A nice pair of socks is a pleasure to put on in the morning and they keep your feet snuggly all day long. And as textile designers become more creative in search of sustainable materials, the range of eco-friendly socks is ever-expanding. From warm anti-bacterial merino wool to biodegradable Tencel and silky bamboo, there are so many options. You can even get socks made from paper yarn (yes, you read that right)! Whether you’re after classic black or a funky pattern to jazz up your workwear, and whatever your budget, we have something for you. Read on for Beagle’s round-up.
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Thought are a classic go-to brand for sustainable clothing, and they’re a great option for underwear and socks too. Founded in 1995 under the name Braintree Clothing, Thought have become one of a handful of businesses in the fashion industry that were designed to put sustainability first.
Check out these men’s classic mid-height socks in white, navy or black, made from a mix of bamboo, cotton, and recycled polyester. The bamboo gives the socks natural antibacterial properties to keep you feeling fresh all day, and the socks come in at £7.95 a pair. Alternatively, take a look at their ‘ariella’ ankle socks for women for the same price, which come in a classic black or calming lavender.
For a touch of luxury, try Socko’s range, made from pre-consumer cutting floor waste, repurposed merino wool, and post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Socko’s ethos is grounded in sustainability and an appreciation for the more careful ways of the past; every pair of their socks comes with extra wool, a darning needle and some instructions. The idea is to invest more in the clothes we own, and to fix them when needed to prolong their life.
These sustainable socks aren’t cheap – we like the merino wool ones in a ribbed charcoal for £20 – but if you’re looking for a splash of luxury, this is it.
This brand specialise in fully biodegradable nightwear and underwear, which is pretty great. They use Lenzing TENCEL and replace elastane and polyamide, which are often used in socks to provide stretch, with the pioneering materials Roica V550 and Fulgar Amni Soul. You can compost them in your garden when you’re done with them; they’ll take just 3-5 years to break down.
Stripe & Stare have some lovely socks on offer; our favourite is this pack of three for £15. With a tie-dye, polka-dot, and striped pair, there’s a pattern to suit every mood.
Paper Project use innovative paper yarn in their apparel, which is moisture-wicking and anti-odour – so no more smelly feet here! Dating back to the 1600s, paper yarn, also known as ‘washi’, was traditionally used in Japan, where Paper Project’s manufacturer is still based.
We love Paper Project’s white cable-knit socks, evocative of snowy hillsides and hot chocolates in log cabins. Made from a blend of merino wool and paper yarn, they’re warm and dry – and can even be put in the tumble dryer. One pair will cost you around £16.
Boody are another classic brand for soft and durable basics, including bamboo socks. Made from 80% bamboo with nylon and elastane, their socks come in a range of styles and lengths to keep you comfortable throughout the seasons.
We like these women’s black ‘crew boot’ socks for £6.36: thick and warm, they’re perfect for keeping your trotters toasty, whether you’re on the commute or stomping round a Christmas market.
If you like a good pair of sustainable cotton socks, People Tree are one of the most sustainable places to buy them. Their socks are made from 98% GOTS-certified organic cotton, an independent certification that guarantees the sustainability (ecological and social) of the supply chain, with 2% elastane for stretch and comfort.
We like these women’s ‘Ikat’ print socks in navy and white, retailing at £9.
Socks can often be overlooked and seen as a boring essential. But you’ll wear and re-wear your socks numerous times over the years (until they get a hole somewhere!) and they’re a great way to add a touch of luxury to your life – for you or a loved one. And with all the sustainable options out there now, we’re spoiled for choice.