Looking for eco-conscious clothes? In this post, we review Threads 4 Thought, an affordable ethical clothing brand that’s doing their part to clean up the clothing industry. Read on to find out more.
What’s in our review of Threads 4 Thought?
2. How Threads 4 Thought Makes Fashion Ethical
3. Our Picks from the Threads 4 Thought.com
4. What Makes Clothing Unethical?
5. Final Thoughts on Ethically Made Clothing
This post was created in partnership with Threads 4 Thought.
Living out of a carry-on suitcase makes shopping for new clothes a major chore.
It’s problematic on several fronts:
- First, since I don’t live anywhere, I can’t just pop into my favourite local store when I need something. It’s pretty hard to find eco friendly clothing in some random shopping mall in a strange country!
- Second, the tiny size of my suitcase means my wardrobe is also tiny. I have a one-in one-out policy and I only carry items that are highly versatile in any number of unexpected situations.
- Third, we try to travel in as eco-friendly and sustainable manner as possible. Most clothing runs counter to this — it is often produced from environment-damaging materials by poorly treated workers. It sure puts a damper on buying a cute new top when you have all that hanging over your head.
I’m not the only one who thinks this way, thank goodness!
There is a whole ethical clothing movement on the rise and one of the early adopters is Threads 4 Thought. They’ve been creating ethical clothes since way back in 2006.
They recently sent me a few things so I could try out their sustainable fashion line and let you know if they’re the real deal!
Read on for my review and learn a little more about ethical fashion.
Threads 4 Thought — Affordable Ethical Clothing for Travel
Also don’t miss these posts:
Why Threads 4 Thought are Great for Travel
The same features that make clothes great for travel also make clothes pretty great for every day wear. Here are a few of the things that I absolutely require from my clothes.
Travel Clothes Must Be Comfortable
Travel clothes need to be the ultimate in comfort.
They need to be the kind of thing you want to live in 24 hours a day. Finding clothes that you can wear on long flights, long hikes, bike tours, boat tours, food tours, and then happily wear them again the next day is not easy.
If your travel clothes aren’t comfortable, you risk ruining your whole trip. They should be made of fabric so cozy that you want to wear it all day — and keep it on when you crawl into bed!
I chose the Rowana Tank and the Montana Cargo pant because they are both made from sustainable wood fibres, which, with the help of some technological magic, are turned into super soft and breathable fabric.
I’ve already put them to the test on a few long hikes and some marathon blog-writing sessions.
So far, so comfy!
Travel Clothes Must be Easy Care
I learned a long time ago that clothes with any kind of special care instructions do not belong in a traveller’s wardrobe!
Silk? Too high maintenance! Wool? Too delicate! Linen? Too wrinkly!
Travel clothes need to be tough enough to get thrown into any kind of washing machine (you should see the ancient industrial washing machines at the laundry services in Bali!). They also need to be resilient enough to come out looking fabulous, no matter what the treatment.
Almost all of Threads 4 Thought’s clothes are machine wash– and dry–able, wrinkle resistant, and quick dry. That’s exactly what I need out of my clothes — I can’t be hitting up the dry-cleaner every five minutes.
Travel Clothes Must Have Versatile Style
The Threads 4 Thought line is casual — they make comfy, sporty clothes including tees, tanks, yoga pants and bra tops. For any adventurous traveller, who wants to get out there and dive into all the world has to offer, these are the kind of clothes that work in almost any situation.
I chose the Rowana Tank because it walks a fine line between:
- Covering enough to be modest in places where a spaghetti tank might not be appropriate.
- Cool enough to wear in hot situations.
- Cute enough to wear out in the evening.
The Monica Leggings are going to be:
- Perfect for my daily yoga sessions.
- Ideal to wear under my travel dress when more coverage is needed.
- An extra warm layer under my travel trousers on cold days.
Finally, the Montana Cargo Pants are ideal for:
- Planes, trains, busses, and other long travel days.
- Active days when biking, hiking, kayaking or other adventures are involved.
