Biiofit Ethical Standards
How high is the Moon?
We try and reach very high with our Ethical standards, they won’t quite carry us to the Moon, but some day we will make it there! We like to be friendly to the Earth, animals and people, we live by three simple Core Values.
- Treat people as we would like to be treated
- Treat the Earth like it matters
- Treat yourself :)
All our staff and suppliers live by these values, we hope you will enjoy buying our clothing and accessories, by doing so you are making a positive choice.
The Biiofit Journey
What is Biiofit? Who is it for and why is it here?
Biiofit is for everyone and anyone who is looking for superior, healthier and greener clothes to wear. Welcome to our world of luxurious and comfortable organic clothing. Our clothing is sustainable but fashionable, ethical but affordable, high performance and ready to wear.
Did you know your brain’s function improves when your body feels comfortable....strange but true. All of the best things come from nature, our ancestors wore animal skins to run around in, this kept them warm and comfortable and protected from the harsh elements. All very well back then, but not very helpful today, today we need comfortable fabrics, that don't come from animals and don't impact the environment around us. Biiofit brings you the best in activewear, whether you’re canoeing down the Zambezi or just out jogging with your dog, we give you exceptional performance and clothing that functions perfectly for Outdoors or Indoors, Biiofit feels ultra comfortable and is specially designed to compete with the best modern synthetic fabrics.
Biiofit opened the world’s first Organic sportswear retailer in 2008, with an inspired, eco-friendly range of clothing, made in a way that benefits the environment rather than harms it.
T-shirts, base layers, yoga pants, shorts, socks, hooded tops, heavenly clothing and of course all made with our unique selection of Organic fabrics. Yoga and mountain climbing, running or rowing, fast or slow, hot or cold, Biiofit is good for you.
We sure aren't perfect but we're trying to do the right thing!
We strive to do business in a more enlightened way, where we take responsibility for the impact of our business on people, animals and the environment, we would like our impact to be at least neutral but better still positive. It's part of our noble quest to become a truly sustainable business where we have a net positive effect on the wonderful world around us. Below you can see our actions for doing this.
Inks, Colours & Chemicals
Take a rest and relax after a hard workout, take it easy and have a lie down, you’ve done something positive to improve your health and well-being, you deserve a rest, but you may be resting on a bed of toxic gunge! Many large clothing manufacturers use formaldehyde to give clothes a fresh, unwrinkled appearance and prevent mildew mould forming during shipping. You won’t find any Biiofit clothing full of chemicals only Organic natural goodness, for instance we only use Organic inks on our print logos and design motifs, the dyes in our apparel are Organic too, and the same for the cotton threads used in the seam stitching it’s Organic as well, and we don’t use any formaldehyde to remove wrinkles- wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been!
We don’t believe that packaging will change your life, but we do believe it should be sustainable and customer friendly, we like packaging that is recyclable, renewable and low in carbon. All that sounds like we only produce tie-dye hessian shirts and sackcloth sandals! however there is no need to compromise on aesthetics, we try to delight our customers with nice designs and witty details wherever we can.
We are delighted to announce that from October 2013 all the paper and cardboard in our packaging is 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or similar. Certification ensures that the paper comes from forests that meet high environmental standards, where forest workers are treated fairly, and the forestry company invests in ensuring the forest is there for the long term.
We transport all our bulk stock items by sailing ship, it’s quite fast and very green friendly, we haven’t been plundered by Pirates yet either!
It is very rare that we need to ship stock by airplane, and we always try to minimise when we do this, but when we do use planes then we always purchase carbon offsets to minimise the harm to the planet. All of our international delivery items are delivered by DHL Green Solutions shipping or other green shipping couriers.
All our clothing is recyclable and/or biodegradable and you can give it back to Biiofit for recycling at any time. All of our packaging is recyclable as well, so you can be comfortable you are buying sustainable packaging.
Green and Clean from Seed to Shelf
We try to keep our supply chain as spruced up and clean and green as we can, this is where we can make a real impact on people and the environment, we ensure we are not harming the Planet, every step of the way, from the soils our growers farm which are free of artificial herbicides and pesticides, to our organic inks and dyes we use for all our clothing fabrics - Biiofit is green from Seed to Shelf.
We love Organic fabrics, they feel better and they function better in our humble opinion, if you don’t believe us then go ahead, we offer a 100% no quibbles guarantee on all our items of clothing, so you’ve nothing to lose. Our raw materials come from all over the world and from two different sources:-
- specialist plantations and co-operative farming groups. Using specialist plantations allows us to contain any unintentional harm on the environment.
