June 21, 2024

With Brits alone drinking more than 100 million cups of tea a day, sustainable tea is a piping hot topic.

But why? What are the sustainability issues with tea?

From how tea leaves are grown and harvested to how they’re processed, blended, packaged, and shipped, there’s a lot to consider when looking for a conscious cuppa. 

So put the kettle on, and while the tea’s brewing, read about our favorite flavorful sustainable tea brands changing tea drinking for the better.

Our Favorite Sustainable Tea Companies For A More Ethical Brew

For fun flavors and stellar eco credentials, we’ll raise a mug to Bird & Blend Tea Co’s range of sustainable loose leaf tea and plastic-free tea bags.

One of the best organic tea brands, Numi Tea, ticks all our sustainability boxes with certified organic and fairtrade tea leaves housed in compostable tea bags. 

For a proper cup of tea that takes good care of the planet, London-based Good & Proper is working to cut GHG emissions and use compostable packaging for its award-winning blends.

Whether you’re a herbal tea lover or prefer a straight-up builders cuppa, there are some excellent, sustainable, ethical tea companies to choose from. 

Read on for our complete list, or, if you’ve been wondering, “How can we make tea more sustainable?” keep reading beyond the brand list, where we share the criteria we used when choosing the best fairtrade, organic tea companies.

Our Curated List Of Eco-friendly Tea Brands For Sustainable Sipping

1. Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Sustainable Tea by Bird & Blend Tea Co.
Images by Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Price Range | £3.50–£20 | Shop Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Values | Ethical sourcing, carbon neutral, community-minded

Ingredients | You’ll find some unusual ingredients, like candy sprinkles, in some of the fun blends. They use FSA-compliant natural flavorings, and most teas are vegan, except their Sticky Chai collection, which contains honey, and Tea From The Hood, which has bee pollen. 

What We Love | Bird & Blend Tea Co. are here “to spread happiness & reimagine tea.” They offer over 100 different loose leaf tea blends, and the best-sellers are also available in plastic-free tea bags.

Bird & Blend Tea Co. Sustainable Loose Leaf Tea

From classic breakfast and flavored black tea to fruit tea, matcha, and yerba mate, Bird & Blend offers something for every tea lover. 

Have a sweet tooth?

With blends like the Chocolate Digestive Tea and their award-winning Gingerbread Chai, you can indulge sweet cravings without or without a biscuit on the side. 

If you need a gift for the tea lover in your life, they have plenty to choose from, including those in their Zodiac Collection. 

Bird & Blend Tea Co.’s Sustainability

Certifications | Certified B Corp, Carbon Neutral

Carbon | Bird & Blend is carbon neutral via a partnership with Ecologi but ultimately aims for net-zero emissions. Read more on their Sustainability and Ethics Strategy progress. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | Ingredients are ethically sourced using the company’s supplier code of conduct. 

Thoughtful Packaging | For loose leaf teas, you’ll find plastic-free compostable tea pouches and reusable and recyclable tins made in the UK using solar energy. The biodegradable tea bags are 100% plastic-free. 

Pay It Forward | The brand’s ChariTEA Programme gives back to a different charity each quarter. 

2. DAVIDsTEA

Sustainable Tea by DAVIDsTEASustainable Tea by DAVIDsTEA
Images by DAVIDsTEA

Price Range | $5–59 | Shop DAVIDsTEA

Values | Environmental and social responsibility

Ingredients | Over 30% of their collection consists of organic teas, and several teas are Fair Trade Certified. They do use artificial flavorings but offer 35 unflavored blends. 

What We Love | For sustainable tea Canada style, DAVIDsTEA has plenty of tasty blends to choose from. They’re committed to ethical sourcing and are moving towards fully compostable packaging. 

DAVIDsTEA’s Sustainable Loose Leaf Tea And Sachets

From fruity blends like Bahama Blue Tea with notes of lemongrass, lychee, and peach to Cream Of Earl Grey Tea with its hint of sweet vanilla, you’ll find plenty of tantalizing blends.

Keep an eye out for their “give back” teas, like the organic Nepal Black Tea, where 1% of proceeds are donated to a Nepalese community clean water project. 

DAVIDsTEA’s Bird Sustainability

Certifications | Ecocert Canada, Fair Trade USA

Carbon | They’ve partnered with One Tree Planted to offset their printed paper and take-away cup usage. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | 60% of DAVIDsTEA’s collection supports the Ethical Tea Partnership. They source from tea estates around the world, including family-run tea farms. 

