Ethically Made T-Shirts For Every Gender Identity

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We’ll tell you! We ranked ethical t-shirts based on their environmental, human rights, and animal rights impact. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are comfy on lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion

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Intro

You’re here because you want ethically made t-shirts that are soft, flattering, and ethically sourced. You don’t want the scratchy kind that is made in a sweatshop and loses color after 3 washes….nooo!

The t-shirts mentioned here? They’re good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days.

So, whether you are a man, woman, or non-binary ethical t-shirt hunter, I’ve got you covered.

This guide gives you the ins and outs of everything you need to know about ethically made t-shirts. That means that I’ll tell you about the best ethical white t-shirt but also the best sustainable graphic tees.

If you’re curious about where to buy wholesale fair trade t-shirts for your next big event, I’ll give you some tips on the best places to find them!

The way I’ve ranked the best ethically made t-shirts is by taking into consideration ALL possible ethical causes that the shirt’s production could go to. This includes environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes.

Next, I break down the good and the bad and compare them to the value of what you get for your dollar. Sound good? Let’s dive in!

Best Overall – Thought Clothing

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

WHY IS THIS SPECIAL? Thought is in our “best overall” spot because their ethically made t-shirts are affordable, stylish, and BOTH environmentally and socially responsible. That means that they take definitive action towards sourcing high-quality t-shirts without compromising the treatment of humans or the environment. We love that! One of our favorite features of shopping with Thought is that you can easily shop by your desired material (eg. hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, etc.) and ethical certifications (Fairtrade, GOTS cotton, etc.). Not only can you filter by ethical materials, but you can also see the certifications that each shirt is qualified for in the preview image.

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

ETHICS:

  • Thought makes a variety of ethical t-shirts with organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp.
  • They don’t use any plastic in their packaging. Woohoo!
  • Their garment bags are 100% biodegradable.
  • Their cotton products are made with GOTS certified organic cotton. You can click here to shop for their organic cotton products or use the filters on the website.
  • Even their clothing labels are made from organic cotton.
  • Many of their t-shirts are Fairtrade and GOTS certified. You can see the certifications in the preview images when shopping for t-shirts.
  • Even though many of their products are made by workers in China, Thought transports all of its products by sea instead of a plane to reduce their carbon footprint!
  • Transparency is something that Thought seems to take pretty seriously. You can easily find their Code of Conduct for labor sourcing, their Environmental Policy, and their Animal Welfare Policy on their website.

If you want more details Thought’s ethics, they have many pages of information on how they source their materials and labor under the “Our World” tab as shown in this screenshot:

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

INCLUSIVITY: Thought is very…thoughtful. In fact, we think that they have the best consistent variety of t-shirts (short sleeve AND long sleeve!) for both men and women styles. So if you are non-binary, you should be able to find an ethical t-shirt that is both flattering for your style and comfortable to wear.

GOOD FOR:

  • Ethical shoppers who want to support both environmental and social causes
  • Styles suitable for men and women
  • Non-binary peeps
  • Comfortable basics for men and women styles
  • Stylish tops for women styles
  • Decent mix of basic, graphic tee, and fashionable style shirts
  • Easy shopping experience with material and ethical certification filters
  • Good color variety for both men and women styles
  • When their t-shirts are on sale, they are more affordable! You can sometimes find some as low as £16 (~$20 USD)

NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Tight budgets – each shirt is around £30 (~$37 USD). That’s a pretty expensive t-shirt! But, for the amount of effort that the company puts into ethically sourcing high-quality and well-designed t-shirts, I’d say this is a fair trade in the ethical fashion world! HINT: shop for the t-shirts that are on sale 😉

SHOP | the average t-shirt is £30 (~$37 USD)

Best Budget $12 – EcoConscious

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

WHY IS THIS SPECIAL? If all you want is an ethically made t-shirt at a low price, then EcoConscious is the brand for you! EcoConscious t-shirts are so affordable that you could buy 2-3 EcoConscious shirts with the same money you would put towards the average sustainable clothing brand. This is possible because EcoConscious specializes in making sustainable t-shirts. The best part of this is that they put in tons of thought towards sourcing sustainable materials. They even have an entire fabric guide!

ETHICS:

  • EcoConscious is Organic Trade Association (OTA) certified.
  • EcoConscious does not use any animal fibers and is PETA-approved vegan.
  • EcoConscious is part of the Rodale Institute which means they contribute to research on the best practices of organic agriculture.
  • They have a thorough FAQ page for questions regarding the sustainable sourcing of their fabrics.
  • You can also find an in-depth guide to the fabrics that they use in their clothing. Find info on everything from heathered fleece to non-woven polypropylene!

