.
It emphasises awareness and consideration of the social, environmental, and ethical impacts associated with the production, consumption, and disposal of clothing. This approach involves opting for clothing that is ethically produced, sustainably sourced, and minimises harm to both people and the planet.
Conscious fashion encourages mindful purchasing decisions, promotes fair labour practices, reduces waste, and supports environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing processes.
It strives to foster a more responsible and holistic approach to fashion that values quality, longevity, and ethical standards over fast-paced trends and disposable fashion.
Cradle to Cradle
Cradle to Cradle, often abbreviated as C2C, is an innovative approach to sustainable fashion that reimagines the entire lifecycle of clothing. It aims to create garments and textiles in a way that considers their environmental impact from inception to disposal, emphasizing the concept of a closed-loop system.
In this approach, materials used in clothing are carefully chosen for their ability to be endlessly recycled or biodegraded, ensuring that they can return safely to the environment or be reused in new products without generating waste or pollution.
Cradle to Cradle fashion encourages the use of renewable resources, safe materials, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes, striving to minimise the environmental footprint of clothing while promoting circularity and sustainable practices throughout the fashion industry.
It refers to clothing and accessories that are produced without causing harm or testing on animals throughout any stage of the manufacturing process. This includes sourcing materials, production, and the finished product.
Brands and products labelled as cruelty-free adhere to ethical standards, ensuring that no animals are subjected to harm, exploitation, or testing for the creation of fashion items. This commitment extends to avoiding materials derived from animals or ensuring that any animal-derived materials are obtained through ethical and sustainable means, aligning with principles that prioritise compassion towards animals and ethical treatment within the fashion industry.
Corporate Social Responsibility represents a business approach where companies integrate social and environmental considerations into their operations and strategies.
It involves a commitment to ethical practices, sustainability, and contributing positively to society beyond mere profit-making. CSR initiatives encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from environmental conservation, promoting diversity and inclusion, supporting local communities, to ethical decision-making and responsible business practices.
By embracing CSR, companies aim to align their values and actions with societal needs, fostering a sense of accountability, sustainability, and positive impact within their operational frameworks.
Diversity and inclusivity
It refers to the recognition, representation, and empowerment of a wide spectrum of identities, backgrounds, and experiences within the fashion industry. It emphasises the celebration and inclusion of individuals from diverse ethnicities, cultures, body sizes, abilities, genders, and orientations in all facets of fashion, including design, marketing, modelling, and leadership roles.
Sustainable fashion embraces diversity by ensuring equitable opportunities, fair representation, and fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. It promotes inclusivity by challenging traditional beauty standards, advocating for fair labour practices, and creating clothing lines that cater to diverse body types, cultures, and preferences.
This approach aims to cultivate a fashion industry that embraces the uniqueness and richness of human diversity while contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society.
It refers to the environmentally responsible practice of recycling or repurposing electronic devices or equipment used within the fashion industry.
This includes recycling electronic devices like sewing machines, fabric cutters, computer systems, and other technological tools utilised in the production, design, or retailing of fashion items.
E-cycling aims to divert electronic waste from landfills by reusing or recycling these devices, reducing the environmental impact associated with electronic disposal.
It promotes sustainability by extending the lifespan of electronic equipment, recovering valuable materials, and minimising the ecological footprint of the fashion industry's technological processes.
Individuals who embrace sustainable and ethical fashion choices, promoting eco-friendly trends and practices.
Refers to products, practices, or actions that are designed, manufactured, or carried out in a manner that minimises harm to the environment.
It encompasses a wide range of efforts aimed at reducing ecological impact, conserving resources, and promoting sustainability.
Eco-friendly initiatives prioritise the use of renewable resources, minimise pollution, reduce waste generation, and employ environmentally conscious materials and processes.
These actions aim to mitigate environmental damage, support ecosystem health, and contribute to a more sustainable and regenerative relationship between human activities and the natural world.
It advocates for conscious travel practices that engage travellers with ethical fashion destinations, encouraging an understanding of the fashion supply chain's environmental and social impact.
It involves mindful exploration of sustainable clothing production facilities, eco-friendly textile workshops, and ethical fashion cooperatives, aiming to educate participants about responsible fashion practices while supporting local artisans and fair trade initiatives.
