Sustainable Basics Clothing Brands For Your Closet

Everybody needs a solid set of sustainable basics for their closet—a pretty sustainable dress, some sustainable sneaks, and a good amount of sustainable underwear and activewear.

With the many options available today, it can be exceptionally tough to make the right choices. And more importantly, it can be very challenging to sift through all the “ethical” brands and determine which ones are actually true to their word.

To help you out on your journey toward a more eco friendly lifestyle, here are some of the best sustainable basics clothing brands that are on the market today.

Pact - US

sustainable basics - pact
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image by wearpact.com

Pact is on a mission to become Earth’s favorite clothing company using Earth’s favorite fiber—organic cotton!

With carbon offset shipping, thoughtful packaging, and an operational system rooted in doing the right thing, Pact definitely deserves a spot in your sustainable closet.

The Basics Collection: What We Love

Pact is pretty popular for their underwear, and we’ve actually featured them in our guide on organic bras! But in our opinion, Pact’s dress collection is an underrated but super valuable part of the brand’s whole range.

If you have a feminine fashion style, dresses are one the best things you can wear quickly and look put together without actually putting in a lot of effort. And if you’re building a solid closet of everyday essentials, a good dress is a must.

Pact has a pretty extensive dress collection. They have dresses for casual days on the beach, picnics, as well as more formal dresses you can wear to night functions.

Whether you like form-fitting or loose, flared dresses, we’re sure there’s something for you in their collection.

The brand also has a pretty varied color range and their ethical basics come in pastels, dark colors, patterns, and classics like black and white.

Pact clothes go from a size XS to XL, which is not the most inclusive sizing range, and we hope this is something they can improve on in the near future.

As a fun bonus, Pact also has pieces for every member of your family, even babies and kids. They even have bed and bath essentials!

Sustainability & Ethics

Pact primarily uses organic cotton in their products. However, they do have some pieces that require a little more stretch, and for those ones, they use a small percentage of elastane or spandex. Curious about the difference between the two? Check out our guide here.

Organic cotton is their fabric of choice because it has a significantly better environmental impact than conventional cotton. In contrast with normal cotton, organic cotton takes 81% less water to produce and is never made with any toxic chemicals.

Pact uses GOTS-certified organic cotton sourced from India, where they also manufacture many of their clothes.

While India is one of the countries where unethical labor practices abound, Pact makes sure they partner with Fair Trade certified factories whenever possible.

The Fair Trade certification is not applicable in countries where there are already labor protection regulations for workers. And in those instances, Pact cannot acquire a Fair Trade certification but guarantees all their clothes are made under ethical working conditions.

Pact also has initiatives to limit their carbon footprint by choosing shipping materials that have a better life cycle footprint.

Allbirds - US

allbirds sustainable sneakers
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Allbirds is a certified B-Corp on a journey towards making better things in a better way. The brand is based in the US but has locations in North America, Europe, as well as a couple in Asia.

And like many other brands in the world of sustainability, Allbirds began through research and innovation. Today, years later, they’re one of the world’s most notable sustainable shoewear and apparel brands.

The Basics Collection: What We Love

Allbirds is primarily a shoewear company. And although they also have a sizable collection of activewear, casual wear, as well as undies, their shoes are what really run the show—and no sustainable closet would be complete without a trusty pair of sustainable, every day sneakers.

Allbirds has running shoes, sneakers, slides, boat shoes, hiking shoes, flats, and plenty more. The brand’s collection mainly contains shoes for everyday wear, but you can also double some of their pieces for performance-related activities.

For women, they even have flats for days when you just want to put on something really comfy and breezy.

Allbirds puts your feet’s comfort at the top of their list, and all their pieces are made with optimum comfort in mind.

Their shoes are designed to be flexible and conform with your movements, whether you’re doing something as casual as a quick walk outside, or something more intensive like a full day of errands.

Allbirds also has their own proprietary knits that ensure each of their shoes are comfy, durable, and easy on your feet.

Plus, they also have a fun little selection of shoes for little kids and big kids alike—perfect for the whole family.

Take note that Allbirds does not offer half sizes, so if you have mid-size feet, make sure to size up.

Sustainability & Ethics

Allbirds uses a couple of sustainable fabrics for their shoewear. They use recycled materials and natural materials like trees, wool, and sugar to make their shoes—they even have castor bean oil in their list of materials!

