Five Efficient T-Shirts Of 2008

Just a couple years ago, a simple organic cotton T-shirt wasn’t so easy to find. Now, with Quicksilver, H&M, and even Forever 21 getting into the green fashion business, eco-friendly T-shirts are a dime a dozen. Still, finding well-fitting and stylish T-shirts made using fair labour can take some work — especially if you’re interested in the latest in eco-friendly and innovative materials and design. Here’s a look at five of the most efficient T-shirts available now:

Revenge Is… a Plastic Bottle T-shirt

The Revenge Is Plastic Bottle T-shirt‘s made of an innovative new fabric — a blend of organic cotton and recycled PET (recycled plastic bottles) — that’s soft, stretchy, and comfortable. A Los Angeles-based company that’s committed to using local labor, Revenge Is prints the company’s eco-angst-y name on the front of each T-shirt. For the back, customers can take their pick of a few progressive messages — i.e. “energy independence” or “taking back our country.” The shirts cost $38 at Revenge Is.

Artevist Community-Designed T-shirt

Threadless fans with a socio-progressive bent can source their outfits at Artevist, a new site that lets designers submit — and members vote on — T-shirt designs with a message. Winning designs — like “Destroy and Deny,” pictured above — get printed on T.S. Designs and Bamboosa T-shirts, all made in the U.S. out of bamboo and organic cotton. T-shirts cost between $27 – $34 at Artevist.

Sub Urban Riot Organic Cotton T-shirt

Sub Urban Riot, a company founded by Pacific Northwest replants who settled in Venice., Calif., offers some unique twists to the regular organic cotton T-shirts, like the extra length and asymmetrical V-neck line in the pink Guns and Roses T-shirt above. The designs often have an ecological message that’s more hip than preachy; they’re available for $14.99 – $39 at Sub Urban Riot and BTC Elements.

Under the Canopy Organic Cotton T-shirt

While Under the Canopy‘s T-shirts are fairly basic, these soft organic cotton tops have the best fit of any T-shirt I’ve ever tried on. Under the Canopy’s use of innovative materials is a topic we’ve written about before here. The T-shirts generally cost $28-$34 at Under the Canopy, but the men’s Vote Ecologically T-shirt‘s on sale for a mere $9.99 at the moment.

Cubist Literature Reclaimed T-shirt

Pre-loved thrift store T-shirts turned inside out + off the wall design + wry slogan = Cubist Literature’s eco-friendly T-shirts. Craig Hunter, who makes these eco-T-shirts, says he likes “the recycling/upcycling factor involved in giving old clothing new life.” Cubist Literature’s upcycled T-shirts are efficient because they avoid the energy-intensive process of re-manufacturing a T-shirt. Plus, since this Etsy store puts the customer directly in touch with the creator-seller, the T-shirts avoid the travel carbon footprint of regular T-shirts. The T-shirts cost between $16 – $35 at Cubist Literature.

A couple other Etsy sellers upcycling pre-loved T-shirts are KMStitchery and devotees.

Comments 5

  1. Finding an organic t-shirt made without slave-labor AND that’s not printed with dumb and stupid garbage and trash all over it takes even more effort.

  2. Post

    George — Agreed! An unnecessary T-shirt’s never an efficient T-shirt. But for those who do need another T-shirt, these efficient Ts above are good options 🙂

  3. The most efficient item is one you don’t buy. Replacing perfectly good clothing is ridiculous!

    This doesn’t mean we have to suffer though, rather that we should buy:
    A.) high quality clothing that is made to last, with good stitching and fabrics. This saves money – who wants to replace shoes every year?

    B.)things that will look good in 1, 5, 15 years time. Timeless pieces that have classic cuts and will always look stylish.

    All of the above save money, while meaning you own better items.

    And, then, when the item is at the end of a well lived life, you go out and get something new, with eco-cotton and all the rest.

  4. A little bit more than I would like to spend on a simple tee but I like that a lot of these shirts are locally made.

    What is efficient about spending $30 for a silk screened inside-out thrift shop tee? More efficient to go out to a thrift shop and purchase the clothing myself.

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