Thoughtful Packaging | They’re moving over to compostable tea bags. Their sample sachets are now home compostable; the rest are plastic-free and biodegradable. The silver bags are recyclable, and orders are shipped in compostable mailers. 

Pay It Forward | The DAVIDsTEA Impact Fund supports several organizations, including a clean water project in Nepal and a homework project in South Africa, both in communities where they source tea. 

3. Good & Proper

Sustainable Tea by Good & ProperSustainable Tea by Good & Proper
Images by Good & Proper

Price Range | £1.50–£56.00 | Shop Good Proper

Values | Responsible single-origin fair trade sourcing, organic ingredients

Ingredients | Single-origin, whole-leaf teas.

What We Love | There’s nothing like a proper cup of tea, and this best sustainable tea brand from London proves just that, ethics included. They’re one of the best eco-friendly tea brands for sustainable tea packaging and can fully trace every blend. 

Good & Proper’s Sustainable Loose Leaf Tea & Bags

You’ll find single-origin black, green, herbal, oolong, and white tea, as well as award-winning blends. 

Brockley Breakfast is their award-winning breakfast tea, originally blended for serving at festivals. 

For a vibrant hit of vitamin C, their Hibiscus Tea (another award winner) is grown by Malawi small-holders supported with a living wage. 

Good Proper’s Sustainability

Certifications | Organic, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Plastic-Free

Carbon | Good & Proper has joined the SME Climate Hub, committing to cut GHG emissions by 50% before 2030 and hit net zero emissions by 2050. They use renewable energy to power their warehouse and London HQ and ship by sea freight when possible. Read more in their Sustainability Roadmap. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | Sourcing from more than 13 countries, they pay above fair trade prices and prioritize long-term partnerships. 

Thoughtful Packaging | Tea bags are plastic-free, biodegradable, and compostable. Cartons are made from FSC-certified cardboard, and the inner bag is also compostable.

4. Numi Tea

Sustainable Tea by Numi TeaSustainable Tea by Numi Tea
Images by Numi Tea

Price Range | £5–£8 | Shop Numi Tea

Values | Social and environmental responsibility, ethical sourcing, plastic-free packaging

Ingredients | Numi uses hand-prepared, full leaf quality organic tea, spices, flowers, and fruits. All ingredients are 100% natural.

What We Love | This Californian-based B Corp brand ticks all our boxes. All teas are certified organic, fairtrade, and non-GMO. 

Numi Tea’s Organic Fair Trade Tea

With sustainable green tea, herbal blends, black tea, white tea, and Pu-erh, Numi offers fair trade organic tea for every sustainable sipper. 

Their Rooibios Chai is blended with cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and ginger for a warming treat. 

Love mint tea?

Numi’s Moroccan Mint is made using organic “nana mint” grown by Fair Trade partners in Faiyum, Egypt. 

A selection of their best-sellers is also available in loose leaf form. 

Numi Teas’s Sustainability

Certifications | Certified B Corp, USDA Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Fair Trade, Fair Labor Verified

Carbon | Numi is Climate Neutral certified and has created a carbon footprint label for its products. They offset their Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions via the Carbon Fund and partner with tea gardens that use regenerative farming practices. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | All of Numi’s sustainable tea is Fair Trade certified. It’s also Fair Labor verified, a verification program Numi helped develop.

Thoughtful Packaging | Numi’s fair trade sustainable tea bags are compostable, and the plant-based wrappers are industrially compostable. 

Pay It Forward | The Numi Foundation supports communities in Oakland and overseas with projects that include clean water, emergency food relief, and education. 

5. Art Of Tea

Sustainable Tea by Art Of TeaSustainable Tea by Art Of Tea
Images by Art Of Tea

Price Range | $11–$275 | Shop Art of Tea 

Values | Organic ingredients, plastic-free packaging, environmental and social responsibility

Ingredients | Most of the LA-based brand’s teas and botanicals are certified organic. 

What We Love | Art of Tea offers high-quality, custom-crafted, specialty teas. They share their passion via the Art of Tea Academy, inviting everyone to become a tea expert. 

Art of Tea’s Organic Tea

You’ll find over 100 loose leaf teas and expert blends, including classic breakfast teas, herbal blends, a Wellness Collection, a Dessert Collection, single-origin tea, matcha, chai, and more. 

