Many of our brands recognize that sustainability and environmentally conscious practices don't just happen on days that remind us of the importance of environmental protection efforts like Earth Day - they make efforts to be greener all year-round! In this blog, we explore our earth-conscious brands and share our favorite styles that will support your feet (and the planet)!
Every pair of Smartwool socks is built of sustainable, ethically sourced ZQ-certified Merino wool. Merino wool is better for the environment than many natural and synthetic fibers because Merino is made of amino acids and proteins that help it to break down in water and soil when discarded. Plus, Smartwool’s ZQ-certified Merino wool is farmed from free-range sheep that have access to proper nutrition and clean water and are always handled ethically during the shearing process. Happy, healthy sheep make great Merino wool! They participate in a ZQRX program where they partner with farmers and focus on regenerative agriculture and reducing carbon emissions.
In addition to using Merino wool in most of their styles, Smartwool also has programs to help reduce the amount of textile waste that ends up in landfills. Excess Merino wool scraps are collected from their mills and repurposed into Smartloft insulation. For synthetic fibers like nylon, Smartwool now incorporates a percentage of recycled nylon into every sock in the Classic Hike and performance Hike line. And their efforts don’t stop at their own brand - their Second Cut™ Project allows customers to send clean, used socks of any brand and material to Smartwool so they can be recycled into new products like dog beds.
Here are a couple of our favorite casual Smartwool styles:
Darn Tough creates a more sustainable product by designing all their socks for ultimate durability, so you’re not buying socks time after time and contributing to textile waste. In addition, their wool styles adhere to the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), a standard that has guidelines in place to maintain sustainable farm and land practices, supply chain traceability, and protect animal welfare. They also use FSC-certified recycled paper made with water-soluble glues and vegetable-based inks in their product packaging.
Here are a couple of our favorite everyday Darn Tough styles:
Farm to Feet
Farm to Feet’s biggest sustainability initiative is their 100% American supply chain. They lessen their carbon footprint by sourcing wool from U.S. farmers and implementing sustainable U.S.-factory practices. They also minimize environmental impact from chemical usage with a bluesign® system, use FSC-certified paper in 91% of their packaging, and have a textile recycling program.
Farm to Feet also has ties to several conservation programs. They are a member of the Conservation Alliance, a program that protects natural habitat and recreation areas with grants, political advocacy, and the Public Lands Defense Fund. They are also affiliated with location-based organizations like the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Pacific Crest Trail Association, and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.
Here are a couple of our favorite Farm to Feet hiking styles:
Like many of the brands in this article, Fox River also crafts their socks from sustainable fibers like Merino wool, a natural eucalyptus cellulosic fiber called TENCEL®, cotton, silk, and wool. These socks are made in factories that have several green features like energy efficient lighting, custom air exchange systems, green washing machines, packing equipment, and more. They use less wasteful materials like plastic wrapping and have a robust recycling program that keeps factory material like packaging, oil, and steel waste out of landfills. Their yarn waste is even reused as eco-fiberfill for products like car trunk liners!
Here are a couple of our favorite Fox River tactical styles:
Drymax’s approach to sustainability is in their sock construction. They use a solution dye process that produces fibers that require less energy than other traditional dying processes and produces no dye waste. Their filament fibers are also longer, stronger fibers that last and do not easily shed. By creating a longer lasting sock, there are less socks in landfills. Drymax also skips the fabric softener process which allows the socks to perform better. Their fabric softener free approach combined with lower shedding socks from filament fibers creates less laundry fiber pollution in our oceans and waterways.
Here are a couple of our favorite Drymax performance styles: