The Best Organic Cotton Tees to Buy
We're the first to 'fess up that we're complete hoarders when it comes to those perfectly worn-in tees. Not only do they serve as the building blocks of our wardrobe, but we find comfort in their steadfastly unchanging nature amid fashion's rapid trend turn-overs. T-shirts make up almost every one of our off-duty looks (and celebrities' too), layered under bomber jackets and styled with our equally worn-in jeans, and they can be dressed up with a blazer and a pleated midi skirt. Basically, tees are never going anywhere.
But we're here to make the case for tees cut from 100-percent organic cotton. We all know about the scary dangers of pesticides and insecticides in produce or the hazardous effects of harsh chemicals in regular household cleaning products. As it turns out, those very same concerns are linked to cotton, which according to the Organic Trade Association, can be exposed to toxic chemicals that not only pollute the envrionment and "end up in the ground, air, water, and food supply," but are also associated with health issues, from asthma to cancer.
Don't freak out.
Do your body and the Earth some good with tees that boast everything we love about them (the familiarity, the softness, the silhouette), but are also free of those terrifying carcinogens and chemicals. It's a win-win. Well, make that a win-win-win. Organic farming practices create healthy soils, which in turn, "makes for better use of water inputs," according to the Cottoned On Organization. That means, organic cotton saves water.
Every day should be Earth Day, really, so do your part and stock up on your beloved staple made from organic cotton. Scroll through to see our eight favorites.
The streetwear brand has made headlines for doing its part to save the world, with campaigns spearheaded by Pharrell, innovative fabrics (like, its Raw for the Oceans denim made from recycled ocean plastic), and sourced sustainable materials. It's why we can't help but fall for this sustainably sound tee that's not only made from 100-percent organic cotton, but it boasts a design that's just plain cool. There's no need to break this one in—it's already done, thanks to its casually rolled-up sleeves and overdyed, sun-drenched treatment.
This crew-neck tee has all the makings of your beloved staple, but it's also a part of Eileen Fisher's new eco-conscious field-to-factory supply chain in Turkey that practices organic farming. And, if you ever want to part ways with it, you can give it a second life by recyling it through the Green Eileen intiative.
$39 (originally $58); eileenfisher.com
Ever since its inception in 2013, Zady has spearheaded the slow fashion movement, encouraging brands to be completely transparent in the apparel-making process and to be held accountable for environmental and ethical practices. Its Essential Collection upholds all of Zady's founding principles, introducing high-quality pieces that are the product of the farm-to-factory. We especially love the USA-made .02 T-Shirt from pure, USDA organic cotton, which comes in white, gray, and navy. And if you want the shirt's backstory, head over to zady.com for behind-the-scenes footage.
We respect American Apparel for never wavering on its stance against sweatshops and internationally sourced materials. And, of course, we love the brand for supplying all the basics we ever need, including this crew-neck T-shirt constructed from 100-percent organic fine cotton jersey. It comes in black, white, and neutral (above), but because this is American Apparel, there are also a bunch of fun colors to choose from, like pomegranate and ultraviolet.
H&M is one of the few fast-fashion brands that's making a concerted effort to be environmentally friendly. By prioritizing sustainability and partnering with eco-conscious stars, like Olivia Wilde, it has led to an eco-friendly line that's packed with organic cotton and pieces made from recycled plastic.
Roughly 65 percent of Alternative Apparel's offerings are made from sustainable fabrics. The brand's committment to sustainability has led to pieces that are free of chemicals and use less water. This V-neck tee, which comes in both black and white colorways, is made from 100-percent organic Pima cotton that lends structure, but retains its softness.
Chinti and Parker
Chinti and Parker prides itself on delivering the softest, most fantastical knits and shirts. So we were beyond thrilled when we learned that the London-based brand carried out its whimsical aesthetic and its emphasis on quality with an organic mindset. We mean, c'mon, how adorable is this striped heart pocket tee? We just hope that there will be more organically made pieces in the future. Fingers crossed.
People Tree has been a leader in organic cotton since 2013—more than 80 percent of its offerings is made with 100-percent organic cotton certified by the Soil Association. We picked this pretty coral shade, but there's so many to choose from. Scroll through the selection—each piece is clearly labeled with its composition.