The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable and Ethical T-Shirts - Good On You
woman wearing light pin ethical t-shirt by mate the label
17 Dec
woman wearing light pin ethical t-shirt by mate the label

The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable and Ethical T-Shirts

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!

The USA and Canada

éclipse

Rated: Good
man wearing light green ethical t-shirt by eclipse

Men’s 37.5® Short Sleeve Tee – Ships internationally from the US

éclipse creates climate control UPF 50+ clothing essentials and accessories to help keep the whole family sunsafe. It manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint, and its entire product range is vegan-friendly! Products are stocked in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Shop éclipse.

The Classic T-Shirt Company

Rated: Great
woman of colour wearing sustainable caramel crewneck tee by classic tshirt co

Womens Short Sleeve Crew Neck – Ships internationally from the US

The Classic T-Shirt Company is a US brand that creates premium tees and ethical t-shirts with luxury and integrity. All of its products are GOTS certified organic cotton and it does not use any animal products. The Classic T-Shirt Company’s range is available in US sizes XS-XXL.

See the rating.

Shop The Classic T-Shirt Company.

Threads 4 Thought

Rated: Good
woman wearing khaki t-shirt by ethical brand threads 4 thought

Imani Scoop Hem Camo Graphic Tee – Ships internationally from the US

Threads 4 Thought uses a range of sustainable materials including Lenzing Modal harvested from the limbs of beech trees. This process means that the trees are never cut down and 95% of the production materials to make the yarn are recovered and reused. The brand's manufacturers are a combination of Fair Trade USA certified and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production certified. Find the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Threads 4 Thought.

Vitamin A

Rated: Great
woman wearing sustainability is sexy tye dye t-shirt by vitamin a

Sustainability is Sexy Tee – Ships internationally from the US

Made locally in California, Vitamin A’s collections of swimwear and loungewear use a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including recycled nylon. The brand also uses a waterless process to print its designs with, reducing its chemical and water usage! Find the pieces in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Vitamin A.

Amour Vert

Rated: Good
woman wearing dark pink ethical t-shirt by amour vert

Talin Dream Rib Tee – Ships to the US, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the UK from the US

Amour Vert creates beautiful sustainable staples in San Francisco, California. Its final stage of production is done in the US and it works closely with suppliers in all of its supply chain. The brand also uses only eco-friendly materials and promotes a zero-waste strategy. The range is available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Amour Vert.

337 BRAND

Rated: Good
woman wearing dark green and red t-shirt by 337brand

Sadie T-Shirt – Ships internationally from the US

337 BRAND's leisurewear is designed to make you feel at ease, always. Inspired by nature, comfort and kindness, the brand introduces effortless-style clothing made from earth-friendly materials. Find the range in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop 337 BRAND.

Shop 337 BRAND @ ourCommonPlace.

Shop 337 BRAND @ Immaculate Vegan.

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great
woman wearing all you need is less tshirt by christy dawn

The Earth Tee – Ships internationally from the US

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women's clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand rates 'Great', making it a fabulous boho option for your wardrobe. Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

See the rating.

Shop Christy Dawn.

MATE the Label

Rated: Great
woman wearing dust pink t-shirt by mate the label

Organic Cotton Classic Tee – Ships internationally from the US

MATE the Label creates clean essentials made with GOTS certified organic fabrics and low-impact dyes. Its goal is to offer women everywhere a clean product that is just as beautiful as it is sustainable. It is proudly female-founded and is predominately operated by women. This US brand also manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint. Find the range in inclusive sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop MATE the Label.

tentree

Rated: Good
woman wearing dark green make earth great again t-shirt by tentree

Make Earth Green Again Unisex T-Shirt – Ships internationally from Canada

Offers

men and women by the ocean wearing black and white sustainable sweatshirts and hoodies by tentree brand

tentree – Hoodies and Sweatshirts

The second layer you'll never want to take off. Equal parts comfortable and sustainable. Free shipping on hoodies and sweatshirts. (USA and Canada only) (Ends: 31 JAN)

Shop now
woman wearing grey sustainable hemp face mask by ethical brand tentree

tentree – Masks

Protect the planet, your community, yourself. These washable face masks are made from recycled and re-purposed materials. Free shipping on 3-pack face masks. (USA and Canada only) (Ends: 31 JAN)

Shop now
woman reclining in stylish sustainable loungewear by tentree

tentree – Loungewear

Loungewear you'll actually want to wear out of the house. Comfy, minimal, and plays well with both sneakers and slippers! Free shipping on loungewear for men and women. (USA and Canada only)   (Ends: 31 JAN)

Shop now

tentree is a lifestyle apparel company that plants ten trees for every item purchased! The Canadian brand uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including organic cotton. It uses renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact, and has a size range of XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop tentree.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Great
woman wearing black t-shirt by canadian brand tamga designs

