According to the CDC, the average height of American men is 5’9”. For the 30% of men 5’8” and under looking to create a more sustainable wardrobe, their height may pose as a barrier in doing so. That’s because a lot of ethical and sustainable men’s brands cater to men with an average height and don’t offer extra small sizes for shorter men.
If ethical clothing brands seek to make sustainable clothing the norm they will surely need to address sizes for shorter men. But why exactly do these brands seem to be tailoring to the general population rather than embracing inclusivity?
There is one sure reason for this big issue for small men. These brands are often small and new, meaning they have to cater to more of a general population first in order to survive. Therefore, as these brands grow it will allow them to expand their horizons and further embrace men of all shapes and sizes.
Fortunately for shorter guys, some ethical clothing brands are already embracing body inclusivity and catering to a wider clientele. With these brands you do not have to get bummed when you see something you like only to find out that it does not come in your size.
Here are 7 ethical clothing brands for men 5’8” and shorter:
When it comes to yoga and athletic wear for smaller than average men, prAna has you covered. In the yoga department, they sell yoga pants, shorts, hoodies, zip ups, tanks, and tee shirts in extra small.
For casual wear, they have collared shirts, polos, and jackets in an extra small. Whether you’re a yoga guru, athlete, or just like to look good, prAna will fulfill your needs while keeping the environment in mind.
Taylor Stitch’s commitment “to building the best possible clothing while pledging to limit [their] environmental impact” makes them one of our favorite companies. And guess what? They are killing the game with their selection of extra small men’s clothes.
They sell collared men’s shirts, tee shirts, and jackets all in extra small sizes. All their denim comes in 36″ length that allows for easy hemming, and if you visit one of their storefronts, they offer a free hemming service.
When asked about their sizes, they said “we’re a growing brand! We’re working on being able to offer sizes to suit more body types, so stay tuned.”
Although it’s nice to have fancy denim jackets and athletic clothes, sometimes something as simple as a tee shirt can be a struggle to find as a short guy. Groceries Apparel luckily has made some of their plain tee shirts in an extra small so even shorter men can enjoy this basic staple. Made of organic cotton in Los Angeles, they claim that their fabrics “are durable, smooth and have a sensuous finish that feels delightful against your skin.”
In regards to comfort, style, versatility, and sustainability, Outerknown shows up for all those things. Although it would be nice to see them expand extra small sizes to more of their clothing options, it is nice to see that they have quite a few stylish pieces like button ups and shorts.
With transparency at the top of their values, Patagonia has helped make a lot of noise in the media about the horrors of the fashion industry and the importance of protecting our planet. They have also made athletic and casual wear for short men easily accessible to a large population through both their website and storefronts in 20 different countries.
Advocating a ‘buy only what you need’ model, Patagonia offers men’s tee shirts and polos in extra small and some of their outerwear and pants come in sizes as small as extra-extra small. Moreover, they sell their pants in short lengths (30” inseam).
Fighting poverty, disease, hunger, and so much more, Conscious Step’s organic, fair trade, and ethically made socks are the ultimate sock around. Although finding shoes is not much of struggle when it comes to being a smaller than average guy, socks are.
You know the struggle when the heel of the sock is on your calf. Luckily, Conscious Step makes some of their socks in men’s sizes 4-8. Not only do you get some stylish socks, but you also give to a good cause. If that isn’t a win-win, I don’t know what is.
Now that you know you can find denim pants in your size, how about a nice jean jacket? Outland denim has you covered for all your jean jacket needs.
They sell both a black and a dark wash denim jacket in an extra small. Using organic denim and made by workers treated with dignity in Cambodia, Outland Denim is the place to purchase a denim jacket.
The Cheapest and Most Sustainable Alternative
As always, buying second hand is not only a great option when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, it can also save you quite a bit of money. It can be a struggle to find extra small men’s clothing, but you never know what you will find yourself on a good thrifting trip.
If perusing thrift stores on the weekend is not exactly your thing, online resources such as Poshmark, Depop, Patagonia’s own Worn Wear, and Taylor Stitch’s Restitch make it crazy easy to search and filter by extra small men’s clothing. Additionally, getting used clothes hemmed or tailored can be a great way to save money while staying super stylish.
Finding men’s clothes that are ethically and sustainably made can be a struggle in itself, and when you are a short guy it can seem all the more of a daunting task. That’s why we have put together a list that covers everything from basic pocket tees to denim jackets.
As ethical brands grow, more options will become available for all the not as tall gents. For all the shorter men out there, is there something you’ve been struggling to find that wasn’t covered by our list? Let us know in the comments and we’d love to help you find it.
*Article updated 1/15/21
Asher is a writer at Eco-Stylist. In addition to sustainable fashion, environmental activism, and a zero waste lifestyle, Asher’s interests include cooking, nutrition, and learning about the human body and medicine. He’s pursuing a career in medicine while advocating for slow fashion and the environment.