The Best Sustainable T-Shirts for Surfers in 2024

When it comes to surf fashion, you’ve got more choices in terms of design, craftsmanship, and materials than ever before. Wearing a surf T-shirt shows the world that you’re into surf style. Some people proudly wear a surf brand logo, even if they’ve never ridden a wave.

However, not all surf apparel is manufactured ethically. People are waking up to the horrors of fast fashion, which exploits both people and natural resources for profit. Sadly, many of those products will last only a season before they deteriorate and end up in landfills. The surf industry hasn’t escaped controversy, with brands like Rip Curl being extending “the search” to a workforce in North Korea.

This is why many surfers and fans of the surf lifestyle are seeking out sustainable options for their next tee. Of course, there is a lot of greenwashing going on out there, where brands promise eco-friendly credentials by using recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets (or similar) in their garments — but this is not necessarily beneficial in terms of minimizing environmental impact.

For the discerning consumer, diving into the details makes all the difference. It’s not just about the final product looking and feeling good; the journey there matters too. This journey involves paying close attention to the materials used, the production processes, and the genuine commitment a brand makes toward sustainability.

The tide has turned, with brands like Outerknown and Patagonia leading the charge. They’re not just integrating green practices across their operations but are creating gear that’s 100% sustainable. This shift signifies more than just a trend in eco-friendly apparel; it’s a powerful wave of change aimed at redefining surf culture to prioritize our planet’s health. After all, who is better suited to be nature stewards than those of us who spend our free time literally immersed in the natural elements?

It’s heartening to see well-loved surf brands like Quiksilver and Rip Curl offering sustainable options, signaling a broader embrace of environmental responsibility within the community.

Choosing sustainable surfwear is an act of advocacy. It’s a declaration of our dedication to safeguarding planet earth for generations to come. So if you want to look good, feel good and do good — here’s a roundup of 10 of the best sustainable t-shirts for surfers.

Outerknown Saltwater Slub Pocket Tee

Step into the world of sustainable fashion with the Outerknown Saltwater Slub Pocket Tee, a garment that epitomizes the harmony between style and eco-consciousness. Founded by professional surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown is a brand that stands at the forefront of sustainability and transparency in the fashion industry. This classic fit tee is crafted from the finest organic cotton slub jersey sourced from Portugal, ensuring not just superior comfort but also a commitment to environmental responsibility. The iconic OK logo, embroidered along the wearer’s left side seam, signifies Outerknown’s dedication to quality and sustainability. The tee’s super soft, light slub texture gives it a perfectly worn-in look and feel, as if it’s been a cherished piece in your wardrobe for years. Choose the Outerknown Saltwater Slub Pocket Tee for a blend of laid-back style and a profound respect for our planet.

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Kennington Ltd 60’s Recycled Vintage Surf Stripe Pocket Tee

Step back in time with the Kennington Ltd 60’s Recycled Vintage Surf Stripe Pocket Tee, a garment that blends the iconic stripes of the surf culture with the modern ethos of sustainability. This vintage-inspired tee is a nod to the classic surf aesthetic, reimagined for today’s eco-conscious wave rider. Made from 100% recycled yarn, this tee is as kind to the planet as it is stylish, with a super-soft feel that you have to feel to believe.

Kennington Ltd is committed to minimizing environmental impact not just in materials, but in how their garments are made. By knitting, sewing, screen printing, and finishing the garments within a few mile radius, they significantly reduce their carbon footprint, ensuring that every step of the production process is as green as the product itself. This localized approach to manufacturing not only supports the environment but also fosters community and ensures quality craftsmanship that stands the test of time.

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Patagonia Men’s Take a Stand Responsibili-Tee®

Embrace the spirit of adventure while championing environmental and social responsibility with the Patagonia Men’s Take a Stand Responsibili-Tee. Patagonia, a brand revered for its unwavering commitment to protecting our planet, presents this T-shirt as part of their eco-conscious collection. Crafted entirely from 100% recycled fabrics, this tee proudly stands as Patagonia’s T-shirt with the lowest carbon footprint, making a bold statement in sustainable fashion.

The classic crewneck design ensures versatility and timeless appeal, ready to accompany you from the rugged trails to casual city outings. Engineered for supreme comfort and an impeccable fit, the tee features ribbing at the neck and taped shoulder seams, ensuring it holds its shape and feels comfortable all day long. Whether you choose to wear it tucked or untucked, the straight hem offers a clean, polished look suitable for a variety of occasions.

This T-shirt not only supports the environment but also the people behind its creation. Made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory in Mexico, it guarantees that the skilled artisans who crafted this piece receive a premium for their labor. Furthermore, the screen-print inks used are PVC- and phthalate-free, emphasizing Patagonia’s commitment to reducing harmful substances and ensuring safety for both the wearers and the planet.

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Globe Living Low Velocity Tee

Crafted with care and consciousness, this T-shirt is a testament to Globe’s dedication to eco-aware fashion. Made entirely from soft, 100% organic cotton, this tee offers unparalleled comfort and durability, making it a staple for any wardrobe looking to make a positive impact on the planet.