This form of travel intertwines fashion consciousness with eco-friendly travel choices, promoting awareness of sustainable fashion's cultural significance and encouraging ethical consumption patterns while minimising environmental impact.
It refers to the interrelationship between the fashion industry and the natural environment. It involves the study and consideration of the ecological impact of fashion production, consumption, and waste on ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources.
Sustainable fashion embraces ecological principles by aiming to minimise its environmental footprint through practices that prioritise conservation, resource efficiency, and regenerative approaches.
This includes reducing pollution, minimising water and energy consumption, employing eco-friendly materials and production methods, and promoting circularity to preserve ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and mitigate the industry's adverse effects on the environment.
Integrating ecological considerations into fashion practices is fundamental for promoting a harmonious relationship between the fashion industry and the natural world.
It signifies the interconnected web of stakeholders and processes spanning the entire fashion supply chain. It encapsulates raw material sourcing, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal, emphasising the interdependence of each stage on environmental, social, and economic aspects.
This approach integrates ethical practices, sustainable materials, transparent supply chains, and circularity to minimise environmental impact, uphold fair labour standards, and foster economic viability.
A sustainable fashion ecosystem aims to create a resilient, interconnected network that prioritises the well-being of both individuals and the planet across all facets of the industry.
E-waste, short for electronic waste, refers to discarded or obsolete electrical or electronic devices that have reached the end of their useful life or are no longer in use. This category encompasses a broad range of items, including but not limited to computers, mobile phones, televisions, household appliances, and other electronic gadgets.
E-waste often results from rapid technological advancements leading to the replacement or disposal of functional devices, as well as planned obsolescence strategies that encourage frequent upgrades rather than repair.
The accumulation of e-waste poses environmental challenges due to its hazardous components and the need for proper recycling or disposal methods to mitigate its impact on human health and the environment.
Efforts to manage e-waste involve recycling, refurbishing, or responsibly disposing of electronic devices to prevent environmental pollution and optimise the recovery of valuable materials.
It refers to the capability of a system, appliance, or process to accomplish its intended function while utilising minimal energy. It involves the optimization of energy use to reduce waste and maximise output, ensuring that the least amount of energy is consumed to achieve a specific task or service.
Energy-efficient technologies or practices aim to minimise energy consumption, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance overall sustainability by employing innovative designs, advanced technologies, or behavioural changes that prioritise conservation and optimal utilisation of energy resources.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
It represents a framework that evaluates a company's performance beyond financial metrics, focusing on its Environmental, Social, and Governance practices. It serves as a tool for assessing a business's impact on environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and governance ethics.
Environmental criteria gauge a company's stance on climate change, resource usage, pollution, and sustainability initiatives. Social considerations encompass human rights, labour standards, community involvement, and diversity.
Governance evaluates ethical conduct, transparency, accountability, and leadership integrity within a company. ESG criteria aid investors in identifying companies aligned with ethical and sustainable principles, facilitating socially responsible investments and promoting long-term value creation while considering broader societal and environmental impacts.
A consumer who prioritises purchasing products that align with ethical and sustainable values, influencing industry practices.
Ethical fashion embodies a holistic approach to clothing production, encompassing responsible and sustainable practices throughout the entire supply chain. It prioritises social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and ethical treatment of workers and animals. Ethical fashion advocates for fair wages, safe working conditions, and respect for artisans along with minimising environmental impact through sustainable materials, eco-friendly production methods, and reducing waste. It embraces transparency, fair trade, cruelty-free practices, and considers the welfare of both people and the planet. Ethical fashion seeks to shift the fashion industry toward greater accountability, promoting conscious consumerism and encouraging the adoption of ethical and sustainable principles in clothing design, production, and consumption.
Ethical investments refer to financial strategies that integrate social, environmental, and governance considerations alongside financial returns. It involves allocating capital to companies, funds, or initiatives that align with ethical and sustainable principles, supporting enterprises that prioritise positive environmental and social impacts.
Ethical investments often avoid sectors or activities deemed harmful, such as fossil fuels, arms, or industries with poor labour practices. Instead, they favour investments in socially responsible businesses, renewable energy, sustainable technologies, or organisations promoting diversity and environmental stewardship.
