Terms Commonly Used When Talking About Sustainable Fashion.

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Vegan Leather - Vegan leather does not mean that the product is eco-friendly or environmentally friendly. Vegan leather (unless it is made of pineapples, apples, bananas, mushrooms, natural tree rubber, cork or any other natural material that is biodegradable) is usually made of microfibers composed of PVC, polyurethane and textile-polymer. In simple terms: plastic, oil and many CO2 emissions. Ask about the products you are buying and using. Where do they come from? What is their story? What are they made of? If you are still willing to buy plastic shoes, try to choose brands that make shoes with recycled plastic and support waste reduction practices, water and CO2 emissions.

Cruelty Free - It means that no animal was harmed in the process of making the product. No skins, no leather, no animal tortured.

Fast Fashion - It is a term used by fashion retailers to move the proposals of the big design houses, from the catwalks to their stores to capture a trend, as quickly as possible. It is a strategy to recreate the trends presented in Fashion Week, manufacturing garments very fast and at a low cost so that average consumers have the opportunity to acquire stylish clothes at an affordable price.

Toxic Free - This applies to the dyes that are used. Always try to find alternatives based on plants. In other words, products that have been dyed with colors made of plants, flowers, clay and other natural materials. Everything you put on your skin is absorbed by your body, travels through your blood system and feeds your cells.

Ethical or Fair Trade. Does the brand or the product have in mind our planet and the people? This means that the hands that made their product are been paid a fair wage and they're provided proper working conditions, health insurance and fair and humane opportunities. I recommend that you watch the movie "The True Cost" to learn more about this aspect of the fashion industry.

From Sustainable Sources. In terms of fashion, this generally applies to fibers. This label tells us that raw materials are harvested and processed in a sustainable manner. Another label you can look for is "Rainforest Alliance Certified". This means that the company that manufactures the products was audited and granted this stamp due to its fair trade practices and respect for the environment and its efforts to protect people and rainforests, reducing the global deforestation crisis.