Reviewing Ethical Undergarments from Organic Basics
Quite a while ago, I was lucky to have connected with Organic Basics – a Danish brand devoted to low-impact, organic undergarments and essentials. With factory partners scattered across Europe in Italy, Scotland, Portugal, Austria and Turkey, their site outlines each factory with statistics, number of years in business, photos, number of employees and employee benefits.
Their factories & ethics:
My general rule when searching for ethical brands is that if their site is vague and contains only surface-level marketing language around conscious production, 90% of the time they have something to hide. But brands like Organic Basics, who openly share as much information as possible, are the ones truly committed to changing the industry.
For example, one of their factory partners in Bologna, Italy, has been in business for 129 years and even specializes in recycling old cashmere garments and spinning them into new yarn, reducing CO2 emissions by 95%.
Their factory partner in Ayrshire, Scotland (where my cousins live!) has been in business 174 years and only works with organic yarns. They’ve been certified by the Ethical Trade Initiative, among others, and offer employees pension and free healthcare.
If those two are any indication, Organic Basics isn’t fooling around when it comes to product quality, environmental commitment, and people. They even have an impact index on their site that breaks down the impact of all fabrics used, and how they evaluate their supply chain. Too cool.
So, what about their products?
I first became enamoured with their simple, minimal bralettes which are free of underwire. Then, I tried out their t-shirt and fell in love with the soft, breathable fabric. Now, I’m most excited about and enamoured with the prospect of their leggings and pyjama sets in beautiful dusty colours. Oh, and did I mention they also do activewear made with what they call “SilverTech,” which uses recycled nylon and silver to create performance fabrics that have longer wear-time because of silver’s natural ability to combat odour and keep fibres fresh? Amazing.
Today I’m going to review two pieces made with their new Tencel fabric, which is (pulled from the Organic Basics site):
“made from Aspen and Birch trees – which grow fast and thick on low grade land. In comparison to cotton these trees take about 80% less water to grow – and because it is manufactured in a very environmentally friendly process we also see significant chemical and CO2 savings when compared to conventional cotton.”
The Organic Basics undergarments I tested:
Tencel Lite Bralette
With a cute silhouette, this bralette is wonderfully comfortable. A comfy at-home or go-out bra that feels like a cloud.
Tangas (thong-like underwear)
I wear a lot of jeans that show underwear lines, and I don’t always want to wear a straight-up thong. The Tanga is the perfect solution – substantial enough that it stays put, but doesn’t show an underwear line and is so so comfy. Definitely getting more of these in the near future, since over the past few weeks I’ve been continually reaching for them. The natural fabric means no discomfort, even when wearing them all day.
My in-depth review:
While around average for ethical brands, it still does take some investment.
Tencel Lite Bralette comes in at $60 USD, which is comparable to even fast fashion brands, whereas underwear is where you’ll be paying a little more at $78 USD for 4 pairs (nearly $20/pair). They do have promotions every so-often, with 4-packs at a slightly docked $64.
Super soft, no underwire digging in, so buttery their clothes feel like they’re not even there (in the best way). I own a t-shirt from them as well, and every time I put it on, I feel instantly comfortable in a way that no synthetic fabric could ever make me feel.
Fit is the only area where I need to dock points. They only offer XS-XL, which means that there’s a woeful gap in regards to sizes above 18.
On how their products fit on the body, their Tangas are perfect (staying put without riding in weird places), as well as their other garments. However their bras are suitable more for small cup sizes. I typically wear a 30DD, and Organic Basics bras offer sizing only in XS-XL, which means that in order to get the right cup coverage, I should size up to a small – but the small would be too wide across my ribs, offering no support and riding up. I ended up taking the XS, and luckily the design of the bralette allowed for support despite the too-small cup size. I still do wear it, but advise anyone above a D cup to consider if this is the right bra for them, as this fit seems to be designed for smaller-chested folks.
I can’t say anything against their high-quality fabrics! Their Tencel Lite is absolutely silky smooth and soft. If you’re sensitive to fibres, this is for you. It feels like being wrapped in a hug, and doesn’t take on the same kind of odours cotton typically does.
Overall, I have to give them a wonderful quality score (but not perfect yet, as I’ve only owned these pieces for a few months)! I’d like to test them through the wash and sweat and all that jazz a few more times before giving them a perfect score. Although, as of yet I have not found any loose threads, holes, fading, you name it. They come out of the wash good as new every time. Call me impressed!
I hope you found this helpful! I’ve really enjoyed adding these pieces to my wardrobe essentials as foundational pieces. To say their underwear has changed my entire outlook on the top drawer would be an understatement. Now excuse me while I go shop for a couple more pairs…
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