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Ethically Sourced T-shirts
T-shirts are by far the most popular customized promotional item. We sell a lot of shirts! This popularity also means shirts have the most different ethical options available. Navigating these options and making an informed decision is a tricky task, especially if your job isn’t researching all day long. That’s why Ethix exists- we do the research so you dont have to!
We pride ourselves on being the most accurate source of information about ethical custom T-shirts.
Customized T-Shirts – Available Union Made, Locally Made, Organic, and Fair Trade
We want to be honest with you about the qualities and shortcomings of what’s currently available in the world of T-shirts, so we created this guide.
We made another guide you can download to learn more about the actual ordering process- check out our T-Shirt Ordering Checklist + Savings Tips.
And remember, we specialize in embroidery and screen printing with unionized shops, so your embellishments are also ethical.
If you have further questions about T-shirts, don’t hesitate to ask us!
The Complete Ethix Merch Guide to Custom Printed T-Shirts
What You Can Get
Union / Living Wage / Dominican Republic Union made, living wage, Alta Gracia brand shirts from the Dominican Republic, verified by the Worker Rights Consortium
Union / USA Union made in the USA tees in a variety of colors, including union labels from UFCW, GCIU, and Workers United
Union / USA Women’s union made tshirts, including v-necks, scoop neck, and polos, as well as Bayside USA brand women’s union made tees
Organic / USA Organic, locally made T-shirts in many fashion-forward styles for men, women and kids
Organic / USA Organic, locally made T-shirts at low price points
USA / Lightweight / Budget Friendly Colorful 5.4 oz. shirts made in America by the trusted Bayside brand
Bamboo / USA
American made bamboo T-shirts, polos, and other high quality bamboo clothing
USA USA made camouflage T-shirts and accessories, and theme printed sleeves
Organic / variety of countries in Africa Edun Live organic T-shirts brand is made in African factories with organic cotton. We have concerns about transparency, so they are “red flagged” on our website- please talk to us about this!
Union / USA / Recycled We are very excited to now offer USA Union Made 100% recycled cotton and PET T-shirts. These 50% recycled cotton and 50% recycled polyester (PET) are stronger and more durable than 100% (virgin) cotton tees!
What Isn’t Available Yet… (or, anymore)
Union / Living Wage / Dominican Republic / Organic While Alta Gracia is not available in organic cotton, as the brand grows then hopefully this can become an option!
Union / USA / Organic Though many different union labels are available on many colors, right now there are no American made organic shirts from unionized factories in inventory- BUT special orders are possible for 1,500 minimum units!
Union / USA / Organic / American Apparel brand We know American Apparel has many popular styles for women (and guys), and they offer some organic tees, but they are still not unionized.
Wait- an organic, union made locally item of clothing?! Yes, this is the only one, but you can only wear these onesies if you are approximately 3 to 18 months old…
Union / USA / Popular Sports Brands You cannot stay sweat-free in Nike T-shirts while enjoying a sweatshop-free certainty
Organic / USA / Union / Alternative Apparel brand We know Alternative Apparel makes many labor and environmental guarantees, but we are not comfortable with their line without greater transparency
Organic / USA / SUPER Cheap Ethical shirts cost more up front to manufacture- but you save on paying external costs later as the effects of sweatshops and climate chaos become clearer
USA / Lightweight / Missy Size Right now there isn’t a great option for American made shirts that are lightweight and made for women in standard sizes- ask us though because this is constantly changing
Organic Bamboo Right now the only way to make bamboo into T-shirts requires harsh chemical processes. So, while you can grow bamboo organically, the actual fabrics are not
USA / Union / Camo A combination of union made camo in America is not currently in production
Organic / Made Internationally / Completely Transparent Brands like Anvil, Gildan, and Hanes still have many unanswered questions. Like Edun, they have eco offerings, but we draw the line and will not sell these shirts.
What / is / your / ideal / T-shirt? If you don’t see a shirt type on our site- ask us! We may be able to find exactly what you need ethically made
Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have.