- Casual evenings in the city.
I like that T4T offers a little something extra in most of their designs, taking comfy tees and pants and making them unique and more stylish than the norm.
Affordable Sustainable Clothing
A lot of speciality travel clothes are eye-wateringly expensive. Lots of sustainable fashion brands also charge a premium for their clothes.
Threads 4 Thought makes affordable ethical clothing, so once you’re done shopping you’ll have a little cash left over to spend on travel fun.
It’s not the cheapest of the cheap, which is a good thing. Cheap clothes are generally made with Earth-damaging materials and using dirty manufacturing processes. They also fall apart quickly, increasing waste and costing you more in the long run.
If you’re really short on cash, Threads 4 Thought even offers an instalment payment plan, so you can spread out the cost if you need to.
How Threads 4 Thought Makes Fashion Ethical
In the 21st century, when we’re facing so many environmental and human rights crises around the world, there’s just no excuse for buying unethical products! Especially when there are companies out there working hard to limit the negative impact — and maximize the positive impact — their products have on the world.
Here’s why I feel good about supporting Threads 4 Thought.
Sustainable Fashion from Sustainable Materials
All of Threads 4 Thought’s clothing is made from sustainable fabrics, including:
Cotton is the world’s most profitable non-food crop, but normal cotton production is highly damaging to the environment and environmentally unsustainable. Organic cotton production reduces negative impact by rotating crops, using insects and trap crops instead of pesticides, and growing from untreated non-GMO seeds.
Using recycled plastics to make polyester helps reduce the amount of waste in the world! Hurrah. But it’s also more energy efficient and produces less carbon emissions than standard polyester production.
Sustainable wood fibres
What if clothing could grow on trees?
Thanks to innovation and technology, it kind of does, at least when Tencel and Lenzing fabrics are involved. These fabrics are created from wood pulp — the clothes were once eucalyptus, beech, spruce, or birch trees. But the commitment to sustainability goes much further than that.
Their pulp comes from certified sustainable forests, almost all in Europe. According to the Lenzing website, they “do not procure wood or pulp derived from primeval forests in Canada or Russia, from the Amazon region or from the endangered rainforests in Indonesia or West Africa”.
The fabrics are manufactured with an eye to sustainability all along the chain — from plants to pants. Plus, because they’re made from wood fibre, they are biodegradable at the end of their lifecycle.
It’s a fascinating subject and I could write a few thousand words about it. I didn’t though, so go check out the Lenzing website to find out more about their commitment to eco-conscious fashion.
Ethically Made Clothing
Threads 4 Thought clothes are manufactured only in factories that hold “the highest certifications in the industry, ensuring the best working conditions, and the highest level of sustainable production processes”. That means that the people who are responsible for creating the things you wear get safe working conditions and fair pay.
Profits Used for Good
The company has an ongoing partnership with the International Rescue Committee, who work to help people whose lives have been disrupted by humanitarian crises like wars, conflicts, and natural disasters.
Our Picks from Threads 4 Thought.com
Ethical Yoga Clothing
I love their selection of bright colours and eye-catching prints. The Gaia Printed Legging in Geranium are super cute and consciously made from Recycled Polyester and Spandex (perfect for practicing eco-warrior pose).
Threads 4 Thought sent me the Monica Leggings, also made from Recyled Polyester. They are the softest yoga pants I’ve ever owned and the first pair of leggings that don’t make me feel constricted and itchy after an hour. I’m so glad to have them in my suitcase.
Outstanding Tanks, Tees & Tops
If you’re looking for casual tops, T4T offers plenty of choice. I picked the Rowana Tank Henley because it’s comfy and casual, but it also has enough style to dress it up for an evening out. It’s made from wood fibre Lenzing Modal and Recycled Polyester.
I don’t like a lot of fuss in my clothing but I don’t want to look like a total grub either, so I love the range of T4T tops that offer a little extra flair in a completely comfy package. The Mae Open-Back Top is an ideal cover-up for showing off your cute yoga top. The Marin Cold Shoulder Hoodie is good for girls who want to flash a little flesh without seeming too saucy.
