Mark our words ... A Glossary

Explore HERD’s language and terminology guide to navigate the world of truly regenerative fashion production.


The vast array of living organisms on Earth – plants, bacteria, animals, and humans. Biodiversity can be used more specifically to encapsulate all of the species in one region or ecosystem.


The breakdown of organic matter by microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. Biodegradation is generally assumed to be a natural process, which differentiates it from composting.

Bluefaced Leicester

The breed of sheep that yields the finest fleece, kept by farmers in North-West England, well suited to the landscape and climate. They have peaky roman noses, perky ears and long, lustrous fleeces.

Carbon Cycle

The process that exchanges carbon – one of the universe’s most abundant and critical minerals – between plants, animals, and microbes; other minerals in the earth; and the atmosphere.

Carbon Footprint

A measure of the amount of carbon dioxide gas released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community.


A model of production and consumption which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling, existing materials and products for as long as possible – extending its life cycle and incurring less waste.

Climate Crisis

The threat of highly dangerous, irreversible changes to our planet’s climate. This, and the term ‘climate emergency’ should be used to describe the threat of global warming to humanity, demanding the need for urgent attention.


A human-driven orchestrated process in which biodegradation of matter occurs under a specific set of circumstances.


The purposeful clearing of forested land. Throughout history forests have been razed to make space for human requirements, releasing huge quantities of carbon dioxide in the process. Forest loss and damage is a key cause of global warming.


A structural and functional geographic area where the living organisms, as well as weather and landscape, interact with each other, working together as one group and forming a process.

Ethical Fashion

The design, production, and distribution of garments that focuses on reducing harm to people and the planet. In the most ideal sense Ethical fashion benefits those working along the supply chain and creates a better future for everyone, not just those at the top.


The textile fibre coat of a sheep or goat. The amount, and indeed quality, of woollen fleece that animals produce depends upon breed, genetics, nutrition, and shearing intervals. Fleece fibres can be spun into yarn, which is then woven or knitted into fabric.

Global Warming

The long-term heating of our planet’s surface due to human activity. Observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900), it is primarily caused by fossil fuel burning, which increases greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.


Sometimes referred to as ‘green sheen’, greenwashing is marketing spin using PR language deceptively to persuade consumers that an organisation’s products, aims, and policies are environmentally friendly.


The idea that every element of producing an item is carried out in close proximity. When the lifespan of a garment can be followed from soil to skin, and returned to the soil again, it has both local and circular value.


A ‘mordant’ or dye fixative is a substance used to keep dyes on fabrics using a coordination complex to attach the two. Fortunately, the mordants used by HERD are naturally occurring and filtered out of leftover water which is then reused by the dye house.


These are derived mainly from petroleum, although may also be obtained from other fossil fuels – such as coal and natural gas. Synthetic materials like acrylic, polyester, nylon, and spandex, are all examples of fabrics made with petrochemicals, and therefore contain plastic. Often headed to a landfill after a few wears to start a decomposition process that will take hundreds of years.


When used in a fashion context, regenerative clothing is made in ways that support circularity, by upcycling materials otherwise discarded, or through the soil to soil cycle of regenerative agriculture.


The opposite of offshoring. Reshoring production applies when companies bring manufacturing “back home” to their original habitat.

Slow Fashion

The awareness and approach to creating clothing that carefully considers the processes and resources required – disregarding the somewhat arbitrary and institutionalised multiple-season fashion system. It focuses on timeless, high-quality designs over trend-driven pieces.


In reference to fashion, ‘toxic clothing’ refers to items made of synthetic materials heavily treated with chemicals which have a potentially harmful effect on consumers and the environment.


The process of being open, honest, and straightforward about professional operations. Transparent companies share information relating to performance, small business revenue, internal processes, sourcing, pricing, and business values.