Image by Pact
While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Stray & Wander #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by Stray & Wander
Image by Ocelot Market

8 Sustainable & Eco Friendly Towels to Clean our Bodies & Planet

*This post contains affilate links


While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we had an eco-epiphany. 

We realized that it makes little sense to use carefully selected eco friendly shampoo, only to then dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals.

We feel cleaner already knowing that’s not how our therapeutic showers have to end. So rather than defeat our sustainable scrubbing efforts, let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time.

Snuggle into an organic cotton towel from Pact or a towel that’s been certified to be free of harmful chemicals from Coyuchi. Then there’s LinenCasa’s linen towels which have been designed to last, and we’d happily welcome them as a permanent fixture to our zero waste bathrooms

Grab your bar of zero waste shampoo soap and let’s go! But not before you’ve read here to scrub away the dirt on how we made this list of sustainable towels.

QUICK LINKS FOR SUSTAINABLE AND ECO FRIENDLY TOWELS


1. PACT

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Pact #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by Pact
About Pact

Pact joins us yet again (reminder: they’re one of our favorite sustainable fashion brands), but this time, it’s not about clothing. 

The Colorado-based brand is one of the most well-known in sustainable clothing thanks to their top-tier fabrics and factories designed to have the best imPACT on our planet (which is as little as possible). 

In addition to their extensive range of “Earth’s Favorite™ Clothing,” Pact has other Earth-friendly bed and bath products, like sustainable bedding and affordable eco friendly bath towels.

Their range of towels isn’t huge, but both their Melange and Waffle Bath Towels come in several simple colors. 

Pact’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

100% organic cotton is kind of Pact’s thing—and this is exactly what’s found in their organic eco friendly towels.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Not only do the towels feel great because they’re made with some of the softest organic cotton on the planet, but because they’re supporting cotton farmers through their certified Fair Trade program. 

Partnering with Indian farms and factories means that Pact not only reduces the geographical span of their supply chain but also helps to support these communities by providing fair wages. 

Green business practices:

Pact only uses reusable, recyclable, and compostable shipping materials, so their towels come in a reusable bag, complete with fully carbon offset shipping. 

Community & charitable giving:

Not only is their packaging sustainable, but it also serves a social purpose too. Customers can use the boxes in which they receive their order to send back gently used clothes to Pact for donation. 

Through this Give Back. Wear Forward program, any type of unwanted clothing (doesn’t need to be Pact brand) can benefit others in need.  

Available: Pact

2. COYUCHI

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Coyuchi #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by Coyuchi
About Coyuchi

For over two decades this California-based brand has been impressing customers around the world with their sustainable loungewear and pajamas and household essentials. 

Coyuchi has something “organic for every room”, including the room where most of our organic functions happen.

Whether wearing or washing, Coyuchi covers all bath + bed needs. Their organic bath towels come in a variety of designs, colors, textures, and absorbencies. 

Coyuchi’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Coyuchi’s bath towels are made with pure, GOTS and MADE SAFE-certified organic cotton, no chemical softeners involved.

Supply chain & labor practices:

You can see in the product description where the towels have been grown and woven (either India or Turkey). Regardless of which, the factories are Fair Trade certified.

Going above and beyond Fair Trade, Couychi pays an additional amount into a Community Development Fund, with which their workers can use as they wish or need.  

Green business practices:

See how green Coyuchi is just by shopping. Each product lists its impact—how much drinking water and emissions are saved, as well as how much land is farmed without pesticides. 

Their green efforts continue down the supply chain. Coyuchi partners with factories that recycle water, they sell some “climate beneficial products” that are produced using regenerative agriculture techniques (like their scarves and mittens), and they only use recyclable / reusable packaging materials. 

They also have a 2nd Home™ recycling service where you can send back your used Coyuchi linens to; a) divert waste from landfill; and b) get a discount. The materials are recycled and resold in partnership with the Renewal Workshop. 

Community & charitable giving:

As a member of 1% for the Planet, Coyuchi donates a portion of their annual sales to Fibershed and the White Buffalo Land, both of which are committed to regenerative agriculture, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity. 

