The 10 Best Eco-Friendly Clothing Brands of 2021

Dress your family top-to-toe in sustainable clothing all-year round.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
With sustainability at its core, Organic Basics’ well-priced and durable menswear and womenswear.
Look no further than Pact Apparel for affordable cotton apparel that is responsible too.
Couture with a conscience, Stella McCartney is our go-to conscious label to splurge on.
Patagonia is our pick for rugged, durable and environmentally conscious outdoor gear.
Best for Workout Clothes:
Tentree Apparel at Tentree.com
Break in to a sweat without guilt in Tentree’s super stretchy and soft activewear that’s made from eco-friendly materials.
Best for Office Apparel:
Eileen Fisher at Eileenfisher.com
Fashion is timeless and for the label, a lifelong commitment.
Outerknown balances sustainability with a laid-back style, keeping the principles of fair labor at the forefront.
Infantium Victoria is passionate about creating organic and PETA-approved vegan couture for babies, kids and tweens.
Best Made in the USA:
MATE the Label at Matethelabel.com
From knitting, cutting, sewing, dyeing, packaging and shipping is done within 10 miles of their base in Los Angeles.
Best for Size Inclusivity:
Hours New York at Itshours.co
NYC-based Indie fashion house Hours designs chic, sustainable womenswear catering exclusively to sizes 14-28.

Each year, a staggering 100 billion or more items of clothing are made. Out of these, about 20% remain unsold, destined to join piles of discard. These fashion leftovers wriggle their way in to landfills, the incinerator or the shredder, with just a small proportion of clothes being recycled. Moreover, fast fashion is a highly polluting industry and often grapples with ethical issues, whether operating as sweatshops or exposing workers to dangerous conditions and exploitation.

But all is not gloom and doom. Though it’s impossible for a fashion brand to be 100% sustainable, there are alternatives to fast fashion, namely slow fashion. These labels are mindful of their impact on workers, the environment, and the consumer. For this list, we have researched brands known for their sustainability, ethical and quality credentials.

We’ve shortlisted labels based on various criteria, be it sourcing materials responsibly, using sustainable textiles, following ethical business practices, conserving resources, embedding transparency in to the supply chain, committing to fair trade practices, and giving back to the community.

So, below you can find the best eco-friendly clothing brands to wear all year long, guilt-free.

Best Overall: Organic Basics

Organic Basics Organic Cotton Tee

With sustainability at its core, Organic Basics’ well-priced and durable menswear and womenswear is made from environmentally-friendly fabrics in ethical factories. A certified B Corporation that balances purpose with profit, Organic Basics works with a wide selection of responsible materials such as GOTS-certified organic cotton, Tencel lyocell, GRS-certified recycled nylon, and recycled wool and cashmere, among others.

Offering everything from elevated basics and circular denim to activewear and conscious accessories, you can clad yourself from top-to-toe in fashion that comes with a sewn-in conscience. Each item of clothing also has an impact index to measure your environmental footprint, and it also brings out a detailed impact report if you want to dig deeper into the nitty-gritties.

What’s more, Organic Basics is a member of 1% For The Planet. So, whenever you snuggle in to their soft tees, you’ll know you’re also contributing towards a healthy Earth.

Best Budget: Pact Apparel

Pact Footie Sleeper

Look no further than Pact Apparel for affordable cotton apparel that is responsible too. The family-favorite brand has dreamy cotton clothing for the entire caboodle, and even offers cloud-like bedding to curl up in. Pact uses fluffy GOTS-certified organic cotton (blended with elastane when required). It has partnered with Fair Trade certified factories and also works with safe, ethical manufacturers globally, steering clear of sweatshops.

Pact’s thoughtful clothing donation program takes back gently used clothes from any brand. The recyclable packaging is made from post-consumer recycled materials. We love that we can buy everything from organic cotton undies for ourselves to cute onesies for the tots under one roof.

Best Luxury: Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney Est. 2001 Tee Shirt

Couture with a conscience, Stella McCartney is our go-to conscious label to splurge on. Designer Stella McCartney’s boundary-pushing eponymous fashion house has been at the forefront of sustainability and innovation.

Since inception, the label has not used leather, feathers, fur, or skin. Instead, it uses innovative eco-friendly materials such as mushroom-based leather and plant-based faux fur. Committed to social sustainability, it’s a member of the global alliance Ethical Trading Initiative, and their supply chain primarily constitutes small ateliers concentrated mainly across Europe.

