12 best sustainable men's clothing brands that don't compromise on style
Update your wardrobe, but with pieces that are good for the supplier, for the environment, and for you. Please dress responsibly
From traditional tailoring to bold, gender-neutral designs, London’s Fashion Week Men’s celebrated colour and individuality earlier this month.
Designers like Bethany Williams, Zilver and Oculāris ensured sustainability was also woven into the schedule, inspiring us to go in search of some of the best ethical men’s fashion, available now or coming out very soon.
The brands that we’ve included in our list are thoroughly ethical, and don't just have a sustainable side line of clothing.
Each brand has completed a comprehensive questionnaire about its ethical standards, from workers in the supply chain to sustainability of materials.
Here are some of our favourites that prove on-trend, stylish design doesn’t need to come at the cost of the planet – or even your wallet.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Christopher Raeburn grey mesh bomber jacket: £350, Raeburn
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Raeburn, a designer that brilliantly fuses high fashion with genuine sustainability. Stating “we need to evolve or die”, Raeburn unapologetically challenges and disrupts the industry.
Clothing lines include Ræmade, made from surplus or remnant materials, Ræcycled, made from recycled PET, and Ræduced, a jersey selection produced from 100 per cent organic cotton.
This lightweight bomber features mesh sleeves, two front pockets and a ribbed collar, cuffs and waistband. The branded lanyard is optional.
Hiut selvedge denim hack slim fit jeans: £240, Hiut
These jeans are designed to be slim, but not too slim and low on the waist but not too low. They’re also designed to last, with Hiut offering free repairs for the life of your jeans.
Only 100 pairs are made every week in this factory in the Welsh town od Cardigan, which was opened by The Hiut Denim Company to bring manufacturing back to a town full of skillful jean makers, so this is slow fashion at its finest. Hiut is conscious about what styles it makes and how many it produces and the brand owns and runs its own factory, and control what it makes. Here, quality is paramount - and the factory solely makes jeans, and only for its own brand.
Rapunai zip hoody: £30, Rapunai
Rapunai is an all-round very cool brand – adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes wore one of its hoodies en route to the Antarctic and it’s also received the seal approval from Sir David Attenborough.
It sells essentials – T-shirts, jumpers, pants and socks – and even offers them in bundles to make shopping super simple. At the forefront of innovation, the designs are also easily customisable online.
Rapunai is especially great because of the way it operates. It’s a social enterprise on the Isle of Wight that actively helps to combat youth unemployment. The factory on the island is solely powered by renewables and another of their factories in southern India is powered by wind and solar energy. The closed-loop water system for dyeing clothes filters water so well it’s good enough to drink.
Monkee Genes organic sateen slate chinos: £65, Monkee Genes
Organic cotton is the main fibre used to make these chinos. Mid-rise with a tapered fit, they will no doubt become a staple in your wardrobe.
It says a lot about the fashion industry that each pair of chinos has a label that says “no slave labour, no child labour, no blood, no sweat, no tears” and an assertion that “everyone involved in this garment has been paid a living wage”. But it says much more about Monkee Genes.
The Level Collective Winnats roll-top navy rucksack: £295, The Level Collective
This backpack is the ideal choice to take you from work in the city to the winding roads of its namesake – Winnats Pass in the Peak District.
Made from weatherproof hybrid waxed organic cotton from Scotland with hand-cut and embossed British leather detailing, it has an 18 litre capacity and clever compartmentalisation for your laptop and water bottle.
With the HQ – and much of the production – in Sheffield, The Level Collective offers backpacks and accessories made by independent crafts persons in the UK. Any products that are made internationally are all from factories that have achieved Fairwear certification.
It’s about to launch “Collective Giving”, where five per cent of the profits are given to projects that enable vulnerable people to spend more time outdoors with the aim of improving their physical and mental well-being.
Stand4 Socks rainbow socks: £11.99, MAMOQ
These funky, limited-edition, LBGT socks are just one pair from a whole range of socks that won’t fail to brighten your day.
Made in factories with high ethical standards in Turkey, Stand4 Socks do exactly what their name suggests – they stand for something.
