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Socks that give back | 13 Companies that support great causes

Written by: Hendrik

Category: Fashion, Lifestyle

Updated on:


socks that give back

In my research on finding the perfect socks, I have come across some rather unusual companies that give back to the community.

It is important to us here at zerowasteman that the companies are :

  • ethical companies
  • companies that give back to the community
  • only use the best natural materials
  • treat their employees fair and pay them accordingly

This was not an easy task. In fact, most of the socks that I found in shopping centers and other retail shops always had some mix of cotton and nylon or a similar synthetic fiber. Now, I love my guppyfriend laundry bag, but my mission here is not to add more synthetic clothes to my closet.

However, I failed to find socks that are 100% free from any synthetic fiber. And since a small percentage actually helps keep the socks more flexible and last longer, I decided to make this list. I hope you find some nice socks that you’ll love and give back to a good cause.

Related: Are we eating our clothes? How washing our clothes harms the environment and what you can do to stop microwaste!

Here is a list of 13 amazing socks that support a good cause.

This is probably my favorite pair of socks, even though this list isn’t in any particular order. Don’t you think they look fantastic? Just pick a cause that you want to support, like saving the oceans or fighting breast cancer, and enjoy your nice pair of conscious steps. Psst.: Great Gift idea too 🙂

1. Conscious Step

Conscious Step is a social enterprise creating well-designed socks to fight for global causes. In partnership with some of the world’s most impactful organizations, each design contributes to a different global cause. In all, they have 13 different causes that you can support just by buying some stylish socks.

conscious step socks
Img: Conscious Step

Material: 75% Organic Cotton, 23% Polyamide, 2% Spandex

Labour Practices: The factory is certified with OEKO-TEX Certified, Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) and Fairtrade International!

Value: Give back to nonprofits to change the world for the better.

2. Gorilla Socks

Gorilla Socks comes out of Italy to make a statement in everyday items like socks. The Sock company produces eco-friendly bamboo fiber socks to support nature conservation. Their mission is simple: to combine a sense of responsibility to support our planet, disadvantaged communities, and animal species with a love for colorful socks.  

gorilla socks
Img: Gorilla Socks

Material: 71.7% Viscose, 26.7% Polyamide, 1.6% Elastane.

Labour Practices: Outerknown was the first brand to pursue Fair Labor Association accreditation before ever shipping a product.

Value: Supporting marine protection association.

3. Shongolulu

Shongolulu is dedicated to Saving wildlife, protecting habitats, and preventing extinction. It is paramount to who the brand is. Every sock, every scarf, and every bundle that they sell helps achieve this mission.

Shongolulu partners with non-profit organizations working to protect endangered species and their habitats. 10% of every dollar they make is donated to their wildlife conservation efforts worldwide.

Img: Shongolulu

Material: 80% Combed Cotton,
17% Polyamide, 3% Elastane.

Value: These socks save wildlife

4. Maggies Organics

Maggie’s Organics’ mission is to produce and provide comfortable, durable, affordable, and beautiful articles of apparel and accessories made from materials that restore, sustain, and enhance the resources, including humans, from which they are made. 

Maggies Organics Organic Cotton Rag Sock Purple
Img: Maggies Organics

Material: 88.3 Organic Cotton, 11.3% Nylon, .4% Spandex

Fiber and yarn GOTS Certified from Pakistan

Labour Practices: MO’s is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Domestic Fair Trade Association, Free2Work, and Green America.

Value: Always Organic, Fair Trade, and always kind to both the environment & the workers making the apparel & accessories. Socks made & dyed with pride in the USA!  

Sexy Socks UK - Crowdfunding Video

5. Sexy Socks

Sexy Socks is a brand based in the United Kingdom that gives school socks to underprivileged children in South Africa for every bought pair. Dave Hutchison was inspired to start his company after helping a homeless man in Cape Town and decided he wanted to make a real difference in people’s lives.

sexy socks
Img: Sexy Socks

Material: Made from combed cotton, or bamboo, locally in Cape Town.

Value: For every pair you buy, we give school socks to a child in need.

6. Mitscoots

Mitscoots socks give back to every piece of American-made gear you purchase. The company will give an equal quality item to someone in need and employ the transitioning homeless to package things up.

Img: Mitscoots

Material: + 59% Polyester,18% Acrylic, 17% Wool, 3% Nylon, 2% Rayon, and 1% Spandex

Labour Practices:

Value: For each piece purchased, they send one equal piece to someone in need.

7. Solemate Socks

These upcycled socks from Solemate are the perfect mix of functional & fun. Plus, they’re made in the USA from recycled cotton, recycled polyester, nylon, and lycra, so you know you’re truly sustainable all the way down to your toes.

