Abrasion Resistance

Ability to resist wear from rubbing that contributes to fabric durability. Garments made from fibres with high breaking strength and abrasion resistance can be worn often before signs of physical wear appear (such as ‘pilling’).

Alternative Materials

Materials that have less environmental impact and lower overall carbon emissions during production such as bamboo, silk and hemp.

Animal Fiber

Fibres from animals consisting mainly of protein. These fibers are used to make textiles such as wool and cashmere.

Apparel Industry

Companies that design, manufacture, market, and/or license brands for men’s, women’s, and/or children’s clothing, footwear, and accessories.


A worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.


Bamboo Fiber

Hypoallergenic, absorbent and fast-growing. Processing bamboo fibre uses less pesticides and fertilizers, and is considered a sustainable choice among other fabrics.

Banana Fiber

Banana fibre has a natural sheen, and the inner strands of the stalk are very fine. The fabric made by banana fibre is claimed to be nearly carbon neutral and its soft texture has been likened to hemp and bamboo.


The variety of life on the planet in all its forms, including plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, etc.


Material capable of being decomposed naturally by bacteria when discarded as waste.


Carbon Footprint

The total amount of greenhouse gases emitted directly and indirectly to support human activities usually expressed in equivalent tons of either carbon or carbon dioxide.

Carbon Neutrality

Carbon neutrality, or having a net-zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference.

Carbon Offsetting

A credit for greenhouse gas reductions achieved by one party that can be purchased and used to compensate (offset) the emissions of another party.  Many types of activities can generate carbon offsets. Renewable energy such as the wind farm example above, or installations of solar, small hydro, geothermal, and biomass energy can all create carbon offsets by displacing fossil fuels.

Carbon Credits

A permit that allows a country or organization to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions and can be traded if the full allowance is not used.

Chromium VI

Chromium VI is used in textile manufacturing as a catalyst in the dyeing process and as a dye for wool as well as in tanning leather. Chromium VI, also called Hexavalent Chromium, is recognized as a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. Chromium compounds are linked to lung cancer. Chromate-dyed textiles and chromate-tanned leather can cause or exacerbate contact dermatitis.


An economic system aimed at eliminating waste and promoting the continual use of resources; minimizing resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution, and carbon emissions.

Climate Change

A change in global or regional climate patterns attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

Closed-loop Recycling

Recycling processes that turn materials back into raw feedstock of equal quality. For textiles, this means the creation of recycled fibres and yarn. The chemical recycling of polyester creating new yarns would be considered closed-loop, and the new product would be marketed as recycled polyester. In the textile and fashion industry, this process remains very rare. Focusing on the exact same raw component nevertheless restricts recycling options.

Clothing Rentals

A new industry based on sharing or renting clothing, posing a disruptive force to traditional retailers. It is an efficient and green way to extend the value of garments.

Clothing Swaps

A type of gathering wherein participants exchange their valued but no longer used clothing for clothing they will use. Clothing swaps are a good way to refill one’s wardrobe in a more environmentally conscious way.

Code of Ethics

A written statement that sets forth the legal principles that should guide that organization’s decisions.

ColoUr Grown Cotton

Natural colour in cotton comes from natural pigments found in cotton and produce shades ranging from tan to green and brown.

Conflict of Interest

A situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible. For example, an unethical situation in which business decisions influence personal gain. 

Conscious Dressing

Dressing in ecologically produced, recycled, repurposed, or second-hand clothing and accessories. Every day we can make conscious choices about wearing clothes that support a better world and contribute to the preservation of environmental and social welfare.


A framework that seeks to create production techniques that are efficient and essentially waste-free. In cradle-to cradle production, all material inputs and outputs are seen either as technical or biological nutrients. Technical nutrients can be recycled or reused with no loss of quality and biological nutrients composted or consumed.

Cruelty-Free Silk or Peace Silk

Instead of boiling the silk cocoon or piercing it in order to release the silk fiber from the cocoons before the moth emerges, killing the silk work in the process, Ahimsa or Peace silk is extracted only after a metamorphosing worm has emerged from its cocoon.