- organically certified manufacturers of clothing
We currently specialise in Organic Bamboo and Organic Cotton clothing, our Organic Bamboo comes with the special "Technical Organics" Label and is manufactured in a "closed cycle" process so that any Sodium Hydroxide is minimised and recycled, unlike a lot of other Bamboo fabrics, where harmful chemicals and residues can be produced as continual by-products of the process and then need to be disposed of as waste.
We only buy fabrics that are certified Organic by Oekotex or GOTS, along with Fairtrade certified fabrics, we do those in order to keep our supply chain ethical and most of all sustainable, we go about it in a number of ways:
- We learn as much as we can about our fabrics whether they are organic cotton, organic bamboo or organic linen – we find out how they are grown, how our suppliers adhere to standards, and how we can help them.
- We make sure the supplier protects the soil and groundwater quality.
- We favour suppliers who have long-term prevention of pests through beneficial habitat planting.
- We treat our suppliers well, we don’t use heavy handed tactics to force them to lower prices and we don’t let people work in adverse "sweatshop" conditions.
- Organic Cotton is a thirsty plant, needing 20,000 litres of water per kg to grow; provided by irrigation. We avoid doing this, we grow ours in a valley, in India, where natural monsoon rains provide 95% of the water needed to grow the plant. Our water conservation ethos extends to the factory where a closed loop system filters and reuses 91% of all the waste water.
- Our Organic Bamboo is manufactured using Sodium Hydroxide, however the Sodium Hydroxide in our process is exclusively in a closed-loop system, this means 100% of it is re-used, after several thousand tons of fabric has been manufactured, the spent Sodium Hydroxide is mixed with Hydrogen Chloride, producing harmless Table Salt and Water.
- We will have nothing to do with sweatshops, child labour or harsh working conditions, all our suppliers adhere to International Labour Organisations Standards.
- We ensure that we are not just “ticking the boxes” on our suppliers, we really make sure they are clean and green and what we are doing makes sense, we don't just rely on paper forms to evidence what they are doing, we go and visit them.
We only buy from five different suppliers, so we can get to know them personally, unlike some clothing multinationals we don’t just jump from one source of cheap labour to an even cheaper one every six months in order to squeeze out the last halfpenny of profit. So we know who we are dealing with, hence they trust us and can rely on us to provide ongoing support to them. With your custom we can guarantee them long-term livelihoods in a safer and more sustainable World.
A Cleaner and Greener Planet
When Astronomers first peered at Mars, they noticed a lot of water canals and they wondered if there were forests and birds as well? Unfortunately we can’t rely upon other planets to provide us with our resources or somewhere else to live any time soon, we need to sustain ourselves from our own Mother Earth.
We look at what we do on a holistic basis, wherever we can, we follow the mantra- Re-use, Reduce, Recycle – in essence, how can we be a more sustainable business? We think it’s a great question as not only does it help to reduce our environmental impact, but it also means that we are forced to be that little bit more efficient every year- What’s not to like?
- We keep our supply chain lean and mean, always reducing waste and excess.
- We work with our suppliers on water and energy efficiency.
- We give damaged or returned clothing to Charities.
We have had some great results, we don’t send any waste at all to landfill, from the 1st January 2014 we started purchasing green electricity in 100% of our business, we are also constantly researching new methods of sustainable fashion such as reducing “off-cuts” by using laser cutting and Computer Aided Design. We are also planning on introducing new and innovative Organic fabrics like Active Charcoal and Nettle! so watch this space.
Our Biiofit DNA- what makes us what we are?
1 Treat people as we would like to be treated
When we say people we mean “everybody” in the widest sense, from the seamstress that stitches the seams, to the farmer that cultivates and cares for the crop. We like to treat people fairly, so that they feel good about working together with us, we treat people as equals. If we can extend this to the wider world then we can effect real change, so if you are a customer or just looking to join our community, you can feel that you are making a difference and keeping it equal.
2 Treat the Earth like it matters
Our beautiful green Earth is under threat from the ravages of climate change, pollution and man-made chemicals and toxins, whilst we can't expect to change this situation overnight, we think we can set a good example and by doing that, we hope more companies and people will try and follow our lead and that we believe we can have a positive impact....the good news is that every year that goes by, we see more and more people taking sustainability, climate issues and the environment more seriously, and the pace of change seems to be accelerating.
3 Green and Clean from Seed to Shelf
Biiofit likes to improve and set a good example so that others can follow. We look at our business as a tree, growing from the roots to the branches. We look to keep our tree healthy and feed it with the right nutrients, it is the same with our business, we keep it as Green and Clean as we can all the way from the Seed to Shelf.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND BIIOFIT ORGANIC APPAREL
Sit yourself down under your study lamp and get a strong cup of coffee, here comes the scientific geeky stuff....
Bamboo is amazing! it has a higher tensile strength than steel and is often used as a scaffolding material in construction in Asia, it is also possible to extract the fibres chemically and produce a yarn with unique properties. This yarn is then woven to form a bamboo fabric and from that it is made into beautiful organic clothing.