Stella McCartney is now moving towards a new circular economy, keeping waste out of production and materials in use, while regenerating natural resources. The brand even nudges you to make a difference, too. Clevercare, its smart garment labelling system, helps you look after your clothes tenderly, while reducing your environmental footprint. With a strong give back policy, it’s opulence with a green heart.

Best for Outdoor Gear: Patagonia Outdoor Clothing

Patagonia Pastel P-6 Logo Uprisal Hoody

Patagonia is our pick for rugged, durable and environmentally conscious outdoor gear, carrying forth the minimalist style of climbers and surfers. Patagonia’s passionate about protecting the environment and has leveraged its functional, durable and repairable clothing to bolster this cause.

In fact, Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard is also the co-founder of global environmental powerhouse 1% For The Planet that funds vetted environmental nonprofits. Since 1985, Patagonia itself has granted over $100 million for environmental causes, including protecting grassroot communities, supporting terrestrial and water ecosystems, and preserving biodiversity.

Extending the life of your gear through their Worn Wear program is a big part of their environmental commitment. You can get your scruffy gear repaired, or trade-in your much-loved Patagonia garments for credits to grab a spanking new one or a refurbished tog.

Best for Workout Clothes: Tentree Apparel

Tentree Highline Cotton Acre Sweater

Break in to a sweat without guilt in Tentree’s stretchy and soft activewear that’s made from eco-friendly materials. Whether you love hikes, practice pilates, or workout regularly, the activewear made from recycled polyester from discarded plastic bottles, upcycled polyester from post-consumer waste, and Tencel lyocell from wood pulp fiber (all blended with elastane), help movement.

Each item’s environmental impact is documented in an Eco-Log by sustainability and carbon specialist, Greenstep. We love that you can offset your lifestyle through their Climate+ packages, be it your annual toilet paper needs or not-so-local avocado obsession.

Moreover, for every item sold, Tentree plants 10 trees (explaining the name). To date, this certified B Corporation has planted over 50 million trees, partnering with charitable organizations such as One Tree Planted and Trees for the Future.

Best for Office Apparel: Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher Doubleface Wool Shawl Collar Coat

Eileen Fisher’s effortlessly stylish silhouettes are perfect for the boardroom, while the company's support of women’s rights, and multi-faceted approach to environmental and social issues make it a true leader. A certified B Corporation, the brand is focusing efforts on building thriving communities, pursuing regenerative fibers, and strengthening climate action.

The company's commitment to sustainability also extended to external facilities in its supply chain. Eileen Fisher works with its suppliers to help them improve their sustainability profiles.

Fashion is timeless and for the label, a lifelong commitment. Their take-back program Renew and their circular system effort Waste No More have given a second and a third lease of life to clothes that left the rack a long time ago. Till date, the label has taken back at least 1.4 million articles of clothing, either reselling them or remaking worn out threads into shiny new ones. Next on the radar for the brand is Horizon 2030, a timeline set to up the ante on its sustainability efforts.

Best for Men: Outerknown Apparel

Outerknown Evolution Hooded Jacket

Founded by world champion professional surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown balances sustainability with a laid-back style, keeping the principles of fair labor at the forefront. They offer a great selection of sustainable fashion for men, as well as causal basics for women.

At least 90% of the fibers sourced by Outerknown are regenerated, organic, or recycled. The label is Fair Labor Association accredited, meaning it protects workers’ rights. Some of our favorite menswear items include the super cozy organic cotton blanket shirt (view on Outerknown), and the lifetime-guaranteed S.E.A Jeans (view on Outerknown) made from organic cotton in Fair Trade facilities.

The ocean is the soul of the brand. So naturally, the spotlight falls on their super comfy non-chafe swimming trunks made from 100% recycled or renewable fibers, a nod towards their ethos.

Best for Kids: Infantium Victoria

Infantium Victoria T-Shirt

Covering the entire gamut of little people fashion from adorable babies’ bloomers and dreamy baby doll dresses to mommy-and-me styles and pre-loved clothing, Infantium Victoria is passionate about creating organic and PETA-approved vegan couture for babies, kids, and pre-teens. Founded by Julia Gaydina and Dinie van den Heuvel, the label is steeped in nostalgia, with intricate detailing and impeccable craftsmanship.

Transparent about its supply chain, Infantium Victoria is GOTS-certified and partners with ethical suppliers across Europe and India. Just one look at the beautiful buttons plucked from trims’ specialist Knopf & Knopf or gorgeous lace from exquisite lace maker Société Choletaise de Fabrication makes us want to be children again.