But their material of choice for footwear is merino wool, which, unfortunately, makes Allbirds shoes not suitable for vegans. If you’re looking for vegan sneakers, head on over to our separate guide where we talk about vegan-friendly sneaker brands.

The good news is that Allbirds sources wool from ethical sources and the brand partners with organizations like ZQ Merino to ensure their wool comes from sheep that live good lives. You can read more about wool and veganism here.

If wool is really not up your alley (i.e., you’re a vegan or allergic), Allbirds still has options for you. They use Tencel lyocell in some of their products, which is a sustainable and vegan-friendly material.

Allbird products are made in several locations worldwide with their footwear being primarily hand-assembled in China and South Korea. They also accept third-party standards like WRAP and SMETA to ensure fair labor practices and safe working conditions are continuously applied in their partner factories.

The best thing about Allbirds is their commitment to sustainability. They acknowledge that it is no longer enough to be carbon neutral, especially given the pressing nature of today’s climate change issues.

Instead of simply covering up emissions by buying carbon credits, it is essential to start from core business practices and reduce emissions from there. This process is called “insetting” and involves practices like regenerative agriculture and the use of renewable materials.

Although Allbirds is a carbon neutral company, and carbon neutrality is an important vehicle of short-term change, they understand that it is not a long-term solution.

And it is this exact commitment to long-term environmental solutions that make Allbirds one of the best sustainable basics clothing brands today. You can read more about the Allbirds’ plans, commitments, and achievements with sustainability measures here.

Mate The Label - US

Mate organic sports bras
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image by matethelabel.com

Mate is on a mission to provide sustainable clothing basics that are clean from seed to skin. Made with organic, natural, and non-toxic materials, Mate The Label is one of the leading brands in sustainable fashion.

As a member of 1% for The Planet and a Climate Neutral-certified corporation, Mate is on the path to clean up the fashion industry one sustainable clothing piece at a time.

The Basics Collection: What We Love

Mate The Label has an extensive collection of sustainable basics. They have everything from dresses, tanks, bottoms, activewear, sleepwear, as well as pieces for colder weather.

But what we love most about Mate’s collection is their maternity wear. They have a lot of maternity-friendly clothing pieces that are chic, stylish, and comfy all at the same time.

And for upcoming moms, comfort is one of the top priorities in any piece—style is just a welcome bonus.

Mate’s collection of organic basics for new or upcoming moms is a lovely selection of coordinates, dresses, tanks, pants, and many other loungewear options. What’s great about these pieces is that they can be worn at home as well on casual days outside.

Mate’s color palette is super friendly and easy on the eyes. Many of their ethical basics are pastel toned and are perfect for layering for more depth in your outfit. Their colors focus on classics like white, bone, black, and some sage green, baby pink, and brown.

Unfortunately, Mate doesn’t have the best size range and most of their sizes only go from XS to XL. For their essentials collection, however, they already have 1X-3X sizes.

We know this still isn’t the best out there, and Mate is currently working on their range and making it more exclusive to different sizes.

Sustainability & Ethics

Mate The Label primarily uses organic fabrics in their clothing. They use a variety of knits and weights, and they use organic cotton jersey, organic cotton terry, organic stretch, and even fleece—although this last one is not specifically organic.

All Mate products are vegan-friendly and are only made with plant-based components; even the thread is made of cotton whereas most threads are made of polyester. As of writing, the brand is in the process of using all organic cotton in their thread.

They also use linen and Tencel lyocell variants for their pieces. If you want to know more about Mate’s materials, this guide is super handy for navigating different weights and thicknesses.

At this moment, Mate currently has a list of 39 chemicals and 49 dye substances that they don’t use in their clothing. The brand uses low-impact dyes so you can rest assured that your Mate pieces are free from toxic chemicals.

All Mate products are made within 15 miles of their headquarters in Los Angeles with their main manufacturing facility being only 4 miles away from HQ. This has several implications, including a limited environmental footprint and improved manufacturing oversight.

It also significantly shortens the supply chain, which is better for the environment overall.

Their partner factories are not Fair Trade certified but are Fair Trade compliant. Mate ensures that all partners operate under the best ethical standards.

Mate also gives back to the community through 1% For The Planet. As customers, you can even choose which non-profits you want to donate to and you will be able to do so at checkout. This gives you more autonomy to choose where your donations will be going and which causes you want to support.

Boody - Australia

sustainable bike shorts from boody
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image by boodywear.com

Boody was built on the idea of a simpler wardrobe made of affordable sustainable basics that support the everyday lifestyle.

With a focus on eco friendly and fair production, Boody has made its mark on the sustainable fashion industry through community engagement, sustainability, and an ethos of kindness to all.

The Basics Collection: What We Love

Boody is an apparel brand. But they are primarily known for their quality underwear that make an excellent base for your conscious wardrobe.

Boody is actually Australia’s first B Corp underwear brand!

The company’s underwear collection is available for men and women, plus they have a cute little section on babywear!

Boody’s cuts and designs truly hone in on the concept of sustainable basics. With simple yet versatile designs, Boody has something for all your bra and underwear needs.

The brand’s color palette is strongly rooted in classics and soft nudes. Their ethical basics are typically available in black and white, as well as an assortment of gray, nude, pink, navy, and olive colors.

Apart from a handful of styles, Boody’s affordable sustainable basics are available in sizes XS to XL, we’re hoping they will expand their size range soon to make their sustainable basics available for everybody, regardless of shape or size.

Given that Boody already provides extended sizing for some styles, we are hopeful that they’re working on applying the same throughout their whole range.

Sustainability & Ethics

Boody products are made from bamboo and GOTS-certified organic cotton.

Now, Bamboo fabric has a complex reputation in sustainable fashion. On the one hand, bamboo fabrics are made from a renewable resource: bamboo. But on the other, bamboo fabrics are more often than not made in the same way as viscose, which isn’t exactly the most sustainable production process.

Whenever you’re buying anything made from bamboo fabric, it is crucial to always dig deeper into the company’s production process. Many “sustainable brands” claim to use eco friendly bamboo fabrics yet none of their practices actually support such a notion.

Fortunately, Boody uses bamboo lyocell. And in the world of rayons, lyocell is the best and most sustainable option.

Boody uses eco friendly fabrics that are organically grown without toxic chemicals. Their bamboo is sourced from FSC-certified fields that rely solely on rainwater to cultivate bamboo—no irrigation or pesticides are required.

Boody undies are made in either Vietnam, China, or India under ethical and safe working conditions. You can read the Boody code of conduct here for a clearer view of what the brand requires before partnering with any factory or supplier.

As Boody is a B Corporation, we can trust that this ethical brand implements the highest level of sustainability and ethics throughout its entire supply chain.

The Standard Stitch - US

red sustainable basic sweater
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image by thestandardstich.com

The Standard Stitch is on the path of shaking up how fashion impacts people and the planet by rethinking how we view, create, and consume fashion.

This sustainable fashion brand is on a mission to create clothing that is gentle on the earth and our bodies—fashion done in the spirit of kindness and fashion done right.

The Basics Collection: What We Love

Standard Stitch is mainly a loungewear brand. A bulk of their collection is comprised of ultra-comfy lounge essentials made from sustainable materials.

But what we love about the brand’s ethical basics are their inclusive sizing options. Unlike most brands, The Standard Stitch offers XS up to 5X in all their designs, staying true to their claim of making gentle clothing for everybody and every body.

The brand’s color palette is muted but colorful, perfect pieces for days inside or a quick run to the grocery store. The Standard Stitch focuses on comfortable clothing like joggers, sweatshirts, jogger shorts, as well as some tees.

If your closet is in need of sustainable basics for the most casual days, then The Standard Stitch is a great place to start.

Their designs can also easily double as layers for when you’re working out or going for run in chilly weather.

If you’re a fan of fun and colorful sustainable basics, then we highly recommend giving The Stanard Stitch a try.

Sustainability & Ethics

The Standard Stitch products are made with materials like organic cotton or recycled cotton, which can come from pre-consumer or post-consumer sources.

Organic cotton comprises only 1% of the world’s entire cotton production, likely because it takes more effort and money to cultivate, and not all farms may be equipped to do so. In addition, small-scale farmers may lack the resources to get their farms certified and vetted by third-party organizations.

Organic cotton is not made with any toxic chemicals and requires considerably less water and energy to cultivate than conventional cotton. However, like all organic materials, it is also a more expensive option and may not be accessible to all consumers.

Standard Stitch uses a combination of recycled materials and organic cotton in production. Through this method, they help divert fabric cuttings from the landfill and promote the use of organic cotton in clothing.

All Standard Stich products are made locally in Los Angeles. Their products are made very close to their main office and only require 10.3 miles of traveling from fabric to finishing—quite an impressive feat!

This short supply chain also means The Standard Stitch can easily oversee manufacturing to ensure fair working conditions are in place.

The company only works with vendors who abide by their Code of Conduct as a minimum. Their Code involves provisions regarding fair wages, worker health and safety, and environmental protection. And because Standard Stitch only works with LA suppliers, these factories must also follow Californian Labor Laws.

Some of the third-party certifications they look for are the Organic Cotton Standard, Global Recycled Standard, and Global Organic Textile Standard, among others.

Standard Stitch also offsets their emissions through various energy projects worldwide. Moreover, the brand also practices closing the loop by initiating a take-back program—thereby improving producer responsibility for waste.

Luva Huva - UK

Luvahova sustainable basic
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image by luvahuva.co.uk

Luva Huva is a UK-based fashion brand built on the idea that pretty, feminine clothing can be made with sustainably-sourced, eco friendly materials.

Founded by someone with a background in textiles, Luva Huva is beautiful, ethical, and made one of a kind.

The Basics Collection: What We Love

The star of Luva Huva’s entire production is their lingerie collection. Elegant and comfortable at the same time, these sustainable basics are perfect additions to your closet. After all, being supporters of sustainable fashion doesn’t have to mean you don’t get to have any fun!

Luva Huva’s collection has varying coverages so you can easily find one that fits your needs. They also have nighties and slips that are super comfy yet have a luxury look and feel.

Luva Huva lingerie also comes at relatively affordable prices without compromising on the material’s great quality.

The brand has options for those looking for minimalist styles as well as those of you who want a little more lace and frill in your luxury undies.

Unfortunately, Luva Huva only offers sizes Small, Medium, and Large as their base size range. Do take note that the brand uses UK sizes so their sizes may be a little different than what you’re used to.

While this isn’t at all an inclusive range, we have to consider that the brand is a very small operation and each piece is handmade.

As a result of this, they are not able to stock a lot of sizes and only keep in stock a couple of each style and size. However, you can request custom sizing, which is especially useful if you can’t find your size in traditional bra cup sizing.

There is typically no additional fee for custom sizing, so that’s definitely a plus in their favor.

Sustainability & Ethics

Luva Huva uses a variety of eco friendly fibers to make their clothing. They use materials like organic cotton, hemp, and soy.

As much as possible, the brand also sources off-cut fabrics for their limited collections, allowing them to reuse fabric that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Unique from many of the sustainable basics clothing brands we’ve featured so far, Luva Huva is only comprised of four key employees! Four women run their studio and do everything from taking orders and sewing to wrapping and shipping each item.

There’s really nothing that speaks of ethical production more than a tight-knit team working together in a space where creativity flows abundantly.

A Quick Guide On Shopping for Organic Basics

Shopping for sustainable clothing can be complicated, to say the least. You need to assess materials, the supply chain, and ethical manufacturing conditions, among so many other things.

For starters, make sure to opt for sustainable fabrics like organic cotton (look for GOTS- certified organic cotton), hemp, and lyocell. For performance wear, you can even go for recycled polyester or recycled nylon. Just make sure that you are purchasing eco friendly materials as much as possible.

Recycled polyester is a common component in many sustainable activewear options, but it still isn’t necessarily the best choice all the time. When washing, make sure to use a baggie to catch the microplastics that may leak into our water systems and the environment.

If possible, we also highly recommend you check if the brand uses non toxic, low impact dyes in their products. If this information isn’t easily accessible, clothing made from certified organic fabric is a good indication that the material was processed with non-toxic dyes.

Moving on to production, it’s important that you buy from ethical sources. Some of the best ways to ensure your clothes were produced ethically is to check if they were made in a fair trade certified factory.

Fair trade-certified factories help guarantee that workers were fairly compensated for their labor and work under safe and healthy working conditions.

Final Thoughts

Sustainability is an important aspect of being a conscious consumer. It forces us to reflect on our purchases and make sure we’re creating a positive impact on the planet (at least as much as possible).

It isn’t always easy, but it is possible. We hope this list of the best sustainable basics clothing brands will help guide you on your journey towards a more eco friendly life.

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