image: Vincent James
The Best Sustainable Tank Tops
Tank tops are a wardrobe staple, whether you live in a hot place and need them year-round or have short summers but love to layer like me. Tank tops can include anything from athletic ones to casual ones for a day at the park to ones that can be layered and dressed up for a night out. Due to their versatility, tanks are a foundational item that most of us have multiple of, and they should be part of any capsule wardrobe. With the variety of tank top options, I made sure to include a whole range of styles, prices, and sizes. Of course, they are all from brands that are sustainable and ethical. I am certain you will be able to find a few solid choices that will fit your style for many years. I haven’t forgotten the men either – there are 3 recommendations for you.
Why Does Sustainability Matter When it Comes to Tank Tops?
You might wonder why it is important to make sure even your tank tops are sustainable. After all, they are vastly available, inexpensive, come in many colors and styles, are worn often, and are small garments - shouldn’t they be one part of the wardrobe you don’t have to worry about? Being a wardrobe staple, you should particularly look for sustainable tank tops. Since they are worn often, you probably have multiples, and they aren’t usually resalable; look for ones that last a long time and use eco-friendly materials and production methods. While it is easy to pick up 5 different colors of $5 tank tops, you must ask yourself why it is so cheap and what toll it took on the planet and people to make it? The best thing to do is to have 3 or 4 high-quality tank tops that go with many items in your wardrobe and will last you years – think of them as foundations of a great wardrobe.
Tip: Sign up for emails from your favorite brands and get alerts about sales, then stock up on the tanks you need.
What Materials Should You Look For?
The most common fabrics to look for in sustainable tank tops are:
Many tanks have a small mix of Elastane or Spandex, especially if they are used for athletic purposes, so they stretch and hold their shape. Recycled polyester is a good alternative to Spandex and Elastane. However, they are usually such a small percentage of the overall garment that it is not a deal-breaker when shopping.
Now, Our Top 12 Picks for Sustainable Tank Tops:
1) Stretch Fit Tank
Price: $50/ 3 pack
Materials: 93% organic cotton and 7% Elastane
PACT is one of the early leaders in sustainable foundations such as underwear and tank tops and the first place I turned to when starting my sustainable wardrobe journey.
This classic athletic style for women comes in a 3 pack of the same or different colors, giving you the basics you need for many years. You can wear these to garden in the hot sun, or under a light cardigan by the beach. The cherry on the top is that PACT’s tanks are GOTS and Fair-Trade certified.
code: SustainablyChic20 for 20% off
2) Prospect Heights Tank
Materials: 52% Polyester, 38% Recycled Polyester, 10% TENCEL™ Lyocell
Prana has one of the largest selections of basics for men, including a few tanks. This tank comes in two different colors, and is bluesign approved and Fair Trade certified. It also goes up to a size XXXL.
3) V-Neck Tank
Brand: Vincent James
Materials: Organic cotton/Tencel blend with a touch of Spandex
This V-Neck tank should be a staple in any capsule wardrobe. The v-neck is a sexy and classy look that works with jeans, or a skirt and flirty sandals. The built-in bra and adjustable straps ensure a supportive fit. Vincent James’ tanks also come in two other neck lines. Being OEKO-TEX and GOTS certified makes the V-Neck tank even more appealing.
Shop Vincent James
4) Victoria Dream Knit Top
Brand: Amour Vert
Materials: 94% modal, 6% Spandex
Even though this is called a sleeveless top, to me it is a dressy tank style. This is so versatile it could be worn with nearly everything for nearly every occasion. The twist keyhole style adds a nice element of interest too. The Victoria Dream Knit comes in 3 stripped or 1 flower option.
One thing I love about Amount Vert is they provide information on the actual factory where your garment is made.
Shop Amour Vert
5) The Everyday Tank Top
Materials: Bamboo & Organic Cotton
This tank from Encircled is perfectly named because it does make for an easy everyday top with warmer weather! It has a great length to wear with leggings, and you can easily tuck it into shorts or skirts. Find it in several different colors, but this striped one is a new Sustainably Chic favorite!