Rove Crew Tee – Ships internationally from Canada

Offers

woman of colour wearing floral sustainable dress by TAMGA Designs

TAMGA Designs – Dresses

Eco-friendly bohemian dresses that turn heads, as comfortable as they are kind to the Earth. 15% off dresses with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 7 FEB)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU
Shop now
woman of colour wearing floral sustainable kimono by TAMGA Designs

TAMGA Designs – Kimonos

Easy breezy robes for effortless layering at home, on the beach, or for a night out. 15% off kimonos with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 7 FEB)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU
Shop now
woman of colour wearing floral sustainable top and skirt by TAMGA Designs

TAMGA Designs – Bottoms

Get prepared to step into warmer days in ultra soft and sustainable bottoms. 15% off bottoms with code GOODONYOU. (Ends: 7 FEB)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU
Shop now
woman of colour wearing floral sustainable top by TAMGA Designs

TAMGA Designs – Tops

Seek the sun or relax indoors in flowy and feminine tops, crafted with our planet in mind. 15% off tops with code GOODONYOU (Trees Please Tee excluded). (Ends: 7 FEB)

Checkout code: GOODONYOU
Shop now

TAMGA Designs is out to prove how colourful and exciting sustainable fashion can be, serving up gorgeous, flowy designs that will glide you into warmer weather with poise and grace. TAMGA offers a range of tops, skirts, dresses, and accessories made from 100% Micro TENCEL® and LENZING™ ECOVERO™. You can find the full range of this Canadian brand in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop TAMGA Designs.

Europe and the UK

Mila.Vert

Rated: Great
woman wearing black t-shirt by ethical brand mila vert

Short-Sleeved Top – Ships internationally from Slovenia

Offers

Mila.Vert – Pullover and Scarf Set

Local craftsmanship and organic, recycled materials is what makes Mila.Vert so exquisite. Limited-time offer! Pair up pullovers and scarves to save. (Ends: 31 JAN)

Shop now

Mila.Vert – Top and Bottom Set

European-based brand Mila.Vert makes the highest quality clothing, with timeless, minimal, and chic design. Limited-time offer! Pair up tops and bottoms to save. (Ends: 31 JAN)

Shop now

Mila.Vert offers timeless, minimal, and chic clothing, adding sophisticated details that give the garments a modern feel. The Slovenia-based brand wants to make desirable clothing, avoiding the ethical and environmental issues that the fashion industry represents. Find the garments in sizes XS-XL, or make a custom fit order free of charge!

See the rating.

Shop Mila.Vert.

Kuyichi

Rated: Great
man wearing slogan t-shirt by kuyichi

Kevin Act Round Neck Tee – Ships internationally from The Netherlands

Established in 2001, Kuyichi is the first organic denim brand. With ‘Great’ labour and environmental ratings, the brand designs ethical and durable, yet trendy and modern pieces that never go out of style. Sizes XS-L are available.

See the rating.

Shop Kuyichi.

Shop Kuyichi @ Staiy.

ASKET

Rated: Good
man wearing light ethical long sleeve t-shirt by asket

The Long Sleeve T-Shirt – Ships internationally from Sweden

ASKET has been creating timeless wardrobe essentials since 2015 with revolutionary sizing and fair pricing. The brand disregards seasonal collections, cuts out all the middlemen, and only sells directly to you—putting its entire focus on building a single permanent collection. Find the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop ASKET.

TWOTHIRDS

Rated: Good
woman wearing dark striped t-shirt by twothirds

Ariadna – Ships internationally from Spain

TWOTHIRDS sees itself as a brand for people who are awake and aware of the immense value of our oceans, but also have a thirst for style and substance. It manufactures all its products locally to reduce its carbon footprint, as well as audits all of its final stage of production. The clothes can be found in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop TWOTHIRDS.

Armedangels

Rated: Great
woman wearing short sleeve orange t-shirt by armedangels

Lidaa T-Shirt Pumpkin – Ships internationally from Germany

Affordable, ethical, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a ‘Great’ rating overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men, and kids. Armedangels' quality and long-lasting pieces are made from eco-friendly and certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. The brand also adopted the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct to protect its workers abroad. Its products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Armedangels.

Shop Armedangels @ thegreenlabels.

NIKIN

Rated: Good
woman wearing dark green t-shirt by nikin

Basic Women – Ships internationally from Switzerland

If you’re the kind of person who likes to wear their morals, look no further. Not only is a tree planted every time you purchase a NIKIN product, you also get to show your tree pride! Products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop NIKIN.

