These Ethical Feminist T-Shirts Are Fun and Fierce AF
Wear your heart on your sleeve!
It’s great when a T-shirt’s slogan makes you feel proud to be a feminist, but the company, materials and labour behind the T-shirt matter too. These ethical tees weren’t made in sweatshops. Good.
This selection of feminist T-shirts only features brands who credit their original designs and explicitly say they ethically source their materials and labour. Most of these brands are women-owned, and a number of them actively support gender equality by donating a percentage of their proceeds to organisations and charities making a difference.
These tees are a joyous way to recharge your spirit and your spring wardrobe at the same time…
Don’t Tell Me To Smile Bear
Designed by SarahDuyer
Nothing’s more likely to get you in growl-mode than someone telling you to smile, possibly followed up with an unwelcome “cheer up love, it might never happen”. Bears don’t tolerate street harassment. They’ve got no time for it. Neither do you.
This design was printed on an American union-made 100% cotton tee.
Cats Against Catcalls
Designed by Kylee Jo
Feminist Apparel is one of the most well-known sources for feminist t-shirts out there. We were wary to include them, because in 2014 they were called out for their business model. It appeared that their (uncredited) designs were achingly familiar to the work of artists on Tumblr. The owner, a man, did invite a range of diverse women to sit in the board, but this was felt to be tokenism.
We will currently include Feminist Apparel on the grounds that the featured designers do now seem to be getting proper credit for their work. Problematic business models can evolve over time, and we don’t want to reduce visibility for feminist designers today based on a company’s past failings.
Women in Music
Designed by Otherwild
Women have always used music as a means to be heard, and this fabulous design by Stefanie Boyd-Berks ensures you’ll be covered by some of the greats. She’s done another brilliant design for women artists, too – oh, it was so hard to choose? Art or music? Tough call…
Otherwild is a deeply radical store in LA that ships internationally and takes every care to ensure its supply chain is ethically sourced, from bright idea right through to your bedroom wardrobe.
If someone really wants to stare at your boobs, give them so many boobs they don’t quite know where. Bouncy, dangly, shaking their booby thing… this top is an absolute delight. Is it just us, or is it also surprisingly smart and work-friendly? Maybe it depends on where you work…
This tee is printed on super-soft 100% cotton, created by women-owned San Francisco indie design collective Gravel & Gold.
I Will Rescue Myself, Thanks
Designed by UglyBaby
Anyone who’s more than a bit miffed at heroic princes in fairytales and spent half of Game of Thrones biting their knuckles will get the glory of this T-shirt. UglyBaby use Bella & Canvas tees which are American-made and 100% sweatshop-free.
Still I Rise
Designed by Birdsong
Is there anyone who doesn’t love Birdsong? They’re a fabulous brand that works closely with women’s organisations and charities to create clothing that makes you feel good on the inside as well as the outside.
This limited edition “Still I Rise” embroidered tee is a tribute to Maya Angelou, but it’s more than just words on a bit of organic ethically-made cotton. Each t-shirt is embroidered by Mona and her sewing community on a housing estate in London’s Tower Hamlets. Money from the sale of this tees goes to Mona’s sewing lessons for women from low income backgrounds and people with disabilities. Order quickly to avoid disappointment, songbirds.
Designed by Wildfang
Say it with flowers, because flowers are all about beautiful growth. They can and will grow anywhere, even in the cracks. Flowers are unstoppable. Flowers are positive and strong. Just like feminism.
Wildfang describe themselves as a bunch of “modern-day female Robin Hoods raiding men’s closets”. They specialise in gender-neutral clothing – and a portion of the sale of each of these floral feminist tees goes to The Malala Fund.
Feminist expressions on a T-shirt can recharge the soul. They can lift your heart when you’re grabbing something to wear from your laundry basket (okay, your floor). Sometimes they can help you fly your flag that bit higher.
But feminist fashion need not stop at the superficial.
In the words of “Stitched Up” author Tansy Hoskins, “feminism is not just a word that can be printed on a t-shirt. It’s a set of beliefs, and it’s actions behind those beliefs”.
You can make what you wear – and do – count, one T-shirt and one action at a time.