It’s time for another ethical fashion guide! This time, I’m showcasing the best ethical socks in my sock drawer, as well as the best socks brands here in the UK.
I love a good pair of comfy socks that last and last, and even more so when they come from brands who ensure their workers are treated and paid fairly. The cherry on top is when they use eco-friendly materials, while still making them as comfy as can be.
Unlike shoes, socks are a relatively easy item of clothing to make. It’s why there’s so many brands out there making ethical socks – but this list will showcase my favourites, both in terms of design, materials, and ethics.
What To Look For In Ethical Socks
When it comes to finding socks that have positive credentials, I recommend looking for the following:
- Transparent supply chains. It’s good to know who is making your socks, and that they are being treated well and paid a living wage. After all, people make up one third of the ‘people, planet, profit’ mantra!
- Sustainable materials. In my guide to sustainable fabrics, I shared 15 different textiles I consider better for the planet (and much, much better than polyester, which is the fashion industry’s #1 textile). For socks, I recommend organic cotton, bamboo viscose, and linen in particular.
- Slow production. Nobody needs a new pair of socks every week, which is why I recommend buying your socks from small brands that work against the fast fashion business model.
- Circular design. Socks are a fantastic example of a garment that can be made from just one material, so I recommend choosing socks made from a mono-material. This means that they have a much higher chance of being recycled at the end of their life, rather than sent to landfill.
What’s In My Sock Drawer…
I have a whole range of different socks and tights in my sock drawer. They’re items I wear over and over again, and their longevity means that even though I only shop at ethical brands, there are some not-so-ethical hanger-oners still in there!
Socks-wise, I have three brands I like to shop with. Kind Socks are my newest discovery, and one I funded on their Kickstarter last year. I have two pairs of their socks – the blue, white and red striped socks, and a sexy pair of red and black leopard print socks. They’re basically Happy Socks, but made with genuine happiness across their supply chain.
Then there’s my Thought socks. Thought Clothing* create long-lasting sustainable socks made from bamboo, organic cotton, wool, and hemp, and my pair of blue and cream socks (gifted) are always nice to pop on when I want cosy feet.
And finally, I’ve written about my favourite tights from Swedish Stockings before, but not yet about their socks! The ones pictured above are like glitzy pop-socks, and I love wearing both these and my pair of fishnet socks* with heels. They’re both high quality, high style, and made from recycled materials too.
13 Of The Best Ethical Socks Brands In The UK
Alongside these three, there are lots of other great ethical brands making socks out there. Here are my favourites:
Critically Endangered Socks: Range of socks that protect endangered species around the world.
Jollie’s: Colourful socks made in England, with one pair going to local homeless shelters for every pair sold.
Kind Socks: Sustainable GOTS-certified organic cotton unisex socks made in bright, happy colours.
Le Bon Shoppe: L.A.-based brand creating retro socks in pops of colour, manufactured in Korea.
MAiK London*: Ethically and sustainably made socks in a range of quiet and loud designs.
Organic Basics*: Organic cotton socks made in ethical factories in Turkey and Portugal.
People Tree*: 98% organic cotton socks in cute patterns and colours.
Peper Harow*: Luxury socks made under one roof in West Sussex, England. Get 20% off with code: CURIOUSLYSTYLISH
PerTin Textiles*: Independent organic cotton socks handmade in the UK.
Stand4: Donating one pair of socks to homeless shelters for every pair bought.
Swedish Stockings*: Socks and pop socks all made from sustainable and recycled materials.
Thought Clothing*: Consciously made socks made in a range of sustainable fabrics and designs.
Thunders Love*: Textile waste hand-spun into charming socks in a small family workshop in Spain.
I’m a bit confused by Thought being so high on every google for eco-conscious socks. They provide their socks in a box – how on earth is that sustainable? THey’re socks. Send them plain, or in a recyclable bag, but in a box? That’s fundamentally wasteful.
I’m unimpressed by people applauding a manufacturer who has created a new, more resource-intensive packaging standard when we’re meant to be reducing packaging.
Your logic needs to be led by what is sustainable, not what is attractive, if you are to satisfy the stall you’ve set for yourself.
Thanks for your comment. I think your take on this is a little short-sighted: have you considered the rest of the supply chain and waste created across that journey? Many manufacturers waste fabric, fuel, and intermediary packaging before it reaches you. Sustainability is not just about packaging – it’s about the whole process, as well as how well workers are treated across that journey (social sustainability). Thought does well on a number of these other points – chiefly their use of bamboo and how that is a lot less resource-intensive than cotton or oil-based fabrics – so while I take your point about Thought and its use of boxes, I don’t see this as an issue.