Case Study: Bassike – Achieving B Corporation Certification

About Bassike

Bassike is an Australian designer fashion brand that champions local production of high-quality, sustainably-made wardrobe essentials. With eight stores across the country and products stocked by over 80 retailers worldwide, Bassike is regarded as an Australian leader brand in the designer fashion segment.

The Challenge

In 2019, Bassike made a strategic commitment to elevating responsible business practices as a core part of its purpose and vision. Recognising the challenge of turning their commitment into action, the leadership team engaged The Growth Activists as external ESG experts for guidance.

The Solution

The Growth Activists had previously worked with Bassike, supporting annual strategic planning and implementation. As part of this work, B Corp certification was identified as Bassike’s best ESG global accreditation option. This certification demonstrates the brand’s commitment to ethical and responsible business practices and the positive impact of its ESG efforts.

The Deliverables

The Growth Activists guided the Bassike team through the B Impact Assessment (BIA) process, identifying actionable items and operational practices that could lead to significant additional points, referred to as Impact Business Models (IBM). After receiving the BIA report and comprehensive action list, the Bassike team began implementing the next stage, concentrating on improving their policies and operations. Upon completion, they submitted for certification through B Lab, which involved standard evidence verification.

The Results

Bassike became a Certified B Corp in June 2022, achieving an outstanding score of 92.6 – an exceptional achievement for a fashion retail business. It also demonstrated remarkable success in the BIA by scoring strongly in two impact areas, Community (28.9 points) and Environment (26.1 points).

The BIA process and subsequent implementation plan helped the Bassike leadership team identify ethical and responsible business practices that were already implicitly ingrained in the organisation, but importantly the framework helped them articulate them more explicitly and effectively.  The BIA also helped them to recognise strengths, identify areas for improvement to meet the standards, and underscored the importance of documentation of evidence of processes and policies as foundational to good ESG practice. 

Furthermore, the BIA process led to an enhancement of existing operational procedures. Notably, Bassike was able to enrich its Sustainable Ethical Manufacturing Index (S.E.M.I.), a proprietary internal framework developed to guide internal decision-making around Bassike’s supply chain. S.E.M.I. screens and ranks Bassike’s fabric mills, manufacturing partners and the material composition of every Bassike product across three pillars; environment, labour and animal welfare. The BIA framework enabled the Bassike team to cross-reference standards and enhance the process. 

Finally, the process highlighted the opportunity to strengthen the brand’s ESG narrative for critical stakeholders, particularly for employees and customers, who offered valuable insights into material issues that matter. This led to an employee education program enabling store staff to understand what it means to be a B Corp  and engage with customers confidently on the positive impact of the brand on people and planet. In 2023 Bassike also published its first impact report, leveraging the important chain of evidence already created through the B Corp certification process to tell their impact story to all their stakeholders.