LANIUS

Rated: Good
woman wearing white slogan t-shirt by LANIUS

Shirt no time | to waste – Ships within Europe from Germany

Offers

LANIUS – Pants

From classy to flirty, but always responsible: LANIUS trousers fit for every occasion. Winter Sale! Up to 20% off pants. (Europe and UK only) (Ends: 7 FEB)

Shop now

LANIUS – Tops

Fair and organic fashion with a feminine touch. Noble looks that radiate liveliness. Winter Sale! Up to 20% off tops. (Europe and UK only) (Ends: 7 FEB)

Shop now

LANIUS – Knits

Wrap yourself in the softest knitwear, perfect for relaxing at home or keeping snug outside. Winter Sale! Up to 20% off knitwear. (Europe and UK only) (Ends: 7 FEB)

Shop now

LANIUS – Coats and Jackets

LANIUS creates beautiful pieces that keep you warm while making you feel good, inside and out. Winter Sale! Up to 20% off jackets and coats. (Europe and UK only) (Ends: 7 FEB)

Shop now

“Love Fashion, Think Organic, Be Responsible” are the maxims of LANIUS. The German brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. LANIUS' clothes are available in EU sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop LANIUS.

Organic Basics

Rated: Great
woman wearing short sleeve copper t-shirt by organic basics

TENCEL™ Lite T-Shirt – Ships internationally from Denmark

Organic Basics offers high quality sustainable fashion basics for men and women in organic materials. The Denmark-based brand puts sustainable thinking at the centre of everything—it only chooses fabrics that care for our environment, and only ever partners with factories that care about their impact. Organic Basics clothes are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Organic Basics @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Organic Basics @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Organic Basics.

KnowledgeCotton Apparel

Rated: Good
white and red striped t-shirt by knowledge cotton apparel

Narrow Striped T-Shirt – Ships internationally from the UK

Believing in sustainable menswear that makes a difference, KnowledgeCotton Apparel creates long-lasting and high-quality products, using a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including GOTS certified organic cotton. Find sizes S-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop KnowledgeCotton Apparel @ Brothers We Stand.

Shop KnowledgeCotton Apparel.

Birdsong

Rated: Good
woman wearing white optimist t-shirt by ethical brand birdsong

Unisex Optimist Organic Cotton Tee – Ships internationally from the UK

Birdsong is a boutique label producing gorgeous womenswear. Its clothes are handmade in London by knitters and seamstresses earning above the London living wage. The business is built on a philosophy of fairness and authenticity, promising customers “no sweatshop, no photoshop”. Birdsong's products are inclusively sizes from 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Birdsong.

Mother of Pearl

Rated: Good
woman wearing white t-shirt with pearls from mother of pearl

Mintie T-Shirt – Ships internationally from the UK

Mother of Pearl is a sustainable and ethical luxury womenswear and accessories designer brand that celebrates individuality and authenticity. The brand uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including organic cotton and ensure the payment of a living wage across some of its supply chain. Find most products in UK sizes 6 to 16.

See the rating.

Shop Mother of Pearl @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Mother of Pearl.

Plant Faced Clothing

Rated: Good
man wearing black earthling t-shirt by vegan brand plant faced clothing

Earthling Tee – Ships internationally from the UK

Streetwear without sweatshops, that's the motto of this 100% plant-based, ethical, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free streetwear apparel brand. Buy Plant Faced Clothing in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Plant Faced Clothing.

RÆBURN

Rated: Good
white ethical t-shirt by raeburn

Ethos Graphic Cotton Jersey T-Shirt – Ships internationally from the UK

British streetwear brand RÆBURN makes an art out of upcycling. This is a fashion-forward brand for men and women that creates sharp looks from military surplus, with materials that include 1950s Airforce silk maps, and Danish military wool blankets. It also offers free repairs so you can take care of your precious investment pieces. Find most of the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop RÆBURN @ Luisa via Roma.

Shop RÆBURN @ Farfetch.

WAWWA

Rated: Good
man wearing white logo t-shirt by ethical brand wawwa

Soul Desert T-Shirt White – Ships internationally from the UK

WAWWA aims to make clothing that puts the Earth and its inhabitants first by creating organic, fairtrade, and vegan friendly clothing with a positive social impact. Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop WAWWA.

studio JUX

Rated: Great
black t-shirt by studio jux

Organic Cotton Crewneck T-Shirt – Ships internationally form the Netherlands

Amsterdam based studio JUX designs fairtrade and sustainable clothes and jewellery with their own factory in Kathmandu, focusing on women empowerment projects. Find most products in sizes 34 to 42 for women and S to XL for men.

See the rating.

Shop Studio JUX @ Staiy.

Shop Studio JUX.

Australia and New Zealand

Boody

Rated: Good
man wearing dark grey ethical long sleeve t-shirt by boody

Men’s Long Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt – Ships internationally from Australia

Made from organically grown bamboo, Boody is an Australian clothing brand that supports the trend for all things green and ethical. Find the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Boody.

