Sustainable fashion is becoming increasingly popular, with many consumers looking to make more eco-friendly choices when it comes to their clothing. T-shirts are a staple item in most people’s wardrobes, but it’s important to consider the sustainability and ethics of the brands we buy from.
In this article, we will explore some of the best sustainable t-shirt brands on the market. From those that use organic cotton to those that upcycle materials, we will provide options for those looking to make a more conscious choice when it comes to their fashion.
The Best Sustainable T-Shirts
Sustainable fashion is all about making conscious choices that benefit the environment and society. One of the easiest ways to do this is by choosing sustainable t-shirts made from organic cotton, hemp, tencel, recycled materials, bamboo, and other eco-friendly materials. Here are some of the best sustainable t-shirts available in the market today.
Allbirds is a Certified B Corp that offers sustainable t-shirts for men and women made from organic cotton and TrinoXO™ fabric. The Allgood organic eco-friendly t-shirt and the Sea Trees active tee are their two models, both available in short or long sleeves. The Allgood t-shirts are made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, while the Sea Trees are made of a blend of FSC-certified TENCEL lyocell, ZQ-certified merino wool, chitosan, and spandex. Allbirds ethically sources wool from non-mulesed sheep in New Zealand and uses recyclable packaging made from 90% post-consumer recycled cardboard.
tentree offers some of the best sustainable graphic t-shirts made from organic cotton, TENCEL, hemp, REPREVE® recycled polyester, and elastane. They have a range of sustainable t-shirts for men, women, and kids in various styles like polos, boxy crops, slubs, henleys, and v-neck t-shirts. tentree is a top-ranking B Corp for manufacturing and performs yearly audits while enforcing a supplier code of conduct. Each of their factories holds certifications by entities like Fair Trade, WRAP, BSCI, SA8000, and/or Fair Wear Foundation. tentree is also transparent about the impact of each garment, as compiled by GreenStep, and aims to plant 1 billion trees by 2030.
Pact is a Boulder-based brand that offers affordable sustainable t-shirts made from fairtrade organic cotton dyed with non-toxic dyes. They have a range of sustainable t-shirts for men, women, and kids in various styles like polos, boxy crops, slubs, henleys, and v-neck t-shirts. Pact’s GOTS certified organic cotton fair trade t-shirts are made in Fair Trade certified factories in India where 74% of their cotton is sourced. They also use water-saving and recycling production methods, as well as energy conservation techniques.
Outerknown is a brand founded by 11-time World Surf League Champion, Kelly Slater, and acclaimed designer, John Moore. They offer short and long sleeve eco-friendly t-shirts in a huge variety of styles, colors, and prints. Outerknown has a large selection for those specifically seeking organic sustainable t-shirts. Outerknown is also transparent about their supply chain and labor practices, and they are committed to using sustainable materials and practices throughout their business.
Patagonia is a brand that has been at the forefront of sustainable fashion for many years. They offer a range of sustainable t-shirts made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, and TENCEL lyocell. Patagonia is committed to using sustainable materials and practices throughout their business and is transparent about their supply chain and labor practices. They also have a program that allows customers to return their used Patagonia clothing for recycling.
6. Threads 4 Thought
Threads 4 Thought offers a range of sustainable t-shirts made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, and TENCEL lyocell. They are committed to using sustainable materials and practices throughout their business, and they are transparent about their supply chain and labor practices. Threads 4 Thought also partners with the International Rescue Committee to help refugees and displaced people around the world.
7. The Classic T-Shirt Company
The Classic T-Shirt Company offers a range of sustainable t-shirts made from organic cotton and recycled polyester. They are committed to using sustainable materials and practices throughout their business, and they are transparent about their supply chain and labor practices. The Classic T-Shirt Company also offers sustainable custom t-shirts for businesses and organizations.
8. No Nasties
No Nasties offers a range of sustainable t-shirts made from organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo fabric. They are committed to using sustainable materials and practices throughout their business, and they are transparent about their supply chain and labor practices. No Nasties also partners with Fairtrade India to support small-scale farmers and promote fair trade.