They also offer plastic fee pyramid sachets for those who prefer the convenience of a tea bag. 

If you’re a fan of Earl Grey, check out Art of Tea’s Earl Grey Crème Tea. Blended with bergamot oil and vanilla, it’s USDA-certified organic and a customer favorite. 

Prefer something fruity?

Happy Tea blends raspberries with hibiscus and jasmine to give a light, fruity tea for daytime sipping. 

Art Of Tea’s Sustainability

Certifications | USDA Organic

Carbon | Shipping is carbon offset via a partnership with Ecocart. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | Art of Tea works closely with its suppliers, developing personal relationships with tea growers and distributors worldwide. Teas are sourced from China, Egypt, India, Japan, and Taiwan, with a focus on building personal relationships with suppliers. The blending and packing take place in L.A.

Thoughtful Packaging | The plastic-free pyramid sachets are made from PLA and are industrially compostable. The loose leaf tea is available in reusable tins, but larger quantities are in pouches. 

6. Pukka Herbs

Sustainable Tea by Pukka HerbsSustainable Tea by Pukka Herbs
Images by Pukka Herbs

Price Range | $14–$53 | Shop Pukka Herbs

Values | Positive environmental and social impact, organic ingredients, pursuit of net zero, fair trade sourcing

Ingredients | All of Pukka’s teas are certified organic. Some are flavored with organic essential oil granules. Many of the organic practitioner-grade herbs are Fair For Life or FairWild certified.

What We Love | This Certified B Corp fair trade tea company is here to “nurture healthier, happier lives through powerful organic plants”. Co-founded by a Master Herbsmith, Pukka is passionate about herbs for health and well-being, which is reflected in their range of herbal teas. 

Pukka Herbs’ Organic Tea

From the fruity Blackcurrant Beauty to the relaxing Night Time blend of chamomile, lavender, oat flower, and valerian, Pukka’s collection of herbal and fruit teas has carefully crafted blends for every occasion and well-being need. 

You can shop by ingredient and benefit (Digestion, Calm, Sleep, Active Energy, and more). 

They also have a tea-rific selection of tea gifts, including the Pukka Support Tea Selection Box, with warming teas to boost well-being like Three Ginger and Turmeric Boost. 

Pukka Herbs’ Sustainability

Certifications | Certified B Corp, FSC, Soil Association, Fair For Life, FairWild

Carbon | Pukka aims for net zero emissions by 2039. You can read about their climate action in their latest Impact Report. Their Mission Council of experts helps guide the organization’s sustainable endeavors. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | They source their tea from over 20 countries using fair trade principles. 

Thoughtful Packaging | Pukka has joined Canopy’s Pack4Good initiative and only uses responsibly sourced paper. All tea packaging is recyclable and the tea bags themselves are compostable.

Pay It Forward | Through its 1% for the Planet membership, Pukka supports the work of TreeSisters and World Land Trust.

7. teapigs

Sustainable Tea by teapigsSustainable Tea by teapigs
Images by teapigs

Price Range | £1.50–£8 | Shop teapigs

Values | Sustainable sourcing, giving back to tea communities

Ingredients | All ingredients are 100% natural. 

What We Love | Big on flavor, with 167 Taste Awards to its name, this big-hearted sustainable tea UK brand gives back to tea communities in Rwanda via the teapigs Ethical Scheme. 

teapigs’ Sustainable Tea Bags

The teapigs range includes black, green, white, herbal, rooibos, oolong, and more, sourced from a small number of tea estates. 

Keep it classic with the Everyday Brew, teapigs’ signature English breakfast tea—a tasty, balanced blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Rwandan tea. 

Or sample one of their caffeine-free blends like the refreshing Rhubarb and Ginger.

Certifications | Rainforest Alliance

Sourcing & Supply Chain | teapigs is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership and is partnering with the Rainforest Alliance to certify its black tea estates. 

Thoughtful Packaging | The industrially compostable tea bags are made from paper and cornstarch. The outer pack FSC-certified cardboard printed with vegetable inks, and the inner plastic bag is now made from Natureflex, a wood-pulp-based compostable material. 

Pay It Forward | Each pack of Everyday Brew and Decaf English Breakfast sold supports the Point Foundation’s work with orphans and young people in Rwanda. 

