12 UK Ethical Sock Brands Stepping into Sustainability

12 UK Ethical Sock Brands Stepping into Sustainability

Ethical socks UK in pink and yellow

When thinking of sustainable fashion, socks probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. But, not just something that always seems to go missing in the laundry or the classic gift for that person that is impossible to buy for, ethical socks are a growing market in the UK. 

In Germany, the average person buys 13 pairs of socks every year, while in Britain we are losing on average 15 pairs of socks a year that have to then be replaced. So, when these socks are from unethical and unsustainable sources, the impact starts to add up.

There are some key components of ethical sock companies, including their treatment of animals, people and the environment.

For the People

How workers are treated along the supply chain is a key part of an ethical sock company. When looking for ethical brands, search for those with high levels of supply chain transparency and certifications to ensure the people who made your socks were treated fairly and with respect. 

For brands that pay their workers a living wage see here, and those that avoid child labour in their supply chains see here.

For the Animals

For the animal lovers among us, it’s vital not to forget how our socks may have impacted our furry friends.

PeTA Approved Vegan socks are the obvious choice for avoiding animal harm. However, if you are purchasing socks containing animal products (such as wool and silk) check the company’s supply chain information to make sure it uses either recycled or certified sustainably and ethically managed sources.

For more on how to avoid animal cruelty in the fashion industry have a look at our article here, or for the best vegan clothing brands you can click here.

Ethical socks hanging on a line in the UK
Photo by Nick Page on Unsplash

Materials and the Environment

Indicators of an ethical company include robust policies to mitigate their environmental impact, third party certifications such as B-Corp, and partnerships with charitable initiatives. Our article on B-Corp certification and brands with it has more information.

Nylon is a common component in conventional socks. Derived from oil and a culprit for microplastic shedding, virgin nylons and polyesters are to be avoided by the conscious consumer. More eco-friendly fabrics that meet the requirements for comfortable and sustainable socks include:

  • Certified organic cotton
  • Sustainably sourced bamboo
  • Ethically sourced wool

Ethical Socks in the UK

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So, if you are looking for the best ethical socks in the UK, look no further. Our handy guide has some of the ultimate sustainable, ethical and comfortable brands around.

1.

Seasalt

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Turkey, Bulgaria, China
Price: £2.50 – 17.50
Sustainability creds: Organic cotton, recycled materials, sustainable packaging, clothing take-back scheme

Inspired by the colours of Cornwall, Seasalt socks capture the unique seaside spirit of this southern English county.

For every pair of single socks sold the brand donates to charity. Championing a sustainable outlook, Seasalt aims to be Net Zero by 2040 and uses sustainable and recycled materials to create its charming socks.

2.

Thought

Based: UK          Ships to: Internationally
Price: £4.95- £14.95
Sustainability creds: Member of Ethical Training Initiative, uses recycled materials, GOTS certified, sustainable packaging

Boasting classic styles and socks with funky patterns, Thought’s range of bamboo, recycled polyester, and wool blend socks are sure to delight.

Champions of considered design, Thought products are made to be comfortable and breathable, ensuring these socks keep feet happy whatever the season.

3.

Boody

Based: Australia          Ships to: Internationally – UK stockists
Price: £5.95 – £14.95
Sustainability creds: Ecocert, Fashion Forever Green Pact, PeTA Approved Vegan, OEKO-Tex certified, ISO14001, ISO9001, OCIA certified

Another master of bamboo, Boody is a brand from down-under that has the soft, breathable socks we all deserve.

With a no-fuss approach and available in neutral or monochromatic tones, these socks are moisture-wicking, practical and support sustainable business practices.

Photo by The Happy Toe on Unsplash

 4.

Komodo

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Kathmandu, Bali, India, China
Price: £6 – £7
Sustainability creds: Soil Association accredited, GOTS certified, vegan

Featuring fun, nature-inspired designs and made from sustainable materials, socks from Komodo are sure to be an instant favourite.

With a variety of styles on offer, all socks are vegan and organic, helping to ensure that every pair of socks purchased treads lightly on the Earth.

 5.

People Tree

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Turkey, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Kenya, Portugal
Price: £6 – £10
Sustainability creds: GOTS certified, Soil Association accredited, Fair-Trade certified, PeTA Approved Vegan

An original of the sustainable fashion industry, People Tree offers ethical socks in the UK that are kind to the planet and to the people that made them.