6) Tempo Tank
Brand: Girlfriend Collective
Materials: 91% recycled water bottles, 9% Spandex
The Tempo Tank is perfect for working out with its supportive fit, wicking properties, and dry quick feature.
Girlfriend Collective is one of the most size inclusive brands offering XXS-6XL. This tank also comes in 6 colors. There is truly something for everyone.
Girlfriend Collective is SA8000 certified for humane working conditions, very transparent about their processes, and actively supports organizations promoting sustainability and diversity. This brand is a leader in making the fashion world more inclusive.
Shop Girlfriend Collective
7) Tradewind Performance Tank
Materials: 89% recycled polyester, 11% Elastane
The Tradewind tank is designed for athletic performance, hence the name. It is lightweight, breathable, quick dry, has anti-chafing seams, and even UPF 30+ for sun protection.
The chest pocket provides a space for your phone, a gym membership card, or car key. Not all Vuori’s tanks are made from recycled material, so be sure to check. They are however committed to 80% sustainable materials by 2022 and growing their use of recycled materials. I love to keep an eye on brands that are committed to continuing to grow their sustainability practices.
8) Racer Tank
Brand: For Days
Materials: 100% organic cotton
The racer tank is the classic style and softness you expect in a tank.
It is a great style, available in 4 classic colors, and a solid choice for layering and wearing with nearly everything. It is a relaxed fit and mid length for tucking or not – you choose.
The Racer also is available in a good range of sizes (XL – XXL). For Days will take your old clothes and give you a credit; keeping clothes out of the landfill and rewarding you - how amazing is that!
Shop For Days
9) Soft Hemp Reversible Button Tank
Brand: United by Blue
Materials: 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton
This reversible tank is a unique and fun style that will stand out. You can wear the buttons in the front or the back – make the style work for you. The straps are adjustable for a great fit.
This tank will pair well with capris, loose shorts, or even a skirt. United Blue uses GOTS certified factories, ensuring sustainable practices and fair working conditions. When you buy a tank from them, they will remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
Shop United by Blue
10) Krisi Linen Top
Brand: People Tree
Materials: 100% Linen
The Krisi is a fantastic minimalistic tank that will fit into any closet. It could easily be worn with jeans, capris, skirts, or layered under a jacket with dress pants. It’s versatility means you could keep it for years. I love that it’s linen – currently obsessed with this lovely fabric. People Tree partners with fair-trade certified manufacturers to make your clothes.
Shop People Tree
11) Roxanna Square Neck Rib Tank
Brand: Threads for Thought
Materials: 70% recycled polyester from plastic bottles, 30% organic
I love the wide straps, strong ribbing and rounded lines. It is both feminine and strong. I would love this with jeans, shorts, or even a flowy skirt and light shirt over it.
Thread for Thought is a super transparent brand about their production, sustainability and equity practices. They also recycle and reuse 80% of their wastewater – reducing use and keeping our waterways clean.
Shop Threads 4 Thought
12) Unisex Go-To Tank
Brand: The Good Tee
Materials: GOTS certified organic cotton
The Good Tee could not find a unisex tank they liked, so they made their own. The style and fit should work for just about anyone. The colors are classic too, making it even more versatile. The casual style, scoop neck, waist length, rounded neck and loose fit through the arms make it a great choice for jeans or shorts.
Making it even better – it is Fair Trade certified, and the dyes used are also eco-friendly certified by GOTS.
Shop The Good Tee
About the Contributor: Mindy Redburn-Smoak has enjoyed a 20+ year career in corporate learning as a consultant, designer, and manager. She is passionate about sustainable living, family, travel, and dog rescue. She has been on a mission to live more sustainably for several years, and loves the journey of learning and trying new things in this space. She is on another journey pursuing her dream of writing about things she is passionate about and that can make a difference in the world. The best way to connect with Mindy is via email at email@example.com.
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