The words Ethical, Organic and Sustainable go beyond sourcing organic cotton and fair wages. Here is a handy list of all the ‘Eco Lingo’ that you might need for reference as you join us in this journey.
Could include cruelty free, not tested on animals, or free range high living standards for animals used for wool or skins.
From sources that do not damage the natural environment and safeguard or promote habitats for diverse local flora and fauna.
Having an overall zero carbon footprint. This could include a form of carbon emissions trading e.g. having a net zero carbon footprint, offsetting, or buying carbon credits to balance carbon emitted.
A voluntary gift, usually financial, made to some worthwhile cause.
A foundation created to promote and serve a public interest or common good.
A business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. Achieving common economic, social, and cultural goals through a democratic process.
Environmentally considerate practices which inflict minimal or no harm on the natural environment. Encompassing carbon reduction, sustainable technologies or a measurable reduction of use of harmful substances.
Resources which do not cause damage to the natural environment.
Refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption either through production of the product or in the use phase of the item. Examples of energy saving may include increased efficiency or use of renewable energy sources.
Refers to finding a supply of products or materials which are manufactured under decent labour conditions – or from sustainable resources.
The ethical treatment of people involved in the supply and production chain. Including a focus on fair treatment of employees, gender equality, paying a living wage, and no child labour.
Fair trade sourcing
Fair trade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fair trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, and most vulnerable producers. Fair trade enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
Guarantees the cotton farmer has been paid a fair price for his crop. The Fairtrade mark assures the product is from a certified producer via a fully transparent and registered supply chain.
A building that was designed and built, or adapted using strategies aimed at improving performance against environmental standards. Delivering energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Investing in people
A successful framework for business improvement. Launched in 1991, to help organisations become more effective by developing and harnessing the skills of their people to achieve the organisations’ goals. It is administered by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and has been licensed to a number of other countries.
Not for profit
An organization that is not privately owned, controlled instead by members or boards. While they are able to earn a profit, such earnings must be retained by the organization for its self-preservation, expansion and future plans. Earnings may not benefit individuals or stake-holders.
Farmers operate under strict regulations with an emphasis on the protection of wildlife and the environment. Pesticides are restricted, artificial chemicals and GM crops are banned, and animals must be free range.
A consideration of the earth’s resources, processing used materials into new products to prevent waste and reducing the consumption of fresh raw materials.
Aiming to accomplish targets that are social and/or environmental as well as financial, these organizations can be non-profit and for-profit.
Taking an active interest in and providing for residents of a particular local area. Generally focusing on sustainable business practice for development.
Supporting traditional skills
Encouraging the use of local expertise in relevant areas of the manufacturing process.
Understanding the effects of the business on animals in their natural environment and consciously minimizing negative impact on all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms.
Understanding and meeting needs and challenges presented by a section of society who may be considered disadvantaged, under-educated, and have particular needs in relation to childcare, and home-life responsibilities. Offering financial independence, training and skills.
Products contain absolutely no animal resources.
The process and the policy of minimising the amount of waste produced by the business itself or the manufacture of the product or even product and shipping packaging.
The accomplishment of a process with the minimal amount of water feasible, focusing on reducing wastage, not restricting use.