Best Eco-Friendly Sustainable Shirt Blanks

by John Amato

If you're looking to connect your sustainability goals to your merch programs, you're in luck. There are more and more options for eco-friendly shirts than ever before.

Gone are the days when eco-friendly shirts were scratchy and stiff, had limited sizes or colors, or were cost prohibitive. 

Every day, we print shirts that are better for the environment. If you're looking for shirts for your brand that are soft, fit well, and earth friendly, we can help.

Not only do we use eco-friendly shirts made of recycled plastic for our retail line, but we print these same shirts for custom screen printed orders, as well.

Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Shirts

We've been printing custom shirts for over ten years now. In that time, sustainability has become a priority for more people and as a result, there has been an increase in requests for eco-friendly shirts. 

Fortunately, the options for eco-friendly shirts have increased as well. You have more made-in-the-USA shirt options, shirts made of recycled material or organic cotton, and more environmentally friendly production practices. 

Here is a short list of our favorite eco-friendly and sustainable shirts to use when we print custom shirts for our customers:

1. Allmade 
2. Alternative Apparel
3. Econscious
4. Royal Apparel

1. Allmade Apparel

reduce reuse recycle shirt

We like Allmade Apparel so much that is the primary blank that we use for our retail brand. It's soft, available in a lot of colors, prints well, and is reasonably priced. For these reasons, Allmade shirts have become a fast favorite among our customers. 

Allmade's success seemingly happened overnight. And it's not a surprise either. It was founded by a group of screen printers who wanted to make a better shirt. So it's only natural that they are so great to print on.

Allmade has made a better shirt by using 50% recycled polyester, 25% Tencel model sourced from sustainable beech trees, and 25% organic cotton. They did all of this while maintaining a comfy fit and feel. 

The AL2004 is their tri-blend tee that you will find on our retail shirts. We can't recommend it anymore. 

Check out the details about the Allmade AL2004:

  • A 50/25/25 tri-blend shirt: 50% polyester from recycled plastic bottles, 25% organic cotton, 25% Tencel™ Modal
  • Saves an average of 145 gallons of water, reduces 4 kg of CO2 emissions, uses an average of 6 water bottles
  • Available in 15 colors and available in sizes XS-4X
  • Calculate your positive impact on the environment by switching to this shirt with Allmade Apparel's impact calculator

2. Alternative Apparel

alternative apparel shirt 

Alternative Apparel has been committed to making sustainable clothing since its inception. When we first started screen printing, they were one of the only options available in this space. They have consistently made comfortable clothing with eco fabrics and organic materials. 

Alternative Apparel is one of the few brands our customers request by name. It's popular in the yoga crowd for its flowy styles, comfy fabrics, and casual style.

As a leader in using sustainable fabrics and manufacturing processes, Alternative Apparel is a great choice to meet your sustainability goals. 

In addition to their t-shirts, we're a big fan of their eco-fleece. They make the softest hoodies, crews, and sweatpants. 

3. Econscious

 econscious sustainable t-shirt

Econscious is a clothing brand built on sustainability. 

With a name like Econscious, it's no surprise that they made the list. 

Econscious is widely available through wholesale clothing distributor, AlphaBroder. This fact is important because it's a sign of their success. 

While other sustainable t-shirt brands have come and gone, Econscious has produced a consistent and quality product for years. 

These shirts are great for both decorators and their customers because they are comfortable and well-fitting. Their most popular shirt is the EC1000 which is a 100% organic cotton tee.

In addition to organic cotton, Econscious uses hemp and recycled polyester fabrics in their clothing.  

Econscious also manufactures eco-friendly headwear, sweatshirts, and tote bags. 

4. Royal Apparel

royal apparel eco triblend shirt 

Back before I started screen printing my own shirts, Jupmode was just a little retail brand that made shirts for the Ohio State University. Those first graphic t-shirts I made were printed on Royal Apparel. 

In those days, there weren't many brands making soft, fashion-forward shirts. Royal Apparel checks those boxes as well as being made in America and having a long line of organic apparel. 

Their commitment to sustainable fashion is just as strong today. Royal Apparel has a full line of organic clothing that is made, at least in part, with organic cotton.    

Here are more details about Royal Apparel:

  • Organic cotton uses 90% less water and greenhouse gases to produce
  • Use of RPET cotton, a fabric made from recycled plastic bottles, saves 2 million single-use plastic bottles from being thrown out each year.
  • Full line of clothing is manufactured in the USA

What Do You Do With Old Shirts?

One of the toughest parts about making the apparel industry more environmentally friendly is figuring out what to do with old clothing.

A complaint in the promotional industry is that t-shirts are considered one-time use. They are made, printed, worn once, and then discarded. 

One way we try to make a difference at Jupmode is with our trade-in program, Reuse.

We offer customers of our retail brand the opportunity to return old, well-worn Jupmode shirts and receive a $5 credit on their next order. Sorry, this is not available for our custom screen printed shirts.

Order Custom Printed Eco-Friendly Shirts 

At Jupmode, we have a lot of experience screen printing custom shirts. 

We love that so many of our customers are choosing eco-friendly and sustainable shirts for their custom projects. 

The long-term impact of this trend will be significant. As more people adopt sustainable shirts and clothing, the more common, practical, and cost-effective they will be. 

The sustainable shirts mentioned above are going to match all of the important aspects of a shirt that you want in your standard shirts. They are: 

  • Soft and comfortable material
  • Quality construction
  • Well fitting

If you’re on the team that is working on a new shirt project for your brand and you're looking for a screen printer who has the experience to print on eco-friendly shirts, get in touch with Jupmode today.

Here’s what Michael had to say after ordering custom screen printed shirts:

Very impressed by the speed and quality of my company's shirt orders. They got our order done in less than a week (70+ shirts) and they came out perfectly fabulous. Thank you for your customer service. 

order custom vintage t-shirts


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