Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Sustainable or ethical fashion terminology can often be quite confusing. You check a website and they use a bunch of words that sound like it’s a good thing, but you are not actually sure what you are supporting there. So I decided to share few of the words here. Many of them might be familiar to you, but hopefully, some that might help you when trying to shop sustainably!

Alteration – Altering a garment to make it fit better. Sometimes this term means a place where you can get your garment altered or fixed.

Artisan – Tradition craft and ancient techniques of craft work, very skilled usually made by hand and also usually culturally based.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology - byLiiL

Ethical Fashion – Often considered as the term to describe fashion with human rights connection, however, it can mean anything including animal welfare and the environment. This is a confusing term and can mean different things to different people.

Carbon Footprint – The amount of carbon dioxide emitted through daily actions into the atmosphere.

Carbon Neutral – No carbon emission.

Circular Economy – System to minimise waste and regenerating energy through closed-loop systems.

Closed-Loop System – A system which consistently reuses its waste, therefore, doesn’t discharge any waste.

Cradle-to-Cradle – Essentially close to the circular economy and closed-loop system, but cradle-to-cradle is a school of thought which builds on the effective design of ingredients that last and can be reused and are safe for human consumption and the environment.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Fair Trade – A mark/brand for products that have been produced in fair ways; paying a minimum living wage or higher, healthy working conditions and training for employees. It is also considered an organised social movement to help battle the sweatshops.

Fast-Fashion – The mass production of garments/accessories/shoes for the high-street stores. These are produced as quickly as possible (some even in two weeks) and as cheaply as possible. Often inspired or copied by the designers or independent companies and in general are of lower quality (in material as well as make).

Natural Fibres – Fibres of plant or animal sources such as cotton, linen, wool etc.

Organic Cotton – Cotton grown without pesticides or modified seeds.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Pesticides – Toxins used to kill pests that are harmful to plants and animals. Can cause irreversible damage to the animals (those who eat the animals) and the soil.

Petroleum-based fibres – Fibres that are made of petroleum-based chemicals (plastic). Is not environmentally friendly and can have possibly toxic fibres mixed within them. Polyester, polyurethane, nylon, acrylic.

Second-hand – Items that have previously been owned.

Slow Fashion – A social movement to combat fast-fashion and mass consumerism. Generally referring to buying less and smarter, such as buying timeless pieces that are of high-quality.

Supply Chain – A chain of processes and companies involved in manufacturing and distributing fashion or any other goods.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Sustainable Fashion – A design philosophy that does not harm humans, animals or the environment, but rather is a process of creating goods indefinitely. At the moment this term is used quite loosely and can refer to designs that follow one or more various ethical/sustainable design principles; using recycled or organic fibres, not using animal products, using end-of-line fabrics and so on.

Sweatshop – A factory where working conditions can be dangerous and inhumane, often underpaid and overworked.

Transparency – Being transparent about the manufacturing of goods and the production processes, often means that these can be traceable. A movement battling sweatshop production and toxic release into the environment.

Upcycled – Used goods reused and made into something of higher value than it was.

Vegan-Fashion – Fashion that is made out of animal-friendly and cruelty-free materials. Although this sounds good, the problem often is that they use petroleum based fibres such as polyester, nylon and acrylic.

Understand The Sustainable Fashion Terminology

Do you have terms that you would like to share or others that you would like an explanation to?

With love,

Lii

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A Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods

It is quite unbelievable that I am only learning about this amazing mall, in Sweden Eskilstuna, now, when it has been open since the year 2015! As the title says there is a mall that solely sells repaired and recycled goods, in addition, they actually recycle and repair the items in the mall. How cool is that?!

A Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods - byLiiL

The mall takes household item donations, which they then sort into workshops to be recycled or repaired and then sold in their boutiques or if there is no use to the donations they send them to the recycling centres. They have 9 running stores and 3 small pop-up stores that sell anything from furniture, computers, clothes, building materials, toys, you name it. In addition, they have the organically focused cafe and a restaurant to feed the hungry shoppers and educational centre, conference hall and a meeting room.

The team behind the mall is aiming to “make it the best town to handle waste-management” and hope the customers will bring in their unwanted items and stay to look for what they would like from the stores available to them. This sounds so exciting I wish there would be one in every town! It creates jobs and reduces the waste burden on the local governments. This is a great effort to make a whole town more sustainable!

A Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods - byLiiL

I wonder whether this kind of a mall would be successful in a town where people are not as sustainably conscious and happy to buy second hand? Would you like to visit a mall like this?

You can read more about the mall from here1 and here2 and visit their (unfortunately it is all in Swedish) website, picture from here.

With love,

Lii

31 bits – empower women by buying jewellery

Whenever there is a talk about recycling, I get excited, but when I read about all the other benefits I just had to write about it! 31 bits is a company that sells gorgeous colourful beaded jewellery made by Ugandan women. Their story is truly inspirational from volunteering in Uganda, to finding amazing products, making a business out of it with the Ugandan women and turning the profits into making a great life for the women. And that was the very shortened version. I recommend reading their full story on their ‘Our story‘ page.

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So what makes this company so amazing? Their mission! “Using fashion and design to empower people to rise above poverty”. To me, fashion is an art form and self-expression. However, when these can be combined with such an empowered message it goes on another level. The beads, that are used in the jewellery, are recycled paper that is coated to get that hard shell. All their other ingredients used in the jewellery are sourced locally in Uganda, providing economy for their society, and everything is lovingly handmade. When this is combined with the fashionable styles, beautiful and appealing imagery, you really have a brand to admire!

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The prices are not too bad, for handmade items, either ranging from $40-80. Although, the prices are in dollars, they do ship worldwide and have an amazing sale section. And with the price comes so much more. On their website, they explain how they offer Ugandan women education, provide counselling, teach life skills and offer health services, to name a few. And this all is offered from the profits that come from selling the jewellery.

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So buy buying their jewellery, you do not only get a fashionable item that you can cherish because of the story behind it, but you also offer so much to these women in Uganda who make them. I find this truly inspirational and empowering, even for the buyer!

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The only thing I was confused about, and this is from a sustainable point of view, is where are all the other items sourced from. Although they explain how it is sourced locally, they did not provide any further details on the matter. It is a minor detail though, as being handmade and the majority of the items are already recycled, I do consider them quite sustainable. In addition, I find them very transparent. They tell the stories of their artisans on their website and they have a strong social media presence, as well as a Youtube channel, which is worth a look!

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Have you heard about the 31bits? Would you buy their jewellery?

Brand rating 31bits

All pics are from their website, go have a look for more!

With love,

Lii