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Editors, writers, designers, artists, innovators and educators need a shared understanding of the key issues, and a common language to tackle them. They need an open platform for candid and informed conversations. The dialogue begins here.

 

Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) has partnered with Condé Nast to create The Sustainable Fashion Glossary, combining Condé Nast’s unique perspective on the sector with CSF’s academic leadership in fashion design for sustainability. The Sustainable Fashion Glossary can strengthen and develop sustainability literacy in fashion media by providing guidance on the most pertinent terms surrounding sustainability in fashion: its cultures, materials, production, buying habits and care practices.

The Sustainable Fashion Glossary

The Sustainable Fashion Glossary is a reference tool to help usher in a new era of understanding of fashion, based on a respect for and valuing of the earth and all who live within it.

Project Development

The Sustainable Fashion Glossary is a crystallisation of world leading research and educational practices, bringing together academic rigour and accuracy from CSF and Conde Nast’s unique understanding of the fashion industry. Developed through collaboration between industry and academia, contributors include lead partners Centre for Sustainable Fashion and Condé Nast, with input from Vogue’s global editors-in-chief, students providing a next-gen point of view, and a network of academic researchers to bring subject specialist and local perspectives on sustainability. 

 

Condé Nast had identified a gap in the debate they could help to fill: fostering a shared understanding of the problems facing the fashion industry by clarifying and socialising core terms and concepts. It is their belief that educating global teams and audiences on the definitions of key sustainability concepts, supported by fact-based explanations and references, is a pivotal first step towards a more sustainable future. 

 

The development of the Sustainable Fashion Glossary was based on a series of guiding principles and frameworks – a crystallization of the Centre’s research, educational and knowledge exchange practices. The Glossary draws from three core CSF systems: the CSF Framework for Sustainability, the Design Life Cycle, and the Pedagogic Principles(1-3). 

 

The Glossary methodology followed a process that included an extensive landscape review, stakeholder focus groups; the creation of an information hierarchy, term and concept drafting; and prototype testing by editors, students and researchers. 

 

The Sustainable Fashion Glossary would not have been possible without the contributions of:  

 

References: 

  1. Williams, D. (2019). Fashion Design for Sustainability: A Framework for Participatory Practice. In: LeNS World Distributed Conference, 3 April 2019. 

  1. Williams, D. (2013). Fashion Education in Sustainability: Change Through Experiential Crossings. In: TEESNET Global Citizenship Sixth Annual Conference, 11 July 2013, London South Bank University. 

  1. Williams, D. (2013). Fashion Education in Sustainability: Change Through Experiential Crossings. In: TEESNET Global Citizenship Sixth Annual Conference, 11 July 2013, London South Bank University. 

Project Outputs

The digital Glossary comprises over 250 individual terms, introductory texts to key fashion and sustainability issues, and an extensive bibliography of data sources. Terms are categorised into four key themes: climate emergency; environmental impacts of fashion; social, cultural, and economic impacts of fashion; and key elements of fashion and sustainability, plus 10 sub-themes that cover must-know aspects of fashion and sustainability. 

 

Published under a Creative Commons IP license, this global resource is available for anyone to use for research, education and non-commercial purposes.  

 

The Glossary is a living document. The terms are not exhaustive and will continue to be added on an annual basis. 

Discover the Sustainable Fashion Glossary +

“What we stand up in, should reflect what we stand up for. It’s time to question whether we are being well represented, as well as whether we are well presented. We can create a new era of beauty and style borne out of an understanding and intimate connection with our most precious asset; the earth, the greatest designer the world has ever known. By working with the world’s leading fashion Editors-in-Chief at Vogue, we have been able to develop a vital glossary of terms, a trusted reference point, regarding fashion as a means to exemplify our interdependence with nature and each other.” 

— Dilys Williams, Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability and Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion. 

“As a media company, the way that we can really add value to the global sustainability discourse in fashion is by clarifying and socialising pertinent terms and concepts. Through our collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, we are working to define a common language across climate, fashion and sustainability issues supported by robust academic rigour. 

 

We are extremely proud to co-publish the Sustainable Fashion Glossary, with the aim to foster a shared understanding of the climate crisis and the impact of the fashion industry, and in turn, facilitate solutions through our journalism and work with changemakers across the global fashion system.”  

— Michelle Lai, Sustainability Manager, Global Public Policy, Condé Nast 

Project Team

  • Dilys Williams, Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability and Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion 

  • Dr. Mila Burcikova, Postdoctoral Researcher 

  • Sarah Needham, Knowledge Exchange Manager 

  • Monica Buchan-Ng, Knowledge Exchange Project Coordinator 

  • Dr. Anna Sammarco, Knowledge Exchange Manager 

Contact for the project