10 PFAS-Free Apparel Brands For Nontoxic Clothing
The Good Trade editors endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and genuinely love. Learn more about our methodology and business model here.
Did you know that your clothing could be shedding microplastics? They come out in the wash, literally: Synthetic clothing releases microplastics in washing machines that go on to pollute water and soil systems, not to mention indoor air quality you breathe in everyday. Now, take a deep breath, look down at what you’re wearing, and think of what might be happening to your human system.
We are exposed to toxins everyday–through what we eat, drink, breathe, touch, and wear. Now, our bodies are resilient and work hard to keep us healthy, but PFAS are insidious, mimicking fatty acids and acting as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with adverse affects on our hormonal systems. There are so many things outside of your control, but when you do get the luxury of choice, we want you to be able to choose the products that will offer the most benefit to every system, including your precious human body. So let’s talk about those microplastics–what they are and how you can avoid them.
“PFAS are man-made chemicals, otherwise known as forever chemicals, that have been in use since the 1940s in various products that resist grease, water, and oil.”
PFAS are man-made chemicals, otherwise known as forever chemicals, that have been in use since the 1940s in various products that resist grease, water, and oil. PFAS leach into soil, water, and air, and most never break down. Epidemiological studies reveal associations between PFAS and a variety of health consequences like liver and kidney disease, fertility issues, thyroid disease, and cancer.
PFAS are especially prevalent in activewear because of the tendency for companies to use stain-resistant and water-repellant (marketed as “moisture-wicking”) coatings. Synthetic fabrics like nylon and spandex, which are derived from petrochemicals, are used for optimum stretch and breathability. The effects of this can be even more harmful since our workout clothing sits tight against our largest organ (our skin) with our pores wide open as we sweat, taking everything in.
The good news: more and more mainstream brands, such as H&M, Zara, and Levi Strauss & Co are producing affordable PFAS-free collections, but we love the below brands because they are both PFAS-free and sustainably made with organic materials.
PFAS-free materials | Organic cotton
Size Range | XS-2X
Price Range | $18-$165
Pact names itself as “Earth’s favorite clothing,” and when we asked Earth to confirm, Earth agreed. Founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2009 by Brendan Synnott of EVOL food, Bear Naked Granola, and Little Secrets candy, PACT clothing is carbon neutral, GOTS certified, PFAS-free, 100% organic cotton, and Fair Trade. Plus, they have accessible price points like $28-48 for their bestselling leggings. Their global trade model benefits everyone, including the planet, and all their packaging is 100% recyclable and FSC-certified.
PFAS-free materials | Closed loop Tencel, organic cotton, soil-friendly hemp, recycled polyester
Size Range | XS-XL
Price Range | $18-$328
Founded in 2011 by five guys who wanted to give back to the earth they fell in love with on a trip to Hawaii, Tentree is an earth-first lifestyle apparel brand on a mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. Forget planting one tree per transaction; they plant ten for every item purchased. They’ve also committed to being the most environmentally progressive brand in the world. All their clothing is PFAS-free and uses only organic or recycled materials.
3. MATE the Label
PFAS-free materials | Organic cotton jersey, organic thermal, organic fleece, organic terry, organic stretch, organic knit, linen, TENCEL lyocell, TENCEL rib
Size Range | XS-3X
Price Range | $68-$188
MATE the Label’s mission is to provide people everywhere with essentials that are clean from seed to skin. They want to clean up the fashion industry one garment at a time, pledging to never use polyester, nylon, or polyamide in their products. All their domestic goods are knitted, cut, sewn, and dyed in LA in fair trade factories, no more than 15 miles from their office, and their main factory is only four miles away. Their goal? Make timeless essentials that never go out of style.
PFAS-free materials | Organic cotton, hemp, recycled cotton, responsible wool
Size Range | XS-XL
Price Range | $58-$428
Professional surfer Kelly Slater and acclaimed designer John Moore founded Outerknown with a passion to develop the first brand founded on a total commitment to sustainability. Their goal is to ensure everything they make lives on with repair, resale, and recycling, aiming for 100% circularity of products by 2030. They have diversified their country of origin and moved 67% of their supply chain to ensure every supplier prioritizes human rights, and they’re actively working to map 100% of their supply chain. They work with two B Corp Certified suppliers and have eight facilities that run on renewable energy. Plus, nobody makes a blanket shirt like Outerknown.
