The Bare Kind Story: Unleashing socks with animals on them

Elephants and tigers Bare Kind hiking socks

The Bare Kind Story: Unleashing socks with animals on them

Animal lover Lucy Jeffrey founded Bare Kind Bamboo Socks to create socks with animals on them! And she does it to help save endangered species of wild animals. From sloth socks to bear socks to fox socks to cow socks, these are more than novelty socks with cute animals on them, these are socks with a purpose. 

These fun socks with a serious goal are made in Turkey in a factory that is audited by SEDEX and BSCI. This importantly means that workers are local and work a 45 hour week with no excessive overtime. It also certifies that they are not harrassed, discriminated against, abused or forced to work. These are practices unfortunately common in the garment industry. 

What’s also great about the bamboo socks that Bare Kind create is that the bamboo is genuinely sustainably sourced. They’re also made without the release of harmful chemicals into local waterways normally associated with viscose production. The socks you buy are certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100 as well, meaning no toxic chemicals and they’re safe for children and babies.

The bamboo also means that the socks are very warm, comfortable and moisture wicking. Say goodbye to sweaty feet! What’s more 10% of profits on every pair are donated to an animal-saving charity. I love that they have a range of gift boxes too like their Arctic bamboo socks gift set and their Farm Animals bamboo socks gift set. The perfect gift for animal lovers with a wild side!

Bare Kind socks are machine washable and delivered in 100% recyclable cardboard packaging with free domestic shipping and free returns. You can also sign up to get 10% off your first order.

So what made Lucy set up her brand and what challenges has she faced along the way?

Tell us about your sustainable fashion brand and what sets you apart

Hello my name is Lucy and I am the founder of Bare Kind. We sell socks that save endangered animals! For every single pair sold, we donate 10% of the profits to save the very animal on that sock, partnering with over 30 animal conservation and rescue charities around the world.

Bare kind socks with ducks

2. What is your background and what made you decide to start up your brand?

I used to work for HSBC, and decided that I wanted to have more of an impact on the world.

I started Bare Kind with the mission to save animals through the products I sell. This was in 2018 and since then we have hit some amazing milestones. I brought out my first turtle socks with 10% of profits being donated to The Turtle Foundation. We now have over 50 different sock designs supporting conservation charities across the world.

In 2020 I quit my job to run the company full time. In 2021 I hired two members of staff, and I moved my operations from my parent’s house to a fulfilment warehouse, we haven’t looked back!

3. Tell us a bit about how you source your fabrics and base materials

Our socks are made from bamboo viscose fibre, which has become very popular with socks due to it being so soft, breathable and sweat wicking. In fact we stock a lot of podiatrist clinics because they are so good for your feet!

I wanted to know that I was getting the bamboo itself from sustainable sources so I had to do a lot of digging into the supply chains of the factories I was speaking with. It was actually really hard to get answers initially because I was so small, but I kept going and got the certificates I needed to work with sustainably sourced bamboo plantations!

The next step was looking at the process itself where bamboo plants are turned into fibre, as typically chemicals are required for this process. The factory we work with uses a closed loop process and is able to recycle the chemicals used to other processes within the factory.

Like with all sustainable journeys, there is always room for improvement so I have a few things up my sleeve this year!

Lucy from Bare Kind Socks in the factory

4. Do you take into account the recyclability of your products?

Our packaging is 100% recyclable and plastic-free, that was a non-negotiable for me.

The socks themselves are harder to recycle as viscose isn’t recyclable in the main stream yet. I did have some chats with a company who are able to scan fabrics and sort them for recycling but due to socks being so mixed in their fibres they wouldn’t take them on board. This is something I am actively working on at the moment and the long term plan is to have a range of 100% recyclable socks.

5. Who makes your clothes/products?

Our first factory was based in Istanbul, they are a SEDEX-audited factory. Since we have grown so much we are adding on more production capability and expertise by extending our manufacturing to China and India as well. Both factories have BSCI audit certificates, and the bamboo plantation is OEKO-TEX Step approved.

6. Are any animals used in the production of your products? if so how do you make sure that they are treated ethically?

No animals are used in the production, other than being the inspiration for our designs!

7. What else makes your brand sustainable/ethical?

I would describe Bare Kind as an ethical brand. We make the right decisions for our employees, the partners we work with and the planet. We are transparent about our supply chain and where we have improvements to make. We pay living wages, only work with audited and approved factories, and we donate profits to animal causes that we care about. We are now a certified B Corp as well.

8. What are the biggest challenges in operating as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand?

It’s a very expensive space to be operating in, especially as small business.

I’ve just put myself through a course on sustainable fashion legislation to learn about the laws coming down the line over the next 10 years. Ultimately I want to adhere to these practices before we ‘have to’ but there is only so much I can afford to do.

There are product lifecycle analyses, carbon emission tracking, offsetting, digital product passports, the list goes on. For example I’d love to perform a PLA (product lifecycle analysis) myself but I don’t have the knowhow to do so, and am being charged thousands to do it with a company that can help. I don’t think this is super accessible for small businesses trying to do what is right.

9. “Sustainability is not about being perfect, but is a journey”. how can you further improve what you do and what plans do you have for the future?

I don’t think it’s possible to be perfect because the goal posts are always changing. You could have a brand that is doing everything ‘right’ and then something else comes into consideration. But the key is to keep working towards the right outcome and build a culture of continuous improvement and ethical decision making.

I have plans to work on our carbon footprint this year and how we can go to net zero as soon as possible. I also want to work on the recyclable sock range, and building a public sock donation programme to reduce the amount of waste in the industry as a whole.

Hedgehog Bare Kind socks

10. What one thing could fast fashion brands do to improve?

The brands that are doing it best are the ones building products to last more than one season. Build for longevity.

11. What are your favourite products in your range right now and why?

We’ve got a brand new range of socks coming out this month which I ADORE. They are a range of UK wildlife and farm animals. Owls, hares and field mice as well as donkeys, ducks and more. They are gorgeous colours and even more gorgeous animals, plus I always love supporting charities local to the UK.

Thank you so much to Lucy for taking part in this interview! To get your hands on some of her sustainable funky socks that do great things, see below:

Fashion hacks front cover


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