Live Green and Earn Points


Choose T-shirts colored with organic dyes

By Shomik Ghosh |
Although the fabric used in your favorite T-shirt may be all natural, its eye-catching canary yellow coloring may be anything but.
Choose T-shirts colored with eco-friendly dyes (or no dye at all). You'll minimize (or completely avoid) the textile dyeing process — a practice detrimental to both the environment and to human health.

Find it! Naturally dyed T-shirts

Below is a sampling of sustainable T-shirts colored with low-impact dyes. Or if you'd prefer, go truly au naturel with dye-free T's. Styles are available for both and women, unless otherwise noted. Tie-dye sets not required.

Before you buy

Generally, T-shirts colored with dyes that pose decreased environmental dangers are made from organic cotton or another eco-friendly fiber, such as hemp. However, not all organic cotton or eco-friendly fiber T-shirts are colored with low-impact dyes. UK-based clothiers howies, for example, is keen on producing garments as environmentally sound as possible even though this does not extend to the dyeing department. Currently, the company is looking into ways to sustainably shade its hip line of sportswear. Keep in mind that T-shirts produced with utmost ecological perfection are somewhat elusive — that is unless you grow your own organic cotton, have the garment itself manufactured locally, and color it with organic, plant-based dyes. From the fiber it's made from, to the way it's colored, to the journey it makes from the retailer to your closet, a T-shirt (or anything article of clothing, for that matter) will leave behind some sort of environmental footprint. It's up to you to decide whether that footprint is sized S or XL.

Choosing T-shirts colored with eco-friendly dyes helps you go green because…

  • Conventional dyes are commonly synthetic and originate from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.
  • Conventional dyes can contain a host of hazardous chemicals, dangerous to both the environment and human health.
  • Eco-friendly dyes frequently require less water and less energy in the textile finishing process compared to conventional dyes.
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