Responsible Industry Terms to Know

I've had many conversations with people about the ethical fashion industry and more frequently than not, people do not know what I'm talking about. If you're someone unfamiliar with the responsible side of the fashion industry (there is no shame in that - we're all here to learn!), it can be a bit confusing to hear phrases flying around like "this top is from a sustainable brand" or "is that brand a verified B-corp?". There's a few phrases that are helpful to know as you continue following along with The Good Wear and explore more a responsible wardrobe. The more research you do into the responsible fashion industry, the more you'll see these pop up!


Ethical Fashion : a broad phrase that encompasses the 'socially conscious' side of the fashion industry surrounding the ethics and values of companies and their supply chain. This includes topics like responsibly sourced materials, fair wages, safe factory conditions, quality garments, fair pricing to consumers, minimization of waste and much more.

Fair Trade Certified : this phrase provides a real certification that "products were made with respect to people and planet with specific social, environmental and economic standards to promote safe, healthy working conditions, protect the environment, enable transparency, and empower communities to build strong, thriving businesses." Products and brands with this Fair Trade label guarantee that they are pursuing the requirements listed, have proven that they are exceeding those standards and are making changes when necessary to improve global communities. 

Fair Fashion : another term that is used in place of 'ethical fashion' or even 'fair trade fashion'. Fair fashion is used to express the fair ways people and places are being treated to create a garment, shoe, accessory, etc.

Sustainable Fashion : this term has double meaning as it can be applied to the effects that fashion has on our environment or it can be applied to the way we sustainably approach our wardrobes and fashion choices. The first would be sustainable fashion that centers around the environment details things like water usage in the production of a garment, chemicals or dyes used, and question if materials used can be recycled.
The second would be sustainable fashion that centers around our approach details on ways we can maintain, keep and love the items we have or will have in our wardrobes. This means better care for our garments, fixing holes rather than throwing out, hand washing when needed, and making sure they stay clean and loved throughout the wear and tear of everyday.
Both of these meanings are applicable to how we can ethically approach our clothing and the brands we by from. And knowing theses meanings help us make decisions for long lasting and safe purchases!

Eco-Friendly Fashion : similar to sustainable fashion, this phrase is used by brands who are focused primarily on the environment during their production and creation of their products. Eco-Friendly brands pride themselves on paying attention to the little details to better our earth while lowering pollution and waste within a usually harmful industry.

B-Corp Certified : this term is a specific certification given by the Fair Trade organization that promotes a company that is for-profit, but meets "rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency." These are very specific guidelines for the certification and very trusted by customers when customers have this. See Raven + Lily's site for an example!