Bamboo due to its microscopic features is naturally wicking and superior to the
synthetic fabric polyester used by most sports wear manufacturers. Compared to ordinary polyester, it absorbs up to 3 times the amount of water and this allows it to rapidly dry moisture away from the skin, keeping you cool and dry.
Bamboo also has antibacterial properties which the plant itself uses in nature to control disease, from natural plant alkaloids found inside Bamboo. In practical terms, this means that you get much less skin irritation and rubbing, ideal for people with sensitive skin. Add to this the antifungal, hypoallergenic and antistatic properties and you ave a near perfect fabric for sports and active wear.
Top it all off, bamboo is softer than silk, it feels amazing next to your skin and has been compared to fine cashmere. Biiofit products are all also flat seamed for ultimate comfort.
Organic Bamboo is near perfect in terms of an ethical clothing material, especially in comparison to other fabrics. Synthetic garments use more chemicals and are completely man made. The raw ingredients for Biiofit products are sustainably sourced bamboo, so we believe we are definitely taking a step in the right direction.
Finally, if that wasn't enough benefits to knock your socks off, Bamboo sequestrates more carbon in the soil than is produced during it's manufacture or shipping, so you are actually helping reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere!!
Organic cotton is a beautiful and fantastic fabric, however you have to be careful in the way that you grow it, as it can use a lot of water, healthy resilient soils must be maintained, biodiversity of seeds and wildlife must be promoted and the livelihoods of farmers protected. At Biiofit our Organic approach is based on this model.
The trend towards fast and cheap fashion often means someone or something else is paying the price. When it comes to cotton, this can be the farmers - 95% of whom live on the breadline in developing countries, or the environment itself - damaged and poisoned by pesticides and fertilisers and stripped of vital minerals and nutrients. The price of our Organic cotton includes investments made by us and our co-operative farmers who are protecting their environment, maintaining soil fertility, preserving biodiversity and conserving water. This means Organic cotton sometimes (but not always) is more expensive because the maintenance costs are more, in reality the long term costs are much less, because if in ten years time you have created a desert out of the land, then that damage effectively costs millions and deprives the farmers of continued work, unfortunately the short-term profit hungry conventional clothing firms typically just move onto their next victim when this happens.
By letting your favorite brands and retailers know you want organic cotton, by buying it or asking them for it, you can encourage them to build relationships that work with suppliers and benefit you and the environment. Biiofit ensures this happens from the start; it secures farmers’ incomes, helps them plan ahead and improves their farming practices, which in turn reduces the price of producing organic cotton, meaning a lower price all round.
Organic Merino Wool
We spent a long time searching out and finally finding a luxurious Merino wool we were totally happy with. There are many organic Merino wool's on the market, but none that could 100% guarantee us that the barbaric act of “mulesing” wasn't being performed by some of the farmers who were ultimately supplying us.
Never heard of “Mulesing”, neither had we! That is because it’s something the conventional clothing industry has kept hidden, it’s a brutal practice, whereby young Merino lambs are forced onto their backs, have their legs restrained and without any sedatives or anaesthetic have chunks of flesh sliced from around their tail areas. This is done to generate a patch of smooth, unwrinkled skin where no hair will grow and prevents the ‘flystrike' parasite from happening around the tail end of the sheep. Just another expedient method people have adopted to exploit animals and one Biiofit will not condone.
The good news is that 50 years ago a farsighted farmer in South Africa brought the Merino sheep over to his farm and began a breeding program that has virtually bred out the problem of ruffled skin on the back of the sheep and hence bred out the need to worry about ‘flystrike'. We buy merino wool from this farmer and the finished yarn holds the prestigious “Bluesign” certification.
Biiofit Organic Merino wool is luxuriously soft and cosy, one of nature’s wonder fibres.
If you have a problem with your order, please contact our friendly customer service team on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voice message on +44(0)1628 290227. If you need to return an item or request a refund. Biiofit generously offers you the right to cancel within seven days of your purchase with us, or seven days after receipt of the goods. We also offer a 100% money back guarantee for all online purchases returned undamaged to us within 7 days. If you wish to return an item to us in the UK, please send your item to Biiofit Returns, Warren Centre, Reform Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 8BT.
Biiofit Organic clothing is easily cared for, please follow the instructions on the wash label for your garment, including the ideal wash temperature. Biiofit garments are durable and can be washed with a range of normal detergents. Biiofit garments are best "drip-dried", do not place your garment by drying it out on a radiator or a warm surface as the Organic inks used in our logos may be damaged or cause wrinkling. Use a lukewarm iron on Biiofit garments and you should not lose any of the luxurious and comfortable feel of our Organically certified fabrics.