Ever since I got them, I have practically lived in my Montana Cargo Pants. They are cool enough to see me through a hilly hike in Italy (where I am right now) and comfy enough for a long day at the laptop (like today).
Made from breathable, stretchy fabric, they also work for my evening yoga practice. Plus, the fabric is soft enough that I can totally picture wearing them to bed. They’re made from Lenzing Tencel, Organic Cotton, and a little Spandex.
Let’s not forget about the T4T men’s line-up!
They have a wide range of shorts that are as comfortable as any sports shorts but look miles better. I love the two-tone Bowen Short made from Organic Cotton and a little Spandex for extra stretch.
The Kit Triblend Pullover is also great — an uber-comfortable sweatshirt with extra swagger. And the Get Lost tee is right up my alley, equally perfect for introverts and adventurers.
What Makes Clothing Unethical?
Let’s take a quick look at some of the problems in the fashion industry. The nasty behaviour goes way beyond using fur and leather!
It’s easy to get into an uproar about the use of animal products, like fur, down and leather, in fashion. After all, we can readily imagine the fuzzy rabbit that gets its fur ripped out to produce angora.
It’s a little harder to see how cotton, for example, is a problem.
Unfortunately, in most cases, the crops that produce the raw materials for fashion fabrics destroy farmland, add high levels of pesticides into waterways, and use huge amounts of resources.
So the first step in creating ethical fashion is to source materials that are made with sustainability in mind.
All along the chain, from the people who pick the cotton, to delivery drivers and garment workers, people are a huge part of the clothes you wear. Cheap throw-away clothing is only possible if people are underpaid and corners are cut. In so many cases, human rights are ignored and workers are exploited so you can buy a $5 t-shirt you only wear once.
Ethical clothing companies, like Threads 4 Thought, pay attention to the human cost in their manufacturing process, using only certified factories to source and create their clothing and making sure that people are treated fairly all along the route.
Unthinkable amounts of water, chemicals, dyes, and raw materials go into creating a single item of clothing. Ethical fashion is moving towards closed-loop systems, which means recovering and reusing water, chemicals, and other resources during the manufacturing process.
As a consumer, you can reduce waste too, by buying versatile, durable clothing that you will wear again and again and again — rather than buying cheap items that end up gathering dust in your closet after a single wear.
I highly recommend watching The True Cost if you want to know more about the ethics of fashion.
A Few Final Thoughts on Ethically Made Clothing
As a person who lives on Earth and wears clothes, it’s my responsibility to become more conscious about my clothing.
I’ve long been against animal-derived clothes (thumbs down to leather, fur, and down!) but there’s so much more to be considered when it comes to sustainable clothing.
To prevent waste, my first goal will be to limit the clothes I buy to versatile, good quality pieces that I can wear for years.
When I do need something new, I’ll turn to ethical fashion brands, like Threads 4 Thought. These brands are leading the way in creating clothing that reduce waste and environmental damage, and treat people with dignity and respect.
As consumers, our choices can have a huge impact. Until we move to Mars or go nudist, let’s choose eco conscious clothing!
We hope this post has helped you find your next ethical outfit or just made you think a little more about where your clothes come from. If you like the idea of ethical fashion, make your choice and vote with your wallet.
♥ Happy transformational travels, Jane & Stephen
We’re not going to lie, it takes a LOT of work to create travel guides like this. But it’s easy to help us out! If you book or buy something using one of our personal links in this post, we’ll earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Of course, we would never recommend anything we didn’t 100% believe in! Huge thanks in advance! –S&J
Share With Your Friends
Get 101 Travel Tips
Get our free ebook, 101 Travel Tips for Mindful Adventurers. It’s packed with our best tips for saving money, planning for travel, booking flights and accommodation, traveling sustainably, and staying on the road for longer! We ask for your email address so we can send you an email about once every month with our latest travel tips, destination advice, and personal stories about life on the road.