Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Colorful Standard #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Colorful Standard
Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Organic Basics #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics
Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Santicler #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by SANTICLER

9 Organic Cotton T Shirts For A Lower Impact Summer


Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. 

Fairtrade brand, The Classic T-Shirt Company is a t shirt specialist that uses only GOTS certified organic cotton and Azo free dyes.

The Good Tee puts some of the supply chain in your hands with their natural dye kit that allows you to finish making your own sustainable organic cotton t shirt! 

Speaking of colors, Colorful Standard offers pure organic cotton tees in dozens of unique colors to complement every occasion and outfit.

For more about what it means to achieve sustainabiliTEE, head to the end of the article.

*This post contains affiliate links

1. COLORFUL STANDARD

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Colorful Standard #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Colorful Standard
About Colorful Standard

Colorful Standard stands for holding the fashion industry to a higher standard. 

It shouldn’t be difficult to make a sustainable choice, nor should our wardrobes risk the health of workers or the environment. 

Colorful Standard’s unique way of making clothes includes a vertically integrated supply chain, long-lasting clothes, inclusive styles, and climate positive production. 

While they also use Merino wool and make hoodies, eco friendly sweatpants, and socks, let’s talk about their unisex, men’s and women’s organic cotton t shirts.

They’re available in short and long-sleeved styles and in any color under the sun—41 colors, to be exact.

Colorful Standard’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Colorful Standard’s PETA-approved vegan organic cotton t shirt is made with 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and eco-friendly, OEKO-TEX certified dye. 

It’s 140g fabric, so it’s a durable and anti-pilling wardrobe essential. They’re also pre-washed to minimize shrinking and extend wear. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Colorful Standard products are “fair, organic, and uncomplicated.”

Everything is made in the brand’s own manufacturing center (RTG Textiles) in Portugal. 

RTG is committed to fairness and transparency and employs fair employment conditions in accordance with European Labor Laws.

Additionally, employees get comfy break areas, shared cars, and other perks. 

Green business practices: 

By carefully measuring and cutting and dying fabrics only according to demand, Colorful Standard is proud to produce little waste, of either textiles or dyes.

A minimal amount of fabric waste is hard to get away from but they put theirs to good re-use as furniture filling.

Everything is shipped in recycled materials, whether it be plastic, paper, or polyester. Direct shipping from the factory (no warehouse stops) minimizes their carbon footprint, too. 

Inclusivity:

With simple styles and cuts, most of their collection acts as gender neutral clothing. The “men’s” and “women’s” sections are mostly for sizing familiarity.

You’ll find XS to XL in the women’s styles and XS to 2XL in men’s. 

Community & charitable giving:

Colorful Standard devotes their charitable energies to their own self-founded football club and recreation center for kids in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

They started FC Masi Manimba by collecting the equipment and building the space. They sustain the club by donating 5% of proceeds.

Available: Colorful Standard

2. THE CLASSIC T-SHIRT COMPANY

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by the Classic T Shirt Company #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by the Classic T-Shirt Company
About The Classic T-Shirt Company 

What do you get when you combine experts from the technology and fashion industries who are about to have a baby (and want her to grow up in a sustainable and ethical world)?

You get one of the best organic cotton t shirt brands. 

The Classic T-Shirt Company combines values like luxury, quality, and integrity to produce organic cotton t shirts made in the USA. 

Their short sleeve, long sleeve, V-neck, and crew neck styles are available for both men and women and in over a dozen colors.  

The Classic T-Shirt Company’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

This brand only sources 100% GOTS organic cotton for all of its products. Dyes with Azo-free dyes, of course.

The ring-spun cotton is durable and pre-shrunk, so it won’t fade or lose shape after washing. 

Plus they’re stain-resistant so no pesky pit stains (pro tip: switching to eco friendly deodorant will also help prevent pit stains!).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

The Classic T-Shirt Company is a Fair Trade USA-made brand, starting at the cotton farm.

After domestic milling, the garments are manufactured in a vertically integrated factory in Los Angeles that ensures excellent working conditions, reasonable hours, and fair wages. 

