With an increase in popularity, but still no real guidelines, then the misconceptions, polarization and all of the greenwashing, the sustainability movement can be a bit tricky to navigate… we know. Clarifying a few of these words we regularly use and you’re starting to hear more often, we created our STONE SEVYN SUSTAINABLE GLOSSARY to promote greater transparency and inspire more inclusive conversations.

 

Still have questions?! We certainly have answers and love sharing! Just ask! 

 

 

A

ANIMAL – FRIENDLY

Eschewing animal products where harm is done while also respecting the animal’s contribution to our environment.

 

An example of this is an alpaca’s fiber being used for clothing or household goods. These natural pollinators have a relatively low impact on their environment, their fibers are extremely versatile, offered in a large range of natural colors and are virtually indestructible until they’re no longer needed. Not only that, but considering the financial incentive for the farmers to keep them happy and healthy, what’s good for business is even better for the environment.

 

 

ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS

Technical advancements spurred by the industrial revolution helped societies finally grow and thrive. However, as with any evolution, there were a few “bumps”along the way…

 

Fast forward, companies are now embracing ancient techniques and bio-based materials to innovate our way into a more sustainable future. Finding ways to use discarded orange peels, pineapple leaves, mushrooms and even corn, these sustainable and biodegradable textiles are allowing companies to transform the way we consume… and by creating biodegradable alternatives to synthetic materials, animal skins and even paper, they’re closing the loop!

 

 

B

BIODYNAMIC

The foundation for all we create and consume, as a holistic approach to farming that goes way beyond organic, in our opinion biodynamic is the most important philosophy in all of sustainability.

 

Why? Well, rather than only focusing on the seeds and soil, it takes into account the entirety of our interconnected ecosystem. Respecting this delicate balance of the original circular economy, we create a harmonious and regenerative relationship with the land and animals who provide what we eat and wear… ultimately creating a better quality of life for all of us and living the way nature intended.

 

For more, check out Demeter-USA!

 

 

BIOMIMICRY

“You could look at nature as being like a catalog of products, and all of those have benefited from a 3.8 billion year research and development period. And given that level of investment, it makes sense to use it”.

 

As evidenced by architects use of the Fibonacci Sequence in modern architecture, inspired by nature, humans create solutions to address design issues and maximize efficiency.

 

For more, check out Biomimicry!

 

 

BUTTERFLY EFFECT*

To generate lasting and impactful change, we don’t believe yelling, guilting or threatening works. Rather we showcase a new way, one that is better than the current status quo, but also effortless, so it’s easy enough to seamlessly integrate more conscious choices into our every day lives. Opening up a dialogue that would not have previously existed, we not only allow, but also inspire people towards a more permanent transformation. 

 

Expanding consciousness and promoting doing #JustOneThing, we create gigantic ripples that ultimately makes sustainability truly sustainable.

 

*Butterfly Effect aka as Ripple Effect

 

 

C

CARBON NEUTRAL

Wherein any carbon added into the atmosphere by production, transportation, etc., is accounted for and offset.

 

While a popular idea, we can’t tax our way of this. Instead, as a viable option to deforestation and an alternative income for farmers, one of our favorite solutions is the Empress Tree. As the fastest growing hardwood trees in the world, the Empress draws down 11 times more carbon than any other tree and regenerates seven times from the root after they’ve been harvested. Not only that, but one acre of these trees has the ability to offset one person’s carbon footprint for fifty years! Yep!

 

For more, check out World Tree!

 

 

CONSCIOUS CODE

The foundation for all of our marketing initiatives and business development goals, our Conscious Code, along with our Sustainable Sevyn, assesses sustainably from seed to store, plant to product and farmer to consumer.

 

Through this lens we create all-encompassing strategies designed to embrace actual sustainable solutions to our very real humanitarian and pollution problems. Inviting participation in this immersive dialogue, one where what we eat and wear, who and what we support and where our purchases are manufactured matter, we generate ripples of consciousness that will actually make a difference.

 

 

CRUELTY – FREE

Sometimes represented by the Leaping Bunny, from initial ingredient sourcing to the final product, it signifies a pledge to abstain from animal testing in any stage of development. That means no animals have been used or harmed in any part of this process. Of note, cruelty-free does not always mean vegan.

 

For more, check out Leaping Bunny!

 

 

CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY

One of the most important aspects of sustainability, humans. Embracing local cultures, companies help to preserve their heritage by utilizing both new and centuries old techniques and the skills required to design and create products. From glass blowing to handmade lace to natural pigment dyers, economically strengthening and supporting these local communities, sometimes generationally, they empower people to care about the product as a whole- not just how and what it’s made of, but how the entirety of the process affects their families and personal environment.

 

Because most environmental destruction is caused in the manufacturing of the actual product, this is a way to directly impact the overall amount of waste and it’s initial disposal. 

