6 Brands’ Eco Friendly Socks With Excellent Certifications

Fair to say no one is willing to buy – already worn – socks second hand. However, did you know that some thrift stores offer brand NEW socks? Sometimes, brands cannot manage to sell all their stocks.

Or, certain parts of the packaging are damaged, and therefore, the socks are not ‘deemed’ sexy enough for conventional sales.

If, despite a quick look at your usual thrift stores, you have not been able to find any socks you like, then keep reading!

Your last resort before buying new items is mending your old socks. Not feasible considering the damage?

Alright, then this article is for you: its mission is to shed light on brands manufacturing high quality, sustainable socks.

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We will give you details on the materials and packaging used, as well as sustainable practices, and lastly, the style/price ratio for all sock brands below.

Organic Basics – Denmark

Organic Basics Eco Friendly Socks
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Image by Organic Basics

Materials & Packaging

The Danish brand handpicks every single fabric, considering its environmental footprint and durability: they use Class A and B fibers only.

Simply put, their textiles are natural, renewable, recycled, biodegradable, and/or with lower-impact than conventionally made socks.

Therefore, they mainly use organic cotton and recycled wool for their socks.

GOTS certified Organic cotton is this brand’s primary material for socks. It is grown on the Aegean Sea coast, close to Greece, without using any harmful insecticides or pesticides.

This is of crucial importance in terms of preventing soil contamination.

Except for their SilverTech active socks (made with recycled wool), the brand is entirely vegan – PETA certified.

Lastly, their packaging is made from recycled paper that is easily reusable. As for the shipping box, it is made out of FSC certified cardboard.

Organic Basics Blue Eco Friendly Socks
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Image by Organic Basics

Social & Environmental Practices 

Each item they sell will mention the amount of water saved and the amount of CO2 and waste prevented compared to conventional practices using virgin nylon.

It will also indicate the place of production and factory details such as the number of years active, number of employees, and average working hours.

The use of GOTS certified Organic cotton also guarantees fair wages and working conditions (Licence number: USB TEX 2015).

They only work with factories that put minimizing textile waste as a daily standard. We appreciate the brand’s transparency regarding its supply chain and manufacturing process.

All the factories are located in Europe or Turkey and are free of child labor and forced labor.

Organic Basics Production
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Image by Organic Basics

We also recommend Organic Basics for its achievement to be carbon neutral; they have partnered with One Carbon World in order to offset all emissions in their value chain!

As for their charitable work, they have set up a fund to support grassroots activists and organizations that help fight climate change aiming at creating long-term, real impact.

Lastly, this certified B Corp brand functions with a low waste website. With a bit of shrewdness, they have managed to reduce data transfer by up to 70% compared to regular websites.

Thanks to images and fonts optimization, for example, Organic Basics wants to invite others to do the same by making their source code public!

Organic Basics Production
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Image by Organic Basics

Style & Price 

Organic Basics’ classical socks for men and women come in 3 sizes, usually in black, white, dark blue, or orange. We like the variety of lengths: ankle socks, ‘no show’ socks, or active sports socks.

We are particular fans of these unisex odorless tennis socks treated with Polygiene to stay fresh. Rest assured, though, their activewear is treated with a safe, bluesign approved recycled silver salt called Polygiene.

This revolutionary material is not nano-silver and stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the fabric: namely less frequent washing and no harm is done when doing so.

Price range: 20 EUR for a 2 pack-organic cotton striped socks, and up to 100 EUR for other packs, it is worth having a look at depending on the ongoing sale of the moment.

Organic Basics Eco Friendly Socks
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Thought – UK

Materials & Packaging 

The London-based brand primarily uses natural, sustainable fabrics: GOTS certified organic cotton, breathable bamboo, hemp, or organic wool.

When it comes to organic cotton, the “production sustains the health of soils, the environment, and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs.”

Did you know that organic cotton uses 84% less water and produces approximately 46% less CO2 emissions than conventional cotton?

The bamboo fabric is a formidable renewable resource that can easily be transformed into a soft, viscose fabric.

The hemp used for the socks is an excellent alternative to linen; breathable, absorbent, adaptable, and of the world’s most sustainable materials.

95% of their collection is PETA approved, and they make use of vegan glue.

