Here are the top ten Eco-friendly and sustainable socks brands of 2022

by
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS; PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Socks are one of those wardrobe items that we rarely pay attention to. When it comes to sustainable fashion it is easy to think that accessories like socks have zero impact on the environment. However, just like any other clothing, socks can have a negative environmental impact, especially considering that they have a high turnover rate.

While you can wear a pair of jeans for a couple of years, most socks will only last a few months before they mysteriously start disappearing (at least for me) or developing some holes.

Whether you are wearing your socks as an accessory to elevate an otherwise dull outfit or just to keep your feet warm, owning a pair of sustainable socks goes a long way.

So, what exactly are eco-friendly and sustainable socks?

An eco-friendly pair of socks is made from sustainable fabrics and made ethically, with an emphasis on protecting the environment and releasing fewer to no microplastics.

Sustainable socks are not only good for the environment but are also made to provide more than just comfort; quality and durability.

If you have been longing to own a pair of sustainable socks, then read on to discover the most sustainable socks and where to get them.

What to look for in eco-friendly socks

Materials

Eco-friendly socks are made of environmentally friendly and high-quality fabrics. The best eco-friendly fabrics for sustainable socks are natural materials like bamboo, hemp, Tencel lyocell, sustainably sourced wool, and recycled materials like nylon and polyester. Such materials have zero environmental impact and are durable, comfortable, and soft.

However, although most sustainable brands use eco-friendly materials, we found that many brands used a small percentage of not-so-sustainable materials like nylon and elastane. This is because of the need to keep socks, especially athletic socks stretchy and moisture-wicking.

We hope ethical brands can find and utilize eco-friendly stretchy fabrics like Roica yarn. Until then, let’s support brands that use the synthetic materials at a minimum.

Supply chain and labor practices

Another aspect to consider when purchasing sustainable socks is to look at how a brand takes care of its employees and all people throughout its supply chain.

Go for brands that provide safe working conditions, pay fair wages, and protect employees from child labor, harassment and discrimination. Certifications such as fair trade and B corp are great green flags to look out for.

Sustainable practices

Besides sustainable materials and fair labor practices, you want to go for brands that take on green business practices at the core of their business. What does the brand do to protect the environment?

Some green practices to look for include plastic-free packaging, carbon offsetting, ethical manufacturing and shipping practices, the use of renewable energy, take-back programs, and localized supply chains.

Giving back

Though not all brands give back, go for brands that go the extra mile to give back.

Brands that use their platforms or profits to support communities or positive environmental causes are a green flag.

Learn about how ethical clothing brands here!

Top 10 sustainable sock brands for you

Make sure to check our discounts page for updates special sales.

1. Allbirds

Allbirds is best known for sustainable sneakers but also makes sustainable socks. The brand has a variety of no-show socks, crew socks, ankle socks, and even running socks.

Allbirds sustainable socks are made with renewable materials such as ZQ merino wool, eucalyptus, Tencel, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester. Their sustainable athletic socks are made to offer ultimate comfort with their soft and moisture-wicking properties. You do not have to worry about odor as the socks cool off as you get warmer. If you are looking for a breath of fresh air, Allbirds’ ethical socks are definitely the plug.

The brand is committed to sustainability. Besides using eco-friendly materials, the brand offsets its carbon emissions even as it works towards zero emissions by 2030. It is certified as carbon neutral by Climate Neutral and has B-corporation certification.

About: Ethical merino socks for everyday wear

Materials: Eucalyptus from sustainably managed forests, ZQ merino wool, Tencel lyocell, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester

Ethics: Certified by Climate Neutral as carbon neutral, B corporation certified, Made in the USA, Fairtrade, recycled packaging, gives back through a partnership with Soles4Souls.

Location and shipping: US-based, ships internationally, and also has a Canadian store

2. Boody

Boody is an eco-friendly brand best recognized for underwear but also makes everything from activewear to loungewear and accessories. They have sustainable bamboo socks for every purpose, and for everyone including men, women, and kids. Whether you are looking for sustainable ankle socks, baby socks, sports socks, or socks for everyday wear, Boody has got them all.

The brand’s socks are made from organic and sustainably harvested bamboo viscose fabric. Their organic sustainable socks are naturally soft, breathable, and ultra comfy.

The brand focuses on three things; Simple designs, eco-friendly materials, and sustainable manufacturing. Its core mission is to impact people and the environment positively.

