Where to buy sustainable basics: shirts


Please note that this section was not created to suggest you need to buy new or unaffordable clothes. The Green and Blue Journal recommends shopping less or shopping secondhand before purchasing new clothes.


*This is NOT paid advertising*

It can be tough sometimes; finding a good fitting, basic, sustainable shirt in a color that works with the rest of your wardrobe and doesn’t break the bank. That’s why The Green and Blue Journal compiled a list to help you out. Check out the brands below and GBJ’s recommended products if you are in need of the perfect basic shirt.

Everlane

What makes it sustainable:

  • Everlane was built with transparency front and center. Thanks to its price breakdown charts and supply chain insights shared with consumers right on its website, the brand became popular. As it grew in size, Everlane has struggled a bit to maintain its ethical reputation, but it still beats fast fashion giants like H&M.

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  • Long sleeve shirts are surprisingly hard to find from sustainable brands. This crew shirt from Everlane is soft, simple, and fits long arms. It also comes in a good variety of colors, from basic black to bright turquoise.

For Days

What makes it sustainable:

  • For Days prides itself on being “the first closed-loop clothing brand.” It has a developed SWAP program, so any For Days clothes you are no longer wearing can be returned to the brand and recycled into something new. Recycling is the keyword with this brand, as every item is made to be recycled rather than going to waste.

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  • Made with 100% organic cotton, this shirt is made to be a clean closet staple. Even better: it’s affordable. Just $28 for a brand new shirt and $14 for a SWAP shirt when you return an old one.


Madewell

What makes it sustainable:

  • While Madewell has certainly encountered a lot of obstacles on its way to becoming sustainable, it has also made significant progress. Implementing initiatives like the Do Well campaign, which includes using better-for-the-environment materials, is just one example. Madewell also partakes in the denim recycling program Blue Jeans Go Green and is committing to community improvement projects.

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  • This lightweight t-shirt is made with cotton sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative, an organization trying to improve cotton farming globally. If that isn’t enough to convince you, then check out the reviews. Customers rave about this classic Madewell shirt that has become a classic for many people.

ThredUp

What makes it sustainable:

  • ThredUp is an online marketplace for secondhand clothes. From basics to fancy gowns, consumers can find everything they could need from ThredUp. And it's even more sustainable than buying something brand new! ThredUp is filling the secondhand market gap, allowing more people to access clothes they otherwise couldn’t.

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  • Just like at an in-person secondhand shop, everything at ThredUp is first come, first serve. You may lose out on something you want if you don't buy it quickly enough. On the flip side, new items are constantly being uploaded to the ThredUp site, so if you don't see anything perfect at first, check back in later.

Pact

What makes it sustainable:

  • Pact prides itself on making Fair Trade Certified basics with organic cotton. While far from an innovative and cutting edge brand, Pact is certainly a step above Gap or H&M on the sustainability ladder.

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  • If you are looking for the same shirt in a lot of bright colors, look no further.


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