Regarding packaging, it is worth mentioning that the brand uses plastic-free labels and packaging. They opt for recycled paper for labeling and mailing bags. 98% of their packaging is recyclable!

Lastly, all leftover fabric at source is upcycled to create new eco products. For example, leftover yarns are transformed into socks, and scrap fabrics into headbands.

Social & Environmental Practices 

The brand was created in 1995, and since then, sustainability has been entirely part of their business model.

All their suppliers and their supply chains must commit to their Environmental Policy. To name a few examples:

All factor discharges to the atmosphere, water, and land must have minimal impact on the surrounding environment and eco-systems.

Waste must be reduced, reused, and recycled whenever possible.

Moreover, they are a proud member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, a worldwide partnership that promotes respect for workers’ rights.

Thought manufactures in China, in fair trade factories free of working children and forced labor as detailed in their Code of Conduct.

Moreover, they have partnered with TRAID, a charity striving to collect and reuse unwanted clothes in the UK.

And they have donated unworn production samples each year since 2015 to Smart Works, a charity supporting out-of-work women.

Lastly, Thought is committed to using only sea freight for shipping.

Style & Price 

We adore this fair trade guaranteed brand for its variety: they offer a collection of eco friendly socks for each season, both for men and women.

The patterns and style of the spring collection is our favorite!

Moreover, you can find the traditional no show or ankle socks, but also socks in a variety of styles: fluffy, patterned, striped.

As for the price range, we encourage you to look at the 4 pack box for 25 GBP: these super cute Amore bamboo socks are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

Thought Eco Friendly Socks
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Boody – Australia, USA, UK

Materials & Packaging 

Boody’s primary material for their eco friendly socks is organic bamboo: no pesticides, no fertilizers guaranteed. As you probably already know, bamboo is considered more sustainable than its cotton plants equivalent as it requires less water in the process.

Moreover, bamboo can grow up to 3 feet a day! In other words, its extreme growth minimizes CO2; this can generate up to 35% more oxygen than similar size trees (1).

The sourced bamboo is grown without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. And it only requires rainwater and no irrigation system.

The yarn produced is then processed with natural dyes. Most of this eco friendly brand’s socks are made of about 80% organic bamboo, the rest being nylon and Spandex.

As for the packaging, they use recycled paper for their boxes and vegetable-based ink.

Social & Environmental Practices 

Boody’s is a proud adept of zero waste manufacturing thanks to computer knitting into seamless fabrics. Moreover, they recuperate the liquid and solvent used for soaking the bamboo.

They detail their supply chain related to bamboo for detail-lovers, explaining how they source and manufacture in China, while the cutting and sewing is usually made in India.

Committed to producing high-quality products sourced sustainably, the brand holds an impressive number of certifications. To name a few:

  • Eco-Cert: a global organic certification that they have received for their raw bamboo.
  • PETA vegan approved.
  • ISO 14001: reducing their negative environmental impact is in Boody’s DNA.
  • WRAP: this ensures their factories are free of child and forced labor and allows decent working conditions.

As for their charitable work, they are part of 1% for the planet organization. We particularly like their Giving Bracelet; all profits raised are donated to associations fighting against malaria.

Founded in Australia, where its main warehouse is located, this eco friendly brand ships from locations globally, including Asia and South Africa. Make sure to order from the relevant – closest – country extension site.

Style & Price

We appreciate Boody’s sustainable socks for their smoothness, without sharp spurs that could irritate your skin. The bamboo fabric is durable and will maintain its shape over time.

Regarding price range, a pair of Women’s Liner Socks will cost you 9 USD, while the longer versions are at 14 or 15 USD.

Size-wise, women’s collections are available from 3-to-9 or 9-to-12, while men’s can opt for 6-to-11 or 11-to-14 US sizes. Both collections are untimely and classical, coming in white, grey, or black nuances.

All in all, we recommend this fair trade certified brand for its minimalist yet versatile style that makes their socks basic essentials you will not grow tired of.

Eco friendly Socks From Boody
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Tentree – Canada or USA

Tentree eco friendly socks
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Image by Tentree.com

Materials & Packaging 

All of Tentree’s accessories and garments are environmentally conscious materials. As you probably know, using recycled – post-consumer – materials not only divert waste from landfills it also replaces virgin/raw materials.

Concretely, this means reducing the demand for oil extraction and water use.