Available: Coyuchi

3. OCELOT MARKET

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Ocelot Market #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by Ocelot Market
About Ocelot Market

Ocelot Market is another favorite ethical online store of ours. Their “maker to market” ethos means a variety of small brands are able to sell an even bigger variety of products—anything from Turkish shoes to men’s and women’s fashion to ethical homewares to sustainable rugs

They work directly with artisans around the globe and are able to uplift communities, small businesses, and small makers alike.

OM’s eco friendly hand towels, bath towels, and beach towels come from a single brand: Anatolico. Don’t assume that means your options are limited though.

Ocelot Market’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Most towels currently sold on OM are made with a cotton-linen blend, which has been inspired by Turkey’s hand-weaving traditions. Some are made with just 100% Turkish cotton, though for both, we aren’t sure if the cotton is organic. In the spirit of drying all areas, we’ll be checking up on this.

The hand-loomed and hand-woven towels are more absorbent, lightweight, and quicker to dry than other types of towels. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Fair, sustainable work is important to OM, and they only work with brands who pay above and beyond fair wages and are able to trace their supply chains. 

In Anatolico’s case, they partner with authentic local artisan families in Turkey, all of whom meet their ethical practices and standards. You can even see the specific Turkish towns in which their products are made. 

Green business practices:

In addition to selling largely sustainable materials and supporting a few made-to-order brands, Ocelot Market uses biodegradable and recycled packaging materials whenever possible. 

Community & charitable giving:

By providing a platform through which artisans have the means to sell their products, OM truly supports small. Moreso when you consider they reinvest nearly all profits (as in 99%!) back into this system to continue bringing their seller communities closer together. 

For every purchase, they also plant a tree in Madagascar.

Available: Ocelot Market

4. STRAY & WANDER

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Stray & Wander #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by Stray & Wander
About Stray & Wander

Whether you’re a beach-goer or a bath-at-home type of person, Stray & Wander create a variety of pastel colored eco friendly comforters and sustainable towels. 

Inspired by Turkish “Hammam” baths, these traditional handwoven towels will have you itching for Istanbul.

From hand town small to beach bum big, they have towels of all sizes and shapes… seriously, check out their Roundies! As if that weren’t enough, you also can choose between tons of colors, patterns, and even weave tightness.

Stray & Wander’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Stray & Wander’s super soft towels are made of one thing only: organic Turkish cotton. This medium-length fiber cotton plant “provides the perfect balance between absorbency and quick drying”.

Supply chain & labour practices:

Turkish cotton obviously comes from Turkey, and so do all of Stray & Wander’s towels. Everything is handloomed there.

To keep weaving patterns and stitches from various cultures alive and well, they partner with a variety of women’s cooperatives, family run businesses and individual artisans around the globe. 

They take pride in supporting these communities and paying fair wages based on the amount of time each different weave takes (rather than having some artisans receive less simply because their pattern is more complicated).  That’s why you’ll see different price points for similar towels. They write:

“We value the amount of energy and skill that goes into creating these one of a kind pieces. Our philosophy is simple, we buy directly from the artisans who make our products, the artisans set the prices for their goods and are paid fairly for their work.”

Green business practices:

These towels are made on hand looms, which not only helps preserve the ancient art of weaving but also means no machine emissions.

Available: Stray & Wander

5. LINENCASA

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Stray & Wander #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by LinenCasa
About LinenCasa

Husband and wife duo Tanya and Marco are the faces behind LinenCasa. As lovers of linen, (Tanya hailing from a popular place for growing flax), they decided to turn their passion for this power plant into a business. 

In addition to aprons, bedding, and loungewear, they also have a range of luxury-quality soft eco friendly towels that would look (and feel) fantastic in any bathroom. We hope you like stripes (though if you don’t, there are other options).

LinenCasa’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

As suggested by their name, LinenCasa’s material of choice is 100% stonewashed linen. 

Stonewashed “luxury” linen is absorbent, soft, anti-bacterial, and easy to care for…all things to look for in a towel! Not to mention that it’s an eco-friendly natural material, making these some of the most eco friendly towels around.

Supply chain & labor practices:

LinenCasa works with Belarusian flax growers, who grow the plant (along with its beautiful blue flowers!) fully before they harvest. This involves removing the seeds, breaking the stalks into smaller pieces, and spinning the long fibers into linen yarn. 

