If we had to crown a single item of clothing as The Queen of Basics, it would be the versatile and ubiquitous t-shirt. Just about everyone wears tees. Whether paired with some jeans for a classic outfit combo, or worn under a jumpsuit or slip dress for a more quirky look, this is a basic that will see you through all seasons and styles. It’s also a building block for both giving your basics an ethical overhaul, and when putting together a capsule wardrobe. Chances are you know you want a t-shirt that meets your needs and the planet’s—but what makes a t-shirt ethical or sustainable in the first place, and where can you find one?
What makes a sustainable and ethical tee?
Most of us will throw our t-shirt on in the morning without a second (or even first) thought about its origins. But as conscious consumers, it’s important for us to ask questions like: who made my tee? Were they paid a living wage? And is the tee made from sustainable fabric? These questions aren’t easily answered, especially as you’re about to run out the door or just need to grab a new shirt for a casual Monday. The good news is, there are tons of terrific tees out there that tick the sustainability boxes. But what about your boxes?
We don’t know about you, but what we’re looking for in a t-shirt is the right size, the right price, the right style, and the right ethics. We’ve scoured the planet for sustainable and ethical t-shirts and rounded up our top 36 brands that meet our ratings criteria to be classified as ‘Good’ or ‘Great’ overall. They include organic t-shirts like those from The Classic T-Shirt Company (US), Organic Basics (Denmark), and Birdsong (UK); custom made options like from Mila.Vert (Slovenia), and Citizen Wolf (Australia); brands with extended sizing like HARA (Australia), and MATE the Label (US), and many more options to boot. Here’s hoping one or more of these will tick your boxes, too!
It’s a long list, so we’ve organised it by country first. Don’t forget you can also search for brands in any category on the Good On You brand Directory, where we’ve rated nearly 3,000 fashion brands. Let’s go!