Honest Basics started the journey of being a sustainable brand with the focus on making continuous environmentally friendly choices throughout the production process of our articles and beyond.
Years down the line, this is still the basis for our basics. We’ve broken down the topic of environmental sustainability into a few themes, to show you what the decisions we make are all about and why we’ve made them to begin with.

Resources & Waste 
Supply Chain 




One of the most essential parts, we think, that sustainability is all about is resource-use. The less resources you take from the planet, the smaller your negative impact on the environment and the better you make sure that waste can become a resource once again, the more climate neutral you are!

As a small fashion brand, we can never even reach the level of waste that larger brands in this industry produce, but regardless we are very mindful of limiting the amount of products that we cannot sell, following the ethos of ‘No product left behind’. The samples that are created at the start of a production run, as well as any products with minor manufacturing issues, or anything else that means we cannot sell them within our normal collection, are put online for sample sales or giveaways, or we donate them, for example to charities like Berliner Stadtmission.

As much as we like making people happy with very cheap or free clothes, we are also very proud of the fact that we are able to keep these leftover products to a minimum. Through carefully planned and limited production runs we can make sure that everything in our stock actually gets sold.

There are also other decisions we have made to reduce our impact on the planet. Even though it might take a little bit more time, our collections are never flown to us from China to Germany, but instead arrive by ship, or very occasionally by train. As transport is such a huge part of the emissions we generate as a brand, but also overall in the world of course, we have made the decision to use these modes of transport to really make sure we keep our emissions down.

Then, you might know our clothes will arrive to you in minimal packaging. Only a small FSC-certified cardboard wrapper around them and a cardboard inlay for stability is used as packaging. This is also how the clothes are shipped from our factory. It’s an industry standard to individually wrap clothes in plastic bags, but since the early days of Honest Basics we decided against this to effectively reduce waste right from the start. Lastly, whenever we receive returns or packages in cardboard boxes, we re-use them whenever possible.


The waste created at the end of a supply chain tends to be quite limited, however waste and resource-use can really accumulate during the production process. Therefore we have started an intensive consulting relationship with our main manufacturing partners to support them in reducing their impact on the environment.

Some of the factories of our supplier are part of the Carbon Leadership Program, which helps facilities reduce their carbon use and many of the factories are members of the ZDHC program. Through our consulting with our supplier, we have found that resource and waste management is all about focussing on operationalisation and making sure to stay away from ‘checkbox compliance’.

We do not merely want the factories to have all the labels that say they’re ‘green’, we want all the different levels of the organisation to have input into the decision making, which also leads to the most efficient and impactful climate-friendly decisions. For example, the better the cutting patterns are generated to reduce fabric cuttings, the less fabric the factories have to buy in the first place and the more textile waste is reduced! Of course all of the pre-consumer waste that is generated during manufacturing, when fabric cuttings really cannot be prevented, are recycled.

The material sourcing at the start of the supply chain should also not be forgotten. It is still our goal to have more direct relationships with our fabric suppliers, but for now we are very happy to have found fabric that is always certified organic and/or recycled. This way we can ensure that the least amount of resources possible were used, while still giving you a good and durable clothing item. An important note here is that we have stopped working with GOTS certified fabrics, as this certification does not cover recycled fibers and are therefore using the Organic Content Standard and Global Recycled Standard (both through Textile Exchange) to certify our fabrics. In the sourcing of all our other materials, like zippers and buttons, we look to use plastic-free materials as much as possible.


All our products are 100% vegan.

This means that:

We don’t use any animal products or fibers in the materials we use for our basics. So for example, we don’t use leather, wool or silk in any of our products. Also of course not in trims such as buttons or patches.
We don’t use any animal products or substances in our production process. For example animal-derived dyes or glue can be used in the production process, but Honest Basics does not use any of these in our production.

We know that our basics being vegan is important to a lot of our customers. So, everyone in the team is aware that we can’t compromise on this point. Also, quite frankly, we don’t believe that animal products are really needed to make great clothing.

How do we control that our products and production really are vegan? On the material part, we always pay strict attention to the materials we use. Our production team has a list of preferred sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, recycled cotton or recycled viscose. Animal products such as wool, leather or silk are not on the list. We simply don’t compromise here and our partner-factory is also aware of this hard requirement.

Secondly the chemicals that are being used for the production of our basics are closely monitored by the factories, under the ZDHC-program (Zero Discharge Hazardous Chemicals). Under this program, a transparent monitoring of all chemical substances is demanded, therefore we can guarantee that we know what goes into the production of our basics and that no animal products were used. Additionally, in our experience animal-derived substances are only used in very rare cases in production. The main challenge of making products vegan often lies within the core materials.

Why are we self-certified vegan? We were a part of the PETA-program, however since they raised prices back in 2021, we decided to phase out of that certification. Don’t get us wrong: we very much respect the work that PETA is doing and the fact that their activism costs money. But the prices were unaffordable for us as a small business.