The Best Custom & Sustainable Eco-Friendly T-Shirts

Fast fashion has become a detrimental contributor to pollution and human rights violations across the globe. Unethical sourcing and manufacturing practices have become so pervasive that it can be hard to find clothing companies that offer sustainable options.

Fortunately, there are custom t-shirt companies that produce eco-friendly clothing. Thread Logic offers several t-shirts from brands that have committed themselves to environmentally conscious fashion, using more sustainable materials in their clothes and packaging.

The effects of t-shirt manufacturing on the environment

The environmental cost of the textile and fabric industry has become readily apparent over the last few decades. The technological development of dyes, fabrics, shipping and packaging has maximized profit for clothing companies, but this comes at a price. Clothing production consumes a large amount of water and energy, all while emitting harmful chemicals and air pollutants.

We often take for granted the sheer amount of energy that it takes to produce everyday items. For example, the production of synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester requires a massive amount of power. This results in high fossil fuel and water use. These synthetic fabrics also have harmful byproducts that runoff from factories and contaminate local air and waterways.

Non-synthetic fabrics don't have the same harmful byproducts, but they're not much more sustainable. The most popular fabric in the world is cotton. Cotton is technically a natural fiber, but it uses large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers which contaminate the air and water.

However, clothing production and disposal don't have to hurt the planet. There are several good ways to identify sustainable clothing so you can feel good about what you wear.

What makes a custom t-shirt "eco-friendly"?

There are several factors that go into an "eco-friendly" custom t-shirt. Every part of a t-shirt's life cycle has to be considered. This includes many things that we often forget are behind our favorite clothes, such as farming, manufacturing, shipping and packaging.

It's important to remember that not all clothing materials are created equal. Synthetic and non-organic fabrics tend to be more harmful. Stay away from nylon and polyester that hasn't been recycled or isn't recyclable. Cotton is a versatile fabric that's great for t-shirts, but if it's not organic then it was likely grown with heavy chemicals.

Look for organic cotton, wool, hemp and other organic, natural fabrics. For more info on what fabrics to buy check out our blog!

When searching for the most environmentally conscious clothing, you should investigate the dyes, energy use, and inclusion of renewable materials. All of these things can have a significant impact on the sustainability of a t-shirt and should influence your decision on what to buy.

Why our custom eco-friendly t-shirts are the best:

At Thread Logic, we offer a wide range of eco-friendly t-shirts. With so many options, there are many different ways that our custom t-shirts are more sustainable than the competition.

Environmental sustainable production techniques

As the threat of pollution and global climate change has increased, many brands have committed to improving their production techniques to make them more sustainable. Thread Logic-affiliated brands such as Adidas and Allmade offer t-shirts that are shipped and manufactured with the environment in mind.

One way that American clothing companies can cut down on their carbon footprint is by manufacturing goods in the United States. The US could be doing far more in the way of sustainability, but its manufacturing practices and regulations are relatively eco-friendly when compared to the rest of the globe.

Companies can also eliminate the high environmental cost of shipping goods across the world by manufacturing domestically. Shipping within the United States requires far less fuel than a cargo ship from across the Pacific Ocean. This cuts down on the number of carbon emissions that are produced.

One of our favorite US-made products is the AllMade Ladies Tri-Blend V-Neck Tee. This shirt is made from a well-engineered blend of 50% polyester from recycled plastic bottles, 25% organic, US-grown cotton and 25% Tencel Modal.

By using US-grown cotton and yarn that was spun, knit, dyed and finished in the U.S.A, this v-neck tee from AllMade cuts down on potential carbon emissions.

For more customizable t-shirts from AllMade, check out the Ladies Tri-Blend Long Sleeve Tee.

Eco-friendly materials

Many of the custom t-shirts we offer use materials that are less likely to pollute the environment and prioritize renewability.

The Adidas Sport T-Shirt is made with 100% recycled polyester but doesn't sacrifice comfort. Recycled synthetic fabrics allow consumers to enjoy the benefit of lightweight, breathability without having to worry about harmful effects on the environment.

For more t-shirts that optimize sustainable solutions, check out the Port & Company Tall Core Blend Tee. This 50/50 cotton and polyester blend t-shirt uses up to 5% recycled polyester from plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are highly wasteful but Port and Company has helped to prevent a small amount of that waste through this versatile shirt.

Other ways clothing companies can be sustainable

Sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging is essential to the safety of our planet. Single-use plastics are detrimental to the land and oceans, creating a mass of unnecessary waste and they are often produced for packaging.

Companies can be more eco-friendly by implementing sustainable packaging techniques such as plant-based/recycled packaging and using biodegradable plastic alternatives.

Some strategies, such as simply using a smaller box for shipping, are good solutions to waste problems that can be implemented with relative ease.

Water-based inks

Elaborate on the importance of sustainable inks and how embroidery is a sustainable alternative

Clothing brands can also use water-based inks over more harmful alternatives. Many water-based inks use fewer toxins and petroleum products than other inks, such as plastisol. They leave behind a smaller carbon footprint from their production and create less waste when compared to plastisol.

Despite what you may think, water-based inks tend to last longer than plastisol. This lengthens the lifespan of the garment and promotes donation over throwing clothes away.

Considering the end of the garment's life from the beginning

You can help the clothing industry be more sustainable too! Clothing is a recyclable resource. It can be donated, recycled or upcycled, so you should never feel like you have to throw your old t-shirts away.

Think about how you can extend your garment's life by donating it to a local second-hand store or taking it to a clothing recycling facility.

Recycling and donating clothing helps to reduce unnecessary waste and landfill use. Landfills are harmful to the environment and prevent clothes made from organic materials from getting the oxygen they need to break down. Without oxygen, clothing is broken down by microorganisms that produce greenhouse gases like methane. Methane degrades air quality when produced at an uncontrollable level, so it's important to cut down on methane production whenever possible.

Next time you think to throw out old clothing, donate it to your local Goodwill or look up info about how to recycle it at a nearby facility. Different recycling facilities will have different rules about what they will accept so look up a location near you and find out how you can drop off your tattered t-shirts.

Allow us to make your choice easy and supply your custom eco-friendly t-shirts

It's important that consumers know what options are available to them so they can make a difference with their purchases. Clothing doesn't have to cause severe environmental damage; clothing companies worldwide are beginning to make changes that promote sustainability.

We at Thread Logic have curated a section in our store that features eco-friendly options so you don't have to seek them out on your own. Our Eco-friendly page features all kinds of garments, from hoodies to trucker hats, and it's a great place to look for custom sustainable t-shirts.

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About Jeff Taxdahl

With over 20 years’ experience in embroidery and business ownership, Thread Logic owners Jeff and Wenda Taxdahl, and the Thread Logic team, know what it takes to make custom logo embroidered apparel that people are proud to wear.