Not only are white t-shirts a summer wardrobe staple, in particular the casual shorts-and-top combo, they are also extremely versatile. A t-shirt in general is the perfect garment for the sunshine; effortlessly excellent at being dressed down for day wear, or dressed up for an evening event, or sunset dinner. With many more sunny days to come (we hope!), white fabric has three major benefits: it is cooler than other shades, such as black; it can be matched successfully with any other colour or pattern, and will emphasise the sun-kissed glow of your skin!
I’ve put together my top 5 white t-shirts at the moment, which are both sustainably and stylishly made, and sourced from ethical boutiques, all based in the UK.
#1 People Tree
People Tree was founded in 1996, and since then has been a supporter of promoting organic cotton farming. They aim to be 100% fair-trade throughout the entirety of their supply-chain, and adhere to Fair Trade Standards set by the World Fair Trade Organisation.
Their ‘Deanna Top in Eco White’ is made from hand-woven organic cotton. Breathable, with turn-back sleeves, this top also has a keyhole in the back, which I feel gives it a nice twist on the basic staple. I would match this top with shorts for a casual day-look, or with tailored trousers and statement jewellery for an instant evening outfit.
‘Deanna Top in Eco White’ from People Tree: £60
Thought began in Australia in 1995, with the desire of creating cool, natural clothing from sustainable fabrics, and later opened a London branch of their company in 2002. They describe themselves as a company where “contemporary fashion and sustainability go hand-in-hand.”
Their ‘Base Layer Bamboo Vest Top’ is a scoop-neck longline top made from bamboo and organic cotton, which I chose because I like the slight ruche at the front, and its length.
This interesting staple would be perfect tucked into high-waisted shorts, or worn loose over leggings or jeans for when there’s an evening breeze. Pair with any colour of cardigan you like best!
‘Base Layer Bamboo Vest Top’ from Thought: £22
Mayamiko was created in 2013, and sells fairtrade homewares and accessories, as well as clothing. Made in Malawi, they see no reason why a high quality product cannot be synonymous with ethical production. Their designs “fuse together contemporary designs with traditional African techniques.”
Their ‘Minimal White with Black Contrast Tee’ combines a white top, with a contrasting black band along the bottom. A scoop-neck garment, made from ethically sourced cotton – makes for a lovely twist on the classic white top.
This garment is a stylish staple, which would look great teamed with chunky colourful bracelets to give your outfit a pop of colour, or under dungarees, or in your very own co-ord set creation! Experiment with other colours or patterns, or check out Mayamiko’s accessories.
‘Minimal White with Black Contrast Tee’ from Mayamiko: £29
Beaumont Organic began in Manchester in 2008, and went on to win the Organic Textile Award in 2009. Regularly collaborating with associates in Tokyo, you may have seen them at the 2016 Ethical Fashion Show.
Their ‘CAYLA Organic Cotton Print T-Shirt’ is made of traceable, organic cotton, and originates from within Europe. A simple scoop-neck, this top is easily unisex, and incorporates an interesting print onto its front. But be quick, it’s on sale!
With its subtle advocacy towards ethical living, this printed tee would be perfect with Mom-style jeans, or tucked into shorts, either high-waisted or pleated, or even with braces, for a quirky evening-look.
‘CAYLA Organic Cotton Print T-Shirt’ from Beaumont Organic: £25
Finisterre started in 2003, as a surf shop in St. Agnes, but over the years they have expanded their collections to appeal to everyone, not just to the enormous surfer population of Cornwall. A personal favourite brand of mine, they promote an ethos of “functionality and sustainability – committed to product, environment and people.”
Their ‘Art Stripe Tee’ originates from Europe, and is made from 100% organic cotton, making it lightweight for summer. With a scoop-neck, its unique selling point is the brush-stroke pattern on its front, in summery colours of red or blue, reminiscent of the sun and sea.
This top would be an attractive addition to the wardrobe of anyone with a surfing lifestyle, or those looking for summer appropriate active-wear, as it allows well for ease of movement. Beautiful simplicity meets artistic flair – wear to the beach, or with peg-leg trousers for a comfortable evening outfit.
‘Art Stripe Tee’ from Finisterre: £30
A white t-shirt is an undeniable, basic essential to any wardrobe. There are no limits as to how to incorporate it into an outfit, as there are many different styles available besides the plain white vest-top. Versatile and sustainable… what more could be better?
Got a wonderful summery outfit that you’d like to share? We’d love to see it! Tweet us your pics at @revival_collect!