Ethical investments seek to generate financial returns while contributing to a more sustainable, equitable, and socially conscious world.
Production processes that prioritise fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable practices, ensuring minimal harm to people and the environment.
Ethical Supply Chain
A transparent and accountable supply chain that ensures ethical practices, fair wages, and environmentally responsible sourcing and production.
It is a trading system that prioritises equity and social justice in global commerce, particularly focusing on empowering producers in developing countries, often small-scale farmers and artisans. It ensures fair wages, decent working conditions, and equitable treatment, aiming to redress the imbalance in traditional trade structures. Fair trade initiatives promote direct partnerships between producers and consumers, emphasising transparency, fair prices, and community development. The fair trade label signifies products that meet ethical standards, empowering consumers to support socially responsible and sustainable practices while enabling producers in marginalised regions to earn a fair income and improve their livelihoods
Fair Trade Certification
A label indicating that a product meets ethical and fair trade standards, ensuring fair compensation for producers in developing countries.
It refers to a business model characterised by rapid and frequent production of inexpensive clothing to quickly respond to ever-changing fashion trends. Fast fashion prioritises speed and low cost, often resulting in poor working conditions, exploitation of labour, and environmental degradation. This approach involves producing large quantities of clothing that may have a short lifespan, contributing to increased textile waste and pollution. Sustainable fashion advocates for alternatives to the fast fashion model, emphasising ethical practices, durability, and environmental consciousness to create a more responsible and sustainable approach to clothing production and consumption.
It refers to a community-driven platform or practice that encourages the exchange and redistribution of items, promoting reuse and reducing waste. It enables individuals to offer unwanted but functional items for free to others who may have a use for them, thus extending the life cycle of these goods and diverting them from ending up in landfills. Freecycle fosters a culture of sharing, minimising waste generation by facilitating the circulation of items among community members, promoting environmental conservation, and encouraging a more sustainable approach to consumption and disposal.
Refers to the sustained and long-term rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and surface. This phenomenon is predominantly caused by human activities, particularly the release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat, leading to an overall increase in the planet's temperature over time. Global warming contributes to various climate changes, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels, changes in precipitation patterns, and shifts in ecosystems. It represents a significant aspect of climate change, highlighting the consequences of human-induced environmental alterations and emphasising the urgency of mitigating actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address this escalating environmental concern.
It is a natural process wherein certain gases in Earth's atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, absorb and trap the heat radiating from the Earth's surface.
These gases form a protective layer, allowing sunlight to enter the atmosphere and warm the planet. However, they also prevent some of this heat from escaping back into space, thus maintaining a relatively stable and habitable temperature range on Earth. Human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels and industrial processes, contribute to an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, intensifying this natural effect and leading to global warming and subsequent climate changes.
These are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere; they include Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour.
refers to the wastewater generated from domestic activities such as bathing, laundry, and kitchen use, excluding sewage from toilets. It includes relatively clean water from sinks, showers, washing machines, and other household sources that haven't come into contact with faecal matter. Greywater can be reused for non-potable purposes like watering plants, flushing toilets, or even certain cleaning tasks, after appropriate treatment and filtration, contributing to water conservation efforts and reducing overall household water consumption
Efforts to redirect waste away from landfills through recycling, upcycling, or repurposing, reducing environmental impact.
Skilled craftsmen or artisans involved in producing sustainable fashion goods, often promoting cultural heritage and supporting local economies.
It involves obtaining materials, manufacturing, or producing fashion goods from nearby or regional sources, minimising transportation emissions and supporting local economies.
It promotes shorter supply chains, fosters community engagement, and reduces the environmental impact associated with long-distance transportation.
Production processes designed to minimise environmental impact, including reduced energy use and waste generation.
They refer to tiny synthetic fibres shed from clothing during washing, contributing to microplastic pollution in waterways. Minimising microfiber release involves using natural fibres, employing filtration systems, or washing garments in ways that reduce fibre shedding, aiming to curb environmental harm.