LC only works with local manufacturing partners who meet their strict specifications and are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. 

Green business practices:

Stonewashed linen has come a long way over the years. Traditionally, it required large industrial washers and volcanic stones to get the aged look and soft feel.

Brands like LinenCasa, however, use cellulase enzymes (natural proteins) in an environmentally friendly process that reduces the amount of water required and waste produced. 

These linen towels are also designed to last a lifetime. Flax linen is far more durable than cotton and it gets softer and more absorbent every time you wash it. 

Available: EarthHero LinenCasa

6. MADE TRADE

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Made Trade #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by Made Trade
About Made Trade

Made Trade is one of our favorite ethical online marketplaces. The woman-owned company uses their platform to promote brands and products that align with one (or all) of their seven core values: Sustainable, Vegan, Fair Trade, Heritage, Made in USA, People of Color Owned, and Woman Owned. 

When you shop Made Trade’s “ethically elevated” range of furniture, decor, bedding, and clothing, you’ll see sustainability and transparency prioritized. 

Whether wrapping up in a fair trade sweater or a sustainable bath towels, Made Trade can keep you comfy, cozy, all in sustainable style.

Made Trade’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Made Trade has a large range of organic and fair trade towels from different ethical brands. As such, you’ll notice a variety of materials being used. 

Most likely, you’ll be drying off with organic cotton (usually GOTS and Fair Trade certified). Their eco friendly bamboo towels are made of organic, Oeko-Tex certified bamboo lyocell made using a closed-loop process. 

Be sure to read the fabrics list so you can opt for the most sustainable towel on offer. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Towels coming from several different brands means different supply chains, too. 

Suffice it to say you’ll be able to step out of the shower and wrap up in your values—whether you want an ethically-made towel from a Fair Trade Indian farm and factory, one made by talented Turkish artisans, or one produced by a woman-owned business. 

You can even search by these values to find products that align with yours. At the very least, feel confident that all products sold by Made Trade have been held to a high ethical standard and are free of greenwashing

Green business practices: 

On top of green practices by individual brands, Made Trade carbon offsets 100% of shipping. 

Community & charitable giving:

In addition to some brands’ individual contributions to charities and partner organizations, Made Trade also donates through 1% for the Planet.

Available: Made Trade

7. MAGICLINEN

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by MagicLinen #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by MagicLinen
About MagicLinen

As their name suggests, MagicLinen is all about sharing the magic of linen with the rest of the world. The family-operated Lithuanian business retains as much of linen’s natural magical powers through their thoughtful and eco friendly stone washing process. 

Given that MagicLinen’s Etsy shop has tens of thousands of sales, it’s safe to assume there’s something magical about their clothing, bedding, curtains, and sustainable linen towels.

MagicLinen’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Stone washed linen (made from 100% European flax) is blended with cotton for maximum softness and home spa experience.

Linen is one of our favorite Earth-friendly materials because it’s one of the strongest and can be grown without many inputs (irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides).

All MagicLinen products are certified by Oeko-Tex as free of harmful substances and chemicals. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

The name ”MagicLinen” comes from traditional Lithuanian folklore that is rooted in the practice of using volcanic stones to stone wash linen. 

Perhaps with this in mind, MagicLinen works with a third-party agency to ensure their flax farms and factories keep all stages of production as ethical and respectful as possible. 

Green business practices:

In addition to using a natural, easily biodegradable, and durable material in their eco friendly towels, MagicLinen recently partnered with an environmentally friendly packaging supplier. They now ship their towels in mailers made from corn starch and PBAT (bio-based polymer).

Available: Etsy

8. NOMADIX

While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Nomadix #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle
Image by Nomadix
About Nomadix

Nomadix is the brand behind “Go-anywhere towels” for travel, camping, yoga, days at the beach, and so much more. They’ve woven sustainability into all they do—which is why they’ve created an ethical towel that can be used for everything. Hence why it’s patented as The Only Towel You Need®.

Aside from being made of recycled materials, we love the many colorful, fun designs (like this US National Parks map towel). They even do custom logo additions.

