Ethically Sourced Custom 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 don’t have to!
We pride ourselves on being the most accurate source of information about ethical custom T-shirts.
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||What Isn’t Available Yet… (or, anymore)|
|Union / Living Wage / Dominican Republic |
- Union made, living wage, Alta Gracia brand shirts from the Dominican Republic, verified by the Worker Rights Consortium
|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 |
- Union made in the USA tees in a variety of colors, including union labels from UFCW, GCIU, and Workers United
|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 |
- Women’s union made tshirts, including v-necks, scoop neck, and polos, as well as Bayside USA brand women’s union made tees
|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.
|Union / USA / Organic|
- For little ones who need tees: baby onesies locally made by union workers with organic cotton
|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||Union / USA / Popular Sports Brands |
- You cannot stay sweat-free in Nike T-shirts while enjoying a sweatshop-free certainty
|Organic / USA |
- Organic, locally made T-shirts in many fashion-forward styles for men, women and kids
|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 |
- Organic, locally made T-shirts at low price points
|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 / Budget Friendly|
- Colorful 5.4 oz. shirts made in America by the trusted Bayside brand
|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
|Bamboo / USA|
- American made bamboo T-shirts, polos, and other high quality bamboo clothing
|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 made camouflage T-shirts and accessories, and theme printed sleeves
|USA / Union / Camo |
- A combination of union made camo in America is not currently in production
|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!
|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.
|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 / 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.