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Sustainable and Ethical Basics for Everyday

Sustainable and Ethical Basics - t-shirts, joggers, and more
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Sustainable and Ethical Basics

The terms ethical and artisan made are often synonymous with “novelty.”

And that’s not a bad thing. It’s nice to own a one-of-a-kind embroidered dress, a bag made from leather off-cuts, and handwoven shoes. But unless you’ve really embraced your eclectic side, it’s not particularly practical to outfit yourself exclusively in patterned and patch-worked goods.

I was a creature of comfort and versatility even before the pandemic. Now that most of my life is spent doing schoolwork, internships, and social events in a couple corners of my apartment, I have even more appreciation for my collection of soft cotton t-shirts and joggers. Jeans and rigid wovens just don’t belong inside the house, at least in my opinion.

So I’ve spent a lot of time seeking out ethically sourced, sustainable goods that fit well, last a long time, and fill the necessary category of “basics.

The following brands use natural, breathable fabrics; feature styles that work in many contexts; and cater toward someone who wants a good fit without too much fuss.

This post is partially sponsored and contains affiliate links. Please note that gendered terms are used here based on the brands’ usage.

$ – Under $50 | $$ – Under $100 | $$$ – Under $150 | $$$$ – $151+

Sustainable and Ethical Brands That Carry Basics

Sustainable and Ethical Basics - Antigone joggers

1. Antigone

What They Carry: With items made in NYC and North Carolina, Antigone is a newer brand that prioritizes sustainable fabrics, traceability, and comfort. They carry joggers, tanks, sweaters, and t-shirts for men and women.

Sizes: XS-XL
Price Point: $$-$$$$


American Giant

2. Encircled

What They Carry: Made in Toronto, Canada, Encircled specializes in women’s multi-wear, classic clothing in eco-friendly jersey fabrics that fit a wide variety of body types and sizes.

Sizes: XS-XXL
Price Point: $-$$$$


3. Dorsu

What They Carry: Made in Cambodia, Dorsu uses soft cotton factory remnants to produce their range of classic tees, dresses, and skirts. Men’s and women’s options.

Sizes: XS-XXXL
Price Point: $


4. American Giant

What They Carry: Made in the USA, American Giant makes clothing for men and women – including t-shirts, leggings, joggers, and hoodies – in soft cotton.

Sizes: XS-XXL
Price Point: $-$$$$


Sustainable and Ethical Basics - Quince
Sustainable and Ethical Basics - PACT Apparel

5. Quince

What They Carry: Produced using a more agile manufacturer to consumer model, Quince offers cotton basics, as well as recycled poly fleece in t-shirts, sweatpants, hoodies, and more for women and men.

Sizes: XS-XL
Price Point: $-$$$



What They Carry: PACT carries fair trade, organic lounge, athletic, t-shirts, and more for men, women, and kids. They also have a household linens collection.

Sizes: XS-XL
Price Point: $-$$


Fair Indigo
Universal Standard

7. Elegantees

What They Carry: Made ethically in Nepal and NYC, Elegantees offers a range of interesting basics like tees, dresses, and cardigans in soft cotton/spandex.

Sizes: XS-XL
Price Point: $-$$


8. Fair Indigo

What They Carry: Fair Indigo carries fair trade, organic t-shirts, leggings, and more in soft and sturdy Pima cotton. Women’s and men’s styles.

Sizes: XS-XXL
Price Point: $-$$$


9. Universal Standard

What They Carry: Universal Standard has an expansive collection of clothing for women – many offered in natural fibers with sustainable processes – with a specific focus on quality and size inclusivity (make sure to check fabric makeup; look for cotton and modal).

Sizes: 00-40
Price Point: $-$$$$


10. KOTN

What They Carry: KOTN has a close relationship with their fair wage factory, and offers classic Egyptian cotton basics for men and women, as well as bedding.

Sizes: XS-XXL
Price Point: $-$$$


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