basic. recently had her 5th birthday, so i’ve been in a period of reflection about where we came from and where we’re headed. it’s funny how life works sometimes, isn’t it? we launched basic. at about 1 am from the basement of our old house; and right now, during this in-flux period of construction before our reopening, i’m writing about half a decade with my company…again from a basement while it’s dark outside.
before basic., i was a wreck. my career made me feel dishonest, my family was in distress, and i couldn’t see a way out of the life i was living that i never thought i agreed to. it felt impossibly heavy. then one night i was reading a recipe from a food blogger (i wish i could remember who it was, but it was a random recipe from a @pinterest search, and i didn’t save it), and she mentioned a documentary called @thetruecost and how impactful watching it had been for her journey in conscious consumption. with that, my trajectory shifted.
@thetruecost changed my life. it’s one thing to have vague awareness of a humanitarian crisis that feels far from home (it’s not that far, by the way)— and it’s another entirely to see it. i began looking into how and where the things i’d been buying were made, and i read about margin-padding strategies major corporations used to increase their bottom lines at the expense of human capital. i listened to accounts from garment workers from LA to bangladesh, and i looked at reports of the physical, psychological, and emotional abuse within garment factories all over the world. as a result, i evolved as both a person and a consumer— and i realized i like creating space where other folks can learn and evolve too.
basic. launched as an ethical fashion online-only + popup retailer, and we’ve expanded to a site, a shared shop with @honeycreeperchocolate, and a couple outposts. we’ve had a lot of wins over the years, and we’ve been knocked flat out a couple times; and i’m grateful for every single day of all of it. while it can be a burly process (hello, pandemic), growth isn’t possible without the growing.
we’ve always tried to be a brand trying to do the right things for the right reasons, and we actually do give a (whole lot of) damn. with the help of every customer, we’ve been able to give money and/or in-kind donations to more than 20 organizations including @thearcofalabama, @bibandtuckersewop, @maranathanacademy, @yellowfund, @ejiorg, @campsmileamile, and @unitedway. beginning in 2019, we’ve donated $5 of every sale (including from our preowned @back2_abasicshop) to the @southernpovertylawcenter and @humanrightswatch— and we recently modified that to 5%. we’ve partnered with @alabamachanin, @yellowhammercreative, and @linguafranca on collaborations that support causes in which we believe, and we’ve advocated for better working and living conditions for all people since we hit ‘LIVE’ on our site 5 years ago.
thank you to everyone who has been a part of our story thus far. small businesses are only as good as the community that supports them, so we’re fortunate to have the actual best. as @abasicshop reopens in our education-centered new space with @honeycreeperchocolate, we’ve refined and refocused our strategy around the same clothing ideals upon which we were founded— ethically-made, staple, transitional garments that feel just a bit more than basic.
after these past few months apart, friends— we are so happy to welcome you back in.
see you soon,
ps— basic. wouldn't be possible without our team. a big fat huge thank you to maggie and gabby for all they do.