Ethical fashion:

It is the opposite of fast or 'Mc' fashion, which tends to be low-cost and high-profit. Ethical Fashion's aim is that the design, supply, manufacture and consumption of clothing improves the quality of life of all people involved in the process, playing an active role in reducing poverty and creating sustainable livelihoods, while minimizing the impact on the environment. 

Ethical Fashion encourages actors directly involved in fashion to: 

  • Act transparently, 
  • Promote human and labor rights, 
  • Build projects with a positive impact on minorities, 
  • Achieve equitable trade relations in the distribution of income, 
  • Promote greater environmental responsibility in the management of resources. 

It is present in the positive impact of a designer, consumer choice, or method of production. On workers, consumers, animals, society and the environment.

Organic Material:

Fibers that grow without human intervention through artificial products. Organic agriculture is a system that excludes the genetic modification of organisms and the use of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides during the production stage, to minimize the negative impacts of chemicals on the soil and in workers health. 

Examples of organic materials in the fashion industry are organic cotton, bamboo fiber and hemp fiber textiles.

Use of Recycling Techniques:

Recycling the materials of an object using the 'cradle to cradle' principles, reinserting raw materials in the production cycle. This practice seeks to avoid waste generation during the whole life-cycle of a product, and implies an involvement of both producers and consumers. 

Upcycling, meanwhile, is to give a second life to an object through its morphological and/or aesthetic transformation or the transformation of its materials, to increase its symbolic value. 

More information: 
Cradle to Cradle Institute
Definition of 'upcycling'

Ecologic Use of Resources:

Reducing, reusing, recycling, using clean energy, and minimizing the negative impact of actions on the environment. A commitment to environmental conservation in all processes of production, transportation, marketing, packaging and use of objects by the consumer, reducing factories surplus, reusing, minimizing the use of water and energy, and using natural fibers and dyes, as well as organic crops. This principle also includes animal welfare.

Attention to the Quality of Life of Artisans and Communities:

Local production, working with marginalized communities and artisans to encourage the participation of different cultures and empowering them to control their future. Contributing to local development through the implementation of projects that will improve their quality of life.

Recovery of Ancient Techniques:

Preserving local knowledge, working with artisans and giving visibility to native textile forms so they can be transmitted to future generations. This knowledge is a vehicle for cultural richness and diversity in textiles.

Fair Trade:

It is an alternative to conventional trade, based on dialogue, transparency, respect and fairness in intra and inter organizational relationships. 

Offers producers better deals and trade terms. Promotes fair wages for employees within companies, sub contractors and cooperatives, setting standards based on the International Labor Organization principles. 

Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful tool to reduce poverty through their everyday consumption practices. The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO - its acronym in English) prescribes standards to be followed by Fair Trade Organizations in their daily work routine.  

World Fair Trade Organization

Sustainable Development:

According to the United Nations definition, sustainable development seeks to meet the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. This involves the relationship between man and his environment, both in terms of nature and of communities and institutions.  

Sustainable development can be understood through the balanced interaction of three main areas: ecological, economic and social.

A Sustainable Fashion Industry is a holistic response to the whole process of fashion creation efficiently without pollution. Rather than being a destination, it is a dynamic process of adaptation and coexistence generating more positive than negative impact on the social and environmental arenas.

The sustainable performance of a company is currently measured against the ten principles of the Global Compact initiative of the United Nations. This organism has recently developed a sectoral initiative, the "Code of Conduct and Manual for the Textile and Fashion Sector," which adds to the initial ten another six principles, specific to the field of Fashion. 

The policy of a sustainable company policy is based on respect for people inside and outside the organization (providers, consumers, and the community in which it operates), a recognition about the depletion of resources, and the generation of profits in an ethic manner. A company aiming towards sustainability fulfills its "Corporate Social Responsibility". 

Some resources:
Code of conduct for fashion 
UN Global Compact


Processes to assess compliance and enforcement of standards through independent auditing organizations. In the fashion industry, companies may certify their raw materials (both for products and for packaging), and efficient production processes. Certification labels serve to give consumers a guarantee on the traceability of the product they're acquiring. 

Some agencies and certifications: 
International Fair Trade Label
ISO Norms
Other Certifications for Fashion