6 Best Eco-Friendly T-Shirts: Brands You’ll Love In 2024

Don’t get me wrong, I love to dress up in a cute blouse or summer dress just as much as the next girl, but sometimes you just need a good, old-fashioned tee.

Whether you’re going on a morning run or a late-night grocery store run, the simplicity and ease of throwing on a comfy t-shirt are hard to beat. 

As a vegan, I try my best to purchase products that are sustainably made or environmentally friendly. This principle doesn’t just apply to the food I eat, though; it also applies to how I shop for clothing. 

Whenever possible, I try to make a point to purchase eco-friendly t-shirts that are made with organic fibers, use recycled materials, or are sold by companies that give back to the environment.

If you’re looking for the best eco-friendly t-shirts to workout in, wear with a cute outfit, or just around the house, then you’ve come to the right spot!

Below, I’ll show you all some of my favorite eco-friendly tees and where to buy them. I also threw in a few selections for the guys out there as well (thanks to my brother who’s also vegan)! 

TREELANCE Spiritual Yoga Tank Top
TREELANCE Spiritual Yoga Tank Top
Editor's Choice
Eco-Friendly Just A Girl Who Loves Turtles Recycled Organic Girl's & Women's T-Shirt
Eco-Friendly Just A Girl Who Loves Turtles Recycled Organic Girl's & Women's T-Shirt
Reader's Choice
American Apparel Women's Fine Jersey Classic Short Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt
American Apparel Women's Fine Jersey Classic Short Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt

Why You Should Start Wearing Eco-Friendly T-Shirts

One of the first things vegans do after changing to this lifestyle is to also change the clothes they wear. As vegans, we’re committed to not wearing any products that are made with animal products. This usually includes:

  • Leather
  • Wool
  • Silk

Instead, we’ll wear faux leather boots or find cotton alternatives to sheep’s wool. Some vegans recycle or give their leather, wool, and silk goods away, while others hang on to them until they’re ready to be thrown away. The point is that, after going vegan, we commit to never buying animal products again. 

Choosing to abstain from animal-derived fabrics and skins is a great place to start (arguably the best place to start), but that’s not where it should stop.

Keeping animals safe and cruelty-free means very little if we’re not also taking care of the world that we all live in… 

That’s why it’s just as important to commit to buying eco-friendly products as well as animal-free products. 

For example, synthetic fibers like polyester are typically processed using strong chemicals. These same chemicals may be leaked into the atmosphere or nearby waterways, disrupting the ecosystem and possibly even killing or mutating fish, birds, and local insects.

Sure, there are plenty of responsible factories that don’t pollute their environment, use advanced filtration systems, and treat their workers well. However, there are even more that have little care for the environment or their employees. 

You can learn more by watching “Fashion’s Toxic Threads,” a brief documentary by The Economist: 

Eco-friendly t-shirts are made using organic cruelty-free fibers, such as cotton or flax. Their production typically involves limited waste, little to no pollution, and may even use free-trade certified materials. 

Simply put, eco-friendly t-shirts and clothing are better for people, better for the animal ecosystem, and most importantly – better for the planet.

How To Find The Best Eco-Friendly T-Shirt

How To Find The Best Eco-Friendly T-Shirt

On the surface, eco-friendly tees don’t look any different from regular old-fashioned t-shirts. The only way you might be able to tell if a shirt is eco-friendly or not is by the feel of the fabric.

Synthetic fabric often tends to feel very fine and soft, while organic fabric may feel slightly more coarse, without the fake softness. 

That’s why it’s important to know what to look for. 

Generally speaking, Once I find an eco-friendly t-shirt company, I stay with them and keep on buying products from them. That way, I just have to remember the brand name. No matter where I’m shopping, if I see that brand name, I’ll know that there’s a good chance the clothing is eco-friendly. 

To make your lives easier and help save you the headache that I had to go through when I was looking for the best eco-friendly t-shirts, here’s a helpful chart outlining what you should look for: 

What To Look For In Eco-Friendly TeesWhy It Matters
Non-Synthetic FibersDid you know that a single clothes wash can release up to 700,000 microfibers of plastic into the ocean?  These microscopic plastic particles go on to cause mutation, cancer, and death in both fresh and saltwater creatures. They also pollute our waterways and can affect plant life that depends on the water.  Non-synthetic fibers like cotton may shed, but they’ll naturally decay in a short period of time. 
Organically-Sourced TextilesModern-day farming is a lot different from old-fashioned farming. Today’s textile crops are often treated with harsh chemicals to prevent disease or bugs.  The downside of these chemicals is that they often damage the soil or make their way into waterways and wreak havoc on the ecosystem.  Organic textiles are farmed without the use of chemical pesticides. The farms also use sustainable farming methods to ensure the soil isn’t damaged. 
Fair-Trade MaterialsPurchasing Fair-Trade Certified brands and materials is one of the best ways to help out the plant.  To obtain Fair-Trade Certification, companies must pass rigorous inspections to ensure that environmental, social, and economic benchmarks are being met.  Fair-Trade Certified goods are made by fairly paid workers who aren’t overworked or taken advantage of. The factories must also be as eco-friendly as possible. 

