The United Nations outlined their twelfth Sustainable Development Goal as “responsible consumption and production,” a lofty goal to achieve by 2030. To achieve this goal, the participation of all stakeholders — from farmers to retailers, to consumers — is required.
In my last post: The Cost of Being Fashionable, I talk about the many ethical and environmental problems with the fashion industry. The industry overall is toxic — to both people and the planet — but some companies are challenging that. Organic Basics is one of the brands showing that it’s possible to do better, here’s how.
Let’s start with production. Organic Basics lists on their website all the factories used in the production of their clothing and where the factories are located — one can also click on each factory to learn more about production capacity and employee benefits — this is a radical level of transparency not usually found in the fashion industry.
Organic Basics and its factories also take a radical approach to waste reduction. One of the Turkish factories used by Organic Basics, not only reduce fabric scraps through computerised pattern making – they also reuse and recycle all scraps into furniture upholstery.
Organic Basics also ensures that the materials used for their products are procured as sustainably as possible. Although not all of their materials are biodegradable, their nylon is recycled, and their SilverTech™ and Polygiene® are produced sustainably.
According to Good On You, a website that helps consumers find sustainable and ethical clothing brands, Organic Basics, “encourages consumers to reduce their climate impact when using its products. Its use of eco-friendly materials reduces its climate impact and limits the amount of chemicals and water used in production,” and ships all of its products to buyers in 100 per cent recycled packaging, with carbon neutral worldwide shipping.
Once in the hands of the consumers, Organic Basics continues to keep sustainability in mind. The brand’s SilverTech™ and Polygiene® products are designed to be antimicrobial, reducing how often a garment needs to be washed, increasing its longevity and reducing its footprint.
It is also worth noting that Organic Basics offers Climate Credits which consumers can buy to invest in United Nations verified carbon reducing projects in developing countries.
When the time comes to discard a garment, all of the brands organic cotton, recycled wool and cashmere and Tencel™ are biodegradable and compostable, returning to Earth. As for the nylon — it is likely recyclable. Regarding Organic Basics SilverTech™ and Polygiene® products, I could not find information on whether the product is biodegradable, however, because it contains silver fibres, it may not be recyclable.
Organic Basics is one of many fashion companies putting sustainability at the forefront of their operations, but we still need more companies to do the same. Overall, the fashion industry is still extremely unsustainable, and this needs to change.
In the past, all products were manufactured from natural materials, and would return to natural material — cradle to cradle. We can do this again, and by supporting companies who strive to return to a circular economy, and avoiding those who don’t, we are doing our part to build a more resilient society.
“Good On You: Organic Basics.” Directory.goodonyou.eco, directory.goodonyou.eco/brand/organic-basics. Retrieved Feb 20, 2020.
Holmes, Taylor. “The Cost of Being Fashionable.” The Yellow Bird, 24 Feb. 2020, theyellowbird.ca/2020/02/18/the-cost-of-being-fashionable/. Retrieved Feb 24, 2020.
“Home .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.” United Nations, United Nations, sustainabledevelopment.un.org/#. Retreived Feb 25, 2020.
Organic Basics. “Climate Credits.” Organic Basics, us.organicbasics.com/collections/climate-credits. Retrieved Feb 25, 2020.
Organic Basics. “Sustainable Practices.” Organic Basics, us.organicbasics.com/pages/sustainable-practices. Retrieved Feb 25, 2020.
“Sustainability in Textile, Environmentally-Friendly Fabric – TENCEL™ Fibers.” Tencel.com, www.tencel.com/sustainability. Retrieved Feb 23, 2020.