8. Harney & Sons

Sustainable Tea by Harney & SonsSustainable Tea by Harney & Sons
Images by Harney & Sons

Price Range | $4–$60 | Shop Harney & Sons

Values | Equal opportunities, diversity, organic ingredients, giving back to environmental organizations

Ingredients | They have a collection of organic teas, and several teas are Fair Trade certified. 

What We Love | This third-generation family-run business sells fine teas that take tea drinking to the next level. They pay employees a living wage and offer employee benefits like health care and childcare. 

Harney & Son’s Tea

From much-loved classics to unique flavors, you’ll find over 300 types of tea on offer from this fine tea company. 

Their Wellness Collection features nourishing teas like Organic Chaga Chai, and you’ll find some top-quality green teas like Dragon Pearl Jasmine, a jasmine-infused blend of delicate green and white hand-rolled pearls. 

For a little something different that you won’t find from most sustainable, ethical tea companies, you’ll also find a collection of CBD teas from their sister company The Hemp Division, made from New York-grown hemp. 

Harney & Son’s Sustainability

Certifications | USDA Organic, Fair Trade

Carbon | Customers can opt for carbon offset shipping at the check-out. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | Harvey & Son’s sources its teas from all over the world. They build personal relationships with tea estates, and several of their teas are fair trade certified. 

Thoughtful Packaging | They’re in the process of switching from nylon to sugarcane-based industrially compostable tea sachets and are currently at 91.3%. Many of their teas are available in decorative, reusable, recyclable tins. 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | 50% of Harvey & Son’s managers and department heads are women, and 45% are BIPOC.

Pay It Forward | As 1% for the Planet Members, Harney & Sons donates to over 30 environmental organizations. They also donate to the NAACP. 

9. Adagio Teas

Sustainable Tea by Adagio TeasSustainable Tea by Adagio Teas
Images by Adagio Teas

Price Range | £2–£75 | Shop Adagio Teas

Values | Direct sourcing from artisan tea growers

Ingredients | Alongside high-quality full-leaf tea, you’ll find fruits, spices, coconut, chocolate, and other added ingredients used in their blends. Adagio’s flavorings are “natural and nature-identical flavors derived from nature”, like pure vanilla extract and cinnamon essential oils.

What We Love | This family-owned company builds personal relationships with tea farmers and shares their stories via its Roots Campaign. 

Adagio Teas’ Eco-Friendly Tea

Adagio’s sustainable tea blends include black, flavored, herbal, green, wellness, rooibos, matcha, and iced tea. 

Chocolate lovers should try their Chocolate Truffle tea blended with chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, chicory, and a little cocoa powder. 

Having trouble choosing?

They offer themed sampler packs of tea to help you discover your favorites. 

Adagio Teas’ Sustainability

Carbon | Shipping is carbon offset via a partnership with South Pole.

Sourcing & Supply Chain | Teas are sourced directly from artisan farmers.

Pay It Forward | Through their carbon offsetting partnership with South Pole, Adagio supports several environmental initiatives, including a forest restoration project in Mexico and a hydropower project in Vietnam. 

10. Bigelow Tea

Sustainable Tea by Bigelow TeaSustainable Tea by Bigelow Tea
Images by Bigelow Tea

Price Range | $3–$42 | Shop Bigelow Tea

Values | Zero Waste to Landfill, some organic and fair trade ingredients, giving back to the local community. 

Ingredients | Tea, herbs, fruits, and spices are all carefully sourced for the highest quality, like black teas from high-elevation gardens in India, lemons from sunny California, and bergamot from Italy. 

What We Love | Family-owned and operated for three generations, Bigelow Tea creates its products with 100% renewable energy. They also own the Charleston Tea Garden, which offers educational tours to visitors. 

Bigelow’s Sustainable Tea

Bigelow’s range includes refreshing Citrus Teas, flavored black teas, herbal teas, green teas, oolong, matcha, cold infusions, and more.

The Constant Comment black tea was the tea that started it all—a secret recipe made by the Bigelow family, containing orange peel and spices. 

You’ll also find a variety of teas in their Organic Collection, including the refreshing Organic Rooibos Hibiscus Herbal Tea made with USDA-certified organic botanicals.

Bigelow’s Sustainability

Certifications | Certified B Corp, Green-e, USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified

Carbon | Bigelow is certified by Green-e for using 100% renewable energy. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | The company develops long-term partnerships with its farmers and growers and has worked with some of its suppliers for three decades. 

