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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hu

SHADY.CLUB's Guide to Sustainable Fashion : Manufacturing Vocabulary

In the world of sustainable fashion, there are a lot of terms thrown around, and it can be overwhelming to keep track of what they all mean. To help make shopping for sustainable fashion easier and more accessible, we’ve put together a list of common terms you might come across when it comes to the way clothing is manufactured.


This refers to clothing that is already manufactured and available for purchase. It’s the most common form of clothing production and can often be found in large chain stores.

Upcycling & Recycling

Upcycling refers to the process of taking old clothing and turning it into something new. This can involve repurposing an old garment, giving it new life and reducing waste.

Recycled fashion refers to clothing made from previously used materials such as plastic bottles, nylon, polyester, and even old clothing.

Vintage vs.


Vintage refers to clothing that is 20 years or older, while second-hand refers to clothing that has been previously owned and is now being sold again. Both vintage and second-hand clothing offer sustainable options, as they are keeping clothes out of landfills and reducing demand for new clothing production.


This term refers to clothing that is produced after the customer places an order. This approach can reduce waste, as it only produces what is needed, rather than overproducing to stock a store.

Circular fashion

Circular fashion refers to a closed-loop system where waste is minimized and resources are conserved. It's based on the principles of the circular economy and aims to create a sustainable fashion industry that reduces waste, conserves resources, and creates value.

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