INCLUSIVITY: In our opinion, the women and men styles are pretty much the same. Basically, the designs are pretty…basic. None of their designs are especially feminine or masculine. The positive side of this is that you should definitely be able to find a staple set of ethical t-shirts for your wardrobe – without going broke! Between the men and women styles, there is a wide range of sizes, colors, and fabric blends to choose from.

  • Their basic long-sleeve and short-sleeve t-shirts come in a wide variety of colors.
  • They have more fabric varieties for men’s t-shirt styles, but their fair range in sizes means that even women and non-binary peeps can still pull off a sexy men’s t-shirt.

GOOD FOR:

  • Ethical shoppers who want to support environmental causes
  • Low-cost ethical t-shirts. Starting at only $11 USD, this is your best bet for buying your essential t-shirts from a variety of sustainable materials.
  • Styles suitable for men and women
  • Non-binary peeps
  • Wholesale ethical t-shirts. Are you planning an event for a big group of people? EcoConscious has detailed information about purchasing bulk amounts of sustainable clothing from them. They’ll give you information about their fabrics, colors, screenprinting, and factories.
  • Private labelling ethical t-shirts. Do you want to start your own sustainable or ethical t-shirt brand? EcoConscious can help you do that! Check out this page to learn about what they’ll do to help you create a custom ethical t-shirt brand that you can call your own.

NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Ethical shoppers who want to support social causes. Even though you can find information about their factories, EcoConscious provides limited information on how they source their labor, how they treat their workers, and how they give back to social causes.

SHOP | from $11-$44 depending on the fabric

Best Runner Up – Krochet Kids

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

WHY IS THIS SPECIAL? Krochet Kids is our favorite apparel and accessories brand that goes full-force on selling products that empower marginalized groups of people. How? They focus on a long-term model that allows communities in need to sustain themselves in the long-term. All of their products are handmade in either Peru or Uganda and are signed by the women who make them. Since the brand’s main focus is social responsibility, they don’t always use the most sustainable materials – it’s a balancing act, remember? That means that you might still find some acrylic or non-organic cotton.

ETHICS:

  • Krochet Kids helped co-create the production facilities which are now run by local leaders in Uganda & Peru. This means that the facilities can be sustained on their own for many years to come.
  • Their goal is to become a brand that creates life-changing jobs for women & men who create their products. Because let’s be real – a dignified job that pays fairly is 10x better than an underappreciated job that doesn’t even pay a living wage.
  • By empowering men and women with long-term jobs that offer living wages, Krochet Kids has indirectly helped children reach higher levels of education and helped local communities build start new businesses. All of this goes full-circle to help the communities in need sustain and grow themselves – without direct help in the long-term!

INCLUSIVITY: We find both the women and men designs to look very fashionable because of the unique accents and cuts that are added to a simple base design. That’s one of the main reasons why we added Krochet Kids to this list. Not only are the t-shirts ethically sourced, but their clever designs allow people of all gender identities to feel comfortable and attractive.

GOOD FOR:

  • Ethical shoppers who want to support social causes.
  • Styles suitable for men and women
  • Non-binary peeps
  • Stylish tops for women styles
  • Decent mix of basic, graphic tee, and fashionable style shirts
  • When Krochet Kids has their annual spring warehouse sale, you’ll be able to buy their ethical t-shirts and other apparel for $10 each!

NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Ethical shoppers who want to support environmental causes. Krochet Kids does NOT focus on environmental sustainability. That means that pretty much all of their materials are synthetic and unsustainable. They also have no information on their sustainability practices on their website.
  • Tight budgets. Usually, Krochet Kids products are pretty expensive…BUT if you visit their website during their spring warehouse sale, you’ll be able to buy their ethical t-shirts and other apparel for $10 each!

SHOP | each top is about $50 USD

Best Sustainable Graphic Tees – Etiko

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

WHY IS THIS SPECIAL? Etiko is an Australian clothing brand that produces certified organic cotton, fair trade & vegan clothing. Their ethical t-shirts are only made from organic cotton. So you won’t find any hemp, bamboo, or Tencel shirts here. But they have a very wide range of fairtrade organic cotton t-shirts with blank designs or with graphic tee designs. Our favorites are the graphic tee designs since not many ethical brands make them.

