There's so much lingo in conscious commerce and responsible business, so I wanted to compile and share the terms that I am learning. I'll update this post from time to time. Enjoy!


A worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.


A substance or an object capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and thereby avoiding pollution.


A standard for environmental health and safety in the manufacturing of textiles. Bluesign Technologies AG provides independent auditing of textile mills and examines manufacturing processes of raw materials to ensure that products that are safe for the environment, for workers, and for customers.

carbon footprint

The sum of all emissions of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide), which were induced by a person's activities in a given time frame.

Certified B Corporation

For-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.


Circular Economy

An economy in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them while in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A corporation's initiatives to assess, take responsibility for, and offset the company's negative effects on the environment and society. CSR may also be referred to as "corporate citizenship."

Fair Trade

Trade between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers.

fair trade certified™

Products made with respect to people and planet. Fair Trade USA's rigorous social, environmental and economic standards work to promote safe, healthy working conditions, protect the environment, enable transparency, and empower communities to build strong, thriving businesses.

Fast Fashion

An approach to the design, creation, and marketing of fashion that emphasizes making trendy clothing quickly and cheaply available to consumers. It encourages consumers to buy often, discard after a few wears, and then come back for another batch of new outfits.


Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image or message.

Inclusive Economy

An economy in which opportunity, participation, and prosperity are widely shared regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or caste.

Public Benefit Corporation

A legal status of for-profit corporate entity that includes positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals.

recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) fabric

A fabric that is made by collecting, sorting, and recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a material in plastic soda and water bottles. 

sa8000 certification

An auditable certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. It measures the performance of companies in eight areas important to social accountability in the workplace: child labour, forced labour, health and safety, free association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours and compensation.

The SA8000 Certified facility where Girlfriend Collective garments are produced.

The SA8000 Certified facility where Girlfriend Collective garments are produced.

Slow fashion

The movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity; it encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste.

Social Innovation

A novel solution to a social problem that is effective, efficient, and sustainable; benefit goes to broad society than to private individuals.

Social Enterprise

An entity that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in social and environmental well-being.


Able to be maintained in its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse; conserves an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.

supply chain

The sequence of processes between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a product.


The extent to which a corporation's actions are made observable by outsiders.

Triple Bottom Line (TBL)

Refers to an organization’s incorporation of environmental and societal factors along with traditional economic/financial factors in determining its overall performance; it refers to three P's: people, planet, profit. The phrase was first coined in 1994 by John Elkington, the founder of a British consultancy called SustainAbility, in 1994.


Reuse discarded objects or material in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.

Water footprint

The amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods and services used by a person or group.

Sources: Oxford Dictionary, Business Dictionary, B Lab, B the Change Media, Investopedia, The Economist, Ford Foundation, Peter Frumkin, and Merriam Webster.

Anairis Hinojosa