Developing Countries

A country having a standard of living or level of industrial production well below that possible with financial or technical aid.

Downcycling (or open-loop recycling)

The recycling of unwanted garments into other textile products of lower quality or into less valuable and/or non-recyclable products such as insulation materials. Although down-cycled insulation products might become a longer-lasting product than the original apparel product, the new product cannot be returned to the loop—no new textiles can be made from this material and therefore the lifecycle cannot be closed. Down-cycling is also known as open-loop recycling (compared to closed-loop recycling).

Dry cleaning

Contrary to what its name implies, dry cleaning involves washing clothes in a liquid solvent to remove stains. In about 85 percent of dry cleaning shops this solvent is perchloroethylene (or “perc”), a chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency considers both a health and environmental hazard.


It is the selling of goods at lower prices in foreign markets than in the home market. It might be done for some reasons: to carve out a market niche in an already competitive market; to drive out competitors in a “price war”; to retain market share and employees during slack periods by maintaining output; and to increase profits by increasing production volume. Therefore, domestic industry cannot compete with those goods. 

Duty Drawback

Often retailers have surplus/unsold/defective items and leftover garments, and if those garments are dumped at the landfill or exported for donation, the retailer receives the import duty back. If the material is being recycled, this is seen as use and the owner could not claim the import duty back. The back payment is usually done as an exchange process. This means the retailer is not getting money back, but when it imports new garments, those duties are compensated. This practice makes dumping garments more financially viable than recycling them.


Method of giving colour to a fiber, yarn, fabric, or garment with either natural or synthetic dyes. 


Eco Fashion

Sustainable fashion is clothing that does not harm our environment and is made out of green materials.

Eco Wool

Wool that is from sheep that have not been exposed to chemicals like pesticides and are kept in humane and good farming conditions.

Eco-friendly Dyes

A low-impact dye is a dye that has been classified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (an international certification process) as eco-friendly. Generally, low-impact dyes do not contain toxic chemicals or mordants (which fix the dye to the fabric), require less rinsing, and have a high absorption rate in the fabric (~70%). 

Eco-friendly Fabric

Fabrics made from fibers that do not require the use of any pesticides or chemicals to grow. They are naturally resistant to mould and mildew and are disease-free. Hemp, linen, bamboo, and ramie are eco-friendly fibers.

Eco Design

Approach to designing products with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole lifecycle. In a life cycle assessment, the life cycle of a product is usually divided into procurement, manufacture, use, and disposal.

Environmentally-friendly laundry

Simple acts that reduce the impact all those loads have on the environment, for example: wash your clothes with cold water, reduce the number of loads you do each week, upgrade to energy-efficient washer and dryer, switch to natural detergents and stain removers, etc.

Environmental Impact

Possible adverse effects caused by a development, industrial, or infrastructural project or by the release of a substance in the environment.

Environmental Responsibility

The duty that a company has to operate in a way that protects the environment. In other words, refers to our responsibility to use natural resources carefully, minimize damage, and ensure these resources will be available for future generations.

Environmental Rights

An extension of the basic human rights that mankind requires and deserves. In addition to having the right to food, clean water, suitable shelter, and education, having a safe and sustainable environment is paramount as all other rights are dependent upon it.

Ethical Fashion

Term to describe ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.

Extended producer responsibility (EPR)

A system in which a manufacturer or brand owner becomes responsible for their product’s entire life cycle even after a consumer has bought it. EPR programs are designed to give producers a vested interest in ensuring a responsible end-of-life for their products.


Fair Trade

This term is used to indicate that a product was produced without labour exploitation, by using environmentally sustainable practices, and that the producers receive fair prices for their product.


A popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body, or furniture. Fashion is a distinctive and often constant trend in the style in which a person dresses. It is the prevailing styles in behaviour and the newest creations of textile designers.

Fashion Revolution

A not-for-profit global movement that campaigns for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution has designated the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh as Fashion Revolution Day. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 millions of people around the world called on brands to answer the question Who Made My Clothes? 

