Sustainable fashion is growing quickly and expanding into every facet of the fashion industry, and sustainable men's clothing brands are on the rise. Sustainable fashion brands take into account circularity, sustainable use of fabrics, ethical sourcing, and other techniques. Defining what makes a fashion brand sustainable can change depending on your own values concerning sustainability. If you want to know more about how sustainable fashion is defined more generally, check out this article.
In many instances, mainstream masculinity is positioned in direct contrast to compassion and ethics. Unfortunately, there has also been a disproportionate emphasis on femme lifestyle products in the “eco,” “green,” and “ethical” realms. This presents a roadblock to pursuing more sustainable lifestyles for male-presenting individuals. Luckily, plenty of sustainable brands are now focusing on creating, integrating, and marketing men’s products.
Sustainability is not a women's issue. Rather, it is a global crisis that can only be combatted by the commitment of all of humanity, regardless of their gender, sex, or race. To help male-presenting individuals pursue sustainable fashion choices, OSCEA has compiled a list of the 10 best sustainable men's clothing brands below.
10 Best Sustainable Men's Clothing Brands
1. Sheep Inc.
Type: Carbon Negative, Solar Powered Manufacturing, Biodegradable
Sheep Inc. is a London based knitwear brand that uses 100% mulesing-free merino sheep wool. Their collection is soft, durable and primarily consists of essentials like hoodies and cardigans. A trailblazer in the sustainable fashion industry, Sheep Inc. was the world’s first carbon negative fashion label, taking the concept of carbon neutral a step further. Carbon neutral means that there is an equal balance between the carbon dioxide you emit into the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide you remove from it. Given that they are carbon negative, Sheep Inc. removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit. So far, the company has removed an impressive 5 million kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Each wool piece from Sheep Inc. comes with its own trackable sheep, so you can make sure the sheep behind your products are healthy and happy. You can even get updates on the daily activities of the sheep, such as when they are on the move, getting a haircut, or having little lambs of their own. Sheep Inc.'s sheep are part of the ZQ program, which is one of the highest animal welfare standards. Further, the brand only sources from independent farms in New Zealand who use regenerative farming techniques like natural fertilizer and rotational grazing, which ensures the grass and soil is healthy and the soil can also store more carbon. Sheep Inc. is committed to regenerative farming, investing 5% of their revenue into regenerative projects, and their manufacturing is completely solar powered. If this is all not enough to make you want to commit to the purchase, Sheep Inc. products are also lifetime guaranteed. Their products are designed to last, and in the case that a product ever needs mending or maintenance, you can send it back to Sheep Inc. and they will restore it.
Type: Ethical Labor, Recycled Materials, Fair Trade
Outerknown is the first brand to pursue Fair Labor accreditation before ever shipping a product! They were founded with and are committed to strict fair labor standards. Many of their products are Fair Trade USA certified. For instance, their swim trunks are Fair Trade Certified and are made out of recycled water bottles. They are also the first brand to launch ECONYL products, a regenerative fabric made of fishing nets that helps clean up the oceans. Many of their products are S.E.A. (Social and Environmental Accountability) approved. This indicates that the garment surpasses a strict sustainable and ethical manufacturing standard.
Among Outerknown's garments, their S.E.A.-approved pants are a fan-favorite. What sets these pants apart is their recycled ocean plastic Oceanworks buttons. On the buttons, you can find the material, year, and coordinates where the plastic was harvested. Outerknown is also famous for their “Blanket Shirt.” This cozy, rugged flannel is aptly named, as it is an essential piece that really makes you feels like you're wrapped in a blanket. It is made of 100% organic cotton heavyweight twill and the buttons are made from nuts. Outerknown also has great fundraising advocacy campaign tees. For example, their #ITSNOTOK capsule collection donated all proceeds to beach cleanups and gathering ocean plastic to improve the health of our oceans and beaches.
Type: B Corp, Recycled Materials, Plant Trees with every Purchase
Tentree is a Canadian sustainable men’s clothing brand that has great essentials made of eco-friendly and comfortable materials. They have a range of products including graphic tees, hoodies, button-ups, shorts, pants, jackets, wallets, and other accessories. The company is B Corp certified and Climate Neutral certified. Their website specifies where each product was made and all factories bear one or more ethical labor certifications. Their products use significantly less CO2 and water than conventional garments, and their products use sustainable materials include Tencel, recycled polyester made from plastic water bottles, 100% organic cotton, and hemp.
Every time you purchase an item from Tentree, the company plants 10 trees. (hence the name "ten-tree"). Thus far, they have planted over 50 million trees and have a goal of planting 1 billion trees by 2030. Through their tree-planting initiative, Tentree removes CO2 from the atmosphere, lifts communities out of poverty, and reforests the land. If you want to go further to offset your carbon footprint, Tentree has a monthly subscription plan, Climate +, with options for individual and family plans. The individual plan is $9 a month and plants 12 trees, which offsets 2.6 tons of CO2. Alternatively, the family plan is $15 and plants 22 trees, which offsets 4.5 tons of CO2.
4. Organic Basics
Type: GOTS Certified Organic, B Corp, Fair Labor, PETA Approved-Vegan, Recycled Materials
Organic Basics is great for, you guessed it, organic basics. They are popular for their underwear, activewear, and everyday men’s essentials. Their activewear line is particularly fantastic; it is made with Polygiene Stay Fresh technology which helps keep laundry loads to a minimum and decreases consumer water waste. Organic Basics' best-selling underwear is GOTS certified, PETA approved, and ethically made. In fact, all their products are made of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton with the additional use of recycled wool, cashmere, nylon, and Tencel in certain products. Their recycled nylon is GRS certified and made from post-consumer textile waste, and their Tencel is ethically sourced from central European forests. Additionally, all of the Organic Basics products are approved vegan, except their recycled wool active socks and their recycled cashmere accessories. However, none of the company's products use virgin animal-based materials. All of Organic Basics' materials are certified by Oeko-Tex 100 and the EPA, so you can feel confident about the lack of harmful chemicals in their products.
Every garment from Organic Basics has a specific impact index, which measures the water, energy, waste, chemical usage, and CO2 footprint of their product compared to traditional products. For every product on their website, there is also a section for the location of the factory it was made in. This section contains an in-depth breakdown of their employees’ workload, including vacation days, hours worked, etc. You can also virtually visit each factory and see its audits and certifications. Organic Basics employees personally visit these factories regularly to ensure ethical labor standards are being met. Another sustainable perk, Organic Basics offers carbon-neutral shipping worldwide.
5. Warp and Weft
Type: Sustainable Denim, Affordable, Diversity of Sizes
Warp and Weft is a go-to brand for affordable and accessible sustainable denim. Warp and Weft has fast-fashion prices, but without all of the ethical concerns—all of their denim is under $100. Aside from denim, the brand also has great outerwear.
Since Warp and Weft is a family-owned business that controls every step of production, they are able to take accountability and exemplify transparency in their business practices. While a traditional pair of jeans takes 1,500 gallons of water to make, a pair of Warps requires less than 10. Beyond that, the company treats and recycle 98% of the water they use with their in-house water treatment plant. Warp and Weft skips traditional denim’s environmentally harmful bleaching processes and uses Dry Ozone technology instead. Further, the brand is committed to ethical labor practices, reasonable hours, and positive working conditions, and all of their factories are powered by solar panels. Warp and Weft denim is not only affordable and ethical, but it is also inclusive, their diverse sizing representing over 75 different sizes and body types.
6. Brave Gentleman
Type: Vegan, Recycled Materials, Menswear Aesthetic
Brave Gentleman is an incredible sustainable men's clothing brand that was launched in 2010 by Joshua Katcher. Impressively, it is the first vegan lifestyle menswear brand in the world. The website describes the brand vision as “non-binary fashion in the menswear aesthetic.” Katcher is a Brooklyn-based designer who is also the author of the incredible book, Fashion Animals, which explores how and why animals are exploited in the fashion industry. Katcher was awarded "Menswear Brand of the Year, 2016" and "Most Influential Designer of 2015" by PETA.
Brave Gentleman follows a slow production model. Most of their garments are constructed in New York City’s historic garment district. They offer made-to-order suits, footwear, jackets, tops, pants, shorts, bags, and accessories. Brave Gentleman use sustainable vegan materials like organic cotton, Brazilian future-wool tweed, recycled cotton, and recycled polyester made from post-consumer water bottles. As for their footwear and accessory options, Brave Gentleman utilizes a durable vegan leather called future leather. Future leather is a hi-tech polyurethane microfiber that is EU Ecolabel certified, and it is weather-resistant, biodegradable, and contains no toxic chemicals.
7. Known Supply
Type: Meet the Makers, B Corp, Fair Trade Certified, Organic Cotton
Known Supply is a sustainable brand that is using technology to humanize fashion. They have a variety of products including basics, t-shirts, graphics, hats, and accessories. The majority of Known Supply's products use GOTS certified Organic Cotton. Under every one of their products, there is a “who made it” section where you can see a picture of the person who made your product, and every product is accompanied by the signature of the maker. Another special asset is the “Meet the Makers” section. Here, you can search for a specific product and find the maker’s name, picture, and a little Q&A section where you can get to know them. Under this tab, you can also interact with the person who made your garment by directly sending them a thank you note. Known Supply is for those sustainable shoppers who value the humans and stories behind their clothes. With Known Supply, the manufacturing process is humanized.
Type: GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, Fair Trade USA Factories
Pact is an affordable and high-quality brand that offers a variety of sustainable men’s products. Pact sells comfortable hoodies, t-shirts, pants, sleepwear, outerwear, underwear, and socks. In addition to men’s clothing, Pact has sections for women, kids, babies, bed, and bath. This is truly a one-stop-shop for all your sustainable products.
Pact's factories are all Fair Trade Certified which ensures safe working conditions. Under every item, you can see specifically where it was made. Their cotton is always GOTS certified organic, so you can rest easy that there are no toxic chemicals in your products. In addition, their organic cotton products are made with 91% less water than conventional cotton. As for other steps in the manufacturing process, Pact offers carbon offset shipping and post-consumer recycled, biodegradable packaging. They also offer a Give Back Box program that delivers your gently used Pact or other brand clothes to nonprofits in need. The company also encourages consumers to reuse the box their previous Pact order came in, which further reduces the brand’s packaging footprint.
Type: 1% for the Planet, Recycled Materials, Fair Trade
Patagonia has been a leading brand in the sustainable fashion realm for decades. Starting their sustainability journey in the ’80s, they were one of the first brands that really took into account sustainability. Patagonia is also a founding company for 1% for the Planet, an organization which donates 1% sales to grassroots environmental initiatives. They have a wide range of outdoor and lifestyle products. Despite their huge supply chain, Patagonia is Fair Trade certified and their factories are regularly audited. All of their cotton is certified 100% organic, and over 80% of Patagonia's current line uses recycled materials (the company is moving toward 100% renewable and recycled materials). Patagonia's new Capilene line of active basics uses 100% recycled polyester. Across the brand, all inks and dyes are PVC and phthalate-free. While shopping on Patagonia's site, you can easily filter to shop only their Bluesign approved garments to ensure no toxic chemicals are present.
Patagonia products are life-guaranteed meaning they will repair, replace, or refund anything that doesn’t meet their standard of excellence. Patagonia also offers a Worn Wear program which accepts used Patagonia products that can be traded in for credit. This program helps reduce the company's clothing waste. Further, Patagonia’s website does a great job of engaging the consumer with information about climate change. They successfully integrate infographics, articles, stories, and movies about climate into the shopping experience.
Type: Direct Maker to Consumer, Natural Materials, Long-Lasting Quality
Artknit is a sustainable men’s clothing brand with an Italian luxury flair. They have removed all middlemen in their supply chain and work directly with a manufacturer-to-consumer business model. This reduces their environmental impact and cuts out unnecessary mark-ups, making their products much more accessible.
Artknit is committed to using only upcycled and natural fibers that have the lowest environmental impact and maximum durability. Committed to offering high-quality products that will last your whole life, Artknit rejects traditional cycles of fashion by eliminating seasonal collections. Instead, they partner with skilled manufacturers and craftsmen to create uncompromised. high-quality products for their Permanent Collection. Under each product, you can find the Maker's name and a short description. Artknit’s motto is “Buy less, Buy Better.”