They are minuscule plastic particles often originating from synthetic clothing fibres, posing a significant environmental threat. They result from wear and tear of garments and contribute to water pollution when released during washing. Addressing microplastics involves opting for natural fibres, reducing synthetic material use, and employing filtration systems to mitigate their impact on ecosystems.
refers to a conscious and intentional approach to clothing consumption characterised by simplicity, functionality, and a reduced wardrobe size. Minimalism in fashion emphasises owning fewer, high-quality clothing items that are versatile, durable, and timeless in style. It promotes a shift away from fast fashion trends and excessive consumerism towards a more mindful and considered approach to dressing. Minimalist wardrobes typically consist of essential and well-made pieces that can be mixed and matched, encouraging longevity in wear and reducing the need for frequent purchasing. This approach aligns with sustainable fashion practices by advocating for less waste, reduced environmental impact, and a focus on quality over quantity in clothing choices.
It refers to the practice of retailing products without any additional or excessive packaging. It involves selling items in their natural form, often without wrapping, boxes, or unnecessary materials. This approach aims to minimise packaging waste, reduce environmental impact, and promote sustainability by eliminating unnecessary packaging that contributes to landfill waste and pollution. Naked packaging encourages a more eco-friendly consumer experience, emphasising the reduction of packaging materials while ensuring the functionality and protection of the product, thereby aligning with principles of sustainable and eco-conscious practices.
Natural Dyeing Techniques
Using plant-based or natural substances for dyeing textiles, reducing the environmental footprint of traditional dyeing methods.
They encompass materials obtained from the environment, like cotton, wool, or hemp, used in clothing production. Sustainable fashion aims to responsibly manage and preserve these resources, ensuring their longevity by minimising overuse and depletion while promoting eco-friendly practices in their cultivation or extraction.
It signifies a commitment to go beyond mere sustainability by actively contributing positively to the environment, society, and economy throughout the entire fashion supply chain. It involves initiatives and practices that aim not only to minimise negative impacts but also to generate measurable and beneficial outcomes, such as regenerating ecosystems, improving social conditions, and fostering economic prosperity. A net positive approach in sustainable fashion seeks to create a restorative impact, ensuring that the industry's activities contribute more to the planet and communities than they take away, ultimately striving for a holistic and regenerative effect on both people and the environment.
It refers to the ambitious goal of achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the equivalent emissions removed from the atmosphere within the fashion industry's operations and supply chain. This objective involves minimising carbon emissions through significant reductions and employing various strategies such as adopting renewable energy, optimising production processes, and implementing efficient transportation and distribution systems. Additionally, it includes compensating for unavoidable emissions by investing in or supporting activities that actively remove or offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases, such as reforestation or carbon capture technologies. Net Zero in sustainable fashion signifies a commitment to mitigating climate change by ensuring that the overall emissions from fashion-related activities are effectively neutralised, contributing to a more sustainable and climate-resilient industry.
Non Toxic Dyes
They refer to colourants used in clothing production that lack harmful chemicals, reducing environmental pollution and health risks for both workers and ecosystems. They prioritise natural or eco-friendly dyeing methods, minimising adverse effects on water sources and ensuring safer working conditions.
It refers to fibres or fabrics cultivated and produced without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic materials in fashion are derived from agricultural sources grown using natural methods that prioritise soil health, biodiversity, and ecological balance. This approach avoids the use of harmful synthetic substances, aiming to reduce environmental impact, promote sustainable farming practices, and ensure a healthier and safer working environment for farmers and workers involved in the production process. Organic fibres such as cotton, linen, hemp, and wool are cultivated with a focus on preserving natural ecosystems, minimising water usage, and reducing the environmental footprint of textile production.
It is a pivotal international treaty formed in 2015 at COP21 in Paris, involves nearly 200 nations committed to curbing climate change. It aims to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. Countries set out their climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), outlining strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate impacts. The agreement emphasises transparency, with nations regularly reporting their progress. Encompassing mitigation, adaptation, and financial support, the Paris Agreement fosters unified global efforts to combat the urgent challenges posed by climate change.
