We spoke with the women behind the brand to hear about their trailblazing campaign and carbon neutral certification first-hand.
For founders Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan, bassike has always been more than just an idea. Born from their shared need for high-quality, sustainably sourced wardrobe essentials, bassike has been filling a void in the fashion industry with its signature brand of conscious cool since 2006. Fashion pioneers in the truest sense, the carbon neutral certification of their organic jersey product line marks the next chapter in their path towards continuous improvement. Certified by Climate Active (a government-backed collective for climate action) as an organisation in 2021, the certification of bassike’s hero line of organic cotton jersey products sets a new industry standard.
More than a t.shirt, more than a business and more than just an idea, the #morethanbassike campaign captures the heart of bassike’s purpose-driven ethos alongside their directional and certified carbon neutral cotton jersey styles. Fronting the campaign with her iconic blonde bob is New York-based, Australian model and entrepreneur Lara Worthington. A natural fit for the brand says Sams, Worthington’s “energy, confidence, sense of style and passion for giving back to the community aligns with bassike in every way.” Brought to life by a team of industry heavyweights like Ben Morris, Vanessa Coyle, Victoria Baron and Pete Lennon, #morethanbassike celebrates integrity in every sense. To mark this momentous milestone, we spoke with Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan about their road to certification and what the future holds for the bassike brand.
Congratulations on this milestone! Can you talk us through what the carbon neutral certification from Climate Active means to bassike?
Mary Lou Ryan: This certification signifies that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the sourcing of raw material production, yarn spinning, garment manufacturing, distribution, and end of life of bassike’s organic cotton jersey products have been measured, reduced, and offset in their entirety by carbon reduction and capturing projects. This in-depth certification and review process has resulted in emissions reductions across every step of the organic cotton jersey production process, from knitting the fabric to cutting and sewing the final garment here in Sydney. Working with both internal and external stakeholders we have identified a number of positive initiatives to minimise our emissions, such as transitioning our Melbourne-based knitting mill to 50% renewable energy with the installation of solar panels, and utilising sea and road freight throughout our organic cotton jersey supply chain.
“Achieving Climate Active Carbon Neutral certification for our organic cotton jersey collection is a huge milestone on our responsible business journey. Our exclusive organic cotton jersey is what started the bassike brand back in 2006, so to achieve certification on this entire product line is particularly poignant for Deb and I.”
Mary Lou Ryan, Co-founder & Director of Sustainability and Supply Chain, bassike
How has your design process evolved alongside your carbon neutral journey?
Deborah Sams: We approached our carbon neutral certification in a holistic way, examining every step of the process to ensure we are working in the best ways possible across every part of our business. From a design perspective, we always start with our fabrications – we source organic, FSC certified, recycled, and ethical yarns wherever we can. bassike organic cotton jersey is knitted in a solar-powered facility in Melbourne, Australia – exclusively for us – using 100% organic cotton. We work closely with our community of local makers to create every bassike garment, with heritage details such as our signature twisted seams and contrast chain stitch that make our organic cotton jersey collections unique.
Having set out to create design-led collections made sustainably, ethically and with integrity, what have you learned along the way?
Deborah Sams: Minimising our impact on the planet has always been central to the bassike ethos – authentic clothes, honestly made. Over the years we have learnt that perfect is impossible when it comes to sustainability, but our focus is very much on continuous improvement and ensuring every decision made has us heading in the right direction.
“It’s so easy to look at others and compare back to what you do on your environmentally friendly journey. At the end of the day there’s no ‘perfect’ way to live waste-free or to have zero impact. It’s about doing whatever you can, in your world, to make a difference and to be encouraging, inspiring and motivating others to do what they can, too.”
Lara Worthington, model and entrepreneur
What does the future look like for bassike?
Deborah Sams: Looking ahead, we will continue our work on innovating our fabrications and techniques to continue to bring our customers quality, contemporary designed, wardrobe essentials. I have always been inspired by my travels – different landscapes, environments, and cultures. Travel is such a sensory experience and as the world opens up, I hope to translate and share these moments in future collections to come.