A Guide to Ethical T-Shirts

Ah, the humble t-shirt. It’s an everyday essential, looking good on everyone and even better coupled with a classic pair of jeans. What’s better is that there are plenty of ethical t-shirts out there! I reckon this is because t-shirts are a relatively simple garment to make, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that each brand products a different style, vision, and fit.

Here, I’ve compiled my favourite t-shirts in my wardrobe, and also the best ethical t-shirt brands to buy from too.

Tee Total

So, when I’m not dressed up to go out, you’ll find me sporting ethical t-shirts and jeans/trousers/skirts. It’s a simple, classic combination that never gets old!

I have a whole bunch of t-shirts, although I tend to stick to my usual colour palette of white, black, cream, and grey. My favourite t-shirts are:

In fact, when I look at that list I wonder if I have too many t-shirts! That said, I’m always working through them during my usual working week, and I tend to style them up differently too…

Styling Ethical T-Shirts

So, in the spirit of loving my clothes – and feeling inspired by Livia Firth and her “30 Wears” idea, where I can only have an item if I know I’ll wear it 30 times – I also wanted to share my favourite ways to style my t-shirts.

The simplest is obviously slinging on a pair of jeans. I love any jeans that are high-waisted, but it’s worth working out what jeans suit your body-shape before following my lead!

Another simple pairing would be a pair of chinos. I picked up this pair of cream Aquascutum trousers from Oxfam’s Oxford Superstore when I visited last year, and can’t get enough of them!

And then of course, skirts! I love a good printed skirt and plain t-shirt combination. Check out My Year In Outfits post to see how many times I wore this combination!

Finally, if you like something a little bit different, why not try pairing t-shirts with a romper or pair of dungarees? I really like this look for summer, where I sport my cream linen romper and black t-shirts for a bold yet minimalist contrast.

16 of the Best Ethical T-Shirts Brands in UK

If you’re looking for something a little different in your t-shirts (and let’s be honest, you should be picky – they’re one of the hardest working items in our wardrobes!) here are my top picks:

The Artisan Fakery: Black-and-white printed t-shirts with art prints focusing on the climate crisis

ClothProject*: an Etsy store for men’s t-shirts that champions transparency in production and pricing

Help Refugees*: t-shirt campaign with profits funding and raising awareness of people caught in the refugee crisis

Know The Origin: ethical boutique for slouchy basics and simple striped tops made with organic and reclaimed materials

Loskey Clothing: Fairtrade, organic and sustainable tees. Get 15% off with the code BESMA15

Ninety Percent*: Plain t-shirts in basic colours and well-designed shapes.

Nude Ethics: Affordable printed and embroidered ethical t-shirts created by independent fashion designer Jessica.

Organic Basics*: Essential tees, tops and camis made from organic cotton in European factories

Origin Africa*: Hand-drawn printed t-shirts by the UK’s first 100% not-for-profit, funding projects in Africa to improve child health and female empowerment.

Oxfam*: If you’re looking for sustainable tops, but still want something from the high street, why not go for second-hand? I love Oxfam’s online shop for this exact reason!

Poppy Biarritz: a French brand making vintage-style tees with organic cotton and water-based inks

People Tree*: the leader in ethical fashion who make brilliant printed tees and classic styles alike

Sabinna: For cute printed tees, I love to look through Sabinna’s range. My Love = Love tee is from here.

Rapanui: I couldn’t write a list on ethical t-shirts without mentioning Rapanui. They’re masters of printed t-shirts, using made-to-order technology, and also provide design-your-own t-shirt options too.

THTC: For more printed tees with eco messages (and arty designs) head to THTC. Their range tends to be made from hemp too.

Thought*: who use materials such as hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton in their tops

White T-Shirt Co: And if you’re looking for a perfect plain white tee, head to the experts: The White T-Shirt Co.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links (denoted '*') and gifted products (denoted 'gifted')

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