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Ethical Fashion, Life & Style

Best Sustainable T-Shirts To Add To Your Ethical Wardrobe

Looking for an ethical and organic t-shirt? Here are the Moral Fibres’ top recommendations for sustainable t-shirts – from organic and Fairtrade cotton and more.

To help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. This means that Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items purchased through these links. This income helps keep this site running.

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 much choice, how do you work out what the best t-shirts are, free from greenwashing?

The Best Sustainable T-Shirts For The Ethical Shopper

Person wearing a white t-shirt and black trousers, with a blue text box that reads guide to the best sustainable t-shirts for men and women.

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.

Allbirds

Person wearing a grey Allbirds sustainable t-shirt

Budget: £ – ££

Caters For: Men and Women

Sizes: Women’s UK 4 – 26 / Men’s XS – 3XL

Allbirds*, the ethical shoe retailer, has a small but perfectly formed range of super size-inclusive casual t-shirts for men and women made responsibly from sustainable materials.

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.


Birdsong Sustainable T-Shirts

Person wearing a white Birdsong tee.

Budget: £

Caters For: Unisex Styles

Sizes XS – 5XL

Birdsong London* produces ethically made unisex slogan t-shirts.  All of its clothing is made in East London by talented women, who would otherwise face barriers to employment, and who are paid a London living wage. What’s more, Birdsong London only source from the most ecologically friendly and high-quality suppliers it can find.

Materials include responsible materials like bamboo lyocell, Tencel, organic cotton, and reclaimed fabrics from charities like Traid, for clothing with a low impact on the planet.

Another positive is that Birdsong London orders are posted by Mail Out. This is an organisation that supports the well-being of people with learning disabilities and offers apprenticeships in warehousing.


Colorful Standard

Person wearing a beige Colorful Standard organic t-shirt.

Budget: £

Caters For: Men and Women and Unisex Styles

Sizes: XS – XXL

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 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 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 easy.  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.

Browse the selection of hoodies directly via the Colorful Standard website*.


Organic Basics

Person wearing a white Organic Basics tee.

Budget: £ – ££

Caters for: Men and Women

Sizes: XXS – 3XL

Organic Basics* offer a wide range of styles of organic t-shirts for both men and women, in neutral colourways.

The majority of Organic Basics sustainable t-shirts are made in Europe from pure organic cotton. This gives a natural stretch without the need for any synthetic blends.

All Organic Basics clothing is made in better working conditions with living wages, no child labour, freely chosen employment and respect for the environment.

Its ethical t-shirts are also PETA “Vegan Approved”. This means that the product is cruelty-free – and that it does not contain any animal products or by-products.

Use the exclusive discount code WENDYOBC to take 10% off your order.


Lavender Hill

Person wearing a Lavender Hill t-shirt in pale blue.

Budget: £

Caters for: Women

Sizes: 6 – 18

Lavender Hill* specialises in affordable yet luxurious ethical tops and t-shirts that are designed to form a key part of your wardrobe.

Available in a wide range of fits, necklines, sleeve lengths and neutral colours – these unfussy wardrobe staples have been designed to always be in style and to work with everything you already have.

Lavender Hill makes the majority of its clothing in the UK, using only traceable natural fabrics such as linen and Tencel, and using only environmentally friendly dyes.


Boody

Person wearing a black Boody sustainable top.

Budget: £

Caters for: Men and Women

Sizes: S – XL

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.


Bam: Bamboo

Person wearing a black BAM: Bamboo tee.

Budget: £

Caters for: Men and Women

Sizes: Women’s UK sizes 8 – 16 / Men’s sizes S – XXL

If you are looking for eco-friendly t-shirts for sports and exercise, then BAM: Bamboo Clothing* 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 to the Bam: Bamboo mailing list and get 10% off your first order.


Thought Clothing

Person wearing Thought hemp t-shirt in navy.

Budget: £

Caters for: Men and Women

Sizes: Men’s XS – 3XL / Women’s UK sizes 6 – 20

With a focus on natural and sustainable fabrics and fair production, Thought Clothing* 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 organic cotton there is a variety of choices when it comes to styles, colours and patterns.

Sign up to the Thought mailing list, and get 15% off your first order.


Finisterre Sustainable Organic T-Shirts

Person wearing a cream Finisterre T-shirt

Budget: £

Caters for: Men and Women

Sizes: Men’s XS – XXL / Women’s UK size 8 – 18

Finisterre* designs sustainable outdoor clothing that is inspired by the sea.

Using eco-friendly materials, such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton, renewable and recyclable textiles and natural fibres and finishes, the result is an impressive sustainable collection of clothing. This includes men’s and women’s t-shirts in a variety of styles and fun designs, all designed to last.

What’s also to love is that your order is posted out to you using plastic-free packaging. You won’t find any sneaky plastic at Finisterre!

Take 10% off your first order when you sign up to the Finisterre mailing list.

Looking To Sell Sustainable and Organic T-Shirts?

I often get requests from people wanting to design and print, and sell their own sustainable and organic t-shirts, and 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.

Teemill organic t-shirt design

Teemill then prints the design directly to the garment, packs it, and ships it straight to your customers. Teemill also deals with any returns, making it a hassle-free process.

