Green Label Organic T-Shirts

Green Label Organic is a family owned and operated business located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It was co-created by a long time T-shirt designer and his wife, an organic grower and environmentalist.

After learning about the severe environmental impact of conventionally grown cotton, they set out to educate and inform as many people as possible to the importance of supporting organic farming and responsible, sustainable business practices. They offer a colorful collection of 100% certified organic ring spun cotton T-shirts and tops. The super-soft, low impact garment dyed organic T-shirts are made in the USA. Each piece is artfully designed to deliver fun and positive messages about the environment, fair trade, sustainability, and issues that are important to us all.

Disclosure: Green Label Organic contacted me to try one of their organic cotton t-shirts at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete this review after trying the item. I was not pressured in any way to make a positive endorsement.

Each and every Green Label shirt is:

  • 100% Certified Organic super soft Ring Spun cotton
  • Gently garment washed with eco conscious low impact dyes
  • Artfully printed without the use of PVCs or other harsh chemistry
  • Produced without scratchy neck tags
  • Pre-shrunk
  • Made in the USA, as locally as possible * Sweatshop Free * Oeko-Tex 100 Certified

 

Why Organic Cotton?

 

Each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides, which accounts for more than 35% of the world’s annual use. In California’s San Joaquin valley alone, more than 18 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed annually onto one million acres of cotton. It takes approximately 1/3 of a pound of pesticides, herbicides, and defoliants to grow enough cotton to make just one conventional cotton T-shirt.

Of the nine chemicals used in growing cotton, five of them are known carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). Every one of them is classified category I or II by the EPA. Categories I and II are considered the most dangerous chemicals.

In the U.S. some of these pesticide treatments are done with aerial spraying. It is estimated that less than 25% of the pesticides actually land on the cotton crop. The remainder drifts as far as a few miles and may land on other crops, farm workers and homes. In many other countries the danger of pesticide treatments is increased as it is often done either by hand or with improper and outdated equipment. Oftentimes the farmers are unable to read instructions or warning labels. Many never receive proper directions for the use of these highly toxic chemicals, causing overexposure for the farmers and their communities.

 

Rehance Printing

 

Most conventional cotton printed t-shirts are printed with plastisol inks and something called phylates. PVC's (Polyvinyl Chloride) are plastics. Phylates, used to make plastics soft and malleable, are known to be potentially carcinogenetic. This plastic paint or ink doesn't breath and therefore may cause you to perspire behind the print. The printed t-shirt thread on the left use plastisols and phylates. The Green Label printed t-shirt on the right uses a patented rehance printing technology.

Most conventional cotton printed t-shirts are printed with plastisol inks and something called phylates. PVC’s (Polyvinyl Chloride) are plastics. Phylates, used to make plastics soft and malleable, are known to be potentially carcinogenetic. This plastic paint or ink doesn’t breath and therefore may cause you to perspire behind the print. The printed t-shirt thread on the left use plastisols and phylates. The Green Label printed t-shirt on the right uses a patented rehance printing technology.

 

I noticed this difference in printing technique right away, as soon as I pulled the t-shirt out of the packaging. The printed design on the shirt is smooth you can’t even feel it like you can with most printed tees. No need to turn the shirt inside out before washing to protect the print. Less fading and disappearing of the print, and let’s face it, isn’t that why you buy a printed tee in the first place? If you wanted a crummy ole plain t-shirt you could go to Wally World.

Another thing I noticed right away that was a big hit with me was… NO TAG! When I receive a garment with tags, I immediately get out the scissors and snip, snip, snip. Can’t stand them! They itch. They scratch. They are a nuisance. I can’t believe apparel companies still put tags in their products. So a big YEAH! to Green Label for recognizing that.

 

Let’s Talk Sizing

 

If you like a tight, form-fitting tee then I recommend ordering your normal shirt size. If you prefer a loose fit, with more room to move your arms and torso, then you probably want to go up a size. I usually wear a size medium shirt, but have put on a few pounds recently (haven’t we all), and the M fit a little snug, but not uncomfortably so. Next time I might go with L.

Green Label t-shirts are pre-shrunk, but I noticed after laundering my shirt that it was just a tad tighter. I used a warm water wash and did tumble dry the shirt. You may want to consider putting yours in with your cold water cycle and maybe even line dry it. They can withstand an iron just fine. Perhaps another reason to go up a size.

 

Wearing the Green Label T-Shirt

 

As soon as I pulled it on, the Green Label tee was quite comfortable. Light-weight, and breathable, the organic cotton is one of those soft fabrics that you almost don’t even notice you’re wearing. There weren’t any odd, annoying seams or stitching, and it was pleasant not to feel a plastic print on my skin.

When I’m hiking I usually wear microfiber or merino wool. I learned a long time ago to steer away from cotton simply because it stays wet when I sweat. Unlike the wool and polyester fibers, cotton does not have wicking properties that will help keep you dry. This is especially important in winter when a wet undershirt layer can be deadly.

I wore the Green Label tee on a 90° day to give this a try. Sure, the organic cotton will still remain damp after perspiration just like regular cotton, but what I noticed is that I didn’t sweat as much. What they say about the rehance printing is absolutely right. You aren’t wearing a layer of plastic on the print that will cause you to sweat. So, if you like cotton to hike in, a Green Label t-shirt might be just what you’ve been looking for.

I am very happy with my Green Label Organic t-shirt. It won’t always be my hiking shirt of choice, but it’s a great knocking-around-in tee that feels very comfortable. In fact, I’m wearing mine now while writing this review. I really think you would like one too.

 

Where Can You Get One?

 

Green Label Organic Think Outside t-shirt

Manufactured in Floyd, VA by Green Label Organic, these t-shirts come in crews, long sleeves and thermals. Try the wide range of sizes, colors, and printed designs. Green Label is mostly outdoor focused and have a ton of designs for hiking, camping and cycling. They have men’s, women’s and kid’s cuts and styles; including scoops, tunics, and v-necks for the ladies. I got the one you see here.

For the most part, the short sleeve crews sell for US$34, the long sleeve for US$38, and the thermals for US$42. They also have a SALE section that has reduced price because they may be low on stock or discontinued styles or colors. The Green Label Organic tees may seem a little pricey, but this discount might entice you to try one, and you will discover that these shirts will last.

The Green Label philosophy is one of respect; respect for our environment, respect for working people everywhere, and respect for ourselves through the choices we make.

Disclosure: Green Label Organic contacted me to try one of their organic cotton t-shirts at no cost to me. My only responsibility was an agreement to complete this review after trying the item. I was not pressured in any way to make a positive endorsement.

 

This post was created by Jeff Clark. Please feel free to use the sharing icons below, or add your thoughts to the comments. Pack it in, pack it out. Preserve the past. Respect other hikers. Let nature prevail. Leave no trace.

 

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