You’ve probably heard that the fashion industry has some problems.
Burberry burned $36.5 million worth of clothes in 2017 and had been burning clothes for years before they were called out. Eventually, public pressure led to a promise from the brand to change this policy, but it doesn’t account for the damage done for years before.
The Rana Plaza factory that collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013, which killed 1138 people, produced clothes for Wal-Mart, Zara, and many other notable brands. The collapse was caused by critical structural issues, which the brands producing there should have been responsible for.
These are just the brands that have been caught. Most big brands hide their supply chains, because as we know transparency is critical for accountability.
The good news is that we need not buy from any of these brands. We can vote with our dollars for brands that better align with our style AND our values.
Let’s vote for brands that are taking tangible measures to pay workers fairly, provide safe working conditions, and reduce the environmental impact of making clothes. You need not make sacrifices on price, style, or quality to make a positive impact.
With this list of 12 brands you’ll find high quality items, great style, and competitive pricing. While the price of ethically sourced clothes will never be as low as fast fashion, if you calculate the cost per wear, by dividing the price by the number of wears, you’ll find options that are built to last much more cost effective than fast fashion.
These brands are all based in the US so for American shoppers you won’t pay any premium on shipping or increase your carbon footprint.
12 Ethical Men’s Brands in the US 2023
Here’s 12 go-to ethical men’s brands to cover all your wardrobe needs.
1. Los Angeles Brand: Outerknown
LA based Outerknown’s motto is “For People and Planet” and you can see this in the way they do business.
Outerknown was founded in 2015 by Kelly Slater, 11-time World Surf League Champion, and designer John Moore, who previously worked with brands such as Quicksilver. They wanted a conscious clothing brand that provided better looking men’s clothes for surfers, without all the logos, and without being part of the fashion industry’s dark side.
What you have today is far more than just a brand for surfers. Outerknown provides eco-friendly and ethically made menswear including jeans, blazers, shirts, and sweaters.
A company that values fair trade and sustainable sourcing, and is transparent in its supply chain, Outerknown produces products you can feel good about. For example, many of their products are made with organic cotton and recycled materials.
Pesticides used on conventional cotton pollute our soil and water, kill wildlife, and poison farmworkers. Organic cotton uses none of those pesticides.
Outerknown’s jeans are made with organic cotton and produced at Saitex, the leading sustainable denim factoring in the world. At Saitex nearly all the water used in production is recycled and filtered, eliminating the toxic wastewater that many denim factories dump into rivers.
2. San Francisco Brand: Taylor Stitch
Taylor Stitch has a great selection of basics and men’s essentials responsibly built for the long haul. Since each item is crowd funded, they never over produce, eliminating the problem of wasteful excess inventory.
Founded in 2009, Taylor Stitch is based in San Francisco, CA. They have a stunning selection of shirts and blazers, and sometimes do limited runs of suits as well as shoes.
Taylor Stitch embraces ethical practices, ensuring fair wages and benefits for workers. They have also made good effort to improve the sustainability of their manufacturing over the last few years, incorporating organic cotton and other sustainable materials.
Taylor Stitch is a go-to for durable men’s staples.
3. Boston Brand: Adelante Made-to-Order
Boston based Adelante Shoe Company was founded in 2016 by Peter Sacco. Their sophisticated leather shoes are handmade in Guatemala.
You won’t find a Fair Trade stamp on their website. Why? After analyzing data that shows a gap between Fair Trade and a living wage, Adelante decided to measure their own living wage, which they call the Living Well Line. In this way, all of Adelante’s workers are paid a living wage, above and beyond industry standards.
Having traveled to Latin America many times, Peter wanted to make a difference in addressing some of the economic hardships he saw first-hand. Adelante “envisions a future in which business is used to reduce poverty and promote inclusive development worldwide.”
4. LA, California Brand: For Days
For Days has been taking the sustainable fashion world by storm with their commitment to circularity. They offer men’s tees, sweatpants, joggers, shorts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and more.
Anything you buy from For Days is designed with the end of life in mind. This means the clothes are designed so they can be recycled (not all clothes are) and you can send them back to For Days when you’re done with them to—you guessed it—be recycled!
For Days also has a take back program to sell and down-cycle any clothes from any brand. Clothes from other brands may not be recyclable, but For Days will still help you get rid of them responsibly.
5. Boulder, Colorado Brand: Pact
Pact Apparel is based in Boulder, Colorado. Founded in 2009, they give us super soft organic cotton basics that make the world a better place.
The products are 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, made in Fair Trade factories, and vegan. Pact is great for underwear, socks, tees, henleys, hoodies, sweats, and polos.
Pact products are affordable, soft, well-fitted, and ethically made. Pretty hard to beat that combination.
6. San Jose, California Brand: Vustra
Vustra hand selects facilities dedicated to community growth, women’s empowerment, and uses low impact dyes. Looking great and making a positive impact just got way more synonymous.
Vustra offers stylish button up shirts that are both affordable and sustainably made. All the shirts in their first collection are 100% certified organic cotton and made in Fair Trade factories.
Cofounder Parth Desai says he was inspired to start Vustra by both the Rana Plaza Incident and the Fashion Revolution. He wanted to give customers ethically made men’s button-ups that are more colorful and have unique patterns compared to the other options out there.
Sustainable fashion is often perceived as only having basics, like plain white button-ups. Vustra fills that space with brilliant patterns and colors in an ethical brand.
7. Boston, MA Brand: Ministry of Supply
Ministry of Supply is a US based brand with apparel that performs and that does so more sustainably. When it comes to menswear they are your go-to for suits, business attire, and business casual attire.
Check out their selection of dress shirts, polos, pants, blazers, suits, and more. Ministry of Supply will have you looking dapper in and out of the office, and feeling good about it!
Ministry of Supply is Carbon Neutral Certified and they’ve started implementing circularity with their take back program. Their Aero Zeroº apparel can be mailed back, recycled, and turned into new apparel at its end of life.
8. Santa Barbara, CA Brand: Toad&Co
Toad&Co is a Santa Barbara, CA based brand offering fun casual sustainable clothing for him and her. Like us, they’re members of 1% for the Planet, meaning every year they donate at least 1% of revenue, not profit, to environmental non-profits.
Toad&Co uses a variety of more sustainable and vegan friendly fabrics in their clothes including hemp, tencel, organic cotton, and recycled materials. When it comes to packaging they use more sustainable materials but they haven’t stopped there.
Toad&Co recently started offering the option of a reusable shipping mailer! This is a shipping bag that you can receive your clothes in, and pop back in the mail afterwards, so it can be re-used: again and again and again.
9. Seattle, WA Brand: Arvin Goods
Arvin Goods is a Seattle, WA based brand on a mission to create the cleanest basics on the planet. They started with your feet!
Arvin Goods makes socks from recycled materials with processes that save water and use no harmful chemicals or dyes. Their process begins with reclaimed textiles and ends with an upcycled yarn of the highest caliber.
Their wide selection of socks includes no show options, crew socks, colorful varieties, and of course your basics.
10. Nashville, TN Brand: Nisolo
Based in Nashville, TN, Nisolo is a certified B Corporation that pays producers on average 27% above Fair-Trade requirements. Most of their shoes are handmade in Mexico and Peru, with a small percentage of its products made in Kenya.
Nisolo is also a partner with Soles4Souls, a shoe reclamation and recycling program. Their aim is to collect 5,000 pairs of shoes by 2020. This will create more jobs repairing the shoes, and ultimately the shoes will go to people in need.
In order to offset carbon emissions, Nisolo also makes a contribution to the Amazon Basin for every pair of shoes sold. In 2018, their goal was to protect 60,000 trees in the Amazon, helping offset CO2 and protect wild forests.
11. LA Brand: KNOWN SUPPLY
Known Supply is the real leader of radical transparency. Each item you buy has a tag with the name of the maker, whom you can then “meet” on Known Supply’s website.
They pay fair wages, use sustainable fabrics, and offer a great selection of tees, hoodies, hats, beanies, masks, and more. Known Supply is based in Los Angeles, California.
To learn more about them check out our interview with their founder, Kohl Crecelius.
12. NYC Brand: Conscious Step
Conscious Step makes socks with a tangible impact. Examples include socks that plant trees, socks that give clean drinking water, and socks that protect LGBTQ lives.
To date they have provided 26,000 meals, protected over 2,000 rainforest trees, planted 58,000 trees, and donated 82,000 books, just to name a few. They do this with the help of their non-profit partners, including Oceana, Trees for the Future, and many more.
The socks are made from organic cotton, Fair Trade certified, and vegan certified. This means no pesticides, no child labor, and no animals.
Originally inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Conscious Step was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in NYC.
Increase Your Impact: Share 12 Ethical Men’s Brands in the US
That wraps up 12 brands to help you find ethical and dapper menswear. If you enjoyed this article, please share it!
The more we promote conscious shopping the more change we can make together.
Where to Find More Ethical Men’s Clothing Brands
Looking for something you couldn’t find from the 12 brands above? Check out:
- 70+ Ethical Men’s Brands in our Brand Guide
- 7 Ethical Brands for the Not So Tall Guy
- 17 Sustainable Clothing Brands for Big and Tall Men
- 500+ Curated Ethical Men’s Pieces
Anything else? Drop us a comment letting us know what you’re looking for and we’d be happy to help you find it.
Eco-Stylist is reader-supported. If you make a purchase using our links, we may earn a commission. We only feature fashion brands that pass our sustainable brand criteria. Learn more here.
*Article updated 12/4/22
Garik Himebaugh is the founder of Eco-Stylist, the go-to resource for ethical clothing. He’s also an international speaker on all things sustainable fashion. Garik loves coffee, climbing, and clothes.