Green business practices: 

Instead of seasonal sales that encourage a fast fashion mindset, the brand has a very thorough and precise quality control process (with over 20 measurements!) to ensure each shirt will fit well for years to come. 

Shirts come shipped in recycled and plastic-free materials.

Inclusivity:

Women’s sizes run from XS to XXL and men’s from XS to XXXL. 

Note that the women’s are designed to have a looser fit, like a “boyfriend fit t-shirt”. 

Community & Charitable Giving:

The brand pledges 1% (of time, profits, and equity) to causes they believe in. 

Specifically, a portion of tee sales goes to tree planting, safe water projects, or ocean cleanups.

Available: The Classic T-Shirt Company

3. THE GOOD TEE

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by The Good Tee #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by The Good Tee
About The Good Tee

The Good Tee got its start with a bad story. 

When founder Adila Cokar was working as a responsible apparel manufacturing consultant, she was made aware of the fact that Indian farmers were committing suicide at astronomical rates.

So, she set out to better support these farmers by purchasing fair trade organic cotton. 

She went on to write a book about some of her efforts: Source My Garment: An Insider’s Guide to Responsible Offshore Manufacturing.

After you’re finished reading the story of more responsible garment sourcing, you can wear it in the form of their tees (or tunics, fair trade dresses, tanks, and fair trade scarves).

From organic cotton blank t shirts to baseball tees to slouchy pocket tees, theirs are available for babies, kids, men, women, or in unisex styles.  

The Good Tee’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Fair Trade and GOTS-certified cotton is what you’ll find in these organic cotton long sleeve t shirts and organic short sleeve t shirts.

Only AZO-free dyes are used and you can order a herb-based natural dye kit to create your own DIY “sustainable works of art”. A fun eco-friendly gift perhaps? 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

This brand puts the t (shirt) in transparency. With their in-development supply chain map, you’ll soon be able to trace everything back to a specific farm, mill, and factories.

The Certified B Corp only works with manufacturing partners who are socially and environmentally responsible as per their code of ethics. 

They also partner with Fairtrade Canada to support farmers and workers with living wages and a community development fund. 

Green business practices: 

You’ll receive your eco friendly t shirt in a biodegradable bag and recycled/recyclable box. 

Inclusivity:

For adults, sizes XS-XL are available, with models to represent these sizes. 

You’ll see options for slim and relaxed fits, so you can feel comfortable whether you prefer things curve-hugging or couch-ready.

Community & Charitable Giving:

In addition to providing fair and safe work conditions, TGT also supports local social projects in their workers’ communities, such as an orphanage and old age home in a South Indian village. 

Available: The Good Tee

4. ORGANIC BASICS

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Organic Basics #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics
About Organic Basics

Organic Basics covers all your essential-clothing bases. 

And if the name didn’t clue you into the other key thing about this brand, it’s mostly organic: organic underwear, organic bras, and all manner of ethical activewear and loungewear layers to go over your undergarments. 

It should come as no surprise that this organic clothing brand is also where to turn when you need to buy organic cotton t-shirts. 

Organic Basics has tees for men and women in short and long-sleeved options. 

Organic Basics’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

While some tees are made with semi-synthetic TENCEL (another sustainable fabric), let’s talk about their namesake fabric: organic cotton. 

They only use GOTS-certified cotton and are taking that to the next level by supporting regenerative cotton projects. In 2020, they converted 62,500 square meters of conventional cotton into regenerative cotton fields! 

They do use some other materials in some of their tees so if you’re after 100% organic cotton, be sure to check the product description.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

OB partners with a Portuguese factory for their organic cotton tees. Check out specific details about working hours, employee benefits, and vacation days on their website.

Child and forced labor are prohibited across all factories, many of which are backed up with certifications from BSCI, SA8000, GOTS, and/or WRAP. 

Organic Basics are also a certified B Corp.

Green business practices: 

Tug on a tee from Organic Basics and you’ll be wearing midweight, long-form cotton. In layman’s terms, this means durable cotton that is designed to last. 

The company also uses carbon-neutral shipping, provides shoppers with a low-impact website to sustainably scroll, and sells climate credits at checkout. 

Inclusivity:

Men’s t shirts come in sizes S through XXL and women’s in sizes XS to XL. 

Community & Charitable Giving:

The Organic Basics Fund provides grant money for social justice and environmental organizations in Europe. For example, they recently funded projects to improve biodiversity and save the Amazon rainforest. 

Available: Organic Basics

5. SANTICLER

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Santicler #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Santicler
About SANTICLER

SANTICLER is committed to making a difference. 

Providing a fast fashion alternative, the brand embraces circular design principles, apparel that is easy to care for, and nontoxic, renewable, and recyclable materials.

This is what you’ll find in their ready-to-wear luxury garments that are designed to outlast trends and seasons.

These include some of the best organic cotton t shirts for women, as well as pants, bodysuits, beanies, scarves, dresses, and more.

SANTICLER’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

When you slip on a luxurious crew neck, V neck, or boyfriend-fit organic cotton t shirt from SANTICLER, you’re slipping into something approved by the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), GOTS, and OEKO-TEX Standard 100. 

It’s blended with 9% GRS certified recycled elastane and finished with bleach-free and formaldehyde-free, non-toxic dyes. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

SANTICLER only works with suppliers who respect their employees and are committed to social change. 

All of the European mills they work with (like the one in Portugal responsible for their cotton) use ethical and sustainable practices.

Each worker in their Transylvanian factory benefits from fair payment (and the right to negotiate), health insurance, maternity and parental leave, regulated working hours, and protected labor conditions.

Romania has strict labor laws against things like child labor, and the factory is also ISO 9001and ISO 14001 certified.

Green business practices: 

Using small-scale manufacturing practices allows SANTICLER to minimize excess fabric and waste. It also allows them ship goods directly from a warehouse near the factory. Things “literally travel one time” to reduce shipping emissions—which they then offset by shipping through DHL Green!

Additionally, SANTICLER’s organic cotton is from Tintex, a BCI, GOTS, and Bluesign-certified Portuguese mill that keeps manufacturing waste low, too. 

They’re able to recycle or reuse 98% of production materials, have minimized their greenhouse gas emissions by 70%, and are investigating lower impact and plant-based dye techniques.

SANTICLER also uses bioplastic compostable packaging which can fully biodegrade in 30 days with no toxic residue.

The paper and boxes are sourced locally in Romania and are made with at least 80% post-consumer recycled content.

Inclusivity:

SANTICLER sizes typically run 0-3, which is equivalent to XS-L (up to US size 10/12).

Available: SANTICLER

6. PACT

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Organic Basics #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Pact
About Pact

As the maker of “Earth’s Favorite Clothing,” Pact is the place to go for all things organic.

That means organic hoodies, organic maternity clothes, and many other types of sustainable men’s clothing, women’s clothing, and kids’ clothing.

The Boulder, Colorado brand has it all—and it’s designed to keep us cozy and our planet feeling comfy. 

Don’t just save the planet.  Save some money while you’re at it with their cheap organic cotton t shirts (in price, not quality!).

Pact’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Some Pact tees are 100% organic cotton. Others are an 80/20 organic cotton and hemp fabric blend.

Pact’s organic cotton is both GOTS and Fair Trade certified. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Partnering with an organic cotton farm and Fair Trade USA-certified factories in India means that a) the supply chain is localized; b) Pact is able to leave a positive imPACT in an area of the world normally associated with exploitation and sweatshops. 

Workers are supported with safe working conditions and fair pay, and the community itself is supported with additional development funding and empowerment opportunities. 

Green business practices: 

Pact uses energy and water conservation practices in manufacturing, carbon offsets their shipping, and mails in recyclable and compostable packaging. 

