Sustainable fashion in the English language mirror

Keywords: eco-conscious lexis, conscious fashion, ethical fashion, green fashion, sustainable fashion


The research is conducted in the critical eco-linguistics domain, an umbrella term for diverse academic inquiries and empirical evidence. The aim of the article is the analysis of English words and lexical structures used to verbalize two major aspects of sustainable fashion as a new movement and world vision – ethical fashion and conscious fashion with the focus on animals in fashion and thrifting. Sustainable fashion has a number of dimensions categorized as conscious, green, and circular, eco-friendly fashion, ethical fashion, vegan fashion. The goal of conscious fashion has much in common with environmentalism and green marketing. Ethical fashion focuses on exploitation in fashion, of both animals and humans, and encompasses animal rights, fair trade of animal-related products, working conditions in fashion industry what are quite often not decent. Vegan fashion promotes non-animal plant-based textiles and man-made fabrics. Circular fashion centres on clothes recycling, extending terminology to upcycling, downcycling and regenerating. Thrifting, renting, and sharing are to popularize slow fashion and conscious fashion. Coverage of fashion sustainability in mass media resulted into coinage of new eco-conscious words and word collocations and their increasing frequency. Several word-forming models dominate in the sustainable fashion terminology including numerous V-ing words to describe manufacturing processes and activities, non+N, non+Adj coinages to emphasize denial of traditional practices. Some words (animal, cruelty) and word-forming components (eco-) have become more noticeable in sustainable fashion in the past decade. The adjective 'sustainable' is among 1% top words in Modern English (Merriam-Webster dictionary online, n.d.) though the collocation ‘sustainable fashion’ is not fixed yet by this dictionary or its counterparts. Thus sustainable fashion is to be conceptualized to find its way to dictionaries as well as to mentality of fashion designers, clothes manufacturers and consumers worldwide. Increasing vocabulary of sustainable fashion should become more familiar to consumers to push them to rethinking their lifestyle, clothing choices, becoming eco-conscious.


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How to Cite
Belova, A. (2022). Sustainable fashion in the English language mirror. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (25), 9-18.