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I met my now-husband right when I was about to launch this blog. He’s a hottie (love that Venezuelan accent) but his closet needed a little bit of tweaking. Luckily, he let me overhaul his closet, and was even receptive to sustainable brands.
It’s paid off. Ask him! He’ll tell you he now gets thirsty looks from women on the subway on the way to work.
Luckily I’ve been able to direct him to an ever-expanding array of sustainable and ethical men’s fashion brands. Here’s an updated list – as of 2016 – of the hottest eco-friendly men’s fashion brands and stores available. Meow!
Ps. There are links in this post that are affiliated, meaning I get paid a small portion of the sale price if you click through and buy, and I have advertising relationships with others. As always, EcoCult only works with brands we think are doing good things. Support EcoCult’s editorial by buying sustainable!
Ably Apparel is a collection of 100% cotton t-shirts, button-downs, hoodies, socks, shorts, and tanks, all treated with Filium® technology. Filium is an eco-friendly technology that turns cotton, wool, silk or other natural fabrics into water-shedding, stain-resisting, odor-refusing fabric, without losing any natural softness or breathability. Read more about why we love Ably here.
AMEND believes in being “ultra” transparent, so their customers can make a truly informed choice. Every piece made by AMENDI is traceable and comes with a Fabrication Facts tag that outlines details of that specific garment, such as what each part is made of, amount of water used in production, certifications, a cost breakdown, and even how many people worked on it. All of AMENDI’s raw materials are grown, harvested, woven into fabric, and sewn into clothing in the same country—Turkey. They work closely with their suppliers throughout their supply chain in order to keep an eye on both conduct and quality. By keeping their supply chain in one place, they’re able to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase quality. Plus, they never use harsh chemicals during production and take full advantage of the latest eco-friendly technologies. Learn more about their transparency initiatives.
Olderbrother has a truly unique process of creating gender-neutral clothes that are hand-dyed in the USA out of only natural and biodegradable dyes like hibiscus, madder root, coffee, and turmeric. All of their clothing is handsewn in sunny Los Angeles out of eco-friendly materials.
All Todd Shelton pieces are made-to-order to reduce waste and designed with longevity and high-frequency wear in mind. Almost all of the material used natural and biodegradable and everything is sewn in New Jersey where workers are paid a living wage. Todd Shelton is a great place to get timeless staples like jeans and trousers, basic-tees, and button-downs.
Toad&Co makes apparel out of eco-conscious fabrics like organic cotton, TENCEL, hemp, recycled fibers, and more. Their products carry a host of different third party certifications such as bluesign and OEKO-TEX. Not only that, but you can actually send back your clothing when you’re done with it and they will either clean and resell it as a part of their Renewed Collection, or upcycle it. Even their packaging is reusable—they’ve partnered with limeloop to use a reusable shipper that can be returned to them after you’ve received your goods. Plus, all of their orders are processed, packaged, and shipped by the Planet Access Company warehouse, which is an organization they co-founded to give employment and training opportunities to adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. And they’re not stopping there: Toad&Co has some great goals for the next decade, like transitioning to 100% recycled synthetics by 2025 and 100% certified Responsible Wool Standard by 2024.
Nudie takes great pride in sourcing only organic cotton for its jeans, which can be repaired in any one of its stores for free forever, no matter when or where you got your jeans. With recycled paper patches (instead of leather) and non-toxic rivets, these jeans are meant to last for years and years. The same attention to detail goes into their accessories, jackets, and tees. When you’re done with your Nudies, you can turn in your old pair and get 20% off on a new pair. The old jeans will then be washed, repaired and sold as a part of their secondhand collection, Re-use.
Kit Culture is a Los Angeles-based men’s brand that prioritizes versatility and sustainability in all of its designs and only works with local factories based in Los Angeles. They seek out the best deadstock fabrics that are left over from mills and other brands and give them a second life in the form of innovative designs for everyday living, and also utilize more sustainable fabrics such as Tencel®. They release products one at a time to gauge interest and avoid excessive inventory, so stay in touch with them to hear about the latest releases.
A leader in sustainability for the past four decades, Patagonia carries a wide variety of apparel for men, especially in the activewear department. Many of Patagonia’s pieces are made with fully or partially recycled and fair trade materials. You can find our more about their traceability on their website.
Based in Los Angeles, Tact & Stone was created in 2019 as a response to the harm being caused by the global apparel industry. With sustainability at the core of the company, the brand was designed as a counterpoint to the conventional way of making menswear. Tact & Stone only uses the lowest impact materials, sources with ethical manufacturing standards and find suppliers who uphold the highest level of social and environmental standards. Further, circularity and regenerative practices are built-in from day one. The ultimate goal is to create stylish products that are made-well with as little impact as possible.
You probably already know that REI carries a ton of adventure apparel and gear, but they also carry a lot of pieces for everyday and workwear. Every brand that REI carries meets a minimum standard of ethical and sustainable operation. Although not every single item is made out of recycled and/or natural materials, they have a really wide variety of apparel to choose from that’s not only made in a conscious way, but also really high quality. Or, you can shop from their Used section, which is perhaps the most sustainable (and affordable!) option. For more about REI’s sustainability initiatives in depth, read this.
Kente Gentlemen offers well-studied, elegant, and contemporary clothing. Every finished product is fitted, cut, and sewn from fabrics made in Africa, with a nod to the rich textile heritage and local craftsmanship. The brand is committed to its community of handweavers, tailors, artisans, and vendors in order to provide opportunities for the local economy and share the beauty of Africa to consumers around the world.
Founded by a Côte d’Ivoire designer who was educated in France, this menswear brand uses both technologically advanced eco-fabrics and traditional and locally produced fabrics to create sleek and vibrant menswear basics. Production is based in France, Portugal, and Côte d’Ivoire.
Kotn creates beautiful basics from authentic Egyptian cotton that’s finer, softer, and more breathable than any other cotton. Unfortunately, since 2001, there has been a 95% decline in demand from big corporations that opted to go with cheaper options. As a result, millions of farmers, weavers, and craftspeople are struggling to make ends meet. By working directly with cotton farming families in Egypt, Kotn is seeking to rebuild the industry from the inside. They make their own fabrics from raw cotton bought direct from farmers at guaranteed prices. A Certified B Corp brand, they built a school in Egypt to combat child labor, and are now working on building a second one.
AKASHI-KAMA was started by a Japanese-American, Alec Nakashima, with the initial line dedicated to noragis, a classic Japanese workwear piece. They use Japanese cotton and responsibly manufacture in Oakland, CA. Super versatile, their noragis can be dressed up or down. Some of their pieces are organic and others aren’t, so be sure to check before purchasing!
Taylor Stich uses materials like upcycled and recycled (but durable!) yarns, organic cotton, natural hemp, responsibly-sourced leather, and synthetic down made from recycled plastic bottles. They use production methods that work to lower their carbon footprint, reduce water usage, and limit chemical exposure. Plus, you can get discounts by pre-ordering up and coming designs.
Luxury secondhand shopping is in. And it’s also the most sustainable way to shop. The RealReal takes care of all the order shipments, product descriptions, photography, authentication, etc., so you can rest assured you’re know what you’re getting. They have casual and dress clothing, shoes, watches, bags, and other accessories from luxury brands.
Vestiaire Collective is another great resale site that also carries luxury clothing, shoes, bags, and other accessories for men. All items are curated and quality checked by their team of experts.
Studio 189, co-founded by Ghanian-American Abrima Erwiah and actress Rosario Dawson, is a fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise. Headquartered in Ghana and the U.S., with stores in NYC and Accra, they work with artisanal communities that specialize in various traditional craftsmanship techniques including natural plant-based dye indigo, hand-batik, kente weaving, and more.
Maki Oh is primarily a womens runway brand but their mens’ shirts are actually the only thing available for purchase on their site at this time. The brand fuses traditional African techniques with detailed contemporary construction. Founded by Maki Osakwe in 2010, Maki Oh embodies the philosophies of sustainability, preservation, strength and complex simplicity, and has been worn by Mrs. Michelle Obama, Lupita N’yongo, Solange Knowles, Leelee Sobieski, Azaelia Banks and more. The brand has shown it’s collections during NYFW and has been featured in dozens of top-tier publications, including Vogue Magazine, WWD, New York Times, W Magazine, New York Magazine, and Elle Magazine. In 2014, Maki Oh was invited to the White House as one of Mrs. Michelle Obama’s favorite designers, the first and only Africa-based designer to be invited to the White House. Maki Oh was also one of two Africans to become a finalist in the first LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
WAMA Underwear is made from sustainable, GOTS Certified hemp and organic cotton. There are a lot of great things about hemp: it’s naturally anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, odor-fighting, and super soft and breathable. And trust me: these undies are super comfortable! The WAMA team works transparently with certified factories in China and oversee production there in order to ensure ethical manufacturing is taking place.
The Founders of ASKET proudly refuse to call themselves fashion insiders. In fact, their outside perspective allows them to see fashion with fresh eyes and focus on the essentials. Their pieces are timeless, classic, and perfect for any man looking to build a capsule wardrobe. Possibly the best part, however, is their sizing. They have 15 different sizes so that your clothing actually fits your body. They are committed to transparency in their supply chain and you can view their factories and production processes on their website. And now, they are taking that transparency all the way by providing details about where each ingredient of the piece comes from — right on the tag!
Wolven activewear and athleisure is made from OEKO-TEX Certified Recycled P.E.T. plastic bottles and carbon-neutral modal fabric. They also partner with NativeEnergy to carbon offset their operations footprint and choose more eco-conscious packaging to ship products to their customers. Their Chinese manufacturing partner is certified by WCA for labor, wages, work hours, health, safety, and environmental practices. Wolven carries joggers, boardshorts, and tees for men.
A cerified B Corp, Apolis is all about global citizenship. They use natural materials like cotton and low-impact dyes, and you can find out more about who made your clothing on each product page.
Nau creates clothing that is both sustainable and high tech. They use all natural and/or recycled materials, with a bunch of certifications behind them to give you peace of mind. Plus, a portion of each purchase is donated to a grassroots environmental organization.
Brothers We Stand makes clothing and accessories that are ethically made, designed to please, and created to last. They are committed to transparency and require that the designers and brands featured in their collections provide a full breakdown of their supply chains, which you can then view in each product’s “footprint” tab. They recognize that true sustainability and ethical production is a process and are committed to genuine commitment and innovation in these areas. They carry dress clothes, casual, everyday wear, outerwear, swimwear, accessories, and unisex apparel.
This sustainable outdoor apparel and accessories brand removes one pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways for each item sold.
Get him ready for the gym, golf, or just a nice walk through the neighborhood with high-performance clothing made from bamboo rayon.
Levi’s has been pouring money into innovating on denim, including cotton recycling, and its Water>Less technology and Waste>Less collection, with 20% post-consumer waste.
This casual company uses less water in the manufacture of its products, plus eco-friendly and organic fabrics, non-toxic and low-impact dyes, and recycled materials.
AG Jeans manufactures in vertically integrated facilities, so that they have complete control over ensuring ethical production of their products. Much of their clothing is manufactured using low-water technologies, eco-friendly fabrics such as Tencel and Modal, and low-waste patterning.
G-Star has been pioneering the recycling of plastic waste from the ocean into clothing in its special Raw for the Oceans collection.
For organic socks, hoodies, underwear, and tees, head to PACT, which sources Fair Trade materials for its ethically made basics.
Find vegan and sustainable clothing and accessories for, well, a gentleman at this online store. There are trousers, vegan boots, shoes, belts, and wallets, suits, cologne and even condoms for the ethical guy.
If you’re tired of boring button downs, then head to this Williamsburg retailer (in person or online) for twists on menswear by up-and-coming designers. Find colorful socks, irreverent accessories, interesting trousers and shirts, and other items that tell the world you’re “working on a project,” not working in an office.
Parker Clay has a lot of beautiful masculine accessories, from duffle and messenger bags to belts and wallets. The brand is a socially-focused lifestyle brand that handcrafts luxury leather goods in Ethiopia, where they employ over 100 artisans. As a Certified B Corporation, they are dedicated to providing dignity and empowerment for their employees, as well as producing the highest quality products for their customers. Their bags and accessories are made from full-grain leather that’s produced in a metal-free tanning environment that is part of the international Green Tannin Initiative (which means it’s produced using less water, energy, no chrome or metals, and no sulfide). They’re actively working towards transitioning to “fully green leathers” while continuing to source locally.
This is what socially conscious surfer dudes wear when they grow up and get sophisticated. Founded by a surf champion and menswear designer, Outerknown is partnered with the Fair Labor Association and certified by Bluesign, which ensures toxins are excluded from the manufacturing process. Even their packaging is non-toxic and water-soluble.
A unisex brand featuring 100% silk shirts designed and produced in Dakar, Senegal.
This company makes foul and cold-weather coats, tennis shoes, and backpacks from upcycled materials like PET bottles and fishing nets.
Apolis quite literally means citizen of the world. Stock up on accessories from this inclusive brand, which manufactures in American and other verifiably ethical facilities. You’ll find every accessory you could ever think of in leather: key chains, luggage tags, camera straps, flip flips, baseball caps, journals, and card holders. Plus, button downs and tees, ties, pocket squares, scarves, pens, tie clips, and books the Apolis peeps have deigned as in line with their vision of a better (and better-looking) world.