Organic Basics from Denmark calls the fashion industry a “dirty bastard”. That’s why the brand is trying make consumers change to higher-quality, organic and sustainable products. Their underwear line convinces with a simple, timeless design and a totally different sales model: a quarterly or monthly delivery of packages to your doorstep. We got the chance to talk to Christoffer Immanuel, Partner & co-founder of Organic Basics, about the brand’s vision.
Can you briefly explain how successful crowdfunding led to the launch of your brand in 2013/2014?
The crowdfunding campaign was actually a part of our company launch. We do things a bit different than most fashion companies, so we wanted to test whether consumers understood and liked our brand, we tested that through a crowdfunding campaign. An efficient and data driven method to test our brand in the market. We were successfully funded in less than 48 hours after lunch, people really liked and understood Organic Basics.
There are already some other young basic organic labels on the market. What is special about your brand?
We make it cool to care! We are making sustainable clothing cool, we believe the hippie approach belongs to the seventies. Organic Basics is a fashion-tech hybrid, we develop every new style from customer data, and our focus is to make your closet leaner. We believe in greener, simpler, basics.
Why did you decide to work with a flatrate/subscription system? Do customers really need new boxers and socks every month? How does it work and how is it finding its market?
No one finds repeating tasks interesting, buying underwear, socks and in general basics is one of those boring tasks, however wearing a fresh pair of underwear and getting rid of holy socks is something everyone enjoys. We want to give our customers the luxury of never having to worry about buying basics again. Our subscription service is the first step towards an intelligent system that knows what basics you need, and when you need it.
What makes the production and design of organic, sustainable garments different? Which are the biggest challenges?
We are a very honest and open brand and we want to make sure that our customers get the best product without any nasty chemicals or unnecessary waste. The biggest challenge has been to ensure a high quality and to find the best organic fabric manufacturers out there. We will never stop looking for great manufacturers but right now we have one of the best in Europe.
Your name reflects your program: “organic & basic”. However, how important is the style and design aspect?
We have a holistic approach to Organic Basics, every aspect is important to create a modern brand. One important aspect of Organic Basics is that we are trying to slow things down as opposition to the fast fashion, we want fewer better products with a long lasting design.
Which materials get processed and where is your production site located?
Right now all of our products are produced in Turkey. We always hand pick our manufacturers, from sourcing the raw organic cotton, to what materials the packaging company use. We make sure things are done right and under the right circumstances.
What’s your new SilverTech product line all about? How is the silver processed into a fabric and what are the benefits of this material?
Our SilverTech line is about making basic clothing smarter. Right now people are wearing socks and underwear for 1 day, and then they wash it. Washing is time consuming for our customers and bad for the environment, due to soap and water consumption. We want to change that with SilverTech. The technology is based on pure silver spun into a thin silver thread, and then mixed with our long fiber organic cotton. With this technology you get an anti-bacterial fabric that will kill all bacteria, and thereby the smell of sweat. SilverTech is also heat conducting, keeping you cool when it’s hot, and hot when it’s cold.
When will your women’s line launch and what will it contain?
Our female line will launch Q4 2016 just in time for Christmas shopping. It will contain 2 types of socks (mid-rise and ankle), 2 types of underwear (hipster and thong) 2 types of bra (Comfort and triangle) and a t-shirt all made in sustainable materials. In Q1 2017 we will launch our SilverTech line for women.
In sales, do you rather bet on direct-to-consumer or also on the classic wholesale? If so, which retailers buy the brand?
We only focus on Direct-to-consumer. Brick and mortar stores are decreasing and we believe online is the future. Through our own platform www.organicbasics.com we are able to provide a much better service and consumer experience.
How many styles does your collection include right now and which are the bestsellers so far? What’s the price range?
Right now we have 8 styles for men, with our newest addition of 5 SilverTech styles. We launched our SilverTech products on the crowdfunding platform kickstarter.com generating preorders for over 150.000 euros in under 30 days, making it the most crowdfunded fashion campaign ever to come out of Scandinavia. Our prices varies from 12 euros for organic cotton mens socks, to our premium SilverTech t-shirt at the price of 31 euros.