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Staiy's Sustainability Glossary

Education and transparency are key elements elevating our mission. The purpose of Staiy’s Sustainable Concepts guide is to help you understand what we mean when we talk about sustainability. 

Sustainability is not an empty word or an abstract concept. Our partner brands are dedicated to shaping the future of production, to making conscious choices that feel better, and are continuously striving to be more respectful to the environment. They show this through their labels, materials and innovations. But with all the complex terms and acronyms that accompany this movement, it can feel a little overwhelming. 

Thanks to our Glossary, you will be able to understand relevant sustainable concepts related to materials, processes, and standards. The next time you find yourself browsing for clothes, you will be making more informed decisions when choosing your clothes, cosmetics, or any other product.



Any material which breaks down naturally without the need for any chemical treatment.

Biodegradable materials can be discarded and left in the environment without causing pollution as they will decompose over time. This does not mean that we can dump biodegradable waste anywhere, but it does facilitate its processing and ensures a lower environmental impact.


A control system for textile production which ensures the safe manufacture of materials for both people and the planet. 

By providing specific guidelines on how to improve the production processes, Bluesign is a point of reference for companies striving towards sustainable fashion industry.  

Carbon neutral

Any activity or process that does not produce additional CO2 emissions. 

Neutrality’ can be achieved by reducing CO2 emissions elsewhere in the supply chain, achieving a balance between CO2 production and absorption. 


Products or materials that can break down into natural elements when placed in a specific composting environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil.

All compostable materials are biodegradable. Also, compostable materials create something called humus as they break down. The humus is the soil’s fundamental constituent rich in nutrients.

Cruelty Free

Any product whose manufacture and/or testing does not entail any harm done to animals. 

Since 2013, it is illegal in Europe to test cosmetics on animals. There are accredited certifications, such as PETA, or the Vegan Trademark, you can rely on to guarantee the animal-friendly nature of the products you purchase.

Fair trade

The Fair Trade logo certifies that a product has been manufactured under fair working conditions, ensuring adequate salaries and a safe and sustainable environment for workers throughout the entire supply chain.

Fast fashion

The current mainstream model of clothing production and retail, where new designs move quickly from the catwalk to retail stores in order to meet highly diversified trends in a cost-efficient way. The fast-fashion model is characterised by a large number of collections throughout the year and by focusing on quantity over quality.


The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) defines an internationally recognised set of requirements a fabric must meet to be deemed organic. To qualify, textile products must contain at least 70% organic fibres.

When you read GOTS-certified, you can rest assured that your garment has been lovingly produced with social and environmental sustainability at its heart.


 Greenwashing is any communication strategy aimed at advertising a business as ‘sustainable’ or ‘striving for sustainability’ through the use of casual references that are not supported by their actions.


The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) is the most well-known international certification for the sustainable production of garments and textiles manufactured with recycled materials. In particular, GRS-certified products must contain a minimum threshold of 20% pre- or post-consumption recycled materials.

OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified

A label that certifies a material to have been grown and processed without the use of toxic chemicals or substances and that it is safe for human use. A product labeled with Oeko-Tex® has been tested on more than a hundred substances known to be harmful to human health.


Any product, fabric, or material that does not use artificial chemicals in the growing and harvesting of its raw materials (plants, animals, food etc).

Organic Farming

Organic farming limits human intervention on the soil and exploits its natural fertility instead. As opposed to conventional agriculture, organic farming excludes synthetic fertilisers, chemical pesticides, and GMOs and employs, instead, biological fertilisers derived from animal and plant waste. As such, organic farming is safer both for humans and the environment.  


Harmful to you and the environment, parabens are chemical compounds used in the cosmetics and food industry as preservatives, to prevent the product from decaying or developing bacterias. There are health concerns connected with parabens. Since 2013, most parabens in products have been banned following Eu Regulations. 


The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the world's leading organisation for the protection of animal rights. PETA fights against any form of animal exploitation and its efforts are mainly concentrated in those industries where animals are most at risk, such as the cosmetics, food, and clothing industries.


To convert waste into reusable material. Learn more about recycling, and its impact on the fashion industry here


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals the United Nations signed in 2015 to be achieved by 2030. These targets tackle the main challenges of our time, from poverty to gender inequality, while promoting the larger economic, social, and environmental transition to sustainability in each country.

At Staiy, we incorporate the SDGs into our evaluation of potential brands joining our platform.


Something whose origin is clear or can be discovered. A product or material is traceable when all information about its origin, manufacturing process, and human capital involvement can be easily accessed and shared across the supply chain.


Also known as ‘creative reuse’, this consists of transforming unwanted products or materials into new objects of higher quality. Through upcycling, new life and value are breathed into waste materials.

Upcycling usually involves less energy consumption than recycling. 

Vegan fashion

Your style when the clothes and accessories you wear have been made without using or harming animals. For a fashion item to be ‘vegan’, no animal products or by-products are to be used across the entire production process.


Anhydrous formula

A formula that contains no water. Cosmetics produced according to anhydrous methods are more eco-friendly, in that they considerably reduce the total amount of wastewater during the production process as well as the number of chemicals employed. 


COSMOS ORGANIC and COSMOS NATURAL certifications allow you to confidently ascertain what percentage of ingredients are organic within a cosmetic product.

The COSMOS ORGANIC logo ensures that a product complies with the COSMOS-standard and contains the threshold percentage of organic ingredients.

The COSMOS NATURAL logo certifies that a product meets all the COSMOS-standard criteria aside from containing the threshold amount of organic ingredients. 


A common preservative within the cosmetics industry, phenoxyethanol is also employed to protect the products from molds and bacteria. Due to its irritating effect on the eyes and the skin, the maximum concentration of phenoxyethanol allowed in EU-manufactured beauty products is 1% or below. 

The Vegan Trademark

The Vegan Trademark certifies a vast range of products (food, cosmetics, clothes... all kinds of products!) as vegan: that is, free from animal-based products, GMOs, animal-testing, and any form of animal exploitation during their production.  

We hope all of these Sustainable Concepts will help you make an informed decision next time you are browsing for products on our site or anywhere else. If you have any doubts or suggestions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We are always glad to help you. 

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