Inclusivity:

With a motto like “Just Wear You”, it’s no wonder Pact stands for inclusivi-tee

We love seeing a diverse range of models of all shapes and sizes demonstrating Pact’s size range, which is XS-2X for women and S-2X for men. 

Community & Charitable Giving:

Through Pact’s Give Back. Wear Forward program, you can rehome gently used clothing by sending it back in the very box your order came in. They’ll distribute it to charities in need.

Available: Pact

7. HARVEST AND MILL

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Harvest & Mill #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Harvest & Mill
About Harvest & Mill

Harvest & Mill got their start due to a need for locally sewn and grown clothing. 

Ironically, the US is the biggest exporter of cotton in the world—which makes no sense considering that just 2% of clothing purchased in the US is made there. 

Harvest & Mill is working to change this by keeping everything domestic. In addition to fashion designers, their team is made up of people who have a background in sustainable systems and organic agriculture.  

Their USA-made organic clothes are pretty dreamy (literally, if we’re talking about their fair trade pajamas!).

When you shop their men’s and women’s shirts (including crew, raglan, and long sleeved organic cotton t shirts), pants, and eco friendly socks, you’re helping to up the demand for local manufacturing, too. 

Harvest & Mill’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

All Harvest & Mill garments are 100% organic cotton, plain and simple.

Their black fabric dye is low-impact and non-reactive (read: protects water and soil and adheres to EPA discharge laws). 

In fact, in some cases, they don’t even use dyes because organic heirloom cotton is a better (and far more beautiful) alternative! Cotton can naturally grow in brown, red, and green colors, so you’ll see a few shirts in these colors. 

Because of their use of no or natural dyes (which come from dye artists and farmers in California and Indiana), these organic t shirts are also 100% compostable at the end of their life. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

These tees are made from USA-grown organic cotton, processed in American heritage mills, before being finished at one of three domestic facilities located within 20 miles of their Berkeley studio.

Because they don’t work with any fabric wholesalers, brokers, or offshore manufacturers, they’re able to have full traceability. 

Abiding by strict local labor laws, everyone is paid fair wages and engages in satisfying and creative work in safe spaces. 

Green business practices: 

Harvest & Mill is a proud member of Fibershed and is working to go beyond organic by building soil to protect our planet. 

Each product proudly displays its water, emissions, pesticides, and chemicals saved, thanks to Green Story. You’ll even see some products that are carbon neutral

Inclusivity:

Sizes go from XS-XL in women and S-XL in men.

Available: Made Trade

8. TOAD&CO.

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Toad&Co #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Toad&Co
About Toad&Co

Toad&Co uses sustainable fabrics, durable designs, and ethical and supportive work practices. 

Toad&Co is in the business of sustainable outdoor clothing—so it’s no wonder that they also have an impressive selection of technical organic cotton t shirts ready for any adventure. 

Their adventure-ready and earth-friendly product range also includes men’s and women’s ethical winter coats, shorts, pants, fair trade sweaters, insulating layers, hemp clothing and ethical underwear.

Toad&Co’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

For their men’s and women’s tees, organic cotton is often blended with TENCEL lyocell, hemp, or a tiny bit of elastane for a comfy, moisture-wicking fit. 

Toad&Co has a long list of eco-friendly fabrics and an equally long list of restricted substances

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Toad&Co sources their organic cotton in Turkey, where it’s also spun, dyed, knitted, and sewed.

All their manufacturing partners adhere to their strict Code of Conduct and provide safe and fair working conditions.  

For some garments, they partner with Planet Access Company and use a Californian factory that employs disabled adults.

Green business practices: 

Their manufacturing partners use some renewable energy and the brand itself purchases Renewable Energy Credits to offset the emissions of their headquarters. 

They also partner with The Renewal Workshop, which is where they send textile scraps and unsold garments. Here, they can be transformed into new garments. 

More than anything, Toad&Co stands behind their garments. Their Joy Backed Guarantee provides repairs/replacements if your purchase doesn’t bring you joy (or compliments within 3 wears). 

Inclusivity:

Woman founded Toad&Co offers sizes XS-XL for women and S-XXL for men.