9. The Good Tee
The Good Tee offers a range of sustainable t-shirts made from organic cotton and recycled polyester. They are committed to using sustainable materials and practices throughout their business, and they are transparent about their supply chain and labor practices. The Good Tee also partners with various charities and organizations to support social and environmental causes.
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How We Found The Best Eco-Friendly T-Shirts
T-shirts are the most common item of clothing in our wardrobes, with approximately 2 billion sold worldwide every year. Unfortunately, many of these t-shirts end up as part of the 92 million tons of annual textile waste. To combat this issue, sustainable and ethical fashion has become increasingly popular, and we have researched and found the best eco-friendly t-shirts available.
The most important factor in choosing an eco-friendly t-shirt is the use of sustainable fabrics. We have focused on companies that prioritize the use of sustainable materials, such as recycled polyester and GOTS certified organic cotton. We have also looked for t-shirts that have been certified by third-party organizations such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), OEKO-TEX, and bluesign®.
Supply chain & labor practices:
To ensure that the t-shirts we recommend are truly sustainable and ethical, we have researched the supply chain and labor practices of each company. We have looked for transparency, small and controlled supply chains, and fair trade labor practices. We have also considered third-party auditors and verifiers to ensure that the companies are not engaging in greenwashing. We recommend t-shirts from companies that have been certified by organizations such as Fair Trade, WRAP, BSCI, SA8000, Fair Wear Foundation, and B Corp.
Green business practices:
We have also considered other ways that companies are reducing their environmental impact, such as carbon offset programs, the use of renewable energy, and eco-friendly packaging. We have also looked for companies that design their products to be compostable or recyclable, to reduce textile waste.
Inclusivity is an important factor in the fashion industry, and we have looked for eco-friendly t-shirt brands that promote a healthy body image. We recommend companies that use inclusive models and branding and offer a range of sizes to fit all body types.
Community & charitable giving:
Finally, we have considered companies that give back to the community and support charitable causes. We recommend companies that plant trees for each eco-friendly t-shirt sold or donate returned products or funds to nonprofits.
Overall, we have found that the best eco-friendly t-shirts are those that prioritize sustainable materials, fair labor practices, and green business practices, while also promoting inclusivity and giving back to the community. By choosing eco-friendly t-shirts, consumers can help reduce textile waste and support sustainable and ethical fashion.
What Is The Most Sustainable T-Shirt?
When it comes to eco-friendly t-shirts, the most sustainable materials are organic and natural. These materials include GOTS certified organic cotton, hemp fabric, and linen, which are biodegradable and can fully break down via home composting. Semi-synthetics like bamboo fabric, TENCEL lyocell, and modal also fall under this category of sustainable materials. However, the processing methods used to render these plant pulps into usable fibers can be chemical-intensive and not very sustainable if not done in a closed-loop process.
Apart from sustainable materials, it is crucial to consider the use of non-toxic dyes to give these ethical t-shirts their color. Non-toxic dyes are those that do not contain Azo or heavy metals and are ideally made of plant-based substances.
Recycled synthetics are another eco-friendly material option. These fabrics, like recycled nylon and recycled polyester, are made from recycled materials instead of virgin petroleum-based fibers. However, they are less ideal than organic fibers as they cannot be composted when the garment wears out and will still leave behind microplastics from washing.
It is essential to be cautious when seeking sustainable graphic t-shirts, as even if the shirt itself is made of a natural material, the graphic may be the result of a vinyl press-on.
Final Thoughts On Eco-Friendly Tee Shirts
Choosing to buy ethical and sustainable t-shirts may seem like a small decision, but every sustainable choice adds up. The best eco-friendly t-shirts are those made from sustainable materials, using non-toxic dyes and avoiding vinyl press-ons.
Ultimately, the most sustainable t-shirt is the one you already own. However, when you need to update your wardrobe, consider donating or upcycling old clothes to reduce waste.
In conclusion, this list of the best eco-friendly t-shirts is a resource for those who need to buy new t-shirts. By making sustainable choices, we can reduce our carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly products.