Sustainability pioneer David Basson, CEO of apparel designer and manufacturer Greensource Organic Clothing Co, is to retire at the end of this year.

Under his ownership of The Apparel Source, Greensource’s parent company, Basson introduced the first and highly successful organic cotton programme to Walmart, becoming one of its largest suppliers of organic knit and woven apparel items.

He also helped build Greensource into the world’s 8th largest user of organic cotton, according to Textile Exchange thanks to large volume sales of organic cotton products. Some are produced under its own Greensource and Re-Gen (‘Recycled Generation’) brands sold at stores like Sam’s Club, Kohl’s and Macy’s, while others are private-label apparel for Walmart under the Faded Glory organics label. 

Taking over the reins in January 2011 will be John Flynn, currently vice president of design and development, and Brady Hill, currently vice president of marketing. Flynn has been with the company since 2004 and Hill since 2005.

Patty Barile, customer service manager, and Mindy Walenceus, production manager, will continue as 5% minority shareholders.

“I am honoured to have worked with visionary leaders in the apparel and textile sectors throughout my career, but particularly as our company turned toward sustainable production practices,” said Basson.

“Greensource is deeply committed to using organic cotton in our apparel lines and we plan to expand the amount of organic cotton and other sustainable fibres even further.”

The Apparel Source has been a design and manufacturing powerhouse for the past 17 years and has worked closely with big box retailers in the US, Australia, and Canada. The company has offices in Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Arkansas, Karachi (Pakistan), Mumbai (India), and Managua (Nicaragua).