Lexicon

Find sustainability terms or expressions complicated or confusing? 100Percent has sorted it all out for you! Constantly updating!

B Corp

Unlike certifications that are based on product or service, the assessment of B Corp certification depends on, and requires companies to meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. For example, it includes the evaluation of an enterprise’s operations and how the business model impacts workers, community, environment, and customers, from supply chain and input materials to charity and staff benefits. To be certified, B Corporations are requested to publish their B Impact Report transparently on bcorporation.net, achieving transparency and fulfilling a minimum verified score required on the B Impact Assessment—a rigorous assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment. In a B Corporation, legally binding actions are also taken to require their board of directors to balance profit and purpose.


Biodegradable Waste

Biodegradable wastes are those that can be broken down (decomposed) into their constituent elements by bacteria and other microorganisms. The term can be applied to both liquid and solid waste. Human and animal wastes, food waste, paper, and agricultural wastes are all biodegradable. This natural biological decomposition process ensures that, under the right conditions, these wastes do not accumulate in the environment.

Many plastics are not biodegradable, and these create environmental problems because they remain unchanged for many years. While some items are marked as biodegradable, certain types of materials cannot biodegrade unless they are exposed to over 50 degrees celsius for an extended amount of time—namely plastics. Even though biodegradable products are a positive step forward, certain items, such as biodegradable plastics, cannot be fully broken down, especially in the cold ocean waters.


Biodiversity

Biodiversity refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi. While Earth’s biodiversity is so rich that many species have yet to be discovered, many species are being threatened with extinction due to human activities, putting the Earth’s magnificent biodiversity at risk.


Bluesign® regenerated silk

bluesign® certified luxurious mulberry silk fabric is produced from regenerative agriculture which is different from traditional agriculture that relies on chemicals. This regenerative farming method brings positive environmental impact, achieves comprehensive and sustainable conservation of the atmosphere, water and soil, and protects human from the hazard of food safety and climate change.


Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) Certification

BSCI Certification is designed based on labour standards of the (ILO) International Labour Organisation and other important international regulations, such as the UN Charter for Human Rights, and national regulations. The requirements of BSCI includes:

  1. Legal Compliance
  2. Freedom of an Association
  3. Right to Collective Bargaining
  4. Prohibition on Discrimination
  5. Compensation
  6. Working Hours
  7. Workplace Health and Safety
  8. Prohibition of Child Labour
  9. Prohibition of Forced Labour and Disciplinary Measures
  10. Environment and Safety Issues
  11. Management Systems

Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions. However, carbon footprint can be offset by various actions.


Carbon Negative

Being carbon negative is another step further than being carbon neutral. Carbon negative means you remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than you emit.

For example, when the reduction of carbon emission by investing in renewable energy or being entitled of various green building certificates is more than the addition of carbon emission from its other corporate activities, a company could be considered carbon negative.


Carbon Neutral

You are considered carbon neutral if the amount of carbon dioxide you emit into the atmosphere is the same as the amount of carbon dioxide you remove from the atmosphere. Any person or entity (the entire governments, companies or individuals) can be carbon neutral.

For example, driving and heating your home release carbon dioxide. You can reduce your carbon emissions directly by walking or biking instead of driving, or indirectly by investing in renewable energies.


Castor oil

Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is used for a vast array of cosmetic and medical purposes due to its health benefits for the face and skin. Castor oil is considered to contain anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, moisturizing, and other beneficial functions. Castor oil is a source of ricinoleic acid and several other fatty acids. Castor oil and ricinoleic acid are thought to increase absorption in the skin and are sometimes used in the treatment of various skin conditions, including dermatosis, psoriasis, and acne.


Circular Economy

A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the end-of-life concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair reuse and return to the biosphere, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and business models.


Climate Positive

Exceeding achieving carbon neutrality by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; also referred to as carbon negative.


Closed loop

Closed loop recycling is a system by which a product is used, recycled, and then made into a new product — therefore not ever entering landfill.

Waste types that are able to perform closed loop recycling are more environmentally friendly than those that are recycled but have to be mixed with virgin materials to make new products, which is called open loop recycling, and, those that cannot be recycled at all.

Suitable materials for closed loop recycling is materials that don’t lose any of their quality during the recycling process, including aluminium (cans, etc.), glass and some plastic types.


Compostable

Products that can be broken down in a home or industrial compost system are termed compostable. The difference between biodegradable and compostable is that compostable items are intentionally broken down under certain conditions, whereas biodegradable products utilize microorganisms within products themselves to breakdown. Compostable items are often leftover food items such as banana peels, vegetable cut-offs, and potato skins.