It refers to a variant of polyester—a commonly used synthetic fabric—that possesses the capacity to degrade naturally when exposed to specific environmental conditions, often through microbial action, heat, moisture, or light. This type of polyester is engineered to break down into natural elements over time, reducing its environmental impact compared to traditional polyester, which typically doesn't biodegrade readily. Biodegradable polyester in sustainable fashion aims to address the issue of textile waste, offering a potential solution by decomposing more efficiently once discarded, ultimately contributing to reducing the accumulation of non-biodegradable materials in landfills or ecosystems.
t refers to the practice of safeguarding traditional craftsmanship, cultural heritage, and artisanal techniques within the fashion industry. It involves valuing and maintaining age-old craftsmanship, skills, and indigenous textile traditions, thereby protecting cultural diversity and heritage. Preservation in sustainable fashion prioritises the conservation of these techniques and knowledge, ensuring their continuity for future generations. By supporting and promoting these heritage practices, sustainable fashion contributes to the preservation of cultural identities, empowers artisans, and fosters sustainable economic opportunities in communities while celebrating the uniqueness and richness of different cultural heritages within the fashion landscape.
It involves intentionally replanting trees or restoring forests on previously depleted or degraded lands. This practice aims to restore ecosystems affected by deforestation, logging, or natural disasters. By sequestering carbon dioxide, enhancing biodiversity, and providing habitats for wildlife, reforestation initiatives play a crucial role in mitigating climate change and supporting local communities. Additionally, reforestation efforts contribute to the availability of sustainable natural fibres like bamboo or eucalyptus used in eco-conscious clothing, fostering a more environmentally responsible supply chain in the fashion industry.
Regenerative practices in sustainable fashion extend beyond mere sustainability, actively rejuvenating or restoring the resources involved. This approach encompasses activities aimed at enhancing biodiversity, ecological health, and natural processes associated with fashion production. By adopting regenerative design principles, the industry strives to create systems that support both societal needs and environmental integrity, recognizing the interdependence of societies and economies within the natural world.
It encompasses practices that go beyond typical sustainability efforts, aiming to restore and revitalise ecosystems and natural resources. It involves techniques like minimal soil disruption, diverse crop rotations, and integrating livestock to regenerate soil health, enhance biodiversity, and sequester carbon. This approach not only sustains but actively improves the environment, promoting soil fertility, water retention, and carbon sequestration while fostering resilient and sustainable agricultural systems. In the realm of fashion, regenerative agriculture supports eco-friendly raw materials and processes, contributing to environmental conservation and soil restoration for a more sustainable textile industry.
It refers to a holistic approach that aims to restore and improve environmental and social ecosystems through clothing production. It prioritises regenerating natural resources, reducing waste, and fostering resilient communities, contributing positively to the environment and society beyond mere sustainability.
It denotes power generated from constantly replenished natural resources like solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass. By utilising these sources in manufacturing, transportation, and facilities, the fashion industry can significantly reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact. Adopting renewable energy sources helps decrease reliance on finite fossil fuels, mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, and supports the industry's shift toward cleaner and more sustainable practices, aligning with its commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable production.
Clothing made from renewable resources or recycled materials, reducing dependency on finite resources.
Materials derived from natural sources that can be replenished or regenerated, promoting sustainability in fashion production.
It denotes materials sourced from discarded or unused items, salvaged, repurposed, or refurbished to create new clothing or accessories. These reclaimed materials encompass pre-owned textiles, vintage fabrics, or surplus resources diverted from landfills or unused inventory. Incorporating reclaimed materials promotes waste reduction and circularity by extending the lifespan of existing resources. By repurposing materials that would otherwise be discarded, the fashion industry reduces its environmental impact, minimises resource consumption, and champions sustainable practices through reuse and upcycling in production."
It involves the systematic collection, sorting, and processing of used clothing or textiles to create new materials or garments. This process breaks down discarded textiles into raw materials which are then reprocessed and transformed into new fabrics, yarns, or other fashion-related materials. Recycling within the fashion industry promotes the circular economy by reducing waste and lessening the reliance on virgin resources. It involves converting used textiles into new products, contributing to resource conservation, waste reduction, and a more sustainable approach to textile production.
It involves consciously minimising resource consumption, material usage, and energy throughout the clothing lifecycle. This approach aims to diminish waste generation and reduce the environmental impact associated with fashion production, distribution, and disposal. Strategies include designing garments with fewer resources, optimising manufacturing to minimise waste, and encouraging mindful consumer behaviour focused on purchasing fewer, higher-quality items. By emphasising reduction practices, the fashion industry strives for a more responsible and environmentally conscious approach to clothing production and consumption.