Fashion Leaders

Fashion leaders are people who are influential in fashion. There are two main dimensions that can be seen in fashion leadership: fashion innovativeness and fashion opinion leadership.

Fast Fashion

A contemporary term used by fashion retailers to express that designs move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends. This philosophy of quick manufacturing at an affordable price is used in large retailers such as H&M, Zara, Primark and Topshop.

Flax Fiber (Linen)

Linen is the popular name of the textile that is derived from Flax. This natural fiber comes from a plant (from the stem) so it is composed mainly of cellulose. It has excellent strength and absorbs moisture quickly making it a good fiber for hot weather. However, it is prone to wrinkling.

Forced labour

Work that is performed involuntarily and under the menace of any penalty. It refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as manipulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities, according to the International Labour Organization.



The growth of international commerce and communications that makes national boundaries less important, especially in economic matters. 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

Worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

Global Warming

The estimated increase in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels that, if not halted, is expected to result in dangerous climate change.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs)

Emissions of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect. They include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and CFCs.


Marketing that suggests a company or its products are environmentally friendly in a way that is misleading, exaggerated or not reflected in overall business practices.



Made by hand, as opposed to by mass production or using machinery.

Hazardous Chemicals

A hazardous chemical, as defined by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), is any chemical which can cause a physical or a health hazard.


An ecological crop that is easy to cultivate and fast-growing. It can be used for clothing, nutritious food and building materials.

HIGG index

A set of tools developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to enable brands, retailers and manufacturers to assess the environmental and social impact of their operations, products and materials.

Human Rights

Moral principles or norms, which describe certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in municipal and international law.


International Labour Organization (ILO)

A UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes that promote decent work.

Import Penetration

The percentage of imports in a country’s total market consumption. It measures foreign against domestic goods. 





The disposal of waste material by burying it, especially as a method of filling in and reclaiming excavated pits. Our overconsumption and fast fashion has brought about a massive rise in textile waste dumped in landfill sites. The average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.

Life-cycle assessment

A methodology to assess the environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product’s life, from raw material extraction through to materials processing.

Living wage

To ensure a worker’s income is sufficient to provide a decent standard of living for an individual and their family. A living wage will cover essential needs like food, water, and clothing for a worker and their family based on a regular working week that does not include overtime.

Locally Made

Clothing made in a local market. Buying locally made clothes is a way to make your shopping a bit greener, support local businesses, strengthen the economy at home, and build relationships within the community. It’s also a great way to find alternative, one-of-a-kind fashion, such as up-cycled or handmade items.


My Clothes My World

An FTA educational program to introduce youth to important world issues via one of our favourite topics – fashion! Our half and full day education workshops (available in English and French) provide interactive activities that elicit discussion around labour rights, consumerism and environmental degradation. It opens their eyes to the truth about the apparel industry and inspires them to take meaningful action.


Very fine synthetic fibres that are a subset of microplastics. Their environmental hard is caused by their slow degradation, which occurs over hundreds – if not thousands – of years.


Very small pieces of plastic, typically less than 5mm in length that pollute the environment.

Manufacturing Processes

Steps through which raw materials are transformed into a final product. The manufacturing process begins with the creation of the materials from which the design is made. These materials are then modified through manufacturing processes to become the required part.


Natural Dyes

Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources—roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood—and other biological sources such as fungi and lichens.

Natural Fibers

Fibers that come from a plant, animal or mineral source. They can be classified according to their origin. The vegetable, or cellulose-base class includes such important fibres as cotton, flax, and jute; the animal, or protein-base, fibres include wool, mohair, and silk; an important fibre in the mineral class is asbestos.

Natural Resources

Materials or substances such as minerals, forests, water, and fertile land that occur in nature and are necessary or useful for humans. Reducing, Reusing and Reutilizing are some ways to conserve and protect our natural resources.

Net Positive Impact

A way of doing business which puts back more into society, the environment and the global economy than it takes out.


A target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity, to be achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Organic Agriculture

A production system that does not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and seeks to sustain the health of soils, ecosystems and people.