Cosmos Organic

Cosmos specification sets strict formulation criteria to ensure genuinely sustainable cosmetics throughout the whole supply chain, from raw materials to production and packaging. It prohibits brands from using petrochemical solvents, nanomaterials, GMOs, and ingredients from protected botanical and animal species. Also, formulas must contain a percentage of organic ingredients of at least 20% in leave-on products, and 10% for rinse-off products. Ingredients of agricultural origin that are physically processed must maintain an organic composition of 95%.


Dead Stock

Dead Stock refers to the excess inventory or material that does not sell and does not have a high likelihood of selling in the future. Dead Stock occurs from excessive ordering from the manufacturer, poor sales prediction, damaged items, incorrect deliveries, leftover seasonal products or expired raw materials.


Decommissioned seat belts

Originally, decommissioned seatbelts are destined for landfill, which takes 200 – 400 years for them to decompose. However, From Belo came up with a solution: each seatbelt is cleaned using coconut soap and re-dyed using natural dye to produce a new handbag made with one of the strongest materials.


Deforestation

Conversion of forested lands into non-forest use. It is often led by increasing pressure from human activity such as agriculture or corporate use. For example, deforestation occurs when forested area is cut and cleared to make way for agriculture or grazing.


ECOCERT Standards

EcoCert is an organic certfication and inspection body established in France in 1991. Being active in over 80 countries, it has become one of the largest organic certification organizations globally and one of the most well-known standardization labels. It is applicable on a wide range of products and service.


ESG

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for socially conscious investors to locate potential investments. Environmental criteria examine a company’s management towards the nature. Social criteria consider a company’s relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.


EWG VERIFIED™

A mark awarded by the American non-profit organization Environmental Working Group to cosmetics that meet strict transparency and safety criteria. The active ingredients cannot include substances associated with potential risks to human health and the environment. The formula can only include “ingredients with restrictions” within the limits set by authorities such as EU Regulations, Japanese legislation, and the standards established by Health Canada for cosmetic products. EWG also requires information that is as transparent as possible on the label.


Eco-printing

It is a method of transferring the natural colour on plants, including leaves and flowers to fabric, by bundling the leaves or flowers with the fabric. When they are bundled, the natural dye that the plant comes with release and transfer to the fabric, through steaming and boiling. Not only does the plant bring colour, but also its pattern, which we address as “eco-prints”. Therefore, it is not only a sustainable option on printing, but it gives you a unique and customizable print.


Eco-suede

Eco-suedes is a kind of fabric that is made from post-industrial recycled polyester and post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, reducing plastic waste which was originally destined for landfills. Eco-suedes is produced through a pure recycling process and fulfils Oeko Tex Standard 100 certifications, meaning that it is free from organic solvents, odours, and environmental toxins such as formaldehyde, pesticides, chlorine, heavy metals, carcinogenic and allergy-inducing dyes.


FSC certified

A Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) accredited Forest Management certification from SGS assures buyers that timber has come from a forest which has been evaluated and certified as being managed according to the proper social, economic and environmental standards. Forest management certification is an independent assessment that ensures your forest management practices are in compliance with the internationally recognized standards of the FSC.


Fair Trade

To be Fair Trade certified, a product is required to meet rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards including:

  • Fair treatment, wages, and safe working conditions for workers
  • Environmental protection
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Community Development Funds

GOTS

GOTS is established to build a genuinely sustainable textile industry, and to define globally acknowledged criteria for organic textiles. The evaluation of GOTS involves the processing and manufacturing of textiles based on environmental and social aspect, meaning from the assessment of all chemicals that are to the assessment of whether workers are treated ethically. All criteria mentioned above must be met to be GOTS certified.

Other than the GOTS standard which includes only compulsory criteria, covering areas of processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic fibres, the GOTS manual additionally provides interpretations and recommendations for implementation.

GOTS label-grades differentiation is as below:
'organic' requires a minimum of 95% organic fibres; 'made with organic materials' requires at least 70% organic fibres.


Green living

Green living means making sustainable choices about what we eat, how we travel, what we buy, and how we use and dispose of it. Sustainability can be practised in all areas of our life, including recycling at home and greening the building we live in etc. Our everyday choices can create a sustainable lifestyle.

It is a philosophy that recognizes humanity’s relationship to our environment. Earth is a support system. Our quality of food and shelter depends on how we treat the Earth. To live green is to sustain a healthy environment. When we take good care of the Earth, we help ourselves.