Tasi Travels

Rated: Good
woman wearing white ethical t-shirt by tasi travels

Womens Elsewhere Tee – Ships internationally from Australia

For travelwear designed for adventures, look no further than Australian brand Tasi Travels. Boasting a stunning collection of handmade garments in eco-friendly materials that are made-to-order, you can feel good out in the world knowing you are leaving a light footprint behind. Garments come in sizes S/M and M/L.

See the rating.

Shop Tasi Travels.

Afends

Rated: Good
couple wearing unisex dark green t-shirt by afends

Kicked Out Retro Fit Unisex Tee – Ships internationally from Australia

Afends is a Byron Bay based fashion brand leading the way in organic hemp fashion, using renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact. You can find the full range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Afends.

Etiko

Rated: Great
light grey t-shirt by etiko

Bike Fish Grey T-Shirt – Ships internationally from Australia

Etiko is a designer of organic, eco-friendly, and fair trade clothing and shoes. Find the clothes in AU sizes 8-20, and the shoes in UK sizes 3-13.

See the rating.

Shop Etiko.

Arnsdorf

Rated: Good
woman wearing light grey t-shirt by arnsdorf

Organic Fitted Rib Tee – Ships internationally from Australia

Arnsdorf is a Melbourne and New York-based label by designer Jade Sarita Arnott, who brings a background in sculpture to her sharp but feminine designs. Arnsdorf uses some eco-friendly textiles such as organic cotton, Tencel and hemp, and minimises waste by producing only small runs of each line. Its clothes are all made in-house in Melbourne and it traces most of its supply chain. Find the garments in sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop Arnsdorf.

HARA

Rated: Great
woman wearing red sustainable t-shirt by hara the label

Yoko Classic T-Shirt – Ships internationally from Australia

HARA is a clothing label designed for you and our earth collectively. The brand specialises in organic bamboo cotton underwear and loungewear, with its vibrant colours achieved naturally with Turmeric, Indigo, and Madder Root plants. HARA's products are inclusively sized with a range of XS-5XL!

See the rating.

Shop HARA The Label.

Citizen Wolf

Rated: Great
woman wearing black sustainable t-shirt by citizen wolf

The Rolled Half-Scoop w/ Pocket – Ships internationally from Australia

Citizen Wolf is using revolutionary technology to give you high-quality custom fit t-shirts. It's so confident in its t-shirts that it guarantees they’ll be the best you’ve ever worn! After capturing your customisations, the brand hand makes each tee in Sydney from certified 100% organic cotton milled in Melbourne.

See the rating.

Shop Citizen Wolf.

Kowtow

Rated: Great
woman wearing light pink ethical t-shirt by kowtow

Rose V Neck Tee – Ships internationally from New Zealand

Kowtow uses organic, fair trade cotton and non-toxic dyes to produce its clothes. It designs elegant, timeless womenswear, and also has a range of ceramics. Find the clothes in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Kowtow @ Reve en Vert.

Shop Kowtow.

Maggie Marilyn

Rated: Good
woman wearing white printed t-shirt by maggie marilyn

Abstract Print Cotton T-Shirt – Ships internationally from New Zealand

Need-to-know designer Maggie Marilyn’s clothes are defined by her strong sense of luxury and fresh point of view. Inspired to create collections that are sustainable as well as beautiful, the New Zealand-based label utilizes organic cottons and ethically produced silks to craft effortlessly glamorous designs. Sizes available are XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Maggie Marilyn @ Farfetch.

Asia

The R Collective

Rated: Great
dark blue short sleeve ethical t-shirt by the r collective

Ordo Tee – Ships internationally from Hong Kong

The R Collective's womenswear collections are made by reusing rescued excess materials from leading luxury brands and reputable manufacturers. The brand uses a high-proportion of eco-friendly materials, which limits the amount of chemicals, water and wastewater used in production. It also ensures the payment of a living wage in its supply chain, which is why we rated it 'Great'! The garments are offered in two sizes: XS-S and M-L.

See the rating.

Shop The R Collective.

Shop The R Collective @ ourCommonplace.

No Nasties

Rated: Great
man wearing white and light green printed t-shirt by no nasties

Hipster Tee – Ships internationally from India

Another leader when it comes to ethical fashion, No Nasties makes simple and stylish clothing from Fairtrade organic cotton in India where they are actively working to grow the ethical consumer market. Find the clothes in sizes S-XL. NOTE: The tees are all currently sold out, but you can join the waitlist.

See the rating.

Shop No Nasties.

Shop No Nasties @ Made Trade.

Dorsu

Rated: Great
woman wearing beige t-shirt by dorsu

Classic T-Shirt – Ships internationally from Cambodia

Based in Cambodia, Dorsu creates everyday basics and key signature favourites that form the core of any conscious wardrobe. You can find the full range in XS to XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dorsu.

Editor's note

Feature image via MATE the Label, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world's most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. Use the Directory to search more than 2,500 brands. To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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