Each pair of socks is linked to a different cause associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This collection operates on a buy-one-give-one policy, for each pair sold they give a specially made pair of thick, antibacterial socks to a homeless person. Why socks? Because they are one of the most requested items at homeless shelters.
Komodo stetson denim shirt: £60, Komodo
Inspired by historical men’s uniforms and workwear and the idea of layering textures and colours, Komodo’s new collection offers a fresh and modern aesthetic.
This denim shirt made from Tencel (derived from eucalyptus wood, a more eco-friendly alternative to viscose) is stylish and versatile.
While increasing numbers off brands are adding sustainable lines to its repertoire, Komodo has stayed quietly consistent since 1988. It uses innovative fibres and fabrics and works very closely with family-run factories to create pieces that transcend seasonal fashion.
Brothers We Stand white organic T-shirt: £20, Brothers We Stand
A round-neck, soft, well-fitting T-shirt is surely a staple for any wardrobe. Handily, this one comes in black, grey and navy as well as white.
At £12.50 a top, Brothers We Stand is practically single-handedly dispelling the myth that high-quality ethical fashion has to be expensive. Its organic T-shirts are made in factories in Bangladesh that are independently audited by the Fair Wear Foundation and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Plus, the agent has a team that visits the factories daily during production to monitor working conditions and ensure that nothing is subcontracted out to un-regulated factories.
Brilliantly, The Brothers We Stand online shop also curates ethical men’s clothing, with a focus on style. Each item has a footprint tab detailing its social and environmental impact that provides a transparent window into the supply chain.
The White T-Shirt Company fitted marl grey v-neck T-shirt: £35, The White T-Shirt Company
If you’re looking for a t-shirt with a tighter or slimmer fit, then look no further than the White T-Shirt Company that offers fine cotton mix tops that are soft to touch.
All the materials are GOTS certified – key criteria for certification is safe working conditions, with regulated working hours and wage protection, plus no child labour. Plus, all the packaging is biodegradable, and it steers clear of plastics.
Riz buckler waves shorts: £100, Riz
It has taken 10 years of development, but UK swimwear brand Riz has finally created swim shorts where every single component – including the fabric, threads, zips and pieces of mesh - are made from plastic waste.
The latest “Blue Capsule” collection from these swim short tailors features three ocean-themed prints and is aimed at pushing the boundaries of stylish, sustainable fashion and circular design.
The shorts are not only made from 100 per cent recycled materials, they are also fully recyclable. As with all the products, at the end of their life they can returned to be “Rizcycled”. Very clever.
Arthur & Henry organic Oxford shirt: £79, Arthur & Henry
Arthur & Henry maintain that every man needs a good shirt. So what makes a good shirt? It’s one that’s soft and breathable, slim fitting (but not too slim), that’s well-made to last.
It’s also one that is produced in a way that is good for workers and good for the environment. Arthur & Henry produce in India because part of their mission is overcoming poverty through trade. It offers full transparency from the cotton farms to the garment making. The say workers in the factories are paid “well above” the state set minimum wages for the different roles. The shirts are GOTS, Fairtrade and Fair Wear verified.
Does that sound good enough to you?
WYNAD chambray red organic cotton long-sleeve shirt: £60, MAMOQ
Made from 100 per cent organic light twill cotton, this casual shirt features a discrete midriff pocket and tortoiseshell buttons.
Designed in London, the shirts are hand-stitched at Jacobs Well production house in Bangalore, a place that is passionate about providing employment opportunities for those who don’t have many and that continues to support their professional development.
Every factory in WYNAD’s supply chain supports its workers. Plus, it gives ten per cent of sales to support women empowerment projects in rural India.
The verdict: Men’s ethical clothing brands
For its uncompromising commitment to fashion and function, style and sustainability, Christopher Raeburn's mesh bomber jacket is our top pick. For wardrobe staples, Rapanui's bundles have to be a winner because its brilliant across the board and has opened up its supply chain to collaborate with other brands. Plus, we love the fact you can bulk buy collections.
A couple of brands from this list were discovered on MAMOQ, an online shop that curates the best from brilliant ethical fashion designers, so its definitely worth bookmarking for when you’re next shopping or looking for inspiration.
Lizzie is the founder of ethical lifestyle website BICBIM (bicbim.co.uk)
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.