Greenhouse Effect

When excessive heat is trapped and built up in the troposphere by a blanket of gases. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that warms the Earth’s surface. When the Sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, some of it is reflected to space and the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases. The absorbed energy warms the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth, allowing life on Earth to exist.

However, nowadays, it has become an enhanced greenhouse effect, contributed by human activities, particularly burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas), agriculture and land clearing. These activities are increasing the concentrations of greenhouse gases, leading to global warming.


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessment, the other name of which is Life Cycle Analysis, elaborates the influence of various products and services on the environment. It assesses the effects of the product from its manufacture to its disposal.

On the manufacturing side, LCA assists Product Management to develop new products by comparing two different raw materials and decide which one is more beneficial for both the company and the environment. It serves as a motivation to manufacture products with the lowest possible emission and following ISO guidelines.

In a consumer perspective, LCA helps us to appraise different suppliers and make conscious purchasing decision, since what happens in supply chain could have a massive influence on the product on the environment. Buying from the right supplier, taking into account the prices too, is the foremost step in making your products eco-friendly.


Linear Economy

A linear economy, as opposing to circular economy, traditionally follows the “take-make-dispose” production and purchasing procedures. This means that raw materials are collected, and then transformed into products that are used until they are finally discarded as waste. The main goal of operating this economic system is to produce and sell as many products as possible.


Linen

Linen is made from flax, a natural raw material. Flax is a recyclable fibre that requires no irrigation and nearly no chemical treatment. All parts of the plant are used in the production of linen, ensuring no waste.


Naked packaging

Naked products refer to products that are sold without packaging. It is a very common practice that 40-50% of the cost of a product goes on its packaging. Going naked is cheaper, meaning more money can be spent on beautiful ingredients rather than packaging.


Net-Zero

Achieving a balance between emissions produced and emissions removed from the atmosphere; also known as carbon neutrality.


NewLife™

NewLife is a line of polyester yarns created entirely from recycled plastic bottles, which leads to the development of sustainable fashion.

The yarn provides a use for plastic substances that would have otherwise been thrown into a landfill. It reduces many of the costs and resources that are involved in conventional polyester production, while also guarantees the same level of performance and quality as a virgin yarn.

Other than the improvement of plastic contamination, NewLife yarn also contributes to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions (-32%) which impact global warming, while also ensuring water ( -94%) and energy savings (-64%).

Additionally, unlike typical polyester textiles, NewLife employs a mechanical process for production rather than a chemical method, avoiding harm from any toxins previously generated from the conventional system to our health and the pollution of the environment.


OEKO-TEX®

OEKO-TEX® labels identify textiles and leather products that opt for sustainable practice, assisting you to make sustainable purchases. There are 6 different OEKO-TEX® labels:

  • STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® ensures textile, from yarn to finished product, certified are free from harmful substances.
  • LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX® ensures leather products certified are free from harmful substances.
  • MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® certifies textiles and leather goods that are free from harmful substances AND manufactured under sustainable, both environmentally and socially, working conditions.
  • STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification identifies textile and leather production facilities that are operated under sustainable condition.
  • DETOX TO ZERO analysis by OEKO-TEX® analyzes, optimizes and monitors chemical management and wastewater quality in textile and leather manufacturing process, for ecological and socially responsible textile and leather production.
  • The ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® identifies environmentally friendly chemicals, auxiliaries and colourants that are not harmful to our health, used in the textile and leather industry. 

Organic

Produce can be called organic if it is certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. In some cases, when a grower uses a synthetic substance to achieve a specific purpose, the substance must first be approved according to criteria that examine its effects on human health and the environment.


Organic Farming

Organic farmers aim to produce high-quality food, using methods that benefit our whole food system, from people to planet, plant health to animal welfare. To be certified as an organic farm, a strict set of standards are required to comply with strict EU regulation, to ensure that their farms sustain the health of: soils, ecosystems, animals and people.

Instead of relying on pesticides, organic farmers aim to create a natural balance between plants and animals to prevent pests. Pesticides have been found as key drivers of global insect declines and the biodiversity crisis in recent studies. Therefore, under the Soil Association’s organic standards, all weedkillers are banned, and farmers are only allowed to employ a very limited number of naturally derived pesticides as a last resort (like citronella and clove oil), but only under very restricted circumstances. In fact, healthy wildlife populations can help control pests; farmers encourage birds, beetles and other 'beneficial insects' (like ladybirds) on to their farms to eat pests like aphids, slugs and caterpillars.


PETA Cruelty Free

To be considered “cruelty-free” under PETA's Global Beauty Without Bunnies program, a company must not only ban animal tests but also refuse to use any animal-derived ingredients, such as honey, beeswax, or carmine, in its products.


