A Guide to Ethical Socks, Tights & Hosiery

A Guide to Ethical Socks & Hosiery | Curiously Conscious

It’s time for another ethical fashion guide! This time, I’m showcasing the best ethical socks, tights, and hosiery brands in the UK (and those that ship here).

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 materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, or recycled nylon.

Unlike shoes, socks are an 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’s In My Sock Drawer…

Red leopard print socks from Kind Socks

I have a whole range of different socks and tights – it’s one of the items I know I will wear over and over again. While there are some not-so-ethical hanger-oners, most are now ethical.

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.

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! More like glitzy pop-socks, I love wearing both their silvery black ankle socks (above), and their fishnet socks* with heels. They’re both high quality, high style, and made from recycled materials too.

Best Ethical Socks, Tights Hosiery Brands in 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.

Doris & Dude: Cute patterned socks made ethically in the South West of UK from sustainable fabrics.

Hose*: Luxury hand-printed hosiery designed in Brighton and made in Italy.

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.

Know The Origin*: UK-based digital department store stocking a range of ethical sock brands.

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.

Mamacha UK*: 100% alpaca wool thick socks and leg-warmers.

Organic Basics*: Recycled nylon tights and organic cotton socks made in ethical factories in Turkey and Portugal.

People Tree*: 98% organic cotton socks in cute patterns and colours.

PerTin Textiles: Independent organic cotton socks handmade in the UK.

Stand4 Socks: Donating one pair of socks to homeless shelters for every pair bought.

Swedish Stockings*: Tights, knee-highs, 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.

Wolford*: Heritage hosiery brand Wolford have started dabbling with recycled nylon (ECONYL) and I’m here for it!

P.S. Here’s How To Recycle Old Tights…

And once you’ve got your new tights, what are you going to do with the old ones? Recycle them of course!

A number of the above brands offer their own recycling programs, but if you can’t find one to suit you, why not donate them to Holey Tights? This is a sustainable fashion campaign run by Shannen Maria Samuel, a circular fashion entrepreneur based in London. By donating to Holey Tights, you’ll also receive:

  • A ‘thank you’ package
  • A store discount
  • Peace of mind that your unwanted tights have turned into a creation, rather than going to landfill!

Disclaimer: This post contains gifted products (denoted 'gifted') and affiliate links (denoted '*')

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2 Comments

  1. Martin
    April 3, 2020 / 12:29 pm

    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.

    • besma
      Author
      April 6, 2020 / 11:09 am

      Hi Martin,

      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.

      B x

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