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A shirt that reads "kale" is laying artfully in the grass.

Eco-Friendly Custom T-Shirts

Looking good doesn't have to come at the cost of doing good

Take a step toward a more sustainable custom apparel industry (and planet!) by choosing from Real Thread's selection of sustainable custom t-shirts made from organic, recycled, and eco-friendly materials.
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Low minimums

Order as few as 20 items to get your project started.

Lightning fast delivery

Try our 2-day service and get your hats by date.

Money back guarantee

Count on us being on time with each and every order.

A shirt is more than a shirt

A custom t-shirt is a megaphone for your mission, a way to bring the team together, a symbol of solidarity. It's also everything that goes into the shirt itself—from the materials it's made of to the processes used to bring your design to life.
Two girls wearing shirts printed with water based inks.

The apparel industry’s past and present are riddled with stories of being not-so-kind to the environment.
In the past ten years especially, the rise of fast fashion and unsustainable production practices have put a strain on the planet's natural resources—from raw materials to people and beyond. 
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At Real Thread, we are passionate about reversing this trend—which is why we carry a wide variety of sustainably produced, ethically made, and environmentally friendly custom apparel options. 

Some of our favorite eco-friendly t-shirts to customize

Royal Apparel 64051
This unisex shirt credits its softness to its unique fabric blend of 60% hemp and 40% organic cotton.
A hunter green colored custom t-shirt option for you to customize.
Allmade AL2004
This tri-blend is made partially from recycled water bottles—making it a full-circle sustainable pick.

Anatomy of a sustainable custom t-shirt

A green shirt made of hemp

Eco-friendly garments

We are about partnering with sustainable suppliers in order to provide you with a variety of ethically produced, sustainably made custom apparel from wholesale partners like Bella + Canvas, Allmade, RoyalApparel, econscious, Known Supply and more—which means you can choose from a variety of eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo to print your designs on.

Water-based inks

Industry-standard plastisol inks are made with polyvinyl chloride (aka PVC)—which was dubbed the “Poison plastic” by Greenpeace. Our water based inks are completely free of PVC resin and are water-soluble—making them easier to clean, safer for our team to print with, and better for the environment. 

Green water based ink is being mixed
A palette of green blank t-shirts

In it for the long haul

Water-based prints, printed on high-quality garments, have a lifespan that extends far beyond that of a standard custom printed t-shirt—which means that you'll be wearing these shirts for a long time. Creating durable, comfortable garments reduces the likelihood that the shirt you design will end up in a landfill.

Curious about what the word sustainability means to us as a company? We'd love to tell you more.

A shirt with a green plant design on the front.

Environmentally friendly custom t-shirts made for telling your story well

Intentionally sourced & thoughtfully produced. Because looking your best today doesn't have to come at the cost of the planet's best tomorrow...

Start your eco-friendly t-shirt order

Eco-friendly custom t-shirt FAQs

How much do eco-friendly custom t-shirts cost?

This depends on a few factors—from the design you choose to the garment you decide to print it on. Contacting one of our product specialists is your best bet for getting a more detailed and accurate quote for your project—they can work to find the best design to fit your needs and budget while meeting any design/garment goals.

 What are eco friendly shirts made of?

We’re glad you asked! There are a lot of things that go into making an environmentally friendly custom t-shirt. Many of ours are made of blends of eco-friendly materials like hemp, bamboo, organic cotton. Others get a little more ambitious in their commitment to sustainability—for example, the Allmade AL2004 is made of 25% recycled plastic from water bottles!

I can't find the product that I'm looking for in your product catalogue—does that mean you can't print on it?

No! We try to keep our catalogue as manageable (and un-underwhelming for you!) as possible, which means that we only add our most popular products to it. If there's a specific garment that you have in mind for your project, it's pretty much a sure thing that we can source it (or at least something very similar!), so just reach out to our team and we'll get you moving in the right direction.

Are sustainable garments available for all customization options?

You betcha. All of our eco-friendly custom t-shirt options (as well as our custom tote bags & other sustainable products) are ready and waiting for you to customize them with our water based inks, custom embroidery, or even a ~wild~ mix of both.

How long do eco-friendly custom t-shirts last?

We love this question because we could talk allllllll day long about our water based inks (if you hadn't noticed 😜 ). The biggest pro is that they're much better for the environment than traditional plastic-based inks because they break down a LOT faster—off of your garment, that is. When printed, water based inks result in longer lasting prints, extending the life of your custom t-shirt and reducing the likelihood that it will end up in a landfill. From a pure garment perspective, shirts made of eco-friendly materials last just as long (if not longer) than any run-of-the-mill shirt—which means that you and your people can wear it proudly for a long while, knowing that you've taken a step toward a more sustainable apparel industry.

Can I order sustainable custom t-shirts in high quantities? 

Trying to make your company t-shirt order or a large custom t-shirt order for an event more sustainable? Go, you! As is standard for all our orders of over 5,000 units, we ask that you fill out our High Quantity Inquiry Form, which will connect you to a Product Specialists who'll be able to set you up for success.