ETHICS:

  • Etiko is pretty balanced in both social and environmental causes, but they don’t go too deep in either realm. Instead, they focus on a couple of initiatives for each cause. For environmental causes, they focus on creating organic cotton and some vegan products. For social causes, they focus on creating fair trade products.
  • Their apparel is made from 100% organic cotton.
  • Etiko is GOTS organic cotton certified.
  • Etiko is Fair Trade certified.
  • Etiko is a Certified B Corporation.
  • Etiko follows the SA8000 Standard which means they try to ensure that their labor is sourced within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions.
  • Etiko has been given the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex product label which means that they try to reduce the use of potentially harmful chemicals in their textiles.
  • Some of their products are made with techniques that are carbon neutral.
  • Etiko has a “Take Back Program” for their sneakers and thongs/sandals (not t-shirts yet!). For every pair of sneakers or sandals that you send back to them, Etiko will issue you a $10 store voucher.
  • You can read more about Etiko’s environmental statement on their website.
  • Etiko has a detailed page on their environmental and social impacts. It’s like a long infographic!

INCLUSIVITY: Etiko’s ethical graphic t-shirts are made in three size types: child, unisex, and women. In terms of style, they are pretty much the same designs across all size types. That means that no matter your body type or gender identity, you should be able to find one of Etiko’s graphic tees to fit your body the way you want it to.

GOOD FOR:

  • Ethical shoppers who want to support BOTH environmental and social causes
  • Sustainably made graphic tees for any gender identity
  • Sustainably made blank t-shirts (long-sleeve and short-sleeve) for any gender identity
  • Gender neutral t-shirt designs for both men and women sizes
  • Non-binary peeps

NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Fashionable tees with unique cuts or accents
  • Tight budgets. Each t-shirt is around $40 USD once you add shipping costs. And even their sale t-shirts cost around $30. If you’re on a tight budget, you might have to save some more money for an Etiko graphic tee.

SHOP | each graphic tee is about $35 USD

Best Ethical T-Shirts Under $50 – Fair Indigo

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

WHY IS THIS SPECIAL? We weren’t going to put Fair Indigo on our list because even though they met our ethical threshold, they didn’t have enough design variety for men and women styles. However, before publishing this article, we checked back and found that they were releasing a good number of new designs that make them worth mentioning.

Fair Indigo is special because they are similar to Krochet Kids in that they support a model of helping communities in need to sustain themselves in the long-term. The big difference between Fair Indigo and Krochet Kids is that Fair Indigo is much more environmentally conscious!

ETHICS:

  • All of their dyes are certified to the Oeko-tex 100 standard which means that they try to reduce the use of potentially harmful chemicals in their textiles.
  • Their t-shirts are either 100% organic Pima cotton OR they are 95% organic Pima cotton and 5% spandex stretch jersey. The spandex jersey is not the most sustainable material, but Fair Indigo chose to compromise that 5% for comfort and fit for some of their designs.
  • Fair Indigo is NOT Fair Trade certified but they claim to pay their artisans and workers fairly. All of their ethical t-shirts are made in Lima, Peru. You can find more information about the ethical production process here.
  • Fair Indigo runs a non-profit organization called The Fair Indigo Foundation. Donations to their organization help to improve educational opportunities for children in the Peruvian communities where Fair Indigo’s products are made. The organization states that “every penny donated goes directly to supporting schools, teachers, and kids”.

INCLUSIVITY: You’ll notice that both their women and men’s styles are quite plain with few color varieties. Overall, their current design offerings are limited. Since we already have another, more affordable brand with basic offerings (EcoConscious), this is one reason why we almost didn’t include Fair Indigo on our list.

However, with the promise of adding new designs that could make more bodies happy and comfortable, we decided that Fair Indigo is going in a decent direction of inclusivity. Their sizes for both women and men should cover most bodies. Although, we suggest checking their size charts for each individual t-shirt and top to make sure that you get the right size.

GOOD FOR:

  • Ethical shoppers who want to support BOTH environmental and social causes
  • Basic long-sleeve and short-sleeve sustainable t-shirt designs
  • Gender neutral t-shirt designs
  • Non-binary peeps
  • Feminine t-shirt designs with inclusive sizing (coming soon)
  • Simple t-shirt colors and designs for men sizes

NOT GOOD FOR:

  • Graphic tee designs
  • Tight budgets. At about $40 per shirt, it can be expensive to buy a simple t-shirt from Fair Indigo. However, when you buy 2 or 3 shirts in one transaction, you can often get a pretty good deal (eg. 2 for $70). For shirts that help environmental and social causes, this could be a fair trade. 😉

SHOP | each shirt is about $40 USD

FAQ

Are Fair Indigo’s t-shirts ethical?