With comfortable socks available in chic calf-high styles in pastel hues or minimalistic ankle sock designs, People Tree socks are enviably soft, stylish, and always sustainable.

6.

A-dam

Based: Netherlands         Ships to: UK, USA and Europe
Made in: China, Turkey
Price: £9 – £10
Sustainability creds: SA8000 Factories, GOTS cotton

A-dam socks perfectly blend sophistication with individuality. The brand’s quality crew socks come in understated colours with small, embroidered designs. Featuring everything from tropical birds to UFOs, these small details set A-dam apart in the market.

The brand traces its supply chain, supports sustainable production and uses certified fabrics.

Pink ethical socks on the beach
Photo by Šuhajkove on Unsplash

7.

Kind Socks

Based: Germany         Ships to: Internationally – UK stockists
Made in: Turkey
Price: €9 – €15
Sustainability creds: GOTS certified cotton, donates to charity

Kind Socks offer crew and ankle styles that aren’t afraid to have some fun. With lively colours and eclectic prints, these socks are sure to brighten any day.

This sustainable brand supports fair and safe workplaces, donates a portion of profits to charity and champions organic materials so you can be sure no pesticide residues are lurking.

8.

Leiho

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Turkey
Price: £10 – £12
Sustainability creds: Uses sustainable materials, works with charitable initiatives

With silky soft bamboo socks on offer, Leiho is a company with purpose. Every purchase of quirky socks, many featuring stylized faces, helps to support charities that are delivering essentials to help those in need.

Initiatives that Leiho has worked with include Streetkind, People Project and Birchtree Housing.

9.

Jollie’s

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Made in: UK
Price: £11
Sustainability creds: Uses organic cotton, hosts a recycling program, give-back scheme

For every purchase of classic, comfortable British socks from Jollie’s, the company donates a pair of socks to a homeless shelter to help those in need. Thus far, this ‘more-than-profit’ company has donated to over 50 charities.

Jollie’s socks, made in the UK, have a minimalistic vibe and feature design details such as flat toe seams to provide maximum comfort.

Guy wearing ethical socks and Birkenstocks UK
Photo by No Revisions on Unsplash

10.

Colourful Standard 

Based: Denmark          Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Portugal
Price: £11
Sustainability creds: GOTS certified cotton, FSC certified packaging, PeTA Approved Vegan, Ecologi Climate Positive, OEKO-Tex dyes, tree planting programs

Available in a variety of rainbow hues, Colourful Standard socks are the pop of colour every outfit needs. The brand takes a sustainable approach to production, creating these brightly coloured socks with OEKO-Tex certified dyes.

While shipping costs £7 within the UK, there is free shipping for orders over £50.

11.

Bam Bamboo

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Turkey, China, Portugal and UK
Price: £12 – £20 (for multi-packs or technical socks)
Sustainability creds: Sustainable packaging, use of sustainable materials, partnered with Sharewear

As the name may suggest, Bam Bamboo is the bamboo clothing expert. Using this sustainable fabric, the brand has created a range of super soft socks. Whether you are climbing mountains and need a technical walking sock, running, taking a casual stroll or looking for a sock gift set, Bam Bamboo has an option for you.

Committed to sustainability, Bam Bamboo is on a mission to become Impact Positive.

Yellow socks
Photo by NIKHIL on Unsplash

12.

Critically Endangered 

Based: UK               Ships to: Internationally
Price: £12
Sustainability creds: Supports animal conservation, uses GOTS cotton, FSC certified

Sporting sophisticated colour combinations and delightful animal-inspired designs, Critically Endangered creates luxury socks and raises awareness of the plight of critically endangered species in the process.

10% of every purchase goes to WWF. By creating beautifully designed socks, this innovative brand inspires us all to treat our world more kindly.

Stepping into Sustainability

We may not always put a lot of thought into our sock choices, but if we are embracing a truly sustainable future for the fashion industry it’s time we chose socks that tread lightly on the Earth.

From bright, colourful styles to understated performance champions, there are ethical socks in the UK to suit every taste and lifestyle. Fashionable, eco-friendly socks are helping us all walk into a sustainable future.

If you’ve got your socks sorted out and need some sustainable underwear, we have you covered in our articles 10 sustainable underwear brands every UK shopper should know and Eco-underwear: 9 brands making ethical underwear for men. And to recycle those old odd socks you don’t know what to do with: 9 ways to give new life to old pants: how to recycle underwear in the UK. Enjoy!

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