DIY Sewing and Sustainable Fashion Definitions


DIY sewing and sustainable fashion practices are quickly on the rise as consumers are more concerned about the long term environmental impacts of the garments they buy as well as saving money by upcycling pieces they would otherwise throw out. Check out this infographic to learn the basic terms:


Infographic Summary:

Green – The first term for “eco” and “sustainable” now rarely used for fashion

Eco Fashion – The apparel is produced without harming the environment in any manner, from organic/recycled materials or by upcycling methods

Sustainable Fashion – Refers to responsible use of resources, low/no environmental impact and fairly treated workers; ideally the sustainable system does not pollute the environment, uses renewable resources and has closed circle (materials – production – usage – recycling – new material)

Eco/Eco-Friendly – Accents a very low or no environmental impact by using no pesticides/fertilizers, less water and other valuable earth resources in the process

Ethical Fashion – The clothes are made according to the labour and human rights laws

Bio-degradable – The ability of the material to be decomposed once thrown in nature

Slow Fashion – Alternatively to mass produced clothing, the apparel is made responsibly, thoughtfully designed, with lasting materials on a slower pace

Fast Fashion – Term based on fashion retailers which “in-trend” offers change on very fast paced cycles – every 4 to 6 weeks

Renewable Natural Resources – In relation to the raw materials used for textile production like hemp, bamboo and others, that grow and reproduce rapidly, often with less cultivating and water usage

Fair Trade – Indicated paying fair prices for goods and services, along with investing back into the local communities

Eco-conscious – Refers to responsible behavior emphasizes that fashion designers, manufacturers, suppliers or consumers are aware of their industrial/individual impact

Organic – Indicates no pesticides/fertilizers are used mostly in the fiber cultivating phase, might also signify the low/no use of chemicals in the textile manufacturing process

Pre-consumer waste – Material waste created during the production process from manufacturers, suppliers, discarded before reaching-the-consumer phase

Post-consumer waste – Textile waste created from the wearers who throw away their unused garments and materials.

Recycling – Process of down-grading a material and preparing it for reuse, which prevents it from being thrown and wasted

Upcycling – The process of transforming unwanted clothing and matials into new ones with equal or better quality and higher value

Zero Waste – Method in which when a garment is designed there is no fabric waste left at the end, thus over-comes the issue of 15%-18% textile wastage in clothing manufacturing

Down-cycling – A process of down-grading in which the value and the quality of the material is significantly reduced yet rather wasted, is prepared for reuse, usually not in fashion

Cut-up – Suggests a garment is reqorked into a new, more fashionable and appealing design to increase its value and prolong its life

Altered couture – The name of popular US magazine in fashion upcyclin niche, but also becoming a popular phrase for garments made from unwanted or others or just changed by different techniques to be used again and not wasted

Refashion – The process of adding or slightly changing the look of a garment to make it more valuable or desirable

Repurpose – Indicates that the function of a garment is changed, presumably into a better one

Redesign – Signifies the design elements, lines or shape of a garment have been changed

Restyle – Emphasize that the style is changed

Remake/Redo/Revamp/Refresh – Another way to point out a garment is reworked for better use and appeal, preventing it from being dumped

Transformation/Makeover – Another getting popularity words to specify that the garment was reworked, presumably in a better looking design to extend its life

Reuse/Rescue – Underlines that the lifecycle of a garment is extended and kept away from landfills

Recover/Restore – The cloth has been mended to extend garment’s life and use

Reassembing/Reconstructing – Indicates the clothing is taken apart and then put together in a new, presumably more appealing way

Rethinking – Outlines the internal process of changing one’s perception regarding fast fashion and excessive buying and over-consumption; usually used to emphasize a changed attitude towards conscious and responsible consumer behavior

Refit – The garment has been adjusted to the individual body shape in order to lay better on the figure