Refers to the creative and intentional transformation or adaptation of clothing items or textiles for a new use or function, different from their original purpose. This practice involves modifying or altering garments or fabrics to serve a different role or style, extending their lifespan and preventing them from being discarded. Repurposing in fashion might include converting old clothing into entirely new designs, transforming materials into accessories, or modifying garments to fit a different aesthetic or purpose. It aligns with the principles of upcycling and circularity by giving new life to existing textiles, minimising waste, and promoting resourcefulness within the fashion industry.
It refers to the practice of utilising clothing items or materials again for the same or different purposes without significant alteration or breakdown. This approach focuses on extending the lifespan of garments or textiles by finding new uses or functions for them, avoiding disposal and contributing to waste reduction. Reuse involves repurposing clothing through various means, such as donating or selling second-hand garments, creating new styles from existing pieces, or reimagining textiles for alternative uses, promoting a circular economy within the fashion industry. It distinguishes itself from recycling, which involves breaking down used items to create raw materials for new products, while reuse maintains the original form or function of the item for prolonged utility.
It involves production processes that prioritise ethical labour practices, reduced environmental impact, and transparency throughout the supply chain. It encompasses fair wages, safe working conditions, and eco-friendly practices, aiming to minimise harm to people and the planet during the creation of clothing items.
They refer to specific, quantifiable objectives set by companies or organisations to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the latest climate science and the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. These targets offer a well-defined pathway for entities within the fashion industry to curtail their carbon footprint and mitigate climate change impact by adhering to scientifically determined emission reduction levels. By adopting science-based targets, fashion companies aim to contribute to global efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue endeavours to keep the increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. These targets serve as a crucial tool for guiding the industry towards a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.
It refers to clothing items or accessories that have been previously owned or used by someone else and are resold for further wear. Embracing second-hand fashion involves purchasing pre-owned garments from thrift stores, consignment shops, online marketplaces, or through clothing swaps. Opting for second-hand items extends the lifespan of clothing, reduces the demand for new production, and minimises the environmental impact associated with the fashion industry's resource consumption and waste generation. It promotes a circular economy by giving clothing a second life, contributing to waste reduction and sustainable consumption practices within the fashion sector.
It pertains to a system where individuals or communities share access to clothing, accessories, or fashion items instead of solely owning them. This concept involves platforms or initiatives that facilitate the sharing, borrowing, or renting of clothing among users, promoting collaborative consumption. Through sharing platforms or clothing rental services, individuals can access a wider range of fashion choices without needing full ownership of each item. This practice encourages the extended use of garments, reduces the need for excessive purchasing, and diminishes the environmental impact associated with the production and disposal of clothing. The sharing economy in fashion fosters a culture of resource optimization, promotes sustainability, and contributes to a more circular approach to fashion consumption.
It refers to clothing items, accessories, or materials that are intended or typically used only once before being disposed of. This term encompasses garments or fashion-related products designed for short-term or limited use, after which they are discarded. Single-use fashion items often contribute to environmental waste and resource depletion due to their short lifespan and the frequent disposal after minimal usage. Examples might include certain fast fashion pieces or accessories intended for one-time events, promotions, or trends, leading to their disposal after minimal wear. Embracing sustainable fashion involves reducing reliance on single-use items, opting instead for durable, timeless pieces and promoting practices that prolong the life cycle of clothing and accessories.
