What it means to be eco-friendly
Being eco-friendly means living in a way that is kinder to the earth. Ideally, it involves cutting down greenhouse gas emissions (which we all need to do, if we’re to keep our planet habitable) and reducing things like waste, plastic, and the burning of fossil fuels. A lot of the time it involves making life more efficient - like those energy saving light bulbs you almost certainly have in your house!
We can define being eco-friendly as a quest for a way of life that limits our impact and increases our connection with the earth. The chances are if you’re already aware about the issues facing the planet - from climate change to ocean acidification to plastic pollution - there are parts of your life, however small, that you’ve already made more eco-friendly.
How to be more eco-friendly?
There are so many hacks, tips and tricks to becoming more eco-friendly, but among the most simple and powerful are: becoming vegetarian, avoiding flights, and making more sustainable choices (if you want to investigate further, try our blogpost on this topic) like supporting sustainable fashion.
It’s also important for brands to be more eco-friendly. They can reduce their emissions, improve their supply chain, and invest in green energy. The question then becomes: how to communicate this at-a-glance. That’s what eco-friendly labels exist for: condensing a big concept into a single image or word. But if you’re new to a site, it might not be immediately obvious as to what these labels actually mean. Sustainability can seem like a language all on its own. Which is why we’ve created a simple guide to the eco-friendly icons on our site - and a few more that you might already recognise.
TWOTHIRDS Eco-friendly symbols
The four eco-friendly symbols shown below, you’ll find on the hang tag that comes with every garment.
With a cloud signifying emissions and an arrow pointing down: the message here is that the greenhouse gases created in the sourcing, making and shipping of this product have been reduced and offset. As of 2021, this eco-friendly label applies to all TWOTHIRDS products.
This eco-friendly symbol means that the product is made in Europe, implying high labour standards and excellent quality. By producing our garments regionally in Northern Portugal, we’re also able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Did you know? 20% of Portugal’s energy comes from renewable sources. We’re also encouraging our factories to invest in solar panels.
This icon - also shown on all organic cotton product pages - signals that we use organic materials in the majority of our clothing. What does organic mean? That no pesticides or fertilisers are used in the cultivation of the plant. Some natural chemicals are permitted, but these do not harm the environment.
This eco-friendly icon signals that we use recycled materials in many of our styles.
Instantly recognisable due to its prevalence in our daily lives, we also wrap the recycled arrow around a number of other icons to indicate which material has been recycled! For example, recycled polyester features the outline of a PET plastic bottle; recycled rubber, the outline of a shoe sole.
Used when a garment contains no animal products and is therefore extra eco-friendly!
Representing a strong link in a chain - this eco-friendly label shows the durability of our products, implying that it will last a long time.
Which materials are eco-friendly?
An important part of being sustainable and eco-friendly as a fashion brand comes down to the materials we use. At TWOTHIRDS, 90% of our materials are what we would class as “eco-friendly” while the rest is comprised of wool (which is durable and mulesing-free) and synthetics like elastane and nylon - which we use in small quantities to give some garments (eg activewear) the stretch they need.
As well as organic cotton and various recycled materials previously mentioned, here’s a shortlist of eco-friendly fabrics and eco-friendly fibres alongside their matching symbols.
Selected Eco-friendly Materials
Linen comes from the flax plant and is highly breathable. It’s represented here as a collection of flax seeds. Flax is considered eco-friendly because it requires very little water to be grown.
Recover™ Recycled Cotton
A revolutionary recycled cotton fibre, Recover™ is made predominantly from fabric cutoffs and post-consumer clothing, making the industry more eco-friendly and efficient.
One of our all-time favourite eco-friendly fibres and one of our cutest icons! TENCEL™ Lyocell is made in a closed loop process that reuses 99% of solvents, recycles water, and uses sustainable wood sources only. It is soft and silky, like getting a hug from a koala.
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose
Produced by the same company who make TENCEL™, this eco-friendly fibre produces 50% less CO₂ than conventional viscose AND eliminates contamination from the toxic gas usually associated with viscose production. We use a leaf to symbolise this kind to the earth process.
TENCEL™, LENZING™ and ECOVERO™ are trademarks of Lenzing AG.
Deadstock garments are made from leftover fabrics that have been overlooked by other brands. This is a low impact and mindful choice, which we represent by a roll of fabric. Shop our Limited Edition collection for full details!
SEAQUAL® YARN is a 100% recycled polyester yarn that contains 10% SEAQUAL® marine plastic obtained by beach clean-up groups, NGOs, plastic collection systems and fishermen. We represent it through the symbol of a plastic bag being recycled.
ECONYLⓇ regenerated polyamide
One of the most interesting sources of plastic for ECONYLⓇ products is rescued fishing nets, which we showed in our eco-friendly labelling. ECONYLⓇ is also sourced from industrial plastic and waste. Used mostly in our women’s swimwear.
How to read other types of eco-friendly labelling
While we prefer not to focus on certifications (which are not even available for some of the most eco-friendly materials we use) you will likely find the following external labels when shopping sustainably.
Represented by a globe and two arrows, the Global Recycled Standard guarantees that materials and products contain the appropriate recycled content and that they are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. The Italian recycled yarns that we use in many knitted products come with this assurance.
The Global Organic Textile Standard is indicated by a green label with white t-shirt. The vast majority of our eco-friendly cotton meets this standard.
This voluntary label can often be found on cosmetics and household products but has also been awarded to fibres like LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose. Signified by a plant with the EU flag, it’s the European label of environmental excellence.
FairtradeDesigned to eliminate exploitation, tackle poverty, and protect worker rights, this well-known blue and green label shows that a product has met fair labour standards. Fairtrade also indicates environmentally sound agriculture practices. The symbol is typically seen on chocolate, coffee, and tea.