PIÑATEX

PINATEX is made of fibre from waste leaves of the pineapple plant. These leaves are a by-product of pineapple harvest and were traditionally incinerated. They are now recovered and pressed to create an innovative and bio-based fabric.


REBOTILIA

ReBotilia is derived from recycled PET bottles. Using recycled polyester means saving more CO2 compared to using virgin material and reduces the problem of plastic in landfills and oceans.


ReRubber

ReRubber reduces the need of virgin fossil materials by blending postproduction recycled rubber scraps with its virgin rubber maintaining performance and durability.


Recycled Foam

With recycled foam technology we aimed to close the loop on postproduction waste material and get us closer to the end goal of zero waste. The foam is composed from postproduction waste material and water based glue.


Recycling

Recycling refers to the collection of waste materials and their processing or manufacturing into new products. Commonly recyclable materials include iron and steel scrap, aluminum cans, glass bottles, paper, wood, and plastics. The materials reused in recycling serve as an alternative for raw materials obtained from such increasingly scarce natural resources as petroleum, natural gas, coal, mineral ores, and trees. Recycling assists on the reduction of the quantities of solid waste deposited in landfills, which have become increasingly costly. Recycling also reduces the pollution of air, water, and land resulting from waste disposal.


Regenerated wool

Our wool meets certified Responsible Wool Standard which is s a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on. It’s a voluntary program that aims to help sheep farmers meet consumers, retailers and brand demands on animal welfare and land management.


Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic land management method that leverages the natural power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle and build soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. In short, regenerative agriculture employs biology, instead of chemistry, and natural processes (photosynthesis) to improve food safety and climate change.

This method improves soil health, primarily through the practices that increase soil organic matter. This not only helps in improving soil biota diversity and health, but increases biodiversity both above and below the soil surface, while increasing both water holding capacity and sequestering carbon at greater depths, thus drawing down climate-damaging levels of atmospheric CO2, and improving soil structure to reverse civilization-threatening human-caused soil loss. Research continues to reveal the damaging effects to the soil from tillage, applications of agricultural chemicals and salt-based fertilizers, and carbon mining.


Repurposing

Repurposing means giving a new purpose to your old item, regardless of its category, by altering it. Send it to your trusted tailor if it is clothing or taking out or adding some elements if it is a storage item or basically anything else!

The difference between repurposing and reusing is that the former requires altering to be useful again and the latter does not.


SDG

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.


Sustainability

Sustainability focuses on fulfilling the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social, meaning profits, planet, and people.


TENCEL™ Lyocell

The extraction of TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers uses a special closed loop system from sustainably grown wood, recovering and reusing the solvents used. Environmental impact of production is hence minimized. The unique physical features of TENCEL™ Lyocell lead to their high tenacity property, efficient moisture management and gentleness to skin.


TENCEL™ Modal

TENCEL™ Modal fibers are extracted from naturally grown beech wood by an environmentally responsible integrated pulp-to-fiber process, which is self-sufficient in energy and recovers co-products from component parts of the wood. This flexible fiber is renowned for its exceptional softness.

Composed of natural material, all TENCEL™ standard Modal fibers are biodegradable and compostable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions, thus they can fully revert back to nature.

Exhibiting high flexibility, TENCEL™ Modal wood-based fibers offer textiles a long-lasting quality of exquisite softness. Owing to the fiber’s sleek cross-section, TENCEL™ Modal fibers enhance the soft touch of fabrics even after repeated washing. Measurements and hand evaluations of softness show that TENCEL™ Modal fibers feel twice as soft as cotton. The softness of TENCEL™ Modal fibers lasts longer and is able to withstand repeated wash and dry cycles compared to cotton.


Upcycling

Convert, re-adapt and/or re-purpose a product into something of greater value (e.g. artistic or environmental values) than its originally form such as transforming plastic punches into tote bags. The difference between recycling and upcycling is that upcycling involves more in repurposing the uses of existing products and materials, performing minimal dismemberment, while recycling usually involves full or nearly full disassembling.


Waste management

Waste management refers to the various methods and processes of dealing with waste at every stage from generation and collection through to final disposal.

Waste has to be managed in order to prevent contact with humans or their immediate environment. Therefore, the main purpose of waste management is to isolate waste from humans and the environment, and consequently, safeguard individual, family, and community health.


Zero Waste

Zero waste refers to the notion of leaving nothing to waste. There are ways to attain zero waste in our daily life, including bulk shopping, bringing your own container to shop, purchasing products with its container recycling programme etc.