It is an approach to clothing and accessories that prioritises sustainability, ethics, and mindful consumption. It emphasises quality over quantity and advocates for more thoughtful and conscious production, consumption, and use of clothing. Slow fashion focuses on creating garments that are durable, timeless in style, and made with ethical production practices, including fair wages and safe working conditions for workers. It encourages consumers to buy less and choose items that are well-made, versatile, and designed to last, thereby reducing the environmental impact of fashion through minimising waste and a shift away from fast-paced, trend-driven consumer habits. Slow fashion promotes a deeper connection with clothing, valuing craftsmanship, transparency, and a more sustainable relationship with garments throughout their lifecycle
It refers to the measurable and positive effects that fashion-related activities, initiatives, or businesses have on society, communities, or individuals. It encompasses the deliberate efforts and outcomes that address social issues within the fashion industry. This impact can manifest in various forms, such as promoting fair wages and decent working conditions for garment workers, supporting underprivileged communities or artisans, advocating for inclusivity and diversity, empowering women, or implementing initiatives that contribute positively to social welfare. Fashion endeavours focused on social impact aim to create meaningful and lasting change, striving to improve the well-being of individuals, communities, and society as a whole, while concurrently addressing social inequalities and fostering positive societal transformation through their actions and practices.
It refers to a business entity that operates with a primary goal of addressing social or environmental issues within the fashion industry while remaining financially sustainable. These enterprises integrate social or environmental objectives into their core business model, prioritising positive impact over profit maximisation. Within the fashion sector, social enterprises aim to create change by implementing ethical labour practices, promoting fair wages, utilising eco-friendly materials and production methods, supporting marginalised communities, or contributing to social causes. These businesses typically reinvest a significant portion of their profits back into the business to further their social or environmental mission, fostering a more responsible and community-oriented approach to fashion entrepreneurship.
refers to the utilisation of sunlight as a renewable energy source within fashion-related operations, production processes, or initiatives. It involves harnessing solar power through photovoltaic panels or solar thermal systems to generate electricity or heat that can be used in various aspects of the fashion industry. Solar energy can power manufacturing facilities, offices, or warehouses involved in clothing production, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing the carbon footprint of fashion operations. Additionally, solar energy might also be utilised in the development of sustainable textiles or materials, supporting the creation of eco-friendly fabrics or innovative production methods within the fashion sector. Embracing solar energy in fashion contributes to a cleaner energy transition and promotes more sustainable practices by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lessening environmental impact.
Is the intricate web of interconnected entities and processes involved in creating, producing, and distributing clothing and fashion goods. It spans from raw material suppliers to manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and logistics providers, culminating in the delivery of products to consumers. This chain emphasises transparency, ethical practices, and environmental responsibility, ensuring eco-friendly material sourcing, fair labour conditions, waste reduction, and accountability throughout the entire process. The goal of a sustainable fashion supply chain is to minimise negative environmental and social impacts while promoting ethical production and responsible consumption.
SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
They represent a comprehensive framework of 17 interconnected global objectives adopted by the United Nations in 2015. These goals aim to address pressing global challenges by promoting social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Within the context of fashion, aligning with the SDGs involves integrating practices that contribute to these goals, such as ethical production, reducing environmental impact, promoting fair labour practices, and fostering responsible consumption and production. The SDGs serve as a roadmap, guiding the fashion industry toward achieving a more sustainable, equitable, and environmentally conscious future by 2030.
It embodies an approach to clothing production, consumption, and design that prioritises ethical practices, environmental consciousness, and social responsibility throughout the entire lifecycle of garments. It involves mindful choices at every stage, from sourcing eco-friendly materials and adopting responsible production methods to promoting fair labour conditions, reducing waste, and advocating for circularity in fashion. Sustainable fashion aims to minimise the industry's environmental footprint by embracing renewable resources, reducing emissions, and minimising waste generation. It encourages innovative design approaches, ethical manufacturing practices, and consumer awareness to create a more responsible and environmentally friendly fashion ecosystem.
It refers to environmentally friendly materials and practices used to package clothing items, aiming to minimise waste and reduce the ecological footprint of the fashion industry. It involves using recyclable, biodegradable, or reusable materials and adopting efficient packaging designs to minimise environmental impact.
It involves obtaining materials and resources in an ethical and environmentally responsible manner, prioritising fair trade, minimising environmental impact, and supporting local communities. It emphasises transparency, traceability, and the use of eco-friendly materials, promoting sustainable practices across the supply chain.
Sustainable textile production
It encompasses manufacturing processes that prioritise eco-friendly materials, efficient resource use, and reduced environmental impact. It involves employing organic or recycled fibres, minimising water and energy consumption, and adopting responsible dyeing and finishing methods to create textiles with a lower ecological footprint.
