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A factory where workers make products in very poor working conditions. This can include exposure to harmful materials, dangerous situations, extreme temperatures, abuse from employers, extended overtime hours, very low wages and child labor. Sweatshops came into existence during the Industrial Revolution with the invention of the foot-powered sewing machine in 1846. Since then, they have been a symbol of the end of the artisan system of creating unique products made by hand. Sweatshops have a negative connotation and have proved a difficult issue to resolve because their roots lie in the conceptual foundations of the world’s present economy. With the transformation towards a more sustainable fashion industry, the concept of sweatshops might be subject to great alterations or possibly die out over time.

Chemical and synthetic dyes in their origin and properties are dense in toxic substances. They have been obtained from derivatives of petroleum and coal through a highly polluting process. These types of dyes were invented during the Industrial Revolution in Germany. They have been synthesized from the same raw materials used for the production of explosives and organic compounds rich in nitrogen such as nitroglycerin or TNT (trinitrotoluene).

Tencel is naturally derived from cellulose which is extracted from managed trees. It is one of the softest and most elegant fibers available.

‘Transparency’ on this website mostly refers to the fashion supply or production chain. Four words connected to the aspect of transparency are certification, communication, connecting and commitment. Transparency points to building sustainable relationships throughout the supply chain in order to create quality products that have minimal negative impact on the environment and human beings.

A plant-based leather from the Amazon. Tapped by native Indians directly from the trees, the rubber is purified and spread onto a canvas of organic cotton. Through a hand-crafted process unique in the world, it becomes a fabric used in fashion accessories and interior design products.

In relation to fashion, we use the word ‘vegan’ for all fashion products that have been produced without the use of any material that comes from animals. This also includes, for example, glues in which products coming from animals can be traced.

Vegetable fibers are derived from the stem, leaf or seed of various plants. In many cases, the technique is ancient and is now being rediscovered as an ecological alternative to the polluting cotton industry.

Referring to products that have been produced without the use of leather or animal tissue products. Examples are shoes or bags made from “vegetal leather” using Amazonian rubber instead of animal skins.

A generic term for new or second hand garments created in the period from the 1920’s to 1975. Most vintage clothing has been previously worn, but a small percentage of pieces have never been worn or sold before. These are often old warehouse stock and are usually referred to by dealers as "dead stock", "old stock" or "new-old stock”. One of the reasons vintage is very popular nowadays is the increased interest in environmental sustainability in terms of reusing, recycling and repairing rather than throwing things away.

Viscose is the most common type of rayon, which is composed of regenerated cellulose. Derived from wood pulp, cotton linters, or other vegetable matter.

Any material - gas, liquid or solid - resulting from the processes of production, extraction of natural resources, implementation and use of products and services.

There are different types of wool such as organic sheep wool and organic alpaca wool. The lather is finer than cashmere, smoother than silk, softer than cotton, stronger than mohair and warmer than goose down and synthetic fabrics. This type of wool breathes better than thermal knits and is luxuriously soft on the skin. The fiber is hypoallergenic, naturally fire resistant and dust mite resistant.

   This glossary is based on the work of Ecotece
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