 

 

E

ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS

Living and practicing a more conscious lifestyle that does as little harm to the environment as possible.

 

Lately, individual products have used this term. However, we believe that this label should not only apply to the singular product or division using this label, but the entire company.

 

AKA: Eco-Friendly

 

 

ETHICAL

A popular word these days in the sustainable space. Personally, this is not a word we support as its a bit like “natural”, unregulated, and generously misused. We also believe being “ethical”, ostracizes people by creating a dynamic where someone is “better” than another. 

 

 

ETHICALLY SOURCED LEATHER

Often a case greenwashing, we believe this term is misleading as there is no sound ethical reasoning or way to kill a healthy animal for their skin/ hide.

 

Animals who provide meat are slaughtered differently than those who provide leather, which renders most of the hides unusable by the manufacturing industry. However, if you still want to buy leather, by using previously discarded skins (due to defects) this can signify a more responsible choice. A designer we think embraces this technique beautifully is Los Angeles based fashion designer Elliott Evan.

 

 

F

FAIR TRADE

A seal representing that workers in developing countries (where there are very few workers rights laws in place and even less oversight) have been paid fair and livable wages. Ensures consumers that their purchases enable the worker to not only afford basic needs, but through the development of these sustainable (and empowering) businesses practices improve the person and then overall communities’ quality of life.

 

Consumers will typically find this seal on items such as bananas, coffee, chocolate (cacao), cotton and sugar.

 

For more, check out Fair Trade Certified.

 

 

G

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMO’S)

Artificially manipulating an organisms genetic makeup in a lab by creating characteristics that without human intervention at a molecular level would not occur naturally. For example, altering the apples genes to cut the production of key enzymes that will in turn keep it from turning brown.

 

Popular GMO foods include cotton (think cotton seed oil), canola, sugar, soy, corn, papayas, tomatoes, potatoes, and apples. 

 

Of note, there are organisms that need human cultivation and development. For example, corn is a human invention and would not exist as it does today without being planted and protected by us. 

 

 

GREENWASHING

Using common buzzwords to create an image of benefit or respect to the environment, though little concrete facts may be offered.

 

More than ever companies are jumping on the “green” bandwagon, so be careful. Looks can be deceiving, and while these marketing initiatives sound like they’re combatting a very real problem, they are often times the ones creating the problem in the first place, which has no real end in sight.

 

See also Natural and Ethically Sourced Leather.

 

 

H

HUMANE

“No humane being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly murder any creature, which holds its life by the same tenure that he does.”

 

Showing compassion for all animals, eliminating their unnecessary suffering at the hands of man. Think fur free fur, meatless hamburgers and nut based milks.

 

 

I

INTERCEPTED OCEAN PLASTIC

We’ve made an incredible yet indestructible material, that doesn’t ever go away, and it is directly effecting our food supply and health. In fact, every minute, a truck worth of our plastic waste is dumped into our oceans. Once there, fish and other aquatic life swallow or get caught in plastic bags and ghost nets.

 

It’s becoming a real problem, but with a little creativity there are now companies spinning this problem into a solution. By repurposing the plastic they pull from some of the most infected beaches and areas of the ocean, they are spurring a larger conversation by giving these one time use items a second life in the form of shoes and clothing.

 

It is important to note that recycling plastic does emit carcinogenic toxins into the air. Not to mention, it doesn’t fix the larger microplastics problem or our over-consumption/ waste management issues. However, while there is no perfect solution, this is certainly a start!

 

For more, check out Parley for the Oceans!

 

 

L

LEED CERTIFIED

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, internationally recognized LEED certification is third party validation that applies to green building projects as a whole. Buildings are awarded points for their positive environmental impact, including energy and water conservation, reduction of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and the reduction of waste sent to landfills.

 

For more, check out US Green Building Council!

 

 

LOCAL

What this should mean is that from start to finish- seed to store, the products entire journey originated from within 100 to 500 miles of the region where you’re purchasing it from. However, there’s a lot of label tampering and manipulative marketing buzzwords these days. We suggest watching Rotten on Netflix, and then googleing fake olive oil and Manuka honey. 

 

 

LOW IMPACT DYES

While not necessarily friends to the environment, they are petroleum based, they do utilize less water in the dying process, which can also sometimes be recycled. They also retain their dye colors longer, and there are more color options available than with natural dyes.

 

 

M

MADE IN THE USA

The idea is that the entire product is manufactured in the United States of America, and some brands go as far as to specify the city and/or state.

 

Although, a product may claim to be made in the US, it’s important to note that this only pertains to its final construction. In fact, sometimes the majority of the actual components may have been made overseas and constructed in the US as it’s final point of origin. This is the same case when you see Made in Italy, Made in France, etc. 

 

Even then, it’s still important to be mindful when purchasing MADE IN THE USA. While there are stricter employment laws, and most companies adhere to them, sweatshops and forced labor does exist. Typically represented in the retail cost, as a place to start this is a good indicator regarding working conditions. 