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 to run alongside any other products you sell.


Looking for more ethical clothing recommendations? Do check out my guides to ethical women’s clothing and ethical men’s clothing.

Ethical Fashion, Life & Style

How To Shop For Preloved Clothes Like A Pro

Shop for preloved clothes like a pro with these clever tips from ethical fashion expert Laura Strutt.

To help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. This means that Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items purchased through these links. This income helps keep this site running.

Laura Strutt, the author of the ethical fashion handbook Fix Your Fashion*, is a font of information and inspiration when it comes to sustainable style.

Fix Your Fashion is full of activities and practical tips on how you can cut ties with unethical fashion practices and form new fashion habits that work for you – all without compromising your signature style.

Covering topics such as motivational mindset changes, trusted brands to try, buying and selling secondhand clothes, inspiration for upcycles, mending techniques and questions to ask companies before you shop, it’s a practical handbook for anyone who wants to create a wardrobe that doesn’t cost the Earth.

Shopping secondhand is a great place to start making your wardrobe more ethical, so Laura is here with some seriously useful advice to help remove some of the barriers to getting started.

The Joy of Preloved Clothes

Secondhand clothing has (thankfully) had a considerable glow up in recent years. It’s gone from something that we should be perhaps ashamed to admit to a celebrated thing. And I am here for that!

While growing up, secondhand clothing allowed me to experiment with my style to fit my modest teenage clothing budget.

I briefly had a Saturday job in a local charity shop. There was no greater joy than arriving early for my shift on a Saturday to see the selection of preloved clothes the weekday staff had set aside for me. The perks of being the only teenager on the work rota!

However, the joy I found in cast-off biker boots, Stevie Nicks style scarfs, grandad jumpers and baby cord flares was slightly marred by the bad rep that shopping at a charity shop had.

There seemed to be this idea that it wasn’t cool to buy secondhand clothes. That it meant you couldn’t afford to go to a ‘real shop’. That somehow the clothes weren’t as good. With these ideas flying around, it is no wonder people would give secondhand clothing a wide berth.

Thankfully, not only did my time volunteering in a charity shop give me a very eclectic wardrobe. It also gave me an understanding of how clothes were processed for sale and the concept of circular fashion, re-donating items when they fell out of rotation.

Not everyone has had such a positive experience with secondhand clothing. Maybe they may even feel a little uncomfortable about the stigma surrounding it. As embracing preloved clothing can seem a little daunting at first, here are some tips on leaping into a love affair with preloved clothes.

How To Shop For Preloved Clothes

A person looking through a rail of secondhand clothing with a blue text box that reads how to shop for preloved clothes like a pro.

If you’re not used to second-hand shopping, it can be overwhelming.

One of the main differences to high street browsing is that you never know what you’re going to find. If you’re after something specific, it can be frustrating, but it makes the purchase even sweeter when you finally find that perfect vintage jacket!

Here is how to get the very best when shopping for preloved and vintage clothes:

Size Wise

The size on the tag is almost irrelevant. Of course, that number doesn’t define us, but this is even more true with vintage clothes, as they were made for different body forms using different measurements than clothes today.

Most vintage retailers will share the measurements of the items, so it’s a good idea to know your own body measurements. The key ones to check are full bust (around your back and over the fullest part of your bust), waist, hips and hem length.

For more tailored garments, you can get closer to your perfect fit by getting to know your inside leg, shoulder width and sleeve length.

Take Your Time

Don’t leave it until the last minute to look for the right vintage piece for a special occasion. This method of shopping is the opposite of fast fashion, so where you gain uniqueness, you may lose convenience (or the fallacy of it!). It might take longer to find preloved clothes that fit your requirements, style and budget.

Customise and Tailor

Regular vintage clothing buyers get pieces altered so that they fit just right. Sizing can be hard to gauge, so you might want to size up when buying vintage online. Not only does this avoid the disappointment of a top that doesn’t fit, but it also gives you the option of taking it in and getting it fitted.

A well-fitted item will really steal the show. You may want to learn a few tips for getting handy with a needle and thread if you aren’t already. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to take in seams, add darts and remove sleeves unless skyscraper shoulder pads are your thing!

Be Budget Mindful When Shopping For Preloved Clothes

It can be all too easy when shopping online to get caught up in the moment and throw in a high bid just before an auction finishes, paying over the odds. Before getting trigger-happy on the bidding button, check the going prices for similar items and set your budget.

Affluent Areas

Pick the posh end of town when visiting charity shops. It might sound bizarre, but you often find that the quality of the garments that have been donated is quite high. You might even find some desirable labels in there!

Charity Click

Second-hand clothing isn’t limited to auction sites. If you have a favourite charity shop, be sure to check out their online charity shop fronts.

Familiar names like Oxfam, Cancer Research, The British Red Cross, Save The Children and the Royal Trinity Hospice can be found on ASOS Marketplace* with 100 percent of the proceeds returning to the nominated charities.

Thanks so much, Laura, for these seriously useful tips! If you have any other tips for shopping for preloved pieces, then as always, do share with the Moral Fibres community in the comments below.