Being married to a bloke (partner in crime – mainly ones that embarrass the kids), having a brother (Uncle extraordinaire), a brother in law (supreme wrangler of twins ) and oh you know I talk to some man folk occasionally about thoughts and feelings and stuff too … I get that they also care about ethics and the environment (shock horror) and give a rats about who make their clothes (Gasp). But weirdly often men go unconsidered when discussing sustainability, ethics and clothing. So I thought it was about time they felt the love and got their own guide on the top organic and ethical mens clothing brands.
I will admit that it is a little bit painful in our house when the man (yep he is the only one – given the cat is neutered) requires new underwear and t-shirts. Organic mens clothing is a stretch and ethical menswear is just a total faff to find. There is a lot of internet window shopping, deep sighs (from him), and hissed intakes of breath (me). Eventually I hop on line buy something on behalf and don’t you know it the undies go up your bum (or whatever the male equivalent to that is). Unsatisfactory to say the least.
So let not my pain be your pain and if you have a bloke or indeed are a bloke and you are looking for ethical mens clothing options let my (and my beloveds) research guide you (and yes your ethical menswear and organic clothing will be able to be traded on our muka market place for preloved (and some new) ethical and organic clothing).
Note that the brands here are not ALL certified fair trade or organic menswear (there is just not all that many options out there at the gold standard) but all are in some way making inroads to a more ethical mens fashion industry and indeed more sustainable clothing industry.*
* be aware this is only the result of my own painful research, no product placements, samples, payments or anything like that. So I would love to get your feedback on good ethical menswear brands and I can add them in here for future reference.
Our List of the Top 18 Ethical Mens Clothing Brands
Organic & Ethical Mens Underwear & Socks
Pants to poverty – Fantastic social enterprise addressing issues in the cotton production industry one pair of undies at a time. Weighted to the ‘more fitting’ shall we say styles for men (it is a cultural thing man undies I think) – some pretty cool stuff. Fairtrade & organic cotton.
Green Fibres– UK based, has boxers, and is quite reasonably priced because of their simple design and limited colour palette. Organic and sometimes fair trade cotton options.
Thunderpants – here in NZ. Organic cotton, knitted and made in NZ. Mens ethical clothing in some pretty fantastic and funky designs.
Casual Mens Clothing
Kowtow. NZ based. Certified organic fair trade cotton menswear, do some lovely organic cotton t-shirts for men that get a lot of wear in our house and some pretty exciting casual wear. (UPDATE- Sadly Kowtow appear to have stopped producing for the blokes).
ReCreate. Another NZ based ethical business. Organic cotton mens t-shirts, long sleeved tees and they do a SUPER man cardy! Ethically produced in Cambodia by women being upskilled. A not for profit business run by some wonderfully on to it and committed women. Love.
People Tree. Original ethical fashion brand. Their mens clothing is nicely design led. As it is UK based make sure you look at the measurements carefully as they tend to make things a bit smaller for men than here in NZ. A good solid ethical menswear option especially for the under 30s.
Rapanui. ‘Every product we design and produce is made from organic or recycled materials in an ethically accredited, wind powered factory’. Based in UK, this is a very forward looking ethical mens clothing brand. Sustainability is a the core of their business. Mens clothing is mainly t-shirts, hoody’s etc.
Patagonia. For the outdoor man looking for ethical and organic mens clothing Patagonia is a world leader. They have a mix of various sustainable and ethical fabrics and production approaches, for example they use reclaimed wool in some of their styles. Ooze honesty in their business model and that is real ethical fashion.
Jeans and (gasp) chinos
Nudie Jeans. What is not to like? They make them good, organic cotton mens jeans and ethical production, they repair, they recycle, they repurpose. This company has the lot to offer in the ethical mens clothing arena . Kudos.
Brother we stand. UK based online, stock a great selection of monkee genes (working towards organic certification) and chinos, as well as some pretty cool other ethical mens clothing. I especially love their ethos of “designers who are prioritising ethical production alongside great design”-it goes to the heart of muka kids: bad design does no favours to the ethical mission.
Ethical Mens Shirts
Beautiful certified organic & fair trade men’s shirts. UK based. Made in India. Arthur & Henry especially has our love because Sreeranga, who has been muka kids’ font of knowledge about ethical clothing brands and ethical clothing production in India, is one of the founders.
As Arthur & Henry say “There are two traits that separate an Englishman’s shirt wardrobe from his American cousins. Firstly none of his shirts will have any pockets (unless they have short sleeves). Secondly there will be at least one pink shirt.”
Veja. Oh how I love thee. This french brand is chic and cheerful (in a very manly way of course!). They do a huge variety of exciting and beautifully designed ethical street shoes for men (women and kids too ).
Inkkas (NZ). New to the scene here in NZ (but also with a US online shop). Fair trade, Eco-Friendly and Hand Made in Peru. Street shoes with a Peruvian edge!
Komodo. Organic upper and recycled type soles. NICE!
Sole Rebel. Made by women in Ethiopia they make World Fairtrade Organization Certified Shoes for men, women and kids from a combination of recycled, organic and bio-based materials.
Oliberté shoes. Made in Ethiopia at the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory. EVEN BETTER they recycle the shoes when you are done with them. They call it three way shipping! Shipping to NZ is a little expensive, but try via Amazon for more affordable options (not all styles). Or use YouShop.
Etiko – Australian based company.Certified Fair trade, organic and vegan street shoes.
** In this list of Ethical shoes we do include some companies that use leather, we do acknowledge that for some animal based products are not what they define as ethical so there are other fabric based options included too.
Proof Eyewear. Love these guys. Sustainable materials. Awesome design. And give back as part of the enterprise.
Note: If you are having trouble getting stuff shipped anywhere, use a third party shipping consolidator. For New Zealanders NZ Post does YouShop
Jess Berentson-Shaw founded the Muka kids’ social enterprise to make design led ethical & sustainable clothing more accessible to more people. Muka kids has a marketplace to trade pre-loved organic clothing and ethical clothing and also helps make NEW ethical, organic and sustainable clothing brands more affordable through its partnership scheme with accredited clothing brands. Sales on the marketplace fund a micro finance scheme that helps women cotton farmers in India pull themselves out of poverty.