Best Made in the USA: MATE the Label

Mate the Label Organic Terry Classic Joggers

If you’re a U.S. reader keeping a watchful eye on miles that fashion brands are racking up, thanks to their supply chains spread across the globe, then Mate the Label might be for you. Though the yarn usually comes from India, the company is mindful of the greenhouse emissions emitted at every step of the supply chain.

Each process thereafter, right from knitting, cutting, sewing, dyeing, packaging, and shipping is done within 10 miles of the company's base in Los Angeles. Working with organic and non-toxic material, it brings out a detailed impact report for you to see the strides the company is taking. A member of 1% For The Planet, we can lounge day-to-night in comfy and cute joggers, crop tops, and jumpsuits.

Best for Size Inclusivity: Hours New York

Hours Willow Dress

NYC-based Indie fashion house Hours designs chic, sustainable womenswear catering exclusively to sizes 14-28. Co-founded by sisters-in-laws Naaz Gulati and Harroop Kaur, Hours focuses on season-less styles and well-crafted silhouettes in inclusive sizes.

Working with upcycled materials, they produce limited amounts of clothing ethically in factories that are WRAP certified (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production), and packaged in 100% plastic-free packaging. If you’re unsure of the fit, set up a personalized styling session with Naaz, who will help finding the perfect piece for you in sync with your personal sense of style.

Final Verdict

Organic Basics is a one-stop shop with sustainability at the core of its everyday essential lines for men and women (view at Organic Basics). For affordable and versatile clothing for the whole family, choose Pact Apparel that’s committed to creating environmentally-friendly, fair fashion from clean and comfy organic cotton (view at Pact Apparel).

What to Look for When Shopping for Sustainable Clothing

With sustainability hogging fashion headlines in recent times and no clear one-size-fits-all definition, it can be confusing for a responsible shopper. To make things simple, so you can avoid buying into greenwashing, we help you navigate the world of sustainable fashion.

Materials

Take a close look at the materials, because not all materials are created equally. It’s good to check if the jeans you’re eyeing are made from conventional cotton that’s grown at a tremendous environmental and social cost, as compared to organic cotton. Or if that comfy hemp t-shirt you want to buy is sustainable or not. (Hemp is a low impact crop that requires much lesser water than conventional cotton and is considered a potentially good alternative to it). It’s always good to dig deeper.

Today there are many options when it comes to eco-friendly materials, such as plant-based leathers (think Piñatex made from pineapple leaf waste), Tencel lyocell (made from wood pulp), as well as synthetic fibers such as upcycled or recycled polyester, Econyl (made from regenerated nylon such as fishing nets) and much more.

Certifications

Shop for brands with third-party verified credentials, where ever possible. A good guide to check a brand’s credentials is to look for credible third-party certifications. However, smaller, indie labels might not have the requisite certifications. In that case, look for other factors, such as transparency, that bolster their claims. We look at the most common certifications you will come across.

  •  Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): A leading global textile processing standard for organic fibers, it takes into consideration defined ecological and social criteria, supported by certification of the entire textile supply chain. Textiles carrying the GOTS label contain at least 70% certified organic fibers, whereas a product labelled 'organic' contains a minimum of 95% certified organic fibers.
  • Fair Trade: A Fair Trade seal implies that clothes have been produced meeting strict economic, environmental and social standards. That includes environmental protection, safe working conditions, funding for community development, and sustenance of livelihoods.
  • STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX: This certification indicates that textiles, from yarn to finished product, have been tested for harmful substances and subsequently, the clothing is harmless for human health.
  • Bluesign: A Bluesign seal is a sign of a responsible textile product that offers the highest degree of safety for consumers. It indicates that it has been manufactured by using resources responsibly, with minimal impact on people and the environment.

Transparency

Check how transparent a brand is – we love transparent brands which share detailed information about their ethos, their give back policy, and their supply chains, right from the farms to the finishing factory. A good place to start is by reading the brand’s FAQs and the impact reports.

Quality

Buying long lasting, high-quality clothes in limited quantities will make you happier than piles of fast fashion that fall apart in a few washes. You may pay a higher price upfront, but in the long term it's likely that you'll get a better cost per wear. You can lounge in sustainable sweats or slacks, which are kind to the environment and animals, equitable to workers, and safe for you skin, knowing that in some small way you’ve made a difference.   

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger is committed to making it easier to live sustainably, starting by helping you build a clean and ethical closet for your family. Slow fashion is gentle for your skin, kind to the Earth and takes care of all the people involved in the process of creation.

Writer Neeti Mehra is a slow-living coach and a sustainability consultant who also has years of experience writing about luxury markets. She prefers wearing hand spun and organic cotton clothing, and hangs on to her clothes for a long time.