Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Basics is a sustainable basics brand that was founded in 2015 in Denmark. The brand is a B Corp and aims to do 'better' every year, which shows in its sustainability report.
The company is a frontrunner when it comes to transparent and consumer-oriented communication about material use. This becomes apparent when looking at its website, where Oganic Basics maps out material origins. The brand often uses innovative sustainable materials, such as 59% organic cotton, 32% tencel, organic linen and hemp (GOTS certified). Besides that, it uses recycled materials such as recycled nylon, wool and cotton. Organic Basics still uses a small portion of conventional materials that have a higher impact on the environment, including 3% conventional cotton, nylon, wool, polyester and viscose.
In terms of animal materials, Organic Basics mainly uses recycled wool and cashmere from Italy, but a small proportion of its wool is conventional. The company has not yet partnered up with a quality mark that guarantees that animal rights are adhered to. However, all other non-animal products it produces are certified by PETA Approved Vegan.
The brand is transparent about where the sustainable materials originate, which is mainly within Europe, but the brand doesn’t provide any insights into where the conventional materials come from. Besides that, more transparency is required concerning where its recycled cashmere and organic cotton come from. It’s likely that these materials are sourced from outside of Europe in countries that are labeled high-risk in terms of workers' rights. The brand does, however, indicate that it is actively working on researching and mapping this as well.
All manufacturing takes place in certified factories in Portugal, Italy, Scotland, Austria and Turkey. Apart from Turkey, the countries are all considered low-risk in terms of workers' rights. Organic Basics’ GOTS certified organic cotton comes from Turkey. The brand indicates that human rights are strictly respected here as the factories in Turkey are certified. However, it can still improve by joining an organization such as the Fair Wear Foundation to gain insight into operations throughout its supply chain. Organic Basics doesn’t publish a Code of Conduct.
Because the brand mainly works with sustainable fabrics and processes, it has reduced its water use, chemical pollution, waste and carbon emissions tremendously. More than 80 percent of its factories use renewable energy and Organic Basics claim to be fully carbon neutral by off-setting all its emissions. Unfortunately, it’s not transparent about its footprint. In order to off-set effectively, the company should have access to the information, the next necessary step is disclosing it.
Organic Basics is making moves in the field of sustainable design and packaging. It aims for 100% reusable packaging and materials by the end of 2020. Finally, the Scandinavian brand has set up a fund to help fight climate change, restore biodiversity and protect vulnerable communities.
In our opinion, Organic Basics is paving the way in terms of transparency and sustainable production. It’s planning to improve all the areas that we mentioned above, so we expect that the brand will soon move up to an A. For now, it scores a solid B and we would definitely recommend it as a sustainable brand.