Nomadix’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Drying off with recycled plastic bottles may not sound err…comfy, but with Nomadix it is. Every towel is buttery soft and removes 30 plastic bottles from the pollution in our oceans.

The post-consumer recycled materials are tightly wound into fibers that dry quickly, resist things like sand and pet hair, and prevent bacteria from smelling funky over time.  

Supply chain & labor practices:

Nomadix is a Social Purpose Corporation that’s “about more than just the bottom line”. They use healthy manufacturing practices and give their employees unlimited vacation days, though we will be reaching out for more specific details about where these employees are located and the like.

Green business practices:

Nomadix has a mantra that we can totally get behind: “Own less. Do more.” This is why they’ve designed their products to be able to withstand any adventure for a very long time. 

You won’t find their towels wrapped in plastic, either. They incorporate green practices at the office, like eco-friendly toilet paper and reusable water bottles for employees.  

Community & charitable giving: 

Nomadix is a member of 1% for the Planet, they donate 1% of sales every year to organizations like Fifty-Nine Parks, Conservation Alliance, and Surfrider Foundation. 

They also have a National Parks Collection (as mentioned above), where 15% of sales are donated to protect public lands. 

Available: Nomadix

HOW WE FOUND THE BEST SUSTAINABLE AND ECO FRIENDLY TOWELS

It doesn’t make sense to take a shower or bath only to wrap up in something that’s been made with plastic-containing materials or produced using harmful materials, now does it?

To get squeaky clean and stay squeaky clean, we folded and unfolded many towels until we found this stack of the best eco friendly towels. 

While not fashion per se, many of the same criteria apply to both towels and clothes when it comes to ethics and sustainability (textiles are textiles). With our sustainable fashion guide in mind, this, in a nutshell, is what we looked for in sustainable towels:

Materials:

We’re obviously not a fan of toxin-laden synthetic materials—especially when it comes in direct contact with us in our birthday suits. 

For that reason, we’d prefer to wrap our freshly-showered bodies in natural materials like organic cotton, linen, hemp. Bamboo lyocell also gets a “yes” from us, as long as it’s sustainable bamboo made in a closed-loop manner. 

The only synthetic we would consider is recycled polyester, since it’s making use of something already considered waste. If we can head to the beach with a towel made from recycled ocean plastic pollution, that’s certainly a step in the right direction. Just remember recycled polyester still isn’t biodegradable and may release microplastics unless washed using a microplastic catching wash bag

Supply chain and labor practices: If we’re going to be bearing all to these towels, we want the brands to do the same (figuratively, of course). 

We love knowing exactly where the materials have been sourced, where the workers are located, and how they’re supported with safe and fair working conditions. Fair pay, of course, is a must.

Green business practices:

Choosing a natural material that doesn’t require much in the way of chemicals or water is the first step towards being “green.” Even better when a brand goes the extra mile by offering carbon offset shipping or using recyclable / compostable packaging.  

Community & charitable giving:

Nothing feels more refreshing than a long hot shower (drought permitting of course) and the realization that your towel is providing someone or something with a better life. 

Not all of these brands are yet able to give back, but we felt comforted to find many of them planting trees or donating funds and / or resources to make this world a better place. 


FINAL THOUGHTS ON SUSTAINABLE AND ECO FRIENDLY TOWELS

Towels don’t get much attention. Which is surprising since we arguably use them more than any other piece of clothing in our slow fashion closet. All the more reason to make sure it’s a sustainable one, right? 

So, when you’re ready for a new set, choosing eco friendly and organic towels made with natural fabrics is not only healthier for you and your skin, but is also a better way to keep our planet clean (but not totally dry either!). 

Now, tossing the towel to you. What do your personal and planetary hygiene practices look like? Are there any other sustainable towel brands we should be aware of? Drop your drying off recommendations in the comments below.


While contemplating life in the shower (obviously), we realized that it doesn't make much sense to dry ourselves in a bath of synthetic fabrics treated with toxic chemicals after using eco friendly shampoo, so let’s clean ourselves and our dirty planet up one eco friendly towel at a time. Image by Pact #ecofriendlytowels #sustainabletowels #sustainablejungle

Leave a comment