We always loved this store. But now that ba&sh is sustainable, we’re even more obsessed!
By Chere Di Boscio
We all have that one store. The one we walk by often, with lust in our eyes. The one we go to to try stuff on because we look so great in their designs. But that store is elusive, for some reason. Maybe you can’t afford to buy from it. Or maybe it doesn’t reflect your values.
For years, when I lived in Paris, ba&sh was that store. Every style they put out called to me: flowing, Boho dresses; perfectly tailored trousers; blouses that oozed French Girl Chic. The problem? Well, for me, it was twofold. One, at the time, I couldn’t afford to buy much there. And two, I knew nothing about the brand’s ethics, so just assumed there was, erm… some room for improvement.
But the good news? Today, ba&sh is more ethical than ever!
Why ba&sh Is Sustainable: Greener Textiles
To limit its impact, ba&sh will focus more on certified organic and recycled materials. For example, the viscose used by the brand comes from sustainably managed forests at the minimum. But whenever possible, the brand will use Lyocell, an alternative to conventional viscose. Lyocell is produced from wood pulp, and is entirely natural and eco-friendly. Furthermore, the brand has begun to swap out regular cotton for organic, which consumes less water and pesticides, and isn’t GMO.
These improvements will make a huge difference. Today, over half of the pieces from their SS/21 collection are eco-responsible. Last year, that number was just over 20%. By FW/21, they expect around two thirds of their collection to be made from green fabrics, and by 2023, that will grow to 95%!
Like many luxury fashion companies, ba&sh has gone fur free. Although they still work with leather, they only work with the most responsible leather suppliers and whenever possible, they prefer to use innovative materials to replace animal fibers.
For example, their winter 2020 collection puffer jackets were filled with Sorona, a cruelty-free plant-based fiber as warm as down. Manufactured from the corn fermentation process, it consumes less energy, is biodegradable, and works to reduce the brand’s greenhouse gas emissions overall.
The brand is also banning the use of virgin plastic by 2023 and will only use 100% recycled plastic going ahead.
Today, their e-commerce packaging is comprised of cardboard that’s 100% recycled, 100% recyclable and derived from sustainably managed forests (FSC). In stores, the paper bags are made of 70% recycled and 100% recyclable fibers.
Another Reason: More Transparency
To ensure their customers that the brand is more eco-friendly, they’re working with some of the toughest certifcation labels to show how all of their suppliers are complying with more ethical practices. And for even more transparency, they carry out an annual auditing program that’s available for the public to view. The principles they demand their supply chain partners to respect include the assurance that its partners are fighting against child and forced labour; the respect of legal working hours; the guarantee of fair remuneration; and a safe and healthy work environment.
But there’s more! They’ve also teamed up with TrustRace to be even more transparent. This company produces QR code on clothing labels can be scanned by shoppers to trace the life of a garment, and learn about its certification and manufacturing conditions.
The Final Reason ba&sh Is Sustainable: They’re Going Circular
We all know by now the shocking truth of how many brands either dump or burn unsold clothing. But not ba&sh! Thanks to sales, their total unsold stock is usually only around 1%. But that 1% never ends up in landfill. Rather, it’s sent to associations such as Le Relais or fashion schools that reuse and enhance them.
The brand is circular in other ways, too. For example, since 2020, ba&sh has facilitated access to second-hand clothing for its clients. In a nutshell, they allow customers to sell their pre-loved ba&sh items on the brand’s e-commerce site in Europe. Automatically authenticated by AI, items are simultaneously posted on several second-hand marketplaces with a prewritten description and a suggested resale price. Which means even if you outgrow it, your ba&sh item never, ever needs to be put into landfill. And you can make some easy cash! Win, win!
And if you, like me a few years ago, find ba&sh items a bit out of your price range, never fear. If you’re based in France, you can now rent them for a fraction of the RRP! The brand also launched its rental service, RENT YOUR BA&SH CLOSET, and offers a selection of pieces from former collections. This process gives French users the chance to participate in the sharing economy, while diversifying their wardrobe.
What The Future Holds
These measures taken by ba&sh are not just greenwashing. They’re indicative of a new, more circular future for the brand. The slow fashion brand is already planning even further green steps, including:
● A Remake capsule collection
● An HQE (“High Environmental Quality”) warehouse
● 30 sustainable development ambassadors in all departments and everywhere in the world ● A plan to fight against the release of plastic microparticles during washing
Sharon Krief, co-founder of ba&sh, sums it up well when she says:
“For me, it’s unthinkable to imagine the evolution of the brand that embodies femininity without integrating a socially responsible and more environmentally friendly approach. These concepts are inseparable and must be reflected by the brand spirit. The very purpose of ba&sh is rooted in its desire to encourage society to grow, together, and overcome the challenges that it faces.”