glossary

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Your ethical A to Z 

Here's a selection of icons, symbols, text, fabrics & companies most recognised within fashion & beauty industries.

Acrylic

Acrylic fabric is essentially plastic. Acrylic fabric is made of a manmade polymer fiber that is created from fossil fuels through a chemical process. It is made in a way similar to how polyamide (or nylon) fabric and polyester fabric are made. 

A fabric which is polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA

 

Bamboo

Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of bamboo grass.  

Bamboo rayon is made by dissolving pulp bamboo into its cellulose component and then spun into viscose fibers. 

Clothing made of bamboo rayon typically lasts even longer and holds its shape even better than clothing made of simple bamboo fiber.

 

BDIH Standard

The aim of the BDIH Standard is to define the term natural cosmetics in a factually correct and comprehensible way and to create transparency to benefit the consumer. In addition, it is intended to allow fair competition between the manufacturers and distributors of natural cosmetics. The standard specifies requirements relating to how the ingredients used in the cosmetics should be obtained and produced and to the way they are processed. This takes particular account of the concerns of animal welfare and species protection.

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Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is a for-mission company that helps governments, organisations and companies reduce their carbon emissions and become more resource efficient.

Its stated mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy.

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Cashmere

Cashmere is made from the soft undercoat of cashmere goats, who are kept by the millions in China and Mongolia, which dominate the market for this so-called “luxury” material.

Goats have little fat on their bodies, and their coats protect them from the bitter climates in these countries. If you dig a little deeper into the knowledge of cashmere,  you probably wouldn’t want to wear it again.

Also when a garment says its cashmere, it probably only has about 2% of cashmere woven through.

 

Certified B.Corp

B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.


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Cosmos

COSMOS stands for "COSMetic Organic, Natural, Standard", which sets certification requirements for organic and natural cosmetics products in the Europe.

COSMOS-certified products are produced to the highest standards for organic and natural cosmetics, and are safe, effective and good to use.

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Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to Cradle is active in both the Beauty & Textile industry.

When you see this certification mark you know this product has been Designed to be recycled. It is Organic. Socially responsible. Respecting nature.

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Ecocert

ECOCERT sets the standard for natural and organic cosmetics worldwide, ensuring sustainability, environmentally friendly processes and products formulated without GMO, Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Nanoparticles, Silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes or animal-derived ingredients.

It offers the most natural seal of approval, and reassures even the most sustainability-conscious consumer.

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Ethical

Ethical; relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these.

Ethics; is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition.

 

Fair Labour Association

The FLA, a non-profit organisation facilitated by US President Clinton in 1996 and incorporated in 1999, brings together three key constituencies – universities, civil society organizations (CSOs) and companies – to find sustainable solutions to systemic labour issues.

The FLA seeks to protect the workers who manufacture the clothing, footwear, luggage, jewellery, electronics and other items enjoyed by consumers around the world.

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Fair Trade

Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

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Fair Wear Foundation

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is a European multi-stakeholder initiative working to improve workplace conditions in the garment and textile industry.

FWF verifies that its member companies implement the FWF Code of Labour Practices in their supply chains.

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Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit global movement with teams in over 100 countries around the world. Fashion Revolution campaigns for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

 

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FSC

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) helps take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home.

FSC is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on a wood or wood based product is your assurance that it is made with, or contains, wood that comes from FSC certified forests or from post-consumer waste. There are three types of FSC label: 100%, FSC Mix or FSC Recycled.


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GOTs

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

The aim of the standard is to define world-wide recognized requirements that ensure organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer.

Textile processors and manufacturers are enabled to export their organic fabrics and garments with one certification accepted in all major markets.

 

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Hemp

Hemp is often considered an environmental “super fibre”. Hemp fabric is made from the fibres in the herbaceous plant of the species cannabis sativa. It's a high-yield crop that produces significantly more fibre per acre than either cotton or flax.

 

Linen

Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very absorbent and garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.

 

Lyocell

Lyocell is a natural, man made fibre. It is a form of rayon which consists of cellulose fibre made from dissolving pulp (bleached wood pulp from sustainable tree farms).

