We are proud to announce that the HEREWEAR Community Glossary is now available – and it will bring benefits for all of us!

So, what is it and why do we need it?

We could go on and on about the definition of glossaries…But here is a better explanation: In every collaborative project we’ve worked on, there is always confusion over the definition of terms, that may vary from person to person. As a reason, we believe that the only way to solve this issue is to define the tricky terms and enter a process of co-defining a meaning that we can all agree on. 

Glossaries are crucial in new and emerging fields of research where different areas of knowledge come together – and with that, there is a need for mutual understanding in order to work towards a common goal… A good example is the development of “circular”, “local” and “bio-based” textiles being explored in our projects. These terms are often used in different contexts and countries – by experts and non-experts with distinct cultures and frames of reference. 

Often, they are used in marketing and are detached from the original meaning, a bit like the children’s telephone game – as a result, you and I are left to interpret the meaning of the words without the tools or knowledge to do so. 

When a definition is written down plainly, in simple words with a clear explanation, and people are asked to edit and agree on a meaning, a collaborative glossary becomes a truly powerful tool. It enables us all to access the knowledge of experts, and learn the world through their eyes.  It opens up a dialogue and empowers people to understand and talk confidently about complex concepts and evolving ideas – it invites us to learn more by providing them with a starting point for further investigation. Perhaps, the most important part is that we are able to identify when terms are misused for “greenwashing”.

How does the Herewear Glossary work?

Our glossary is a work-in-progress and it is still under construction. Apart from the already released concepts, we and our partners are currently working on the definition of 49 words that should be released soon. 

A Glossary is not a static thing, it evolves to reflect the way that language naturally changes, and our understanding progresses…

…and for that, we would love to count on your support!

We would like to hear from you about the terms that resonate most with you – are there definitions that you disagree with, or parts that you think that could be added? Are the definitions given, clear to understand? Do they have a different meaning in your native language? We are also very interested to hear about the terms that you find confusing and would like our group of experts to define and clarify. 

Use the comments field below 👇 – WE’RE ALL EARS!

Click here to access the Herewear Glossary.


Contact Details:

Dr Rosie Hornbuckle – Research Fellow, Centre for Circular Design (UAL)

Email: r.hornbuckle@arts.ac.uk