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

YES! But exactly how ethical?

If you read our Fair Indigo section above, you’ll notice that we almost didn’t include the brand in our list. However, this has little to do with their ethics and more about their inclusivity and price point. When it comes to ethics, Fair Indigo earns a healthy amount of points from us because they are conscious of their environmental AND social impact when producing high-quality clothes. They even directly address their mission to tackle fast fashion.

The main downside we see with Fair Indigo’s ethical practices is that they are not transparent enough about the way they treat their workers. Usually, companies try to attain fair labor certifications (eg. B Corporation, Fair Trade, etc.) to show their customers that they are following a set standard of fair labor treatment. Unfortunately, Fair Indigo doesn’t seem to be too transparent about these practices. They have one page about their ethical creation process and we have to take their word for it.

To us, this isn’t enough…because transparency is key. If they aren’t 100% transparent, they could and probably are hiding unethical practices.

So, are Fair Indigo’s t-shirts ethical? Yes! But, as always, it’s a balancing act and they have some gaps to fill in the fair labor realm.

Where can I buy fair trade t-shirts for wholesale?

We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

Good question! We recommend Cotopaxi.

What are Cotopaxi’s fair trade ethics?

  • Cotopaxi has balanced and active initiatives towards fair trade, ethical labor standards, and sustainability causes.
  • Cotopaxi’s t-shirts are Fair Trade certified.
  • Cotopaxi is a certified B Corporation which means they passed rigorous standards of ethical conduct. Learn more about ethical certifications here.
  • Cotopaxi gives back 1% of their annual revenues to their own non-profit – the Cotopaxi Foundation. It might seem sleazy to donate to your own organization so that you can get a huge tax write-off (and we agree)…but we give Cotopaxi some leeway because their organization financially supports other nonprofits that specialize in alleviating poverty.
  • Their slogan is “Do good” and they even named their business model the “Do Good Model”.
  • They give back their time and resources to communities in emergency situations (eg. refugees, disease prevention, etc.).
  • Here is their annual impact report and information on their factories.

What are the requirements to buy wholesale fair trade t-shirts from Cotopaxi?

  • The minimum quantity of product you can order is 25 units. This order can include both men’s and women’s product, plus multiple color combinations.
  • You can purchase samples from their website. The samples come with free shipping and they can be returned within 30 days if you pay the $5 restocking fee.
  • All wholesale purchases are final.

How do I place a wholesale order for fair trade t-shirts from Cotopaxi?

Simply use the contact form on their wholesale program page here. Their team members will get in touch with you ASAP!

Where should I buy wholesale sustainable t-shirts?

If you’re looking for sustainably made t-shirts for wholesale, then we suggest EcoConcsious.

Why are ethical t-shirts better?

That’s a great question!

Ethically made clothing is better because their production is not wasteful and can provide people with humane living conditions. This might sound trivial, but most clothing companies use unsustainable and inhumane working conditions to manufacture their products.

There are actually other differences between a typical white t-shirt and an ethical white t-shirt. Here are a few:

  • Ethical t-shirts are made with high-quality materials designed to last for many many years.
  • Some ethical t-shirts are made with conscious decisions that help improve our environment’s health. This can mean that the shirt was made from organic cotton or sustainable materials like hemp, bamboo, Tencel, or modal. It can also mean that coloring the t-shirt with dyes didn’t use toxic chemicals that could harm you and the environment. These t-shirts are considered to be sustainably-made.
  • Some ethical t-shirts are made to support communities in need with dignified jobs that pay fairly. Many clothing makers around the world are underpaid and work under modern slavery conditions. Ethical t-shirts that are sourced from fair labor can mean that the shirt was handmade by workers who are treated and paid well. It can also mean that the clothing brand helps create a factory or facility that the community then maintains on their own in the long-term which can financially support them for many years to come.

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We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org
We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org
We reviewed the 5 best ethically made t-shirts you could possibly buy online today. Which t-shirts are more sustainable or fair trade? We'll tell you! We ranked every option based on their work towards environmental causes, human rights causes, and animal rights causes. The best part? These ethical t-shirts are good for lazy Sundays and even hot, sweaty summer days. #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #ecofashion #humanofimpact | humanofimpact.org

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