EcoChic Design Award
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Glossary

glossary

Learn The Language

C

  • CARBON EMISSIONS are the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) gases primarily from the use of fossil fuels by human activities, such as petrol in vehicles, into the atmosphere.
  • CARBON FOOTPRINT is a measure in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) of the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted (directly or indirectly) through an activity from an individual, organization or community.   
  • CLOSED LOOP DESIGN is when a product is designed to be easily deconstructed at the end of its use to enable it to have another function, thereby eliminating all waste. In this way, a used product’s output becomes the input for a new product or function.
  • CLOTHING BANKS are garment recycling collection stations in the community, placed by a charitable or commercial organisation, where consumers can recycle their used clothing.
  • CLOTHING DRIVES are events where unwanted clothing is collected from individuals and most commonly donated to charity or sold to raise funds for charity.
  • CLOTHING SAMPLES are part-finished or finished clothing samples from the design and production of clothing.
  • CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) is a voluntary initiative by companies to reduce the negative social and environmental impacts of their businesses.
  • CRADLE-TO-CRADLE is a closed loop design process that is free of waste. When a product is no longer useful, it becomes material for another product.
  • CUT-AND-SEW WASTE are textile scraps generated during garment manufacturing. It is often considered waste and is discarded due to its uneven and small formats.

D

  • DAMAGED TEXTILES are unused textiles that have been damaged for example with colour or print defects, rendering them unusable.
  • DOWN-CYCLING is the recycling of something into a material with a lower value or quality than the original item.

E

  • E-COMMERCE is the buying and selling of goods and/or services through the Internet. 
  • ECO is a prefix for ecology, usually referring to ecological concerns or benefits.
  • ECO-CHIC is the term commonly used to describe something that is environmentally conscious as well as being stylish.
  • ECO-LABELS are environmental claims made on a product or through advertising using certifications, standards, logos, symbols or certain strong types of sustainability vocabulary.
  • ECOSYSTEM is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.
  • END-OF-ROLLS are factory surplus textiles that have been left over from garment manufacturing.

F

  • FAST FASHION is a term that refers to low-cost, low-quality clothing that has been rapidly produced to replicate catwalk trends.

G

  • GREENHOUSE EFFECT is the trapping of the sun’s warmth in a planet’s lower atmosphere due to the presence of gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour, which allow incoming sunlight to pass through them but absorb heat radiated back from the earth’s surface.
  • GREENHOUSE GAS is a type of gas in the atmosphere that absorbs infrared radiation and traps heat inside the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the greenhouse effect. They exist naturally but are increased through human activity with emissions such as CO2 and methane.
  • GREEN-WASHING is a term given to misleading, exaggerated or untrue claims about a product’s environmental benefits in a company’s communications.

L

  • LIFECYCLE is the journey a product makes from the extraction of its raw materials, through production and usage, all the way though to its disposal or recycling.
  • LIFECYCLE ASSESSMENT is a technique that assesses the energy and material inputs and outputs, and the associated environmental impacts of a product or service system throughout its lifecycle. 

P

  • PESTICIDES are chemical or biological agents used to kill or destroy any type of pests or insects. In the fashion industry, conventionally grown cotton uses various pesticides, which have damaging effects to both humans and wildlife.
  • POST-CONSUMER WASTE is waste collected after the consumer has disposed of it.
  • PRE-CONSUMER WASTE is made up of manufacturing waste that has not reached the consumer.

R

  • RECONSTRUCTION is a form of up-cycling and is the process of making new clothes from waste formed of previously worn garments or preformed finished clothing products. This process involves first deconstructing garments and then reconstructing the waste materials into new designs.
  • RECYCLABLE describes a material that can be reused by turning it into a new usable material or product.
  • RECYCLED is when a waste material or product has been reused and turned into a new usable material or product.
  • REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE are the so-called 3Rs that classify waste management, according to their order of importance. Reduce consumption and usage, reuse items again where possible and recycle materials at the end of their lives.
  • RESPONSIBLE CONSUMERISM is choosing to purchase products and services that take into account their social and environmental impact.

S

  • SAMPLING YARDAGE is factory surplus waste leftover from textile sample manufacturing.
  • SECONDHAND is a product that is acquired after it has been used by someone else.
  • SECONDHAND CLOTHING is any clothing or fashion accessories that have been owned and then discarded by consumers (both used and unused).
  • SECONDHAND TEXTILES are any finished non-clothing textiles (such as curtains, bedding etc) that have been owned and then discarded by consumers (both used and unused).
  • SUPPLY CHAIN refers to the steps and resources involved in the production of a product from raw materials extraction, all the way through to transporting it to the consumer.
  • SUSTAINABILITY is a lasting system and process that meets the current population’s needs while preserving for the future.
  • SUSTAINABLE FASHION is clothing that is produced with consideration to the environment and social impacts throughout its lifespan.
  • SUSTAINABLE TEXTILES are textiles produced with minimal environmental impact.
  • SWAP/SWISH is the free exchange of garments between people. It is a form of direct recycling through swapping of unwanted garments.

T

  • TAKE-BACK is a term used by companies collecting unwanted or used items from their customers.
  • TEXTILE RECYCLING is reusing or reprocessing used clothing, fibrous material and/or textile scraps from the manufacturing process.
  • TEXTILE SWATCHES are leftover textile sample swatches from the production process.
  • TEXTILE WASTE is the textile by-product of the manufacturing of garments, fabrics, yarns or fibres that are deemed unusable for its original purpose by the owner.
  • TRANSPARENT BUSINESS is being completely open and honest about your business practices.
  • TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE is an accounting framework that has been adopted by some companies which considers the impacts of their business on ‘people, planet, profit’ instead of the usual financial framework.

U

  • UNSOLD CLOTHING WASTE is clothing (finished or unfinished) that has not been sold.
  • UP-CYCLING is the transformation of materials into products of equal or higher quality. In fashion, this means prolonging the life of waste textiles through creativity.

Z

  • ZERO-WASTE is a design technique that eliminates textile waste at the design stage.