Shopping for clothing that has a low impact on the environment often means paying high prices, but a new line from BeGood promises to deliver affordable staples made in the U.S. with organic cottons and silks.
BeGood started in 2012 as a San Francisco boutique that offered ecofriendly clothing from many of our favorite brands, like Amour Vert and Alternative. Over the past six months, the company has developed its own in-house line, which they plan to sell directly to consumers.
Mark Spera, CEO and co-founder of BeGood, told me that the company is bypassing the normal retail channels. This “disruptive” model allows the company to keep their costs lower, offering tee shirts beginning at $15 and summer items going up to $95. “We're kind of techies here too, we run quite a few surveys,” said Spera. “So, we actually know that the only reason people don’t shop for organic clothing is just that it’s too expensive.”
The first collection offer includes 25 items, and with the exception of men’s tees is focused on women’s items for now. “We saw an unmet need in the market for fun, flirty, made-to-wear, ecofriendly clothing,” said Spera.
The fabric milled primarily in India, in Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) factories, a third-party certification that ensures the cotton meets organic standards, and that the fabric is processed with a minimum of harmful chemicals. BeGood works with a solar-powered dye house that uses low-impact dyes.
“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to procure really great American-made fabrics,” said Spera. “It’s difficult enough to find organic fabrics, and then if you add the American-made piece then you’re really looking at an extremely limited swath of options.” Using American-made fabric would also raise the cost substantially.
The garments are sewn in Los Angeles, and are sold in recycled packaging. The retail shop in San Francisco will continue to stock other brands, but the online boutique will now focus exclusively on BeGood’s own line. Plus, to give you an extra feel-good bonus, BeGood donates 12 gallons of clean drinking water for every item purchased, with the help of nonprofit Evidence Action. The new collection will be available June 3rd.
Spera said that BeGood aims to create classic, timeless pieces. “We’re really trying to create a versatile line,” he said, with pieces that can look great at the office or on a casual weekend day. "We’re trying to make it so that you don’t have to buy a different tee shirt for yoga class and work.”