Education, Fashion, Sustainability

First time Sustainable Shopper? Here are the terms you need to know

Recycling and upcycling are different.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Feb 18, 2021

The pandemic has taught us that climate change is real. The crisis our environment is going through is no small thing. We are facing deforestation, polluted oceans, excess greenhouse gases and a plethora of other things. We believe in doing our part and have spent the last twelve months redefining our relationship with consumption, especially as it pertains to clothing.


Surely, we don’t have it all figured out. But we wanted to share some of the common terms to familiarize yourself with if you’re seeking to become a sustainable shopper.


  • Ethical Fashion: Sustainable and ethical are commonly used interchangeable but ethical focuses more on the social impact of the industry like human labor conditions.
  • Slow Fashion: Clothing brands and shoppers can practice slow fashion, or the act of processing resources slower while inspiring people (or self) to shop less.
  • Circular Fashion: The act of reducing waste and finding practices and methods to repopulate resources through designs. Meaning, you elongate the life of a garment.
  • Organic: Raw materials that are better for the environment.
  • Cruelty-free: Items that aren’t tested on animals.
  • Biodegradable: Garments that naturally decompose in the environment – similar to compost.
  • Carbon Neutral: The act of balancing out your greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Fair trade: Group of organizations that support workers rights in communities and the environment.
  • Recycling: Disposing of something that gets turned into something new.
  • Upcycling: A creative way to reinvent something by turning it into a product of better quality.