The Best Eco-Friendly T-Shirts For Women 2022

Eco-Friendly T-Shirts

So, now that you have a good idea of what to look for when trying to find the best eco-friendly t-shirt, here’s a conclusive list of my favorite tees. Whether you’re looking for some organic activewear or something cute to wear on a hot summer day, I guarantee you’ll find something you like here! 

Comfort Level: 5/5

I got my first Treelance tank top from a yoga studio where I was attending class. After moving away from the city, though, the only place I was able to find more of these awesome eco-friendly tee’s was on Amazon. So, I stocked up!

Treelance is a small eco-friendly clothing company that specializes in selling women’s yoga clothing and environmentally-friendly activewear. It’s run by Patagonia-native Karina, who runs her women-owned business out of South Florida. 

Whenever possible I try to buy from small American companies, as the quality is usually a lot better. Unfortunately, many of the Chinese-manufactured clothes online lie about their materials, so they’re not as eco-friendly as they may lead you to be. 

The company story aside, though, Treelance’s yoga tank tops are incredibly comfortable. They’re made from 95% organic cotton, which is soft, moisture-wicking, and won’t stretch and tear as easily.

These tees are made with 5% spandex to provide a better fit. However, the spandex accounts for such a small percentage of the overall fabric, that it’s negligible in my eyes. 

These eco-friendly yoga tees are available in sixteen different pattern variations that range from the moon cycle to the evolutionary cycle in several different colors.

They’re also available in all sizes, from extra-small to 3XL, so they’re perfect for any body type! 

Why I Like These Tees:

  • They’re super comfortable. 
  • They’re made from 95% organic cotton. 
  • They’re available in size extra-small to 3XL. 
  • Treelance is a woman-owned company. 

What’s Not-So-Great:

  • They contain 5% spandex, a synthetically-produced textile. 

Comfort Level: 4/5

Sea turtles are creatures that are very dear to my heart. After having the opportunity to work with a conservationist group in Hawaii during an internship, I gained a whole new level of respect for turtles. 

Today’s sea turtles have been around since the age of the dinosaurs, but they’re quickly dying off due to irresponsible fishing, chemical pollution, and ingesting plastic.

Plastic is toxic to organic compounds and can cause organ damage and prevent the turtles from breathing. 

Hundreds of thousands of plastic particles are released into the water every time somebody washes synthetic clothes or textiles. Currently, around 1,000 sea turtles die every year from ingesting too much plastic.

A lot of these could be prevented if people switched to organic threads instead of wearing polyester and synthetic clothes. 

These cute sea turtle shirts are made by the Honu Shirt Company in Hawaii (Honu is Hawaiin for turtle). They’re made with 50% organic cotton and 50% rPET, which is certified-recycled polyester. Every t-shirt is made using the plastic of at least six bottles of water! 

They’re very high-quality, incredibly comfortable, and fits true to size. They’re available in women’s size extra-small to 2XL and can be customized with white or pink graphics and six different base t-shirt colors. Youth and men’s sizes are also available if you want to grab extras for the whole family. 

Last but not least, every dollar you spend on these eco-friendly tees is donated to the Hawaiian Wildlife Fund, since the Honu Shirt Company is a non-profit charity organization. 

Why I Like These Tees:

  • They’re incredibly soft and comfy. 
  • They’re customizable. 
  • 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Hawaiian Wildlife Fund. 
  • Each shirt recycles the equivalent of six bottles of water. 

What’s Not-So-Great:

  • They aren’t very “fashionable,” but they’re a great everyday t-shirt. 

Comfort Level: 5/5

American Apparel has always been one of my favorite clothing brands, both before and after going vegan. From comfortable activewear to everyday lounge clothing, and cute outfits, they have it all! 

The best part about American Apparel is that they only source their clothing from ethical factories. This means that none of your shirts are the result of sweatshop labor. Instead, they’re made by textile workers who are paid fair wages and treated well. 

American Apparel’s Fine Jersey Classic Short Sleeve Crewneck Tee is one of my all-time favorite eco-friendly t-shirts for everyday wear. I wear these shirts to the gym, to work, when I’m running my errands, and sometimes even as a pajama shirt. 

They’re just that comfortable

This tee is made from 100% cotton and doesn’t contain a trace of synthetic fibers! It’s super-soft, feels great on your skin, is machine washable, and will retain its shape and form for several years before you’ll need to worry about replacing it. 

It’s also available in twenty-three different colors, so the sky’s the limit and you can wear your favorite color t-shirt with just about any outfit. 

Why I Like These Tees:

  • They’re incredibly soft, inside and out. 
  • They’re made from 100% cotton. 
  • American Apparel clothing isn’t made in sweatshops. 
  • They fit perfectly. 
  • Available in twenty-three different shades and colors. 

