The perfect ethical sock is a sock that is made from a fabric that lets your feet breathe, does not wrinkle up in your shoe and uses resources that minimally impact the earth and its workers.
Socks are usually worn by one person and not part of the secondhand market, therefore socks must be biodegradable or recyclable.
Recently there has been a trend of making ethical socks with Bamboo Viscose. This I am not convinced is an ethical fabric due to the chemicals needed to turn it from wood to fabric. I am also concerned that the sudden trend in Bamboo will encourage farmers to clear land to cash in on this new crop.
Not all brands and bamboo fabric is the same though. When buying bamboo products it is a good idea to evaluate the brands’ ethics and transparency. You are looking for brands that acknowledge that bamboo viscose fabric requires chemicals to make and addresses the environmental/workers impact and what they are doing to counter this. I have found BAM Clothings to be particularly transparent with information on the website and further information given by request by email.
The Ideal Fabric
While researching this post I was encouraged to see plenty of socks made up of recycled fabrics. This to me is the perfect ethical sock with no new resources needed.
For me the ideal fabric to make socks or indeed any underwear would be recycled fabric first, followed by a Tencel/Modal made in the Lenzing Closed Loop System followed by Organic Cotton then Bamboo Viscose.
Ethical Socks Ideals.
- Sustainable or Recycled Fabric.
- New Fabric from a Certified Organic Source.
- Fabric & Product made transparently.
- High Percentage of product Biodegradable.
- Limited Product Miles – Made & Sourced as local as possible.
- Quality – Made well and made to last.
To find out more about ethically sustainable fabric read my post on Ethical fabrics.
Remember when washing items containing synthetic fabrics to use a GUPPYFRIEND to reduce micro-plastics in the water.
The Organic Ones
Nomads – Organic Cotton Bloomsbury Socks. Made from 80% Organic Cotton 15% Polyamide 5% Elastane. Made in China. Free from GMO and AZO dyes, GOTS certified, organic, Fairtrade.
Nomads work to the Ethical Trading Initiative base code.
£5.50 from Ethical Superstore
Jollie Socks * Socks made from Organic Cotton in Portugal. Buy one pair and one pair is donated to Homeless Charities.
Critically Endangered Socks* Socks made from Organic Cotton. Profits Donated to WWF and named Animal Charities.
Kind Socks* Made from Organic Cotton in India
PerTin – Organic Cotton. Socks Made In Derbyshire UK
BAM Bamboo Clothing – Bamboo socks made in China or Turkey. Very transparent about the fabric manufacturing process. Aware that the process is not perfect, but they are confident they are doing everything to minimise their environmental effect.
Available from BAM Bamboo Clothing from £12.00. Mix & Match Buy 3 get 20% Off
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