The reason why Tentree is on our list will, therefore, not surprise you: their socks are made of recycled water bottles!

A pair is typically made of 70% Repreve polyester (the equivalent of three recycled plastic bottles); the rest is a mix of polyester, Spandex, and/or elastane.

Packaging wise, expect recycled and recyclable materials.

Important note: wash cold in your laundry machine and hang dry.

Social & Environmental Practices 

Tentree’s plan is to plant 1 BILLION trees by 2030; yes, you read that correctly! At the time of writing this article, they had planted over 50 million so far.

How did they achieve this? Mainly thanks to you, dear eco-conscious customers; for each product sold, the brand plants 10 trees.

They make sure to employ the local community, contributing to a growing economy in these regions. They Partner with One Tree Planted and Eden Reforestation, to name just a few.

Additionally, we are impressed by their willingness to go beyond the offset of carbon footprint: they want to create an environmental benefit!

Thanks to their platform called Climate + packages, you can help remove additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. How?

Transform daily pleasures such as a warm shower or travels into rehabilitating ecosystems thanks to trees planting. An original way for us to donate too!

Moreover, this B-Corp certified company is also active in terms of ensuring ethical manufacturing around the world.

Designed in Canada, the socks are made with a minimum environmental impact while uplifting their workers’ well-being. Ethical labor rights, such as equal pay and safe workplaces, are ensured.

We appreciate the brand for their transparency: they list all factories ledgers, whether they were recently audited/visited and which certifications they hold.

Style & Price 

Elegant, with a touch of fun, make this brand quite unforgettable.

In terms of budget, expect 20 USD for a pair of brown or black embroidered socks. For our favorite – the unisex Juniper Crew – the price will be 30 USD for two pairs.

Most socks come in two sizes: Small/Medium (it fits Shoe Sizes 4-9 or Large/XL (it fits Shoe Sizes 7.5 – 14.5).

Lastly, it is our understanding that the brand ships from the US or Canada. Make sure to select the correct country website.

Tentree Eco Friendly Socks
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Conscious Step – USA or Australia

Conscious Step Eco Friendly Socks
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Image By Earth Hero

Materials & Packaging 

In terms of materials, these socks are composed of 75% fair trade organic cotton, 23% of Polyamide, and 2% of Spandex.

The brand’s entire supply chain is GOTS certified organic cotton. These ethically made socks are toxic-free, and the cotton used was not genetically modified.

Moreover, all products are vegan and cruelty-free guaranteed.

Reducing unnecessary packaging is one of their current concerns. In the meanwhile, they use recycled and recyclable paper for their tags and boxes.

Social & Environmental Practices

Conscious Step was created to fight for the planet and its people by supporting various causes ranging from LGBTQ rights, poverty, planting trees, protecting the oceans, saving cats and dogs, and the like.

At the time of publishing this article, this resulted in providing over 83,000 meals to children and 414,000 trees planted, among others.

They give 1 USD per pair of socks sold to partner charities. Quite the achievement! They are one of the most committed sock brands using organic cotton.

The brand’s fair trade socks are manufactured according to sustainable and transparent business practices, empowering the communities and producers working in safe and decent conditions. In addition to fair wages, paid overtime, and regular on-site visits by their US team.

The Indian-based factory is vetted continuously by independent groups through audits, such as WRAP and SEDEX.

Conscious Step is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of annual sales to inspiring environmental solutions.

Style & Price 

Looking for an example of sustainable fashion with designs that make you smile? You will not be disappointed by this brand embodying ethical consumerism.

Built to last, these fair trade cotton socks are made to get to you easily thanks to the subscription feature: 6 pairs pre-paid, month-to-month, whatever works best for you.

Regarding the price range, you can find socks ranging from 15 USD to 40 USD. We had a crush for the Protect The Planet one.

Good to know; they currently offer small or medium sizes. Should you need a pair of socks above US-size 13, it is possible upon request.

Bear in mind that they ship from their warehouses either in New Haven or Sydney.

Conscious Step Eco Friendly Socks
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Solmate – USA

SolMate Eco Friendly Socks
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Image by Earth Hero

Materials & Packaging 

All their socks are made from pre-consumer, recycled cotton yarn. We appreciate this brand for its circular approach and its use of recycled materials. They collect remains from t-shirts factories and spin these again into new threads – Global Recycling Standard (GRS) certified.