Lyocell textiles are created through the use of nanotechnology in an award-winning closed-loop process that recovers or decomposes all solvents and emissions

 

Mi Apparel

An amazing online shop selling Ethical, Sustainable, Transparent brands in Clothing, Accessories & Beauty

 

 

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Microplastics

Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life.

Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in our ocean and Great Lakes.

Microplastics have been found in fish and shellfish bound for human consumption, and it has been estimated that an average European seafood consumer ingests 11,000 plastic particles a year.

 

Natrue

NATRUE AISBL (an international non-profit association) is The International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association, whose objective is to ensure the availability of quality natural and organic cosmetic products for consumers worldwide. NATRUE has identified two main areas of activity to reach this objective:

  • To ensure the availability  of premium raw materials through appropriate ingredient regulation
  • In the absence of a regulatory definition for natural and organic cosmetics to provide strict international criteria (the NATRUE Label)

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Nylon

Polyamide fabric, also known as nylon fabric, is a form of plastic. Polyamide fabric, like polyester fabric, is a polymer. It is manufactured through a chemical process. In short, high amounts of heat and pressure are applied to fossil fuels to yield sheets of polyamide and nylon. Unfortunately, they are really high amounts of heat and pressure (energy) and polyamide fabric isn’t the only thing produced from this process.

A fabric which is made from petroleum and is often given a permanent chemical finish that can be harmful.

 

Oeko-Tex

The OEKO-TEX® range of services is tailored to the specific needs and the situation of the textile industry. Due to this approach we can provide unique benefits and practical help for all businesses that commit themselves to responsible and sustainable management.

Oeko-Tex is a registered trade mark, representing the product labels and company certifications issued and other services provided by the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology.

The Oeko-Tex Association issues the product-related labels Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, Made in Green by Oeko-Tex and Leather Standard by Oeko-Tex, the label Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex for chemicals to be used in textile production, and the STeP by Oeko-Tex label and the Detox to Zero status report for production facilities.

  

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Organic

Organic is one of the most well-known and popular means to shop more ethically.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is the umbrella organisation for organic agriculture, and its establishment in 1972 marked the beginning of the modern, organised organic movement.

While food dominates the organic market, an increasing number of non-food items such as textiles and beauty products are now available.

 

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Organic Cotton

Organic cotton, is made from GMO-free plants that are grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals like fertilizers or pesticides. Organic cotton is better for the environment, the climate and the people involved. And buying from companies with organic cotton certification, like us, means that the wider supply chain has been audited with all inputs (like inks, dyes and printing) and business ethics having met a strict standard or criteria.

 

Peta

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk is a dedicated establishment protecting the rights of all animals.

PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: in the food industry, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of rodents, birds, and other animals who are often considered “pests” as well as cruelty to domesticated animals.

 

 

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Polyester

Polyester is a polymer. In short, polyester is plastic. Polyester fabric is a synthetic fabric created by bonding polyester fibers together. Polyester fibers are the product of a chemical reaction between coal, petroleum, air, and water. Not only is polyester derived from non-renewable resources, but the process of extraction from fossil fuels yields a high carbon footprint and significant byproducts.

 

This fabric is the is the worst fabric you can buy. It is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid.

 

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. It was established in 1987 in response to the environmental emergency of uncontrolled deforestation.

Initially operating solely as a forest certification programme, RA launched its first certified farms in 1992. In 1993, RA helped establish the Forest Stewardship Council, as well as launching a sustainable tourism programme

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Rayon

Rayon or as its also known as Polyester. This is recycled wood pulp that must be treated with chemicals like caustic soda, ammonia, acetone and sulphuric acid to survive regular washing and wearing.

 

Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to "conventional" waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions.

 

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Soil Association

Founded in 1947 the charity based Soil Association has over 27,000 members today. Its activities include campaign work on issues including opposition to intensive farming, support for local purchasing and public education on nutrition; as well the certification of organic food. It developed the world's first organic certification system in 1967 – standards which have since widened to encompass agriculture, aquaculture, ethical trade, food processing, forestry, health & beauty, horticulture and textiles. Today it certifies over 80% of organic produce in the UK.

To add; The Soil Association played a leading role in the development of the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) and is a quarter owner of Global Standard GmbH. The GOTS standard was designed to make trading more efficient for operators and provide clarity for consumers on organic textiles. The Soil Association Certification has been certifying organic textile businesses to the GOTS standard since 2006 . There are several other certification bodies now working to GOTS globally, with around 3000 businesses in 55 countries certified to GOTS.

 

 

 

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Sustainable

Sustainable; pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse.

In other words; causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time

 

Synthetic Fabric

Synthetic fabrics are textiles made from man-made fibers rather than natural fibers. Chemically produced fabrics are made by joining monomers into polymers, through a process called polymerization. A synthetic fabric, when magnified, looks like plastic spun together.

Remember anything static resistant, stain resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain proof or moth repellant. Many of the stain resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are treated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), like Teflon.

 

Tencel

Whether it's called, Tencel or lyocell this is a sustainable fabric, regenerated from wood cellulose. It is similar in hand to rayon and bamboo, both regenerated fabrics. However, Tencel is one of the most environmentally friendly regenerated fabrics, for several reasons. Tencel fibers are grown sustainably.

TENCEL® fabric carries the Oeko Tex 100 certification, an international standard developed in 1992 to certify that it contains no harmful substances. Tencel also has been awarded the European Community Eco-label flower for products and services with reduced environmental impacts.

 

Transparent

Action, method, or procedure that lacks hidden agendas and conditions, and complies with the disclosure requirements of transparency in word and intention.

For Fashion; Lack of transparency costs lives. It is impossible for companies to make sure human rights are respected, working conditions are adequate and the environment is safeguarded without knowing where their products are made. That’s why transparency is essential.

Transparency requires that companies know who makes their clothes – from who stitched them right through to who dyed the fabric and who farmed the cotton — and under what conditions. Crucially, it requires brands to share this information publicly.

If we know the facilities where our clothes are being made, if we have access to information about the factories, mills and farms where brands are sourcing then the public can help hold the industry to account for bad practices and encourage good practices.*

*Extract taken from Fashion Revolution Index 2018.

 

Vegan Society

Founded in 1944 by Donald Watson, Elsie Shirley and 23 others The Vegan Society is  non government organisation focusing on veganism.

The Vegan Society coined the word 'vegan' in 1944 and the sunflower is a well‐established and respected symbol that gives customers confidence to try vegan products.

The Trademark is registered in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and India and used worldwide on over 22,000 products. It represents the international standard for authentic vegan products - that makes it a must for any company seeking to widen its appeal, extend its marketing and increase sales.

 

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Viscose

Viscose aka Rayon. Viscose, more commonly known in the U.S. as Rayon, is a man-made fiber created from cellulose chemically extracted from trees. It's a little weaker in strength than cotton, and thus is often used to make delicate, lighter clothing.

As a plant-based fibre, viscose is not inherently toxic or polluting. However, because of the growing fast-fashion industry, much of the viscose on the market today is manufactured cheaply using energy, water and chemically-intensive processes that have devastating impacts on workers, local communities and the environment. This is why viscose (including bamboo viscose) was given a ‘D’ score for sustainability in the Made-By Environmental Benchmark for Fibres.

 

Wool

Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, angora from rabbits, and other types of wool from camelids. Wool mainly consists of protein together with a few percent lipids. In this regard it is chemically quite distinct from the more dominant textile, cotton, which is mainly cellulose.

 

Wrap Compliance

Established by industry association American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA represents over 700 companies), Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production claims to run 'the largest independent facility certification program in the world mainly focused on the apparel, footwear, and sewn products sectors’.

WRAP carries a code of conduct similar to 'rival' initiatives such as SA8000 and the ETI, however, when national law clashes with a particular standard, WRAP does not actively attempt to influence the behaviour of either governments or brands.

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Wrap UK

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is a registered charity. It works with businesses, individuals and communities to achieve a circular economy] through helping them reduce waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.

WRAP developed the "Recycle Now", "Love Food, Hate Waste" and "Love your Clothes" initiatives. These aim to help businesses, local authorities, community groups and individuals recycle and reuse more, and reduce food waste.

 

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