Due to the large impact leading retailers have on the environment, consumers are increasingly demanding that they act in ethical, socially responsible, and environmentally-friendly ways.
Since Organic Basics is a popular retailer with millions of customers around the world, you may be wondering – is Organic Basics ethical? Here is what I’ve found out through my research!
Is Organic Basics Ethical?
Organics Basics has been publicly branded as a great example of an ethical corporation, which environmentally conscious consumers should choose to shop at as of 2022. This is due to its ethics code which highlights the importance of staff treatment, sustainability, and responsibility.
Organics Basics don’t beat around the bush… “The fashion industry is a dirty bastard.”
What an opening…
This hilariously inspiring Danish company started making men’s undies but has since expanded to a range of organic clothing from women’s ethical underwear, organic cotton t-shirts, ethical sleepwear, eco-friendly socks, sustainable leggings, and much more.
Their goal is to end the poor life cycle of underwear.
According to these fashion fellows, “We think that buying poor quality, fast fashion is a lot like peeing your pants when you’re cold. It feels nice at first, but it’s not so good later on.”
How Environmentally Sustainable Is Organic Basics?
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 Organic 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.
Insights into the supply chain
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 claims to be fully carbon neutral by offsetting all its emissions. Unfortunately, it’s not transparent about its footprint. In order to offset effectively, the company should have access to the information, the next necessary step in 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.
Organic Basics is highly regarded as an ethical store due to its great and fair treatment of its staff and its willingness to be held accountable for social responsibility.
Through the Organic Basics Fund, OB provides biannual grants to two environmental grassroots activists or organizations that submit proposals.