Terms like “sustainability” and “cruelty-free” are buzzing about the fashion industry. We wanted to take the time to explain what each term used on our site means to us.

Durability is about designing and manufacturing a product that is meant to last, withstanding normal wear and tear and staying with the consumer well beyond one season.
Ethical Manufacturing
This refers specifically to how manufacturers are treated. It doesn’t matter where they are in the world or what work they are doing, they are paid fairly, granted a safe atmosphere, and respected. For us this means comfortable working hours, a clean and safe factory, a community and team that spend time together, and a product we all work hard for and are proud to make.
Limited Run
This is the fashion equivalent of small batch. Instead of creating tons of product to sit in a warehouse or sit in inventory at a retailer, a more intentional and calculated amount of the product is made. This creates more efficiency and cuts down on waste.
Locality refers to proximity. In the fashion industry this can mean sourced locally, designed locally, manufactured locally, or any combination of these processes. While this is not the only means to be sustainable, locality reduces emissions through transportation, helps establish a connection between a community and a company, and also fosters transparency, as it is easier to trace local supply chains.
Low Carbon Footprint
Carbon footprint is the calculation of the amount of carbon emitted by a person or group. Carbon is a greenhouse gas and therefore has a direct impact on global warming. When carbon is released into the atmosphere, it reflects heat back to the earth which is essential, however this is a balance and we currently surpass the healthy level of carbon output. By now, we’re all aware of why this is so dangerous for our one and only planet. It’s imperative to reduce carbon emissions, so “low carbon footprint” refers to reducing carbon emissions.
Low Waste
Fashion generates massive amounts of waste at all stages of production and throughout its lifecycle. Waste is produced in the form of dyes, chemicals, insecticide and pesticide, material and textile waste, packaging, and of course, millions of tons of footwear and apparel that go into the landfill annually. Low waste means reducing this and keeping more out of the landfill.
When a company manufactures products within their own country. Onshoring is a way of supporting local jobs and economy, as well as decreasing your carbon footprint. Onshoring provides a level of control over working conditions, supporting the local economy, faster and more streamlined manufacturing and supply chain, room for innovation, and the ability to know and love the people who make your products.
Renewable Resource
A renewable resource is a resource that is renewed faster than it is used. For example, wood is a renewable resource as long as more trees are living and growing than the amount being cut down. This is obviously far preferable to depleting the world’s non-renewable resources,such as fossil fuels.
Responsible Sourcing
Sourcing from partners who also value sustainability within their business model. This includes transparency on how people and the environment are treated by the other companies associated with the brand.
Slow Fashion
Buying less, buying better. Instead of consuming impulsively and excessively cheap throw-away fashion, this signifies a return to smart shopping.
Socially Responsibility
This simply means caring for people. Period. Social responsibility refers to the choice to act in the best interest of people according to a company’s ideals.
The simplest explanation of sustainability is: “to continue to exist”. It’s a relatively simple concept but can become complex when considering its meaning in relation to the fashion industry. The path to being a sustainable brand is the perfect marriage of the triple bottom line—people, planet, and profit.

Can the planet continue to renew and live with fashion’s use of resources and carbon output? Can the company stay financially viable in order to continue supporting these goals?

The traditional fashion model has been only about the bottom line, consistently putting revenue and profits over what is best for the planet and employees. In doing so, brands have increased their use of natural resources and created more waste, all while continuing to put pressure on their supply chain to produce more for less money to compete with fast fashion. Sustainable fashion is a perfect balance between respecting the planet and makers of a product, while being profitable enough to exist with these high standards.
In the fashion industry, this means drawing the curtains back on what your product is and how it’s made. This is not very easy for most brands whose supply chains are intertwined, complex, and opaque. Onshoring and making product locally also allows for more transparency into the production process.
Vertical Integration
This is the combination of two or more stages of production normally operated by separate companies.
Wind Power
Wind is an emissions-free energy source and example of a renewable resource with an endless supply. Wind power is an alternative to energy produced by fossil fuels, which in turn reduces carbon emissions created by fossil fuels. Additionally, wind power also saves billions of gallons of water compared to conventional power plants and reduces the amount of smog released into the air by these same plants. Wind power is an example of a sustainable energy solution.
Zero Waste
This means nothing goes into a landfill during the production process.