They refer to artificially manufactured textile materials, often derived from petroleum-based chemicals. These fibres, such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and spandex, are engineered to replicate natural fibres but are created through industrial processes. While synthetic fibres offer durability, flexibility, and affordability, they present sustainability challenges. Their production typically involves high energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and reliance on non-renewable resources. Moreover, these fibres shed microplastics during use and laundering, contributing to environmental pollution. In the context of sustainable fashion, minimising the use of synthetic fibres or exploring eco-friendly alternatives aims to reduce the environmental impact associated with their production and disposal, promoting a shift towards more sustainable textile materials.
It refers to the ability to track and verify the journey of a clothing item throughout the supply chain, ensuring transparency and accountability. It involves documenting and disclosing information about materials, production processes, and sourcing, allowing consumers to make informed decisions and promoting responsible practices within the industry.
Triple Bottom Line
It represents a holistic approach to evaluating business performance beyond mere financial profit. It encompasses three interconnected dimensions—economic, social, and environmental—to measure a company's success and impact. This framework emphasises considering the financial bottom line alongside social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Companies applying the Triple Bottom Line approach aim to not only achieve economic prosperity but also contribute positively to society by fostering fair labour practices, community engagement, and ethical sourcing, while minimising their environmental footprint through eco-friendly practices and resource conservation. This model evaluates success by balancing profitability with social and environmental considerations, aiming for a sustainable and responsible business model in the fashion industry.
It involves repurposing discarded or unused materials, textiles, or garments to create new, higher-value products. This process transforms existing items or materials into innovative, desirable fashion pieces, often adding creativity or design enhancements to give them a renewed purpose or aesthetic appeal. By upcycling, fashion designers or creators breathe new life into old clothing or fabrics, diverting these materials from landfills while reducing the need for new resources. It's a form of creative reuse that celebrates craftsmanship, uniqueness, and sustainability by extending the lifespan of materials and fostering a more circular approach to fashion production.
It refers to garments and accessories produced without the use of any animal-derived materials or by-products. Vegan fashion eliminates materials such as leather, wool, silk, fur, and other animal-based components, opting instead for synthetic or plant-based alternatives. This approach aligns with ethical and environmental considerations by avoiding the exploitation of animals for clothing production, reducing the demand for animal farming, and minimising the associated environmental impact. Vegan fashion aims to offer cruelty-free alternatives while promoting sustainability and ethical practices within the fashion industry.
It can refer to a practice where consumers dispose of clothing or accessories in recycling bins with the hope that these items will be recycled into new garments, despite uncertainty about their recyclability. This approach stems from a desire to contribute positively to sustainability by reusing materials. However, wish cycling in fashion might involve placing clothing items into recycling bins without knowledge of whether the materials are recyclable or if local recycling facilities accept such items. This practice can lead to challenges in the recycling process, potentially contaminating recycling streams and hindering effective garment recycling efforts. It's essential for individuals to understand specific recycling guidelines for textiles and clothing to ensure proper disposal and promote effective recycling practices within the fashion industry.
It refers to a holistic approach that aims to minimise or eliminate the generation of waste throughout the lifecycle of clothing and accessories. It's a set of principles emphasising waste prevention from the initial design phase through the production process and even in the product's end-of-life stage. This approach encourages the redesign of resource life cycles, focusing on reusability, repairability, and recyclability of materials. While achieving absolute zero waste might be impractical, the focus is on drastically reducing waste generation by designing products with longevity, employing recycling systems, and encouraging consumers to participate in the circular economy by reusing or repurposing garments rather than disposing of them. Zero waste fashion strives to significantly minimise the environmental footprint by considering the entire lifecycle of clothing items.
Zero carbon fashion
It denotes a production and design approach aimed at completely eliminating or offsetting carbon emissions generated throughout the lifecycle of clothing items. It involves using renewable energy, carbon-neutral manufacturing, and offsetting remaining emissions to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint, contributing to mitigating climate change within the fashion industry.
Zero waste design
It focuses on creating clothing items using innovative patterns and techniques that generate little to no fabric waste during production. It involves maximising fabric efficiency, repurposing scraps, and utilising every part of the material, minimising landfill contributions and promoting resourcefulness in the design process.