Community & Charitable Giving:

Toad&Co is a member of 1% for the Planet. Not only do they help employ adults with disabilities, but they also provide them with travel opportunities and outdoor activities via the Search for Adventure program.

Available: Toad&Co

9. HEIKO CLOTHING

Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Heiko Clothing #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle
Image by Heiko Clothing
About Heikō Clothing

Heikō (pronounced Hey-ko) is the Japanese word for ‘equilibrium’ and perfectly echoes what this UK based t-shirt brand is about. 

Heikō Clothing wants to live harmoniously on Earth and respect living creatures—while still selling fashionable and affordable eco-friendly clothes! 

The slow fashion brand’s affordable organic cotton t shirts are PETA-approved and created by a group of independent designers.

Each one features minimalist graphics or messages encouraging humans to work together to save our planet!

Heikō Clothing’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Only 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton is used. 

As a quick refresher, the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification is a “seed-to-shelf” reassurance that no chemicals are used anywhere in production, as well as other measures like safe working conditions and proper production waste management.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

The brand’s organic cotton supplier is one of Textile Exchange’s top 16 brands when it comes to sustainable materials. 

As a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, Heikō Clothing’s Bangladesh factory partner practices the highest ethical standards and provides workers with “safe, dignified, properly paid employment.”

Inclusivity:

Aside from keeping prices low, the soft organic cotton t shirts are gender-neutral. Sizes run from XS to XXL (up to a USA women’s size 20). 

Community & Charitable Giving:

Heikō Clothing donates 50p of each purchase towards a high-impact environmental charity that changes every month.

Available: Heikō Clothing

HOW WE FOUND THE BEST ORGANIC COTTON T SHIRTS

Organic cotton is the cream of the crop in the world of ethical and sustainable fashion

But it’s not the tee-all and end-all…

Here are the ways we wanted to see brands taking this sustainable fabric to the next level.  

Materials: 

Organic cotton is amazing all on its own. Lack of chemicals aside, it requires 91% less water than conventional cotton.

It’s made even better when dyed using natural, non-toxic, azo-free, and/or low-impact dyes (or no dyes at all!).

The best organic cotton, however, is that which is grown in a regenerative way that replenishes the soil and supports a healthy ecosystem and climate!

Supply chain and labor practices: 

When you’re working with organic cotton, farmers are working with better conditions without the hazardous chemicals like harsh dyes, pesticides, and fertilizers. 

These brands also cross their T’s and dot their I’s by supporting garment workers with Fair Trade pay, reasonable hours, supportive work conditions, healthcare, and more.

Green business practices: 

These organic t shirts are not just made of green (er, white) materials.

Many are also made with recycled water, produced in small batches/supply chains, produced using renewable energy, and sent in eco-conscious packaging. 

Some are carbon neutral and most importantly, they are designed to last.

Inclusivity:

We’re thrilled to the tee to see gender-neutral styles and a relatively inclusive size range. 

We hope to see more brands that are BIPOC or women owned, use inclusive marketing and continue to adopt ethical plus size fashion offerings

Community & charitable giving: 

Donating a portion of sales is common for these brands, as is supporting farming/textile communities, donating fabric scraps and used garments, and supporting people experiencing disabilities or disadvantages. 


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ORGANIC COTTON T SHIRTS

That’s the tea on organic cotton t shirts!

Who would have thought your favorite crew cut tee could do so much for our planet and the people on it?

Even so, the best time to buy an earth-friendly t shirt is only when you absolutely need one. You likely already have a drawer full of quirky slogans and v-neck classics, so don’t add a new one to your collection unnecessarily. 

Even then, don’t forget to scour local or online thrift stores first. 

We all wear t shirts, so we can all wear better t shirts. Pass this article along to anyone you know in need of a new one.


Aside from feeling soft and breathable (almost like being naked), organic cotton t-shirts have a minimal—and in some cases positive—impact on our planet. Image by Colorful Standard #organiccottontshirts #sustainablejungle

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