Repurposing these materials is done without adding any additional dyes or colors. Namely, a lot of waste that did not end up in landfills unnecessarily! And the water that was saved in the process.

Additionally, their socks are made of recycled polyester, recycled wool, and nylon.

Unfortunately, we could not retrieve any information regarding (thoughtful?) packaging.

Social & Environmental Practices 

This B Corp, fair trade certified brand, has a zero waste policy when it comes to production. This includes not throwing away socks strap that they make available for free on their website here (US shipping only).

Solmate’s products are manufactured at their mill in Hickory, North Carolina. Fair wages and decent medical benefits are ensured for all employees.

Additionally, we vouch for this eco friendly brand regarding its approach to helping fight climate change.

Thus, they offer carbon offsets for purchase on every order done on their website. Every year, they match these donations and give the total to Native Energy, a company promoting renewable energy.

Style & Price 

These American-made socks are incredibly colorful! The sock styles from the 80s ring a bell? Then no need to look further; Solmate’s eco friendly socks are your pick (or someone’s gift!).

We recommend these cotton socks if you are looking for baby and children collection: count 20 USD for two pairs and one spare! Each coming in a different color that can be matched with an adult version. We like the approach.

As for adults, expect a price range of 15 USD for bright, fair trade certified ankle socks and up to 25 USD for knee socks.

Solmate Eco Friendly Socks
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Why Do We Look At Brands' Social & Environmental Practices?

For the purpose of all our articles on the matter, we would like to clarify our second criteria called ‘Social & Environmental Practices’ (2).

Mainly, we target to understand the efforts made by a brand regarding:

  • The workers and their place of work: fair wages, decent work hours, safe environment, no child labor, transparency on the supply chain, and labor practices in general.
  • Charitable work that goes beyond ‘doing good’ and community growth that enhances local economies.
  • Sustainable environmental practices: reduce carbon footprint, transparency on the manufacturing process.

Some companies have used words like green practices, eco-friendly, natural materials, or (Corporate Social Responsibility) as fancy sustainably-like words to greenwash us.

However, be careful as the ticking of these ‘green’ boxes does not necessarily mean that a brand is truly committed to sustainability with a BIG S.

Socks stacked on top of each other
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Hence, before choosing a brand, consider its sustainable practices from a wider angle: donations are crucial, so are proper waste management as well as thoughtful manufacturing and decent labor practices.

Sustainable fashion will thrive if we, as customers, demand sustainable practices and therefore put a stop to fast, toxic, inhuman fashion.

Lastly, even if the above eco friendly brands have offset (some of) their carbon emissions linked to shipping, consider buying from a brand’s warehouse closer to home.

In the same effort, try to bundle purchases and avoid fast delivery; these behaviors are significantly decreasing the environmentally friendly ratio, according to experts (3).

What To Do With Your Old Socks

Old socks & Boots
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As explained above, if mending your old socks was not a solution, here are a few ideas:

  • Donate them and help someone in need. Contact associations like Terracycle or Goodwill or directly to homeless shelters. We are for example amazed by the work of incredible organizations like Knock Knock.
  • Socks may shrink if you wash them too warm: if so, you could sell them for a reasonable price on second-hand websites.
  • If only one of the socks is damaged, consider pairing it with another ‘lonely soul’ in your wardrobe. Unmatched pairs of socks are the new hype!
  • Use your old socks as cleaning rags, for rubbing and shining your shoes, for example.
  • Repurpose them as toys or t-shirts for your pet.
  • Protect small or precious objects, such as game pieces or jewelry.
  • Upcycle old socks for decorative purposes, such as flower pots.

Final Thoughts

Socks are essential accessories to keep your feet happy while protecting the planet and its people in each step of the manufacturing process.

This review wanted to give you the possibility to find trustworthy, eco friendly socks in terms of organic cotton, sustainable bamboo, or recycled materials such as recycled polyester.

This, while looking at each fashion brand’s labor practices and environmental commitment.

Resources
  1. https://boody.co.uk/pages/benefits-of-bamboo
  2. https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/accountability/social-and-environmental-responsibility.html
  3. https://www.greenbiz.com/article/store-or-online-whats-most-environmentally-friendly-way-shop
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