Img: Soulmate

Material: 62% recycled Cotton, 22% recycled Polyester, 15% Nylon, 1% Lycra

Value: Giving back to non-profit charities and those in need.

8. United by Blue

Hemp Socks from United by Blue. The more you wear them, the softer they get!  They are made from an eco-friendly blend of cotton and hemp with a touch of spandex, making them comfortable and cozy for all-day wear.

Img: United By Blue

Material: 60% merino wool, 30% hemp, 8% recycled polyester, 2% spandex

Value: For every product purchased 1 pound of trash is removed from the ocean.

9. Nau

Nau was born to push the boundaries of innovation in sustainability while creating timeless fashion pieces. Born in Portland and later acquired by the BlackYak group out of Seoul. Nau is making sustainable fashion and environmentally friendly products designed in Seoul.

Img: Nau

Material: 75.4% Organic Cotton, 13.72% Repreve Recycled Polyester, 9.68% Nylon, 1.2% Spandex

Value: Nau donates 2% of purchases to grassroots donations.

10. Osom

Osom’s awesome upcycling process requires no water or chemical dyes, so you can be sure that these socks won’t harm the environment. Featuring a patterned mesh design on the top of the foot for breathability, a cushioned foot with arch support, and a high seamed-toe design.

Img: Osom

Material: 80% Recycled Textiles, 15% Nylon, 5% Spandex

Value: Osom Brand keeps textiles out of the landfill by utilizing them to make new items

11. Pact

Pact is well-known in the sustainable fashion industry for making great-looking clothing and supporting the environment. They are fair-trade certified and make a range of high-quality organic cotton clothes that look good.

Img: Pact

Material: 78% Organic Cotton, 20% Nylon, 2% Elastane

Value: Carbon Neutral, Organic and fair-trade

12. Boody

Boody makes some of the most comfortable underwear and socks in my wardrobe. The company is a certified B corp and donates 1% for the Planet. Bamboo is great as it is naturally anti-bacterial, making for great socks and underwear.

Img: Boody

Material: 63% Bamboo Viscose 27% Organic Cotton 9% Nylon 1% Lycra

Value: The Organic Bamboo fibre used in this garment is is EcoCert certified

13. Colorful Standard

Colorful Standard has made a name by being smart with how they dye and design clothes. From precision laser cutting for the least amount of waste to using offcuts as fillers in cushions and the more Colorful Standard is doing everything to be as zero waste as possible. Check out my review of the company here.

colorful standard
Img: Colorful Standard

Material: 80% Organic Cotton, 18% Polyamid, 2% Elastane

Value: PETA Approved Vegan, Environmentally Friendly Dyed Yarn – Oeko-Tex®

Why are sustainable socks important?

Sustainability is becoming more critical than ever. Companies are transitioning to better and more eco-friendly textiles to use in their clothes. Socks are an essential part of everyday wear.

Wearing sustainable socks with natural materials can help reduce smelly feet since your foot can breathe better in raw materials.

They help regulate temperature. Ever had cold feet? Throw on some warm wool socks and your day is going to be much better.

What are the benefits of sustainable socks?

Socks aren’t just for comfort and to keep your feet warm. Nowadays, socks are a statement. These purchases can help with fundraising efforts, support homeless shelters, or even fight climate change in the case of Conscious steps.

Socks have been worn for many millennia and are essential to your sustainable wardrobe.

Most of them are made with natural materials, although almost all have some form of synthetic fiber mixed in to make them more elastic.

We recommend washing your socks in the guppyfriend to prevent microplastic from entering the ocean.

What are some of the challenges with sustainable socks?

While everyone and your neighbor can make socks, it is often difficult to cut through the noise and find companies that make socks without harming the planet.

This list should give you an idea and if you find yourself out and about and in need of some socks, ensure that the company openly states where they source the fabrics from and if they have give-back programs.

It’s not always easy to find these companies because marketing often makes it difficult to see whether a company is doing good.

This video about greenwashing should help clarify things even more. Otherwise, you can always look at our sustainable fashion articles to find more brands with the correct values and missions.

Final thoughts

Wow, this concludes my list of socks that give back. As you can see, not all of them support a cause, but all of them are ethically made and use only the best materials.

I hope you enjoyed this list of awesome socks and found some companies you haven’t heard of before. If you want to become even more zero waste sign up for my free zero waste checklist and set yourself up to win.

Here is a list of eco-friendly and sustainable sock brands of 2022 that don’t have give-back programs but still make for great socks.

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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.

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