 

 

MICROPLASTICS

Most plastic isn’t recycled (or biodegradable). Meaning these one time use products are sitting in landfills, or worse, making their way to our waterways. Since they’re not actually dissolving, rather breaking into microscopic particles that are indistinguishable from sand and shells, animals and aquatic life are ingesting these at incredible rates. But our waste breaking down is not the only way they’re bombarded with plastic. Instead, every time we wash our clothes, tiny microfibers break off from the synthetic materials and drain into our waterways.

 

As they say, we are what we eat, so while we’ve let straws steal the spotlight, it’s these microplastics that are really clogging up natures filters and compromising our health. 

 

A film produced years ago shined a light on the very real plastic pollution problem, in its entirety. Fast forward, we still believe there is no better documentary then the one formally known as Midway Journey, and now Albatross.

 

For more, check out NOAA.

 

 

N

NATURAL

While the common belief is that “natural” products do not contain chemicals, pesticides, or other contaminants, there is little-to-no regulation of the term. Therefore, “natural” might mean nothing at all.

 

See Green-Washing.

 

 

NATURAL DYES

These dyes typically use vegetables, minerals, bark, flowers and insects as natural color sources. The base is typically water, but can include milk and other liquids, and while natural dyes often use more water than Low Impact Dyes, they are not petroleum-based. 

 

As these dyes are becoming more popular, people are experimenting with additional source options. They are also partnering with restaurants and community gardens to recycle their food and plant waste into dyes used for clothing and other household goods. However, they are harder to mass produce and maintain a color match/consistency across different batches. 

 

Still, we love our naturally dyed dresses, sweatshirts, socks and more that are dyed with natural fermented indigo, avocados, onion skins and zinc oxide. 

 

For more, check out Maria Romero‘s Tintoreria Project and Industry of All Nations

 

 

O

ORGANIC

Historically, organic has meant foods, fibers and other crops are grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides or genetic manipulation (GMO’s).

 

These days, while organic goods are everywhere, it is becoming difficult to find truly organic produce that does not contain chemical or pesticide residue. What’s even crazier, GMO seeds have infiltrated organic farms rendering it hard to maintain the purity of dedicated organic yields. Mother Nature is not one to be controlled. 

 

 

P

PLANT – BASED

Signifies an animal-free product or food, but not necessarily an overall lifestyle. Often, said products are also less processed and free of additives, harsh chemicals, and preservatives. These foods should in theory contain ingredients as close to its original form in nature as possible. 

 

Both lifestyle vegans in addition to dietary vegans can be considered plant-based.

 

 

R

RIPPLE EFFECT*

To generate lasting and impactful change, we don’t believe yelling, guilting or threatening works. Rather we showcase a new way, one that is better than the current status quo, but also effortless, so it’s easy enough to seamlessly integrate more conscious choices into our every day lives. Opening up a dialogue that would not have previously existed, we not only allow, but also inspire people towards a more permanent transformation. 

 

Expanding consciousness and promoting doing #JustOneThing, we create gigantic ripples that ultimately makes sustainability truly sustainable.

 

*Ripple Effect aka as Butterfly Effect

 

 

S

SUSTAINABLE

Living harmoniously within nature, not consuming excessive resources, and taking environmental impact into consideration with regards to all consumption.

 

 

U

UPCYCLED

The reuse or repurposing of an existing item. For example, giving your old jeans to an artist to redesign or turning plastic coke bottles* into fabrics and handbags.

 

See Intercepted Ocean Plastic for more.

 

 

V

VEGAN

An individual who neither eats nor wears any animal product or by-product. In addition to diet, vegans eschew beauty products, shoes, clothing and other lifestyle/household goods sourced from any part of an animal.

 

 

VEGAN LEATHER

While friendly to animals, vegan leather is often a petroleum based plastic, which is not really a friend to the environment.

 

However, new environmentally responsible techniques are being developed that do not use virgin plastic. Some of these include recycled tires and plastic bottles. While not a perfect solution, they are more durable and offer more flexibility than the more earth friendly options.

 

Speaking of, as more people are looking for animal and petroleum based alternatives, earth friendly options are having a moment. These alternatives include leathers made from pineapples, mushrooms and even soybeans. Additional biodegradable options from algae and cellulosic fibers are currently being developed for better leather and fur free fur options.

 

 

VEGETARIAN

May include many different subsets and interpretations. We define a vegetarian as someone who consumes no animal products or their by-products with the exception of dairy and eggs. Some individuals, especially while in transition to a more humane lifestyle, may wear leather and/or other animal-sourced fabrics, and use cosmetics that contain animal by-products.

 

 

VOC’S

Off-gassing chemicals from a variety of natural and man-made sources, such as paint. Some are suspected to contribute to short and long term adverse health effects.

 

 

 

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