Basics are key to building a well-balanced wardrobe. They are those essential, comfortable pieces of our wardrobe from the perfect white tee, to a sweet pair of relaxed joggers. Basics don’t have to be daggy, in fact they can be damn luxurious. Good quality breathable basics are a good investment for your wardrobe because they can be layered in cooler months or stripped back as the weather warms up. Here are a few great options for getting back to basics with your wardrobe.
KOWTOW - NZ
Nobody does basics that don’t hurt people or the planet quite like Kowtow. Their 100% certified organic cotton basics will quickly become your layering staples to see you through all seasons. These Building Block Pants in Grey Marle (NZD $135) are giving us serious cozy feelings heading into the cooler Winter months. These babys come in black, white, marle and navy/white stripe. They also do a low crotch version (NZD $145).
Everlane - USA
Everlane cuts out ‘middle men’ and passes the savings on to the consumer, meaning they are able to produce ethical, luxury basics and shoes at a competitive rate. The website has an impressive amount of information and photos on the factories they use (just hit ‘read more’ on the page for each garment). They also display prices that items would be under a traditional retail model (so you can feel good about the savings as well as your ethical purchase).
You can’t go past Everlane’s fresh basics like the Linen Collarless Square Shirt (USD $55) and classic crew t-shirts (USD $18).
Everlane usually only ships to the US and Canada, but from time to time will be offering international shipping. In the meantime, they have recommended the following forwarding service for international orders http://www.hopshopgo.com
BON LABEL - AUSTRALIA
Sydney based Bon is all about Parisian inspired luxe basics. Four collections per year are made in Australia using organic cotton. Their cotton garments are dyed using colorfast, eco dyes certified by Oeko-Tex (which tests for known harmful chemicals even if they are not regulated) and knitted into single jersey fabric in Melbourne. The label is accredited under Ethical Clothing Australia, which certifies that the clothes have been made using fair labour.
Check out the Jacs Tee in vintage black (AUD $79.00), crew tee white (AUD $79.00) and the relaxed crew bone + black stripe (AUD $109.00).
DORSU - CAMBODIA
Cambodian based Dorsu purchases fabric remnants from local garment factories and create fresh basics from the off-cuts. This waste is otherwise dumped into landfill or burned. They also treat their workers well. That’s important in Cambodia where the garment industry makes up around 80% of total exports, but the garment industry itself is notoriously anti-union, and short-term contracts are commonplace. Dorsu pay fair wages and staff are employed under permanent contracts. Their staff work realistic hours with decent breaks, receive higher rates during overtime, and are paid leave for sickness, family needs and holidays.
I’ve just bought this loose fitting long sleeve top in black (AUD $39). It’s made of soft cotton blend and features a dropped shoulder and scoop neckline. It’s just a perfect black staple, very affordable and the label has a hand written name of the person who made the garment which is a very cool touch.
Dorsu ships to New Zealand and Australia for AUD $10, all other international shipping is AUD $30.
What are some ethical basics you are loving this autumn? We'd love to hear from you!