Organic cotton t-shirts have become a must-have for anyone who prioritizes sustainable fashion. Apart from being incredibly comfortable and breathable, they also have a minimal impact on the environment, making them an eco-friendly choice.
However, with so many options available in the market, it can be challenging to find the best organic cotton t-shirts. In this article, the top brands that offer high-quality organic cotton t-shirts will be explored, providing readers with a comprehensive guide to making an informed purchase.
The Cotton-Picking Best Organic Cotton Tees
1. Colorful Standard
Colorful Standard offers a vast range of 100% organic cotton tees in 58 different colors, making it easy to find one that complements any outfit. Their supply chain is vertically integrated, and they produce long-lasting clothes that are inclusive and climate-positive. They offer unisex, men’s, and women’s organic t-shirts in both long-sleeve and short-sleeve styles.
Colorful Standard’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Materials: Colorful Standard’s 100% organic cotton t-shirts are PETA-approved vegan and made with GOTS certified organic cotton and OEKO-TEX-certified sustainable dyes. The 180g fabric is pre-washed to minimize shrinking and extend wear.
Supply chain & labor practices: Everything is made in the brand’s own manufacturing center (RTG Textiles) in Portugal, ensuring “fair, organic, and uncomplicated” working conditions. RTG is committed to transparency and ensures fair trade conditions in accordance with European Labor Laws.
Green business practices: By measuring, cutting, and dying fabrics according to demand, Colorful Standard produces little waste. Small amounts of unavoidable fabric waste are put to good re-use as furniture filling. They use recycled materials, like plastic and FSC-certified paper, to minimize their carbon footprint.
Inclusivity: With simple styles and cuts, most of their collection acts as gender-neutral clothing. The “men’s” and “women’s” sections are mostly for sizing familiarity. You’ll find XS to XL in women’s styles and XS to 2XL in men’s.
Community & charitable giving: Colorful Standard devotes its charitable energies to its own football club and recreation center called FC Masi Manimba for children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The brand started it by collecting the equipment and building the space and continues to sustains its operations by donating 5% of proceeds.
Pact, also known as Earth’s Favorite Clothing brand, is a Net Zero company that uses organic cotton, Fair Trade factories, and carbon offsets to achieve sustainability. They offer sustainable men’s clothing, women’s clothing, and ethical kids’ clothing, including hoodies, dresses, skirts, maternity clothing, outerwear, sleepwear, and much more. Their fair trade organic cotton t-shirts are available in all styles for the whole family.
Pact’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Materials: Pact’s tees are made of 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton or an 80/20 organic cotton and hemp fabric blend.
Supply chain & labor practices: Pact partners with an organic cotton farm and Fair Trade-certified factories in India, helping to keep the supply chain local and leave a positive imPACT in an area of the world often associated with exploitation and sweatshops. Workers are supported with safe working conditions and fair trade pay.
Green business practices: Pact uses energy and water-saving manufacturing methods, carbon offsets shipping, and uses recyclable and compostable packaging. Through a partnership with SimpliZero, they’re a Net Zero Carbon company.
Inclusivity: Pact embraces inclusivi-tee with a women’s size range from XS-2X and S-2X for men.
Community & charitable giving: Through Pact’s Give Back. Wear Forward program, you can rehome gently used clothing by sending it back in the box your order came in. They’ll distribute it to charities in need.
3. MATE the Label
MATE the Label is a sustainable fashion brand that offers a range of eco-essentials, including bike shorts, sustainable jumpsuits, sustainable loungewear, and 100% organic t-shirts. Their Organic Cotton Classic Tee comes in 12 different colors and has a relaxed fit that is sure to be a wardrobe staple for years to come.
MATE the Label’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices
Materials: MATE’s certified organic cotton tees for women are made with nothing but organic cotton, right down to organic cotton trims. The organic cotton jersey is 110 gsm (read: lightweight and breathable) and dyed with low-impact dyes that are free of 49 harmful chemicals.
Supply chain & labor practices: Every shirt starts out as cotton grown in Maharashtra, India. It’s then knitted and dyed in the US, eventually ending up in Los Angeles where it’s garment-dyed—within a 17-mile radius from MATE’s HQ. The factories aren’t certified but do meet fair trade criteria.
Green business practices: Compared with conventional cotton, MATE’s organic version uses 87% less water and emits 45% fewer greenhouse gases. It also protects some of the one million workers who end up in the hospital because of pesticide poisoning. The brand helped to form the California Cotton and Climate
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How We Found The Best Organic Cotton T-Shirts
When it comes to sustainable and ethical fashion, organic cotton is a popular choice. However, not all organic cotton t-shirts are created equal. To find the best organic cotton t-shirts, the following factors were considered:
The best organic cotton t-shirts are made with cotton that is grown in a regenerative way that supports a healthy ecosystem and climate. Additionally, the use of natural, non-toxic, and low-impact dyes is preferred. Some brands also blend organic cotton with other eco-friendly fabrics like TENCEL lyocell or modal, or hemp. It is also worth noting that organic cotton requires 91% less water than conventional cotton, making it an eco-friendlier choice.
Certifications like OEKO-TEX® 100, PETA, GOTS, Fair Trade, and GRS ensure that the organic cotton t-shirts are made with sustainable and ethical practices. Brands that support garment workers with fair trade pay, reasonable hours, supportive work conditions, healthcare, and more are also preferred.
Green Business Practices
The best organic cotton t-shirts are not just made of sustainable materials, but also produced in an eco-conscious way. This includes using recycled water, renewable energy, and eco-friendly packaging. Some brands are even carbon neutral and designed to last, reducing their environmental impact.
Inclusivity is also an important factor in finding the best organic cotton t-shirts. Brands that offer gender-neutral styles and a relatively inclusive size range are preferred. It is also important to support BIPOC or women-owned brands, use inclusive marketing, and adopt ethical plus-size fashion offerings.
Community & Charitable Giving
Brands that donate a portion of their sales, support farming/textile communities, donate fabric scraps and used garments, and support people experiencing disabilities or disadvantages are preferred.
Final Thoughts On Organic Cotton T-Shirts
Organic cotton t-shirts can be a great choice for the environment and the people who produce them. However, it is important to consider whether a new t-shirt is really necessary before making a purchase. Checking local or online thrift stores first, or wearing what is already in your wardrobe, can be a more sustainable option. By choosing to wear better t-shirts, we can all contribute to a thriving planet.