The Living Low Velocity Tee stands out with its distinctive large back print and a subtle small front chest print, both created using PVC and phthalate-free screen print inks. This commitment to using safer, environmentally friendly inks not only reduces the harmful effects on our planet but also ensures that the tee is safer for you to wear.

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Finisterre Men’s Josh Vyvyan x Finisterre Sunset Pocket T-Shirt

In an exciting collaboration with Cornish artist, illustrator, tattooist, and friend of Finisterre, Josh Vyvyan, this tee embodies the spirit of creativity and environmental stewardship that Finisterre stands for. This special edition Artist Collaboration range tee brings Josh Vyvyan’s unique vision and Finisterre’s commitment to sustainable apparel together in perfect harmony.

Crafted from a groundbreaking blend of organic and recycled cotton, this T-shirt sets a new standard for eco-friendly fashion. Not only does this make the tee our most heavyweight option to date, offering durability and a luxurious feel, but it also showcases Finisterre’s dedication to reducing environmental impact. The JV Pocket Tee sports a regular fit that ensures comfort and versatility for every wearer.

What sets this tee apart is the subtle yet striking custom sunset embroidery that adorns the area above the chest pocket, adding a touch of elegance and uniqueness to the classic design. This intricate detail captures the beauty of the Cornish landscape and the artistic essence of Josh Vyvyan’s work, making it a standout piece in any wardrobe.

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Project Blank Heritage SS Tee

This tee is a testament to timeless design, tailored for the eco-conscious individual. Made from 100% organic cotton, each tee undergoes a vintage wash process that not only enhances its durability but also gives it a unique character that stands out from the rest. The result is a lightweight garment with a soft terry finish that feels as good as it looks.

Attention to detail is evident in the contrast stitching that adds a touch of sophistication to the overall design. The Heritage Tee boasts a relaxed, unisex fit that makes it the ultimate choice for effortless styling, whether you’re pairing it with your favorite shorts for a day at the beach, jeans for a casual outing, or pants for an evening look.

Choose the Project Blank Heritage SS Tee for its classic relaxed fit, exceptional comfort, and commitment to sustainability.

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Andorwith Partridge ST Tee

This tee is a canvas for creativity, featuring a hand-drawn graphic that’s printed on both the front and back, embodying the unique vibe and surf culture of our beloved shop.

Every detail of this tee has been meticulously thought out, from the comfortable neck ribbing and side seams for structure, to the shoulder-to-shoulder tape and double needle hems for durability. To ensure it stays true to size, it’s pre-shrunk to minimize shrinkage, making it as reliable as it is stylish. Crafted from a heavy-weight, 200 GSM carded cotton, this tee offers both substance and softness, designed to last.

The print, hand-printed in Adelaide using water-based ink, offers a soft ‘non-print feel’, ensuring the design merges seamlessly with the fabric for ultimate comfort.

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Quiksilver Mens Smooth Sailin Organic T-Shirt

Featuring a classic, comfortable regular fit, the Smooth Sailin Organic T-Shirt offers ample room for movement without sacrificing a tailored silhouette. The crew neckline adds a timeless touch, making it a versatile addition to any wardrobe, ready to pair with your favorite jeans, shorts, or boardshorts.

The T-shirt stands out with its eye-catching prints on both the front and back, embodying Quiksilver’s signature surf-inspired aesthetic. These designs capture the essence of adventure and the laid-back lifestyle that Quiksilver is renowned for, making it a must-have for surfers and style enthusiasts alike.

Compositionally pure, with 100% organic cotton, this tee is a testament to Quiksilver’s commitment to sustainability and high-quality apparel. By choosing the Smooth Sailin Organic T-Shirt, you’re not just making a style statement; you’re also making a choice that benefits the earth.

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Rip Curl Search Icon Tee

This tee is not just a piece of clothing; it’s a call to the wild, to those who chase the horizon and live for the thrill of discovery.

Crafted from high-quality Organic Cotton Jersey with a weight of 160G, the Search Icon Tee offers unparalleled comfort and breathability, perfect for those long days under the sun or your casual, everyday escapades. Its standard fit ensures a relaxed and comfortable feel, making it an essential item in the wardrobe of any adventurer.

The tee boasts a distinctive look with its woven flag label, a hallmark of Rip Curl’s commitment to quality and authenticity. The front and back are adorned with unique prints that capture the adventurous spirit of the Rip Curl brand, making it a statement piece that stands out in any setting.

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Vissla Urchins Comp Lite Eco Performance Tee

Vissla leads the wave in sustainable surfwear, setting themselves apart with a steadfast commitment to eco-friendly materials and practices. Prioritizing the use of organic cotton, recycled polyester, and hemp, Vissla not only supports the environment but also champions sustainable manufacturing processes and backs initiatives like the Surfrider Foundation, underscoring their deep commitment to our planet’s health.

The Urchins Comp Lite Tee is a testament to Vissla’s dedication to sustainability without sacrificing performance or style. Super soft and lightweight, it’s engineered to withstand the rigors of an active lifestyle while seamlessly integrating into your everyday wardrobe. Featuring original Vissla artwork, this tee adds a touch of surf-inspired aesthetics to your look, making it a versatile piece for both the beach and the city.

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