Green Terms used in Fashion

Many companies are claiming to be eco friendly, or sustainable brands. With so many terms being thrown around, do you really know the difference between sustainable and ethical? Here is a quick breakdown of some familiar words that are being used in the fashion industry.


Sustainable by definition means to be able to maintain at a certain rate or level. When it comes to fashion, sustainable clothing is pieces that are made from eco-friendly materials. Sustainably grown fibers or the use of recycled materials.


Eco-friendly clothing is typically made from natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, bamboo, and recycled fibers.

Green Terms in Fashion


Ethical clothing is garments that are produced without harm to people, animals or the planet.

Fair Trade

Fair trade refers to garments made from materials and supplies that are sourced at fair wages. In addition, fair social and environmental standards such as clean working environments and hours.


Organic materials are material that is sourced from natural fibers that have not been treated with harmful chemicals and toxins such as formaldehyde.

Non Toxic

Non toxic is a term used to describe fabric that has been dyed responsibly with pigments inks meeting Oeko-Tex requirements and are free of restricted chemicals. Also, fabrics that are free from harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and lead.


Upcycling is when you repurpose existing clothing are material into a new garment. For example, you can upcycle an old curtain into a cute skirt, or a pair of old denim jeans into a clutch wallet.

Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting is a way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. For example, you can plant a tree to offset your personal carbon emissions, or purchase carbon credits to fund a project aimed to reduce greenhouse gasses on a global level.