Boody only works with suppliers and production facilities that are Fair Trade certified and provide safe and fair working conditions for their employees.

About: Eco-friendly bamboo socks

Materials: FSC-certified organic bamboo viscose

Ethics: B corporation certified, PETA Vegan approved, OEKO-TEX certified, Eco-cert certified, recycled and recyclable packaging, gives back.

Location and shipping: based in Australia, ships internationally.

3. Conscious Step

Looking for super cute and premium quality ethical cotton socks? Conscious step’s socks are your friend.

Conscious Step socks are made from organic cotton and are ethically manufactured in India, where 80% of the organic cotton is grown. The company only works with fair trade-certified factories.

When you purchase a pair of conscious step socks, $1 is donated to charitable organizations. I also love how each design of the socks is associated with a different cause, so you can choose to support a particular cause by purchasing a specific design.

About: Classic and colorful crew socks and ankle socks, perfect for relaxing and everyday wear. Also best for personalized gift sets.

Materials: GOTS-certified organic cotton

Ethics: 1% for the planet, fair trade certified, certified vegan, gives back.

Location and shipping: US-based, ships internationally.

4. Pact

The earth’s favorite brand, as they call themselves, offers a variety of organic sustainable socks made from organic cotton with a small blend of nylon and elastane. The socks come in a variety of styles, colors, and prints.

As with its other sustainable clothing, Pact’s ethical socks are super comfortable as they are flat knitted with seams and cushioned footbeds for arch support. The socks are also durable and incredibly resist shrinkage.

The company puts sustainability at the center of all its operations. Its goal is to minimize energy consumption, reduce waste, and conserve water. Through its conservative cutting methods, the company is able to minimize the amount of scrap fabric produced, thus significantly reducing waste.

The brand offsets its carbon footprint through a partnership with SimpliZero, and its socks are manufactured in fair trade-certified factories in India.

About: men’s and women’s socks great for everyday wear

Materials: GOTS-certified organic cotton

Ethics: Carbon neutral, fair trade certified, responsible packaging, gives back through the wear forward program.

Location and shipping: US-based, ships internationally.

5. Outerknown

Outerknown prides itself as the first brand founded on a total commitment to sustainability. The brand is committed to protecting the environment and supporting ethical labor practices.

The brand uses recycled materials such as recycled cotton and polyester to make incredibly unique and ethical clothing. In partnership with Arvin Goods, the brand makes sustainable plant-dyed and recycled wool socks.

The socks are made under ethical manufacturing processes, saving an average of 50 gallons of water per pair. By using recycled materials, the brand helps keep valuable materials away from landfills and saves both water and energy.

About: Ethical men’s and women’s socks

Materials: Recycled cotton, polyester, and wool

Ethics: Certified fair trade, recycled materials, Bluesign certified (no harmful chemicals), has published a 2030 Sustainability Strategy and Commitment to Circularity, gives back, and campaigns for ocean conservancy.

Location and shipping: US-based, ships internationally.

6. Patagonia

Patagonia, famous for outdoor and activewear, has a wide range of crew and performance socks perfect for the outdoors. From their eco-friendly athletics socks to ethical winter socks, Patagonia has got every foot and activity covered.

The brand makes the socks using sustainably sourced and woven merino wool, hemp fibers, recycled cotton, and recycled polyester. The company’s goal is to eliminate the use of virgin petroleum fibers by 2025.

Patagonia only works with factories that pay living wages and support workers’ welfare. Their wool is also certified by the Responsible Wool Standard.

About: Performance socks for both men and women

Materials: Certified organic cotton, hemp, and recycled polyester

Ethics: Certified fair trade, Bluesign certified, 1% for the planet, champions for climate justice and social issues through the Patagonia Action Works Program.

Location and shipping: US-based, ships internationally.

7. Tentree

If you are looking for comfortable, lightweight, and inexpensive eco-friendly socks, then make a stop at Tentree. Their socks are made of eco-friendly materials, including Tencel lyocell, hemp fibers, and recycled polyester.

Tentree works with manufacturers that observe their environmental impact pay a fair wage, and provide safe working conditions to their employees.

Moreover, the company plants ten trees for every pair of socks you purchase. You can also subscribe to their Climate+ program, which allows you to offset your carbon footprint.

The company also embraces circularity by taking back your old Tentree clothing for recycling and reselling to ensure nothing goes to waste.