Organic Cotton

Cotton grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or defoliants. Right now, organic cotton represents less than 0.1 percent of all the cotton produced worldwide.  Alternatively organic cotton never uses {GMO} and their seeds are untreated with the potentially harmful insecticides and fungicides. The conventional method of growing cotton puts down synthetic fertilizers whereas organic cotton builds strong soil through well-monitored crop rotation.

Organic Fibers

Fibers raised by farmers following standards that nurture the soil or animal from which it comes and do not use toxic insecticides, herbicides or fungicides.

Offshore production

Manufacturing that is done overseas. 

Offshore Sourcing

Buying goods from overseas producers, or contracting with foreign manufacturing plants. 


the Paris agreement

A legally binding international treaty on climate change that came into force in 2016 with the goal to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, and preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.


Substances that are meant to control pests. Unsafe use of agricultural chemicals has severe health impacts on workers in the field and on ecosystems that receive excess doses that runoff from farms.


A synthetic fiber artificially created through spinning, based on crude oil which mainly occurs as nylon.


A class of natural or synthetic substances composed of very large molecules that are multiples of simpler chemical units called monomers, and when they are constructed in the form of long chains, they are called linear polymers. Polymers make up many of the materials in living organisms, such as proteins, cellulose, and nucleic acids.

Post-consumer textile waste

Textile waste from items that have been in use, and are no longer wanted. May originate from households as well as industries (hospitals, work sites, etc.)

Pre-consumer textile waste

Pre-consumer textile waste occurs before the consumer takes ownership for a textile product. Textile waste that is mainly created during textile and garment manufacturing (i.e., leftover yarns, offcuts, trims, rejects), or finished garments that are produced but can’t be sold due to various reasons (i.e., damaged, returned, excess inventory).

Preferred Materials

A term used by non-profit standard-setting group Textile Exchange to describe a material that is ecologically and/or socially progresssive compared to alternatives.



Rana Plaza Factory Collapse

A structural failure that occurred on 24 April 2013 in the Savar Upazila of Dhaka District, Bangladesh, where an eight-story commercial building named Rana Plaza collapsed. Considered the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry worldwide. Eighty percent of the workers were young women, 18, 19, 20 years of age.  Their standard shift was 13 to 14 ½ hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 or 10:30 p.m., toiling 90 to 100 hours a week with just two days off a month.  Young “helpers” earned 12 cents an hour, while “junior operators” took home 22 cents an hour, $10.56 a week, and senior sewers received 24 cents an hour and $12.48 a week.

Raw Materials

A raw material, also known as a feedstock or most correctly unprocessed material, is a basic material that is used to produce goods, finished products, energy, or intermediate materials which are feedstock for future finished products.


A process of recovering resources by converting materials that would otherwise end up in waste into usable materials that are either more valuable (upcycling), of same value (closed-loop recycling) or lower value (down-cycling). Recycling is an important part of waste prevention and reduction. An integrated waste management strategy incorporates the three core waste management techniques: Reduction, Reuse and Recycling, known as the 3 R’s. Composting is a specialized part of recycling.

Recycled Clothing

Reused or reprocessed clothing, fibrous materials and clothing scraps. Manufacturing requires raw materials and the process usually contributes to pollution of both the air and in the soil. Manufacturing also requires huge energy resources. Recycling your second-hand clothes means that less raw materials are needed, less energy is used and less pollution is generated.

Regenerated fibre

New fibre is regenerated with innovative chemical recycling technology by using discarded textile material or PET plastic bottles.

Regenerative agriculture

Farming principles and practices that seek to reverse environmental damage and restore soil health in order to enhance biodiversity and enable carbon drawdown.

Renewable energy

Energy that is collected from natural resources that can be replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.


It means taking an item and giving it a new or different purpose. With clothes this means that instead of throwing an item away because it is out of fashion they are turned into something desirable and useful. Almost any type of clothing can be repurposed. The fabric content alone means that clothing can be resown or used to make quilts or for patchwork projects. However, with a little creativity, clothes can be transformed into practical items or stunning works of art.

