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2019 has been amazing for raising awareness about reusable products and more eco-friendly options for around the home and on the go. Most people now use keep cups and reusable water bottles as well as paying a little more attention to what we recycle but I think our spending habits and particularly our interest in ever-changing fashion still have a long way to go when it comes to those things we want to treat ourselves to – new clothes for a holiday, a night out, or maybe you need a dress for a wedding. Too often we are spending our money on cheap items that don’t last with absolutely no research into the impact these items have on the planet and the people on it and, as Organic Basics say, the fashion industry is a dirty bastard. You can find out more about the questions you should be asking on their website here.
We can first improve on this by looking out for what materials we are buying and which companies we are giving our money to – the affects that the materials you purchase might have on the environment span from the creation of the materials themselves, the making of your product and then even how you use it or wash it. As a company, Organic Basics put sustainability at the very core of everything they do and are always looking for ways to improve their own processes and educate further, there’s loads of information on the site including a really great guide to washing smarter!
As a company rule, Organic Basics only work with trusted, certified factory partners that have the same sustainable vision in continuously reducing their environmental footprint. These factories also ensure that their workplace is free of child labor, forced labor and that their workers are paid a living wage in a safe working space where they are respected. However, one of the most important parts of creating sustainable clothing is the use of fabric, which they choose based on environmental footprint and lifetime durability. They only ever use natural, renewable, recycled, biodegradable and or low-impact textiles – hooray! This is something I knew very, very little about – I didn’t know that fibres escape your clothing in the wash only to be washed away down the drain and create issues for sea life later. I also didn’t know that over two thirds of environmental impact from clothing is created during the wearing phase, I had absolutely no idea so I’ve learned a lot of interesting stuff from their website including details about their specific fabric choices which I’ll pop below.
- GOTS certified organic cotton: This collection is made using hand-picked, chemical free organic cotton that’s grown on the coast of the Aegean Sea. It’s super soft and durable.
- Italian recycled nylon: GRS certified, this fabric is stronger and more durable than even the highest standard of conventional nylon. It’s made from textile waste that would otherwise go to the landfill and takes 80% less water to make, creating 90% fewer CO2 emissions – it’s a no brainer, surely! This fabric is breathable, lightweight and moisture wicking which makes it perfect for the gym.
- TENCEL™ Lyocell: This is made using Eucalyptus trees which grow fast and thick on low-grade land in central European forests, using 80% less water in comparison to cotton. The trees are responsibly thinned out, rather than cut down in bulk and then the wood is turned into a pulp. The pulp is dissolved in a closed-loop process with a non-toxic organic solvent and then forced through tiny holes to create a magical biodegradable fiber that feels even softer and lighter than cotton.
- Recycled wool: Virgin wool has a costly environmental impact but this is very different, cutting out the dyeing process, saving water and chemicals and eliminating nasty wastewater entirely. I really wish more companies would consider more responsible ideas like this.
- SilverTech™: They use real, natural silver to completely cover the polymer fibre and then blend it with organic cotton which makes this fabric soft, odour-controlling and heat regulating which is especially great for underwear and workout gear!
- Polygiene®: A safe bluesign® approved permanent fabric treatment made from recycled silver salt that keeps the fabric fresher for longer between washes. This treatment inhibits the growth of odour causing bacteria and remains permanently on the fabric so you can wear more and wash less. This saves you time, energy and water.
- Seamless knitting: This ensures there are no weak points in the fabric, making it likely your clothes will last longer without tears as well as providing better stretch and comfort and the seamless nature of this knit reduces fabric waste during the production phase.
I have a few pairs of their socks (one recycled wool pair and a few of this blended material) and they feel exponentially better than any sock I’ve ever worn – really soft and breathable, you can feel the difference. The toe part is also hand-linked!
My favourite items, though, are their bras. I have the SilverTech Active Sports Bra which I think is super flattering (I really love the barely-there racer back and it’s perfect for working out in) but I also love how comfy their Basic Bra is – although I wear this mostly for yoga…Even though it’s meant to be more of a bra-bra, it definitely works as a low impact sports bra whereas the other one is better for proper work outs as has a little more coverage if you’re worried about your nipples being visible! I have a pair of their leggings in black too (they have an amazing burgundy colour as well) and I looooove how breathable this material is, it’s crazy how much you do actually notice the difference and I think these would be great for long walks especially. I don’t find the cut of the leggings that flattering on my stomach as I’m used to more panelling in the design whereas these are more simple and understated so when worn with only a sports bra I feel slightly more conscious of my lumps and bumps but they do have the benefit of not having the front wedgie seam! I also had my photo taken in them and they seem to have a pretty decent opaque coverage on my butt, which is good, as last time I did a photoshoot like this I discovered that the leggings I usually wear are completely see-through…No ideal! Most importantly, however, the research done into the materials used on this workout gear means that you can wear it more regularly than your usual kit without getting stinky – way better for the environment so you’re not constantly putting the washing machine on.
If you’d like to learn more about living with less of an impact, Organic Basics have a great blog series called The Low Impact Project which follows individuals on their quest to live more sustainably and discusses the little things that can be done each day to reduce your environmental impact. Mostly, we just need to divert ourself from fast-fashion impulse buying and start curbing those habits by choosing more carefully, buying only what we need and ensuring we do our best to make it last.
All photos for this post were kindly taken by Autumn Sky who you can follow on Instagram.
You can find out more via the following previous posts of mine, too: