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A quality suit or a well-fitting dress shirt from a sustainable and ethical maker can make all the difference in your work day. Though nice suits can boost your confidence at work, men’s conventional professional clothing can be itchy, restrictive, and nearly unbearable by the end of the day.
Luckily, the same care and attention that goes into making a good button-down or suit can translate to care for employees and the planet. You can look sharp, feel comfortable, and hew to your values—all in the same outfit—with these sustainable menswear brands. Just take a look at our recommendations on what to look for before you start shopping:
Natural Materials: Whether you’re sitting in the office or in the car on your way to work, it’s important to be comfortable. Your clothes shouldn’t distract you from your tasks throughout the day. Choose clothing made of natural fibers, such as merino wool, organic cotton, linen, and hemp. These are more breathable and won’t be as restrictive (or retain smell as much) as synthetics. Merino wool especially has a reputation for being perfect for travel, because you can air it out each night instead of washing it, and it won’t retain odor.
Aftermarket Care and Repair: Even if a garment is made with the highest level of skill and attention to detail, well-loved pieces wear out. Fortunately, several menswear brands are committed to maintaining the lifespan of their clothing and offer repair services such as re-collaring and re-cuffing. Some brands also have second-hand platforms that allow you to buy and sell used garments for a discount on your next purchase.
Versatility: If you’re a bike commuter, breathable and versatile work attire is pivotal to your day. Look for styles that are flexible and lightweight. Choose colors and styles you can easily match and dress up or down with what you already own so nothing goes to waste. Lightweight pieces will be great for the weekends when you want to look good and feel comfortable.
Transparency: Look for brands that are transparent about the practices within their supply chains. Brands that audit and share the locations of their facilities are more likely to ensure proper working conditions, fair wages, and environmentally safe practices throughout their supply chains. It can also help to look for brands that own and operate their own local facilities to lower their shipping emissions.
Third-Party Certifications: Certifications are easy ways to tell if a brand is practicing what it preaches. Look for worker rights labels such as the Fair Wear Foundation and environmental certifications such as Oeko-TEX, GOTS, and bluesign.
Made to Order: Made-to-order clothing is one of the most sustainable options in fashion. It operates off specific demand and uses only the materials necessary to make it. Custom-made (also referred to as bespoke) pieces will fit you perfectly and add something truly unique to your closet.
Dry Cleaning Not Required: There isn’t always time to take your work attire to the dry cleaners each weekend, especially if you routinely travel for work. Not that you would want to—dry cleaning largely still uses toxic chemistry that can off-gas into your home environment. Look for pieces that can be machine washed on the delicate setting or easily hand-washed.
Todd Shelton is a New York-based brand that specializes in made-to-order minimalist basics. Its design philosophy focuses on distraction-free dressing with timeless and long-lasting styles. Its work collection includes button-ups and slacks made of hemp and cotton imported from Portugal. All of its products are manufactured in New Jersey to ensure safe conditions and living wages.
This climate-neutral brand creates “workleisure,” or performance-level work attire. The co-founders apply science to make low-waste pieces that are comfortable for both the office and the commute. Ministry of Supply uses waterless dyes and unique bio-fibers, such as “Kinetic” corn-based polyester and wood-based “Fusion”, as well as recycled synthetics. Its Bluewave factory partner in China is family-owned and maintains safe conditions, fair wages, and development opportunities for its women workforce. Its Luthai factory partner in Vietnam has WRAP-compliant working conditions. The clothing is low-maintenance and wrinkle-free, which makes it perfect for packing for conferences.
Ably uses Filium® technology to keep its natural fiber basics water-resistant, stain-free, and fresh even after multiple wears. Filum is developed in accordance with bluesign standards, so is free of nanoparticles and toxic chemicals. Its selection of professional wear includes button-ups, chinos, and polos, and it has a special collection for those working from home.
Born in 2017, Kente Gentlemen creates African fashion with modern minimalist design and style inspired by different culturally-influential eras. All of its clothing is cut and sewn by African artisans from locally-sourced fabrics. Its collection of unisex suits is bold and stunningly colorful and includes both single and double-breasted styles. The brand offers custom made-to-order items for those who require different sizing options.
Charles Tyrwhitt is a London-based brand that makes fine menswear from sustainable fibers such as merino wool and linen. Its immense collection of dress and business clothing includes a variety of colors, patterns, and knits. It visits its REACH-compliant suppliers and factories annually to ensure ethical standards throughout its supply chain. It has a shirt recycling program for pre-loved shirts, as well as recycled and recyclable packaging in all of its orders.
Born in 1885, this British brand offers high-end professional wear in dozens of styles and shades. It fosters long-term relationships with all of its suppliers, who are located in Barbados, Switzerland, Vietnam, England, and Scotland. All of its workrooms are based in the UK to lower the environmental impact of shipping, and the leftover materials from shirts are made into underwear and pocket squares. The brand offers re-collaring and re-cuffing services to increase the lifespan of its shirts.
Filippa K is an apparel brand that focuses on mindful consumption. All of its materials, such as organic cotton and wool, are traceable, and the details of each garment’s manufacturing are available on each product page. It offers a selection of chic black blazers, neutral-colored button-ups, and slacks made in Portugal and Turkey. The brand is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, which audits its factories annually.
This San Francisco-based brand specializes in multi-functional button-ups of nearly every style, shade, weight, and pattern. Its hemp, recycled polyester, and organic cotton garments are built to last and be comfortable both indoors and out. The brand also releases small-batch collections from deadstock fabric. Its shoe factory in Mexico provides its workers with fair hours, equitable wages, and work-issued bicycles. Its shirt manufacturer in Mexico upcycles its textile waste and works only with dye partners that safely manage their grey water. The brand’s jackets are made in a Californian factory known for its working conditions and employment longevity.
This nearly 100% traceable brand offers classic business casual wear. ASKET fabrics include merino wool, recycled wool, recycled cashmere, Tencel, organic cotton, and recycled synthetics. The brand uses its supply chain data to calculate each garment’s impact and shares this information on each label. Its factories, which all have eight-hour work days, are located in Lithuania, Sweden, Austria, Portugal, Argentina, Poland, Italy, Romania, Japan, Germany, and Thailand. ASKET visits its Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 suppliers wherever possible to ensure safe and fair conditions.
Tact & Stone makes professional basics from GOTS and Fair Trade-certified organic and recycled cotton, hemp, alpaca wool, and recycled polyester. It only partners with Oeko-Tex or Higg Index-certified factories in LA and Portugal. The brand encourages circularity by allowing you to return your old Tact & Stone garments for a discount on your next purchase.
This American brand takes inspiration from skate, surf, and music cultures to make comfortable and cool modern menswear. It uses wool from Scotland, England, Australia, and cotton from Portugal, and the US, as well as Italian alpaca blends. Its collection of quality garments includes shoes, sweaters, and DIY suiting.