About: Performance socks for both men and women

Materials: Tencel lyocell, hemp, and recycled polyester

Ethics: Carbon Neutral certified, Certified B corporation, part of the responsible packaging movement.

Location and shipping: Canada-based, a US site that ships to multiple international countries.

8. Colorful Standard

Colorful Standard makes the best vegan eco-friendly socks from organic and recycled materials that are perfect for daily wear, loungewear, and sports.

Their socks are seamless and very breathable, keeping you comfortable all day. I also love that they are anti-pilling and are dyed using environmentally friendly plant dyes.

Colorful Standard is a zero-waste company. They use precise laser cutting and garment dyeing processes and recycle as many materials as possible to ensure nothing goes to waste.

Colorful Standard does not compromise ethics. They treat their employees fairly and pay fair wages according to European labor law. They also work with local suppliers to ensure the highest level of quality.

About: Best active and daily wear socks for men and women

Materials: 100% organic cotton and 100% recycled merino wool

Ethics: PETA Approved vegan, OEKO-Tex certified, Made in Portugal, recycled and reusable packaging.

Location and shipping: Portugal-based, Has several flagship stores across Europe, and ships internationally

9. Organic Basics

Organic basics is where you will find a wide range of sustainable socks, from no-show socks, active socks, ankle socks, and rib socks for all your needs. The socks are perfectly knitted to create no seams, thus providing greater comfort and durability.

Their sustainable athletic socks are uniquely made with silver tech yarn that resists odors and remains fresh all day.

The brand’s socks are made with recycled wool, recycled denim, and organic cotton. The company observes ethical manufacturing and fair labor practices throughout its supply chain.

About: men’s and women’s fairtrade socks

Materials: GOTS-certified organic cotton, recycled wool, and denim.

Ethics: PETA vegan approved, certified B corporation, 1% for the planet, carbon neutral

Location and shipping: based in Denmark, it ships internationally

Buy Here

10. Nisolo

Looking for cozy, breathable, and sustainable socks to wear at home, work, or anywhere else? Nisolo is where to get them. This brand makes the best eco-friendly socks with in-built padding and arch support for the ultimate comfort and cozy vibes.

The socks are made of over 50% recycled materials, including cotton and polyester, diverting considerable waste from landfills.

The brand prides itself as the world’s top-rated footwear and accessories brand among all B corp certifications. It ensures that 100% of its employees in the factories and the rest of the supply chain are paid living wages and enjoy other benefits like healthcare.

Additionally, the brand has a carbon-neutral certification as it offsets 100% of its carbon emissions and is working on ensuring the emissions remain at a minimum. They also use renewable energy for their manufacturing.

About: Eco-friendly crew socks for everyday wear

Materials: Recycled or upcycled materials (wool, polyester, nylon)

Ethics: Made in the US in a family-owned mill, Certified B corporation, Climate Neutral Certified, recycled packaging, uses renewable energy

Location and shipping: US-based, ships internationally

11. Harvest & Mill

These unisex socks are made without bleach or any dye making them a little more off-white or cream color. They are grown, spun and knit in the USA keeping it nice and local. All their products come in plastic free and compostable packaging.

The company was founded in California in 2012 and grows all organic cotton in the United States. From manufacturing to sewing and dying, everything is done locally, which reduces carbon emissions. Carbon neutrality is also a feature of their business.

Harvest mill has a wide range of beautiful sustainable clothing worth checking out.

About: Eco-friendly 6-pack ankle socks.

Materials: 88% Organic cotton, 10% stretch nylon, 2% elastic

Ethics: Made in the US, Carbon Neutral, recycled and compostable packaging, vegan and cruelty free

Location and shipping: US-based, ships internationally

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. These sock brands have proven that they not only care for the environment but are also here to offer you superior comfort, durability, and quality.

Sustainable socks may have a slightly higher price tag than their synthetic counterparts, but investing in them goes a long way in making your sustainable wardrobe complete.

Additionally, it reduces smelly feet because you are letting your feet breathe better.

Do you own a pair of sustainable socks? What’s your experience? Did we miss your favorite sustainable sock brand? Please share in the comments.

Photo of author

Hendrik Kaiser

I've studied biology and lived for 3 years on an off-grid permaculture farm. I love kitesurfing and keeping my body healthy and fit. Hence, I care so much about keeping our environment clean and being as zero waste as possible. Being a zerowasteman is a superpower everyone has inside of themselves, and I want to teach you how you can unleash it.

Leave a Comment