With summer just around the corner, we’re all looking to upgrade our wardrobes with staple pieces. The most popular summer garment is, without a doubt, a t-shirt. We wear it everywhere, from the city to the beach to formal occasions. But do you know what are the most sustainable t-shirt materials?

However, with the world being where it is, we also need to think more about the impact our purchases make. That’s why understanding the most sustainable materials and best choices is so important.

While there’s a lot of debate about which fabrics are truly eco-friendly and sustainable, we have narrowed it down to a few that we think have deserved to be on top of the list. You can find these on the list of eco friendly t-shirts by FreshCleanTees.com.

Here is a List of Sustainable T-shirt Materials

Organic and Recycled Cotton

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Organic or recycled cotton is one of the most sustainable fabric choices for your t-shirts.

This cotton is light, breathable, and protects you from the hot summer sun. You may wonder why it needs to be organic, and the answer is because regular cotton production requires a lot of water and chemicals, which end up harming our environment.

Organic cotton minimizes the environmental impact and reduces or eliminates harmful chemicals from the production process.

Recycled cotton is even better because it uses post-industrial and post-consumer cotton waste and helps reduce water and energy consumption. Besides, it doesn’t add to the ever-growing landfills!

Organic Linen

Linen is another excellent choice and also a natural fabric. Organic linen production doesn’t require as much water or pesticide for growth and manufacturing processes as many other textiles.

It’s an excellent choice in high temperatures because it absorbs and protects the skin from the sun. Linen is also biodegradable.

Organic Hemp

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Hemp may sound like something you buy at a hippie co-op store, but it’s actually very popular in textile production. T-shirts from hemp are one of the most sustainable ones as the growth of hemp needs very little water, doesn’t require pesticides, and is so much better for the soil and waterways.

Hemp fibers keep you cool in the summer and are very durable, and with today’s production advances, hemp tees are just as soft as the next thing.


Tencel Lyocell is made from wood pulp and has become quite popular recently.

Lyocell is 50% more absorbent than cotton, and its production requires less energy and water. While it’s a semi-synthetic that still uses chemicals in production, all the solvents are recycled, which helps reduce dangerous waste.

With its moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial properties, Lyocell is ideal for the summer and active wear.

Its fibers are biodegradable and compostable, and the production process has a low environmental footprint.


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Another fabric that’s relatively new and has become very popular is Econyl. It is a recycled fabric made from synthetic waste such as fishing nets, waste fabric, and industrial plastic that are recycled into a nylon yarn and then used to make clothing, including t-shirts.

The production is closed-loop, that uses less water in production and creates significantly less waste compared to traditional methods.

Then the waste is cleaned and shredded, then converted into yarn again.

This fabric has the downside of releasing plastic microparticles when washing, so the best option is to wash them in laundry bags that prevent and catch microfibers in the washer.

Recycled polyester

Recycled polyester is made from recycled plastic bottles and is a unique and fantastic way to reduce plastic waste pilling in landfills. Another great thing is that the production of recycled polyester requires fewer resources than virgin polyester and generates fewer CO2 emissions.

Its production requires 60% less energy, and yet the fibers are just as quality as the virgin polyester.

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