What makes the perfect T-shirt? For some it’s a neckline that doesn’t sag; that’s high, but not too high. For others it’s about material that drapes nicely, but won’t fall apart after a couple of washes.
But these days, more and more of us are looking not just at fit and style, but ethical and environmental factors. Because, let’s face it: there’s more pleasure in wearing a top that was produced by workers on a living wage than in a sweatshop, and one that’s manufactured in ways that reduce carbon emissions and waste rather than compound the problem.
(According to one study, choosing an organic cotton t-shirt rather than an ordinary one saves 2400 litres of water, which is enough for one person to drink eight glasses of water a day for three and a half years.)
Luckily, sustainable fashion has come a long way, and in Australia designers like Arnsdorf and big brands like Country Road are creating stylish pieces that look good, last well and can be worn proudly, too. “Five years ago, there wasn’t much choice,” says our shopping editor Tara Morris, who selected the t-shirts below. “It was often just black or white t-shirts, and a few brands.”
Hero shot: Lucy Folk ‘Love Is In The Air T-Shirt’, which is organic cotton and delivers 100% of profits to Greening Australia.