Resizing Fashion’s Footprint Campaign

FTA consumer awareness campaign, Resizing Fashion’s Footprint, provides 12 easy actions you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your wardrobe such as Wear Second-Hand or Vintage Clothing, Hang Your Clothes To Dry, Use The Correct Amount of Detergent When Doing Laundry and so on.

Reverse Logistics

The coordination and planning of how to get products back from consumers, or from retail locations, in order to extract the maximum value of collected products, through reselling, recertifying (repair), or recycling the returned products into new products.


Safe Work Conditions

The multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work.

Science-based Targets

Measurable, actionable and time-bound goals based on the best available science that align a company’s operations with global climate goals.

Seasonless Clothing

Pieces of clothes to wear now and forever. The reasoning? All the pieces should fit together in one closet you never feel the need to ditch or replace.

Second-Hand Clothing

A secondhand or used good is one that is being purchased by or otherwise transferred to a second or later end user. It is consider an important way to spread sustainable consumption.


A natural protein fiber produced by moths. Conventional methods can terminate the moth and cocoon in development; an alternative variation called ‘Ahimsa’ uses methods that do not harm the moth. Since it does not have the harsh dyes included in the conventional silk production method, it is also softer.

Slow Fashion

The movement of designing, creating and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste. By adding transparency about production process and educating consumers about the craft of making clothing, slow fashion companies hope consumers will begin to understand what is required of producing a well-made garment.


Soy fabrics are derived from the hulls of soybeans—a manufacturing byproduct. Soy fabrics can be blended or made entirely out of soy fibres. Soy clothing is largely biodegradable, so it has a minimal impact on environment and landfills. Although not as durable as cotton or hemp fabrics, soy clothing has a soft, elastic feel. Soy clothing is known as the vegetable cashmere for its light and silky sensation. Soy fabrics are moisture absorbent, anti-bacterial, and UV resistant.


A process in which an extruded liquid polymer filament is continuously drawn and simultaneously solidified to form a continuous fibre. It uses a twisting technique where the fibre is drawn out, twisted, and wound onto a bobbin. There are three fundamental processes for the manufacturing of man-made fibres: melt spinning, wet spinning, and dry spinning.


A particular way of doing or saying something, or refers to a unique form of clothing or way of arranging your appearance. In other words, the manner in which something is expressed or performed, considered as separate from its intrinsic content, meaning, etc.


Manufactures facilities, usually in developing countries, that violate basic human rights making its employees work under harsh and often hazardous conditions, and pay only minimum or survival wages. 


Represents a philosophy that attempts to meet the goals of three competing interests – people, business and the planet.

Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)

An industry-wide alliance of apparel and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-governmental organisations, academics and government organisations which aims to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel, footwear and textile products.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

A series of 17 interlinked global goals designed to offer a blueprint for sustainability. They were set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 and are intended to be achieved by 2030.

Sustainable Fashion

Also called eco fashion, it is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility.

Sustainable Fabrics

Fabrics derived from eco-friendly resources, such as sustainably grown fiber crops or recycled materials. It also refers to how these fabrics are made. Historically, being environmentally conscious towards clothing meant buying clothes from thrift stores or any shops that sell second-hand clothing, or donating used clothes to shops previously mentioned, for reuse or resale. In modern times, with a prominent trend towards sustainability and being ‘green’, sustainable clothing has expanded towards reducing the amount of clothing discarded to landfills, and decreasing the environmental impact of agro-chemicals in producing conventional fiber crops (e.g. cotton).

Sustainable Fashion Movement

Represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and “green” in one unified movement. The ‘slow approach’ of the sustainable fashion movement intervenes as a revolutionary process in the contemporary world because it encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment.

Synthetic Fibers

Human-made fibers that are synthesized from non-fibrous materials – the majority are made from petroleum-based chemicals.


Textile Industry

The textile industry is primarily concerned with the design and production of yarn, cloth, clothing, and their distribution. The raw material may be natural, or synthetic using products of the chemical industry.

Textile Manufacturing

The textile mills (name for textile manufacturing facilities) buy fibres, spin the fibres into yarn, and weave or knit the yarn into fabrics. There are multiple processes involved to produce, embellish, and improve fabrics.

