Socks — not counting their ability to mysteriously lose mates in the wash — are pretty innocuous