PFAS-free materials | Organic cotton, Responsible Down Standard certified down, Responsible Wool Standard wool, natural rubber, various recycled materials
Size Range | XXS-XL
Price Range | $22-$999
Patagonia, founded in 1973 in Ventura, California by Yvon Chouinard, is like the grandmother of all sustainable clothing brands. They were making Fair Trade Certified clothing way before it was on trend to be earth-friendly, became a B Corp and a California benefit corporation, changed their company’s purpose to “We’re in business to save our home planet” in 2018, and most recently, gave Earth all the shares of their company with all future profits going to fight the climate crisis. Their core values: build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to protect nature, do not be bound by convention. By 2024, all of their clothing finished in Durable Water Repellent will be PFAS-free, except for their waders which will be PFC and PFAS-free by 2025.
6. Harvest & Mill
PFAS-free materials | 100% organic cotton grown in the USA
Size Range | S-XL
Price Range | $12-185
Grown, milled, designed, and sown in the USA, Harvest & Mill makes all organic cotton tops, sweatpants, shorts, and joggers. They work directly with organic cotton farmers, heritage mills, and family owned factories through a 100% localized and decentralized low-carbon supply chain. Most of their clothing uses natural color and organic heirloom cottons that are dye-free and bleach-free. All of their sewing takes place at independent, family-owned factories within 15 miles of their studio in Berkeley, CA. All fabrics are free from azo dyes, formaldehyde, flame retardants, phthalates, heavy metals, chlorine bleach, and VOCS.
PFAS-free materials | Hemp and organic cotton
Size Range | XS-2X
Price Range | $44-$296
Jungmaven believes we make conscious daily choices to heal our planet, and one of the choices with the most impact is what we wear. This is why they use hemp. Hemp is a natural fiber requiring no irrigation, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMO seeds. It’s also a phyto-remediation plant, meaning it cleans soil, water, and air, (it was planted at Chernobyl to reduce soil toxicity), plus its cultivation has a low environmental impact. Jungmaven’s hemp pieces are hand-cut on a cutting table from paper patterns in small production batches, then pre-washed and pre-shrunk. Every single piece is cut and sewn by real humans paid real living wages, right here in Los Angeles, California.
PFAS-free materials | Bamboo viscose
Size Range | XXS-XL
Price Range | $15-$75
Boody makes organic bamboo viscose loungewear and athleisure that is thermo-regulating, odor resistant, hypoallergenic, breathable, and super duper soft. Bamboo is the fastest growing, most versatile plant in the world, requiring no pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals or insecticides to help it grow (all it needs is rain!). Boody works with companies SGS and Intertek to ensure their products are produced with quality and integrity in four main categories: inspection, testing, certification and verification. Boody’s ethics and certifications are impressive, and their clothing provides the sustainable basics everyone deserves to have in their wardrobe.
PFAS-free materials | OEKO-Tex certified cotton, TENCEL Modal, cotton/recycled polyester blends
Size Range | 3XS-6X
Price Range | $14-$99
TomboyX was created to meet an unfulfilled social need: helping people feel comfy in their skin regardless of their body type, size, or societal norms. Designed in Seattle, WA since 2013, TomboyX is queer owned and run, creating silky-soft and long-lasting premium underwear (including period underwear), bras, swim, activewear, loungewear, accessories, and tees & tanks. All of their cotton is OEKO-Tex certified, and their TENCEL Modal clothing is spun from beechwood tree pulp. TomboyX makes clothing anyone can feel amazing in, regardless of where they fall on the gender or size spectrum.
PFAS-free materials | Grade-A Cashmere, Peruvian Pima tees, Organic Cotton, Bio-based leather
Size Range | 00-16, Size 23-33 pants
Price Range | $18-$275
Everlane is all about Radical Transparency, partnering with the most ethical factories around the world and sourcing only the finest materials to create a full range of offerings from shoes to underwear, socks to coats to denim. Speaking of denim, their’s is made in some of the world’s cleanest factories; they’re also moving all denim to organic and introducing Roica® V550 yarn into their products—the first stretch yarn worldwide that isn’t made with harmful chemicals. They’re also using micro-plastic free dyes and recycled trim, guaranteeing some of the purest denim on the planet. Random bonus: Their swim collection is made from regenerated nylon waste.