Sustainable Fashion - A Mini Dictionary

There are a lot of different terms within the spectrum of sustainable fashion, a lot of them used interchangeably. Below is a quick guide explaining the very top-line of these terms, to help you get an understanding of what they are and what they relate to.


Artisanal

A product which is wholly or partially hand-made. Artisan products are often associated with items made in local communities in the developing world, however artisan is really a very vague term which can mean just about anything handmade. Artisan is sometimes also confused with Fairtrade, indicating that all artisans are given a fair wage for their craft. While this may be true in smaller brands and organisations, it is next to impossible to audit and track in a larger cooperation, meaning that Fairtrade is not a given when it comes to artisan products.


Ethical

Ethical fashion generally means fashion that is produced in respect of workers and animals, meaning producers are treated and paid fairly with respect of human rights, and animals are treated well. It is becoming standard for larger companies to have an ethical code of conduct in place to ensure this, including minimum wages, health and safety at the workplace, and a restricted number of working hours. Bear in mind however, that a minimum wage does not always reflect on living wages, nor are working hours as restricted in a developing country as for example in Europe.


Organic

Organic fashion is clothes made of fibres that have been farmed and/or produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides or other artificial chemicals. There are plentiful of certifications to watch out for to ensure a product is organic, such as GOTS for organic cotton. You can read more here.


Slow fashion

Slow fashion has become something or a trendy term recently. Rather than constantly following the latest fashion trends and encouraging consumers to buy more, it is about conscious living and making more considered purchases; buying clothes that last longer and can be used for more than one season.

Slow fashion as a term does not mean a garment is necessarily organic or ethically made, it rather refers to the mindset of not over-consuming.


Eco Friendly

Eco friendly generally refers to a product being made in a non-harmful way for the environment. This can refer to fibres being produced by natural materials (such as organic cotton or Tencel), or dye stuff using less harmful chemicals.



You can read more about Jun-i's attitude to sustainability here, and shop our organic cotton t-shirts here.

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