What’s Not-So-Great:

  • They’re not made from organic cotton.

Comfort Level: 5/5

Burton is actually a snowboarding company that manufactures high-quality winter wear and snowboarding gear. While I’m no snowboarder, I can certainly appreciate Burton’s Classic Short Sleeve Eco-Friendly T-Shirt

The design is simple and basic, but the quality and comfort are out of this world. These tees are made from 100% organic Peruvian cotton. This means that absolutely no chemicals are used during their production. 

The t-shirts fit true to size and are available in sizes double-extra-small (XX-Small) to 2XL. Available colors are creme brulee, true black, dress blue, and heather gray. 

While these tees are a bit expensive compared to other eco-friendly t-shirts, they’re incredibly high quality and can easily last you for years to come. 

Why I Like These Tees:

  • They’re made from 100% organic Peruvian cotton. 
  • They’re pre-shrunk for a super-accurate fit. 
  • They’re available in all sizes and four different colors. 
  • They’re incredibly soft and durable. 

What’s Not-So-Great:

  • They’re pretty expensive, for a plain t-shirt. 

The Best Eco-Friendly T-Shirts For Men 2022

Even though I’m a girl, I can’t leave my vegan dudes out! Whether you’re a guy or you’re just searching for the perfect eco-friendly t-shirt as a gift, these are some great options. 

Comfort Level: 5/5

Burton wins again! Not only do they make some of the world’s most comfortable women’s tees, but their line of high-quality eco-friendly men’s t-shirts are just as good.

Burton’s commitment to creating quality tees is evident by their use of 100% organic Peruvian cotton, which is some of the softest cottons I’ve ever worn. 

Burton’s Underhill Men’s T-Shirts are available in sizes Extra-Extra-Small to 2XL, so they’re guaranteed to fit anybody. They’re available in seven different colors, ranging from shades of white and black to blue, red, and yellow. 

The t-shirts also come pre-shrunk from the factory, so you don’t have to worry about them shrinking after the first time you wash/dry them! 

Why I Like These Tees:

  • They’re incredibly comfortable. 
  • Made with organic Peruvian cotton. 
  • They fit true to size. 
  • They’re available with several different design/color patterns. 

What’s Not-So-Great:

  • They’re definitely on the expensive side. 

Comfort Level: 4/5

If you’re the type of guy who appreciates graphic tees, then The Establishment’s Men’s 100% Cotton T-Shirts are perfect. They’re made from organic cotton, so they’re as eco-friendly as it gets and they’re also incredibly soft and comfortable. 

They’re available in eleven different designs and patterns, so you’re guaranteed to find something that’s up to your alley.

The print is very high-quality and can withstand weekly washing for at least a year before the designs may start to crack or fade. You can extend this by washing it at a lower temperature and air drying it. 

Why I Like These Tees:

  • They’re made from breathable, ultra-soft organic cotton. 
  • Available in eleven different patterns. 
  • High-quality prints won’t fade quickly.

What’s Not-So-Great:

  • They’re only available with a round neck design. 

Pro Tip: Be Wary Of Rayon “Bamboo” Fabric

When I was first shopping for eco-friendly tees, I made the mistake of purchasing a few articles of rayon clothing. It’s a very easy mistake to make, as the majority of rayon fabric is marketed as “bamboo fabric.” While rayon comes from bamboo, it’s one of the least eco-friendly textiles on the planet. 

The process of turning bamboo fiber into rayon involves incredibly harsh chemicals that release a lot of pollution into the air.

Additionally, rayon is usually produced by underpaid factory workers in third-world countries where PPE (personal protective equipment) isn’t readily available. 

The vapors and chemicals in these factories are often so severe that they cause severe poisoning, which can lead to mental insanity, causing some workers to throw themselves from top-story windows

Real bamboo fabric isn’t made using any chemicals. It’s made through mechanical separation and threading. Unfortunately, it’s not very popular in the fashion industry because it feels rough and coarse.

So, if you see “bamboo fabric,” just remember that 90% of the time it’s actually rayon. 

Conclusion – Where’s The Best Place To Buy Eco-Friendly Tees? 

Whether you’re buying a simple t-shirt or a large winter coat, shopping for eco-friendly t-shirts and clothing is a great way to contribute to a healthier planet.

I’ve found that Amazon is, by far, the best place to find 100% organic, eco-friendly tees, and you can find all of the t-shirts I mentioned above by clicking the Amazon link. 

You may find a number of eco-friendly wool t-shirts while you’re shopping. While wool may be eco-friendly, it’s not cruelty-free, so you should avoid it. To learn more, check out my post discussing the reasons why wool isn’t vegan.

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Author Bio
Im Emma and I’m the creator of Vegan Calm. When I became a vegan seven years ago, I mainly did it for health and ethical reasons. To my surprise, it had another amazing benefit; I became a much calmer and peaceful person. This change inspired me to create Vegan Calm. Whether you’ve been a vegan for a long time or just want to learn more, this website will have something for you!

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