Looking for an ethical and organic t-shirt? Here are Moral Fibres’ top recommendations for sustainable t-shirts – from organic and Fairtrade cotton and more.
With an increasing number of people aware of the litany of environmental and social problems caused by the rise in fast fashion, more and more people want to make their wardrobes more sustainable.
A great place to start is the humble t-shirt. Next to our jeans, the T-shirt might be one of the hardest-working items in our wardrobes. We work out in our t-shirts, we dress them up, we dress them down, and we chill out in them.
If you are looking for a more sustainable t-shirt, then the good news is that you are spoiled for choice. There are more sustainable t-shirts out there than you could shake a stick at.
However, when faced with so many choices, how do you work out what the best t-shirts are, free from greenwashing?
The Best Sustainable T-Shirts For The Ethical Shopper
To help you out, I’ve rounded up the very best sustainable t-shirts where ethical considerations aren’t just a marketing ploy, but central to how these brands do business. I’ve also aimed to find size-inclusive brands, that offer budget-friendly t-shirts under £50.
The price range key for this guide is £ = Under £50 | ££ = £50 – £100 | £££ = £100+
I’m mindful that everyone has different ethics when it comes to clothing. As such, this guide has been designed to be a starting-off point for you to research the most sustainable option for your own particular set of ethics.
Use the quick links below for information about each brand or keep scrolling for the full post:
Budget: £ – ££
Caters For: Men and Women
Sizes: Women’s UK 4 – 26 / Men’s XS – 3XL
Best for: Size-inclusive sustainable t-shirts
Available in a range of colours and styles – from classic fit t-shirts to long and short-sleeved t-shirts, and t-shirts for running in. These are made from a blend of sustainable Tencel and mulesing-free merino wool, for a breathable and silky smooth feel. The inclusion of merino wool means Allbird tees aren’t vegan-friendly though, so that’s something to bear in mind.
Allbirds say that offering a carefully curated product range fit for all seasons, means that it can maintain a small, tight-knit supply chain.
Caters For: Men and Women and Unisex Styles
Sizes: XS – XXL
Best for: Bright-coloured organic t-shirts
Looking for a sustainable t-shirt in a very specific colour? Then head straight to Colorful Standard. This sustainable essentials brand specialises in high-quality 100% organic cotton clothing in almost every colour you could ever imagine.
It’s no word of a lie. I’ve counted, and Colorful Standards t-shirts come in an amazing 55 different colours. These range from muted neutral shades to bold and vibrant tones. I’ve come to conclude that if you can’t find the colour of the organic t-shirt you want at Colorful Standard then it probably doesn’t exist!
Find classic fit t-shirts, oversized fit t-shirts, and long-sleeve t-shirts, in male, female and unisex styles, all around the £30 mark.
The best part is that you don’t have to compromise your ethics. All of its t-shirts are ethically made in Portugal using 100% organic cotton. Colorful Standard also plants one tree for every order placed.
And whilst you might be worried about the environmental impact of all these dyes, you can breathe easily. Colorful Standard says all of the dyes it uses to develop its various shades are all Oeko-Tex Certified. This is an independent verification scheme where its dyes have been thoroughly tested for harmful chemicals.
What’s more, Colorful Standard garment dyes its t-shirts. This means that the t-shirts are first produced, and then dyed according to demand only. This way, Colorful Standard can produce its products without wasting large quantities of dye.
Caters for: Men and Women
Sizes: S – XL
Best for: T-shirts made from bamboo
Overwhelmed by choice, and just want a sustainable t-shirt in classic black or white? Try Boody for classic short-sleeved and long-sleeved t-shirts for men and women.
All of Boody’s t-shirts are ethically made from organically grown bamboo. These are then produced by adhering to the highest standards for both the planet and its workers.
In fact, Boody is certified as both Ecocert Approved – which guarantees Boody meets the best environmentally friendly and socially conscious practices – and is PETA-approved vegan.
Boody is also a certified B-Corp. This means the brand has been independently verified as meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
The t-shirts themselves are super soft, and sweat-wicking – meaning these are great for hot days or for exercising in.
Take 15% off your first order when you sign up for Boody’s mailing list.
Caters for: Men and Women
Sizes: Women’s UK sizes 8 – 16 / Men’s sizes S – XXL
Best for: Eco-friendly t-shirts with sun protection
If you are looking for eco-friendly t-shirts for sports and exercise, then BAM is one to look at. BAM offers a wide range of t-shirts made for both men and women, which have been manufactured ethically and responsibly from sustainable materials.
Made from bamboo and organic cotton, its lightweight and highly breathable jersey t-shirts are naturally cool and comfortable. Many t-shirts in the range also have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+. This means the t-shirt blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
BAM’s t-shirts are ethically produced in Europe and Turkey, with prices around the £25 mark. Additionally, sign up for the BAM mailing list and get 10% off your first order.
Caters for: Men and Women
Sizes: Men’s XS – 3XL / Women’s UK sizes 6 – 20
Best for: Fairtrade certified t-shirts
With a focus on natural and sustainable fabrics and fair production, Thought Clothing (available at John Lewis) is a great choice when it comes to ethical fashion.
The women’s collection offers a stylish range of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Fairtrade-certified organic cotton t-shirts all under £35. Available in a range of styles, including tie-front styles, and a rainbow of colours – from pastels to jazzy hues – there is something for almost everyone.
The men’s collection has the widest selection of t-shirts. From super sustainable hemp to GOTS-certified organic cotton there is a variety of choices when it comes to styles, colours and patterns.
Looking To Sell Sustainable and Organic T-Shirts?
I often get requests from people wanting to design, print and sell their own sustainable and organic t-shirts. In particular, they are looking for recommendations for trusted suppliers or wholesalers.
I tend to point people towards Teemill. Here you can customise your own free webshop and design organic t-shirts and other products. Conveniently, every time someone makes an order from your store, it’s sent instantly to Teemill’s factory.
And there’s more to love! Every Teemill garment is designed to be returned to Teemill when it’s worn out, so it can be recycled and made into new Teemill products. Teemill rewards each return with store credit, to incentivise return.
Teemill’s sustainability credentials are not to be sneezed at. All of its garments are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and packaged in sustainable plastic-free packaging. What’s more, its print-to-order technology means zero waste, and it allows you to build an online store without inventory.
Teemill’s approach to the circular economy means old t-shirts are recovered and remade, further reducing waste. It’s a great option for starting your own ethical t-shirt business or running alongside any other products you sell.