- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Contemporary French fashion label Ba&sh has unveiled its new development strategy for sustainability, which will see the brand targeting “eco-responsible” materials, enhanced transparency, a reduction in plastic use, and a pledge to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Dubbed the ‘Blossom Manifesto’, Ba&sh states that its sustainability strategy is an “ambitious, thorough yet discreet” transformation plan, which will allow it to play its part in making fashion more responsible.
Pierre-Arnaud Grenade, chief executive of Ba&sh, said in a statement: “In our view, the deep ties that we maintain with our ecosystem can create ripple effects that have a lasting impact on society, the environment and beyond. We worked hard but stayed out of the spotlight. We’re not trying to give lessons to anyone. We truly believe in lasting change bolstered by innovation and education.”
There are seven action points on Ba&sh’s sustainability strategy, focusing on materials, transparency, plastic, climate change, circular economy, women’s rights and “breaking the glass ceiling”.
Ba&sh targets 95 percent eco-responsible products by 2023
The impact of textile materials is at the heart of the brand’s sustainable commitment, with textile materials representing 70-85 percent of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce its impact on the environment, Ba&sh is focusing on what calls “eco-responsible” materials, such as certified organic and recycled fibres.
In its current spring/summer 2021 collection, 55 percent of its pieces are eco-responsible, added the brand, compared to 22 percent last year. However, the fashion brand states that this will increase for its autumn/winter 2021 collection, which will be two-thirds sustainable, with a target to increase this again to 95 percent by 2023.
As well as looking to eco-responsible materials, Ba&sh is also implementing ethical practices for cruelty-free fashion by certifying that its raw materials are ethical sourcing of animal-based materials and that all brand’s suppliers comply with the animal well-being charter, which ensures the respect of the five animal freedoms as defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
Ba&sh to reduce the use of plastic as part of its ‘Blossom Manifesto’
As with many fashion brands, Ba&sh is looking to reduce its use of plastic and has set itself a target of banning virgin plastic by 2023 and to use 100 percent recycled plastic instead. This will be assisted by ensuring that its plastic packaging is 100 percent recycled and 100 percent recyclable from 2022.
Currently, the e-commerce packaging used by the brand is comprised of cardboard that is 100 percent recycled, 100 percent recyclable and derived from sustainably managed forests (FSC). In stores, the paper bags are made of 70 percent recycled and 100 percent recyclable fibres. The brand is working on replacing the plastic elements in stores.
In an approach to implement more closed-circuit solutions, from this month the brand is putting into place a circular packaging solution, backed by its partnership with the start-up Repack, which allows e-commerce orders to be resent by clients, thereby reducing greenhouse gases by 80 percent compared to conventional packaging.
Sharon Krief, co-founder of Ba&sh, added: “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. This is concentrated in our Blossom manifesto.”
Ba&sh places focus on circular economy with a new sustainable manifesto
The concept of a circular economy is important for a more responsible fashion industry, adds Ba&sh and this starts with efficient production, with the brand looking to maintain its rate of unsold stock at around 1 percent. With this unsold stock being donated to associations such as Le Relais or fashion schools that reuse and enhance them.
In parallel to more efficient production, the brand is also looking to lengthen the life span of its products, as prolonging a piece of clothing by nine months reduces its carbon footprint by 30 percent. It aims to do this by offering clothing care instruction tutorials on its site to give consumers the tools they need to extend the life of their favourite pieces.
This year the brand also launched second-hand clothing resale for its consumers directly through its e-commerce in Europe, using two technological solutions, Arianee and Reflaunt, to assist with these new resales and second-hand options. This approach means customers don’t have to write a product description, look for the best prices or even prove the authenticity of a piece through Ba&sh the piece is automatically authenticated and simultaneously posted on several second-hand marketplaces with a prewritten description and a suggested resale price.
Ba&sh is also promoting the sharing economy with the launch of its rental service in February with Les Cachotières to offer consumers the chance to change their consumption habits while diversifying their wardrobes.
In addition, Ba&sh is teaming up with Kleiderly to launch tests to recycle clothing waste and create new sustainable material, as it looks to avoid waste incineration by embracing a circular approach.
With all the pledges, Ba&sh is also looking to ensure more transparency by partnering with start-up TrustRace to add QR code’s to its clothing labels, so that customers can retrace the life of the product and learn about its certification and manufacturing conditions.
Ba&sh to fight for women’s rights
As a company founded by two women, solidarity with women is important it adds in its strategy, and it is pledging to “break the glass ceiling” for women. Currently, women represent 75 percent of the brand’s executive committee and 80 percent of the company as a whole. The brand is also focusing on combating violence against women by supporting Women Safe and Children, Women for Women UK, and Care’s Together For Her campaign.
Dan Arrouas, co-founder of Ba&sh, explained: “Women hold crucial positions in our house and at the very heart of our company. Therefore, it is our responsibility to do them justice. At Ba&sh, we have always advocated this responsibility in terms of enhancing the role of women. Every day, we do everything we can to help them advance even more.”
To support its action plan, Ba&sh has set up a strategic committee set up comprising Diana Verde Nieto, co-founder of Positive Luxury, Juliette Cody, director of the Fashion and Luxury Operational Unit of PUR Project and Laure Villepelet, ESG director of Tikehau.
Barbara Boccara, co-founder of Ba&sh, added: “The arrival of spring echoes our Blossom manifesto, which represents our desire to transform the brand and make it more eco-friendly. Climate change is a huge concern for us. With this in mind, we do everything we can to honour our clients’ expectations, offering them a lasting wardrobe with an emphasis on responsible materials. I want our pieces to epitomise the precious alliance between quality and sustainability in order to celebrate women today in the best way possible.”