Thoughtful Packaging | Bigelow is working towards more eco-friendly packaging. The tea bags are compostable, and the tea bag boxes are recyclable. However, the bags are individually wrapped in foil pouches and some come in plastic k-cup pods. However, as a Zero Waste to Landfill company, they are taking steps to mitigate and offset their packaging.

Pay It Forward | The Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge raises money for local charities in Connecticut. They also donate “Tea for The Troops,” and the Bigelow Community Garden donates fresh vegetables to local food programs. 

11. Clipper

Sustainable Tea by ClipperSustainable Tea by Clipper
Images by Clipper

Price Range | $7–$30 | Shop Clipper Tea 

Values | Organic and fair trade ingredients, carbon footprint offsetting, giving back to charity

Ingredients | You’ll find only natural, non-GMO organic ingredients, or in their own words, tea that is “natural, fair and delicious”.

What We Love | One of the UK’s favorite sustainable fair trade tea brands, Clipper Tea ticks all of our boxes when brewing a planet-friendly cuppa. Their unbleached tea bags are plastic-free, and come in recyclable or compostable packaging.

Clipper Tea’s Organic Tea Bags

Clipper offers black, green, and white organic teas and a large selection of herbal infusions. 

If you’re looking for the best organic tea for daily sustainable sipping, we think you can’t go wrong with a cup of Clipper’s Everyday Organic Tea. 

Need help to relax? 

The Snore And Peace organic infusion blends chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm to help prepare for some sustainable slumber. 

Clipper Tea’s Sustainability

Certifications | Soil Association, Fairtrade

Carbon | Clipper offsets its CO2 emissions, and the Beaminster factory is carbon neutral. 

Sourcing & Supply Chain | Clipper is the world’s largest Fairtrade tea brand, sourcing from tea estates in China, India, Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Uganda. They support over 114,000 producers worldwide. 

Thoughtful Packaging | Clipper’s unbleached, biodegradable tea bags come in recyclable paper envelopes or packed loosely in larger-sized boxes. Smaller boxes use a recyclable PE film. 

Pay It Forward | The brand gives back via donations to charity. Previous recipients include the Beaminster Food Bank and the National Trust. 

Our Considerations For Choosing These Eco-Friendly Tea Brands

What is sustainable tea, exactly?

In a (sustainably grown) nutshell, it’s tea grown, harvested, processed, and packaged in a way that’s better for people and the planet. 

Here’s what we looked for. 

Certifications: 

We like green tea but don’t like greenwashing, so as always, third-party certifications are key.

A Plastic Planet, B Corporation, Carbon Neutral, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, Fair For Life, FairWild, Green-e, Living Wage Foundation, Soil Association, USDA Organic, Vegan Society. 

Ingredients: 

Sustainably grown, ideally certified organic tea leaves make for the most eco-friendly cuppa, but we know certification isn’t always possible for small producers. 

Other ingredients included in blends, like fruit, herbs, and spices, should meet the same criteria. 

Values:

We looked for brands committed to creating a positive impact by putting the planet and people first. 

Packaging:

Choosing loose leaf tea minimizes tea packaging and the extra resources for making tea bags. 

If you can, pop down to your local zero waste store with a reusable container. Otherwise, opt for recyclable and backyard compostable packaging. 

If you want the convenience of a tea bag, look for plastic-free tea bags that are compostable with outer packaging that is compostable and/or recyclable. 

Ethical Sourcing: 

Traceability is key. We’re pleased to see the brands on this list building long-term relationships with tea growers and ensuring they receive a fair price for their tea. 

Carbon:

Whether supporting regenerative farming practices, using renewable energy, carbon offsetting, tree planting, or donating to reforestation programs, brands can curb their carbon footprint in many ways. 

Paying It Forward:

Big-hearted tea brands that go the extra mile to support tea farming communities or donate to local and global causes are definitely our cup of tea. 

Closing Thoughts On Sustainable & Fair Trade Teas

Tea is the most widely consumed drink after water. 

But is tea sustainable? 

These ethical and eco-friendly tea companies demonstrate that it can be, through responsible sourcing and taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of processing, packaging, and shipping. 

Nothing quite beats a cuppa and a chat with a good friend, so share this article with your tea-loving besties or any avid tea drinker and help spread the word about sustainable tea brands brewing better for the planet. 

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