Ethical Underneath: continued

December 9th, 2009 - filed under: The Fashion » Clothing and Accessories

Last week we delved into socially conscious skivvies, namely our bras and panties. As the new and growing movement of Ethical Sartorialists, it’s our responsibility to morally manage every aspect of our wardrobe. Thus, we continue this week with the critical other half – boxers and [my personal favorite!] socks!

So let’s dive right in, shall we?

~ Boxers ~

I wrote about Patagonia last week, but let’s recap. This southern California-based retailer is at the forefront of sustainability in textiles. Their mission statement reads: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Their position on corporate social responsibility can be found here.

The progressive Cottonfield USA is an organic company, using cotton grown in America, milled in America, and made in America. All their dyes are also free of heavy metals. Their commitment to organic products is laid out on their website.

I absolutely love Faeries Dance for their affordable options. They’re all sweatshop-free, made with environmentally sensitive fabrics and low-impact dyes. You can read about their policies on their website.

Rawganique is a ‘human scale family business’ that specializes in organic hemp and other natural fibers. Their products are all sweatshop free, and made in the US, Canada, Europe, and Thailand. You can read a lengthy explanation of their business plan on their about page.

  • They have quite a variety of offerings, from briefs to boxers to boxer briefs.

And again . . . *sigh* . . . if worse comes to worst you can always get organic cotton briefs from American Apparel. Also available in a 3-pack. (but read about why I don’t like to support them, here, in italics)


My absolute number one favorite online sock source is the amazing, the incomparable, Sock Dreams. Not all of them are organic, or sweat free, or even vegan, but there are plenty of options that are. And all of the Sock Dreams label are made right here in Oregon. Here are some of my favorite choices:

  • Here’s their eco-friendly page, with TONS of styles.
  • Some simple organics, nothing fancy.
  • There’s lots and lots more, and they’re really well-priced, so check ‘em out!

Patagonia, pricey as they may be, has a small but significant selection.

Good old Cottonfield USA has such a comprehensive collection of apparel.

  • They only offer one option, but it’s pretty reasonably priced.

Faeries Dance comes through again!

No Sweat Apparel was one of the first socially conscious companies I discovered, way back in the day (I asked for an awesome pair of red high top ‘chucks’ for Chanukah). They’re a great company that have been doing good for a long long time, and they seem to be hurting in this economic climate. So why not support them?!

And that about wraps it up, my dears. Please do continue to share your own ideas and discoveries. I’m always looking for more alternatives!


  • Shana

    While I may not be vegan, I still think I think one of the most sustainable ways to get socks. I knit them myself!! I usually get my sock yarn from Indie dyers (on sites like etsy) who dye their own yarn or spin it. If a certain sock wears out, I always have leftover yarn to patch them up! And I can make my socks any way I like them! :) I’m helping independent artists and being creative at the same time! It’s a beautiful thing.

  • Sayward

    @ Shana – That’s so awesome! You certainly have my admiration.

    (and I’m adding this to the insanely long list of things I want to learn to do – so thanks!)

  • brown

    the europe-based “knowledge cotton apparel” also sells mens organic undies as well as a wide range of other adorable organic men’s gear:

    they’re expensive but they have good values and cuter than average clothes.

  • Sayward

    @ brown – Thanks for the link – I’ll check them out and maybe include them in my next iteration of this article. I definitely wanted to include more from/for across the pond. =)