We offer basics that are better for our planet and the people living on it. By wearing sustainable products, you are making another step towards a more sustainable world. This is how you can make a small positive impact!!
Below follows the detailed explanation. Click here for the short version. And please check out our Youtube-channel "The Sustainability Show". Our first video explaining the GOTS-certification is up now!!
Better for our planet
We're facing a large climate crisis. Honest Basics are developed and produced in ways that minimize their impact on the environment. And we're in talks to compensate for the impact our products still have, to become completely climate neutral.
One of the main drivers in reducing our impact is that we only use sustainable materials. Organic cotton is grown in ways that are much healthier for the environment. Some of the benefits of organic cotton include that no herbicides and pesticides are used and significantly less resources are used to grow it. For example: it is estimated that organic cotton uses up to 91% less water than normal cotton.
And it doesn't stop there: all our products are GOTS-certified "organic" by CU 855347. That means that also in the steps after the cotton fields the environmental impact of our production is strongly reduced. The GOTS-certification is one of the hardest to achieve, because it forbids many of the worst practices that are used in the industry today. All steps between the cotton field and you, the customer, are checked and certified by independent agencies.
GOTS makes sure that many of the most hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals in fabric production and sewing are not used. An example: nearly all 'normal' t-shirts receive an enzyme wash before they are shipped to you. This gives the t-shirts an artificial soft touch. We don't do this with our t-shirts. But still they are very soft :)...
Better for the people
And how about the working conditions? We produce ethically and transparently with the help of the Colombus agency in Bangladesh. They are a German-Bangladeshi agency that helps us in our daily business to produce high quality sustainable goods.
Our partner-factory is a well-organized, large factory in Gazipur, Dhaka. They are vertically integrated. Which means they buy the organic cotton yarns and from there on out they do everything themselves.
We made sure that the working conditions in the factory are okay by visiting ourselves. We were actually positively surprised by how well organized the factory was and how serious they for example take safety measures. The factory is GOTS-certified. Which means that they are also checked by independent agencies against the standards of the International Labour Organization. Some of these rules are for example that child or forced labour are forbidden. Excessive overtime is forbidden and the workers have the right to unionize.
We are often criticized for producing in Bangladesh. Our stand point is this: Bangladesh is unfortunately a very very poor country. Our partner-factory is providing a safe working environment and stable income to over 5.000 people directly and many more indirectly. Imagine what an impact this has on some of the poorest, uneducated people in one of the poorest countries of the world. We believe that our business helps the factory to help its workers.
Have a look yourself at the pictures of the factory we took during our last trip in July 2019.
Another great benefit from using only organic cotton and working with the GOTS standards is that most hazardous chemicals in the supply chain are forbidden. For example: the pesticides that are normally used in cotton farming are proven to be very unhealthy for the cotton farmers and communities living close to cotton fields.
Think about it: most pesticides are pure poison meant to kill insects. How healthy are the fumes that cotton farmers inhale when spraying their crops? How good is it for the communities around the fields when these chemicals end up in the ground water? With organic cotton all these chemicals are forbidden, making for a much healthier work environment for the farmers.
What we do in shipping
After production we aim to minimize the impact of our small business. Packaging is made low-waste and mostly plastic-free. Our new sweater collection is coming packaged in recycled compostable plastic. Still, it is plastic, so we will try to get rid of this as soon as possible.
All shipping is climate neutral through the DHL GoGreen program. It is not an option you can turn on or off. It is simply included in our prices.
What's on the horizon?
We're proud of the level of sustainability we've achieved in just 1 year. But we're not stopping yet!
For 2020 we have some major plans:
- Becoming climate neutral.
- Offering plastic-free t-shirts. Meaning after you're done wearing them, you could potentially throw the t-shirts on the compost and they'll be gone completely in 6 months. Hows that for zero-waste?
- And more!
Do you have any questions or comments on this topic? Check out our FAQ-section, some of the most asked questions are answered there. Still need more info: please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a DM on social media.
Finally we're launching a category called Honest Answers on every Wednesday through the Instagram Stories. Tune in for more questions and answers :)...