Textile Sorter and Grade

Inspects and grades textiles to define their value and determine whether the product can be resold and in which market, or if it requires recycling. A textile sorter and grader is not necessarily a textile recycler; however, many sorting and grading facilities do ragging, and some do other mechanical recycling process. In this case, a sorter and grader also functions as a recycler.

Textile Waste

The material that is deemed unusable for its original purpose by the owner. Textile waste can include fashion and textile industry waste, created during fibre, textile and clothing production, and consumer waste, created during consumer use and disposal.

Tier 1 (Supply Chain)

Production facilities where finished products are made. These are sometimes referred to as cut and sew facilities.

Tier 2 (Supply Chain)

Material production facilities where materials are manufactured. Fabric is made from yarn and dyed. These are sometimes referred to as dye houses and/or fabric mills.

Tier 3 (Supply Chain)

Material processing facilities which process raw materials into yarn and other intermediate materials. This includes processing of natural and synthetic materials into yarn.

Tier 4 (Supply Chain)

Raw material farming and extraction.


Lack of hidden agendas or conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making.  Corporate transparency describes the extent to which a corporation’s actions are observable by outsiders. To increment transparency, corporations infuse greater disclosure, clarity, and accuracy into their communications with stakeholders.

Thrift Shops

Retailers that sell used secondhand clothes and other household goods, most often to raise money for charity. 



Reusing discarded objects or material in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. We can upcycle Just about anything: Wine bottles, cans, newspapers, milk cartons, tires, suitcases, jeans, you name it. If you no longer have a use for it, upcycle it!

UN Fashion Charter for Climate Action 

A series of principles laid out in 2018 aimed at achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for the fashion industry by 2050. Among other things, signatories commit to reduce aggregate emissions across the industry by 30 percent by 2030.

Unfair Labour Practices

Actions taken by employers or unions that are illegal under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and other labor laws. Some of these rules apply to the interactions between the employer and the union; others protect individual workers from unfair treatment by an employer or union.

Unethical Disposal of Contaminated Water

The only substances allowed down drains are those that meet all of the following criteria: Nonhazardous (No radioactive waste / No hazardous chemical waste/ No untreated biohazardous waste); Liquid (No solids, sludges, or viscous substances); Will not interfere with sewage treatment operations (No corrosive pH levels / No grease or oil / No hot (150°F or higher) temperatures in volumes of more than 10 gallons).


Vintage Clothing

Garments that are at least 20 years old that have a recognizable look that communicates the style of an earlier decade. The key to this definition is that the garment is really 20+ years old rather than a newer reproduction of an older look. Thus, “vintage” as a concept is closely linked with authenticity.


Waste Diversion

Shifting materials away from disposal (landfill or incineration) by using waste management strategies. Waste diversion requires collection and processing of the material. A charity that collects material is not necessarily diverting the material.

Waste Management Approach

An approach that determines how waste is handled to make best possible use of it. This approach seeks to determine the best solutions for waste minimisation: recycling, composting, energy recovery, or landfill.


Water and water-carried solids that have been used or impacted by production processes, including industrial, sanitary and storm water discharges.

Wet Processing

Manufacturing processes that use water to apply chemicals or finishes. They include dyeing, printing and finishing.


Natural fibre that comes from the fleece of sheep.


Less expensive wool fabric, made of short fibres, that are relatively dense and has soft, fuzzy surface.

World Ethical Apparel Roundtable (WEAR)

Canada’s Sustainable Business Conference for the Apparel & Textile Industry. Each year, WEAR provides a forum to share examples of leadership with the entire North American apparel and textile industry.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

It is an international trade accord that reduces tariffs, quotas, and other trade barriers around the world. It is an agreement of over 150 countries that negotiates and enforces global trade rules. It is meant to liberalize trade and serve as an international trade court for the settlement of differences.




Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)

A multi-stakeholder initiative focused on sustainable chemical management within the textile, apparel and footwear supply chain.

Zero Waste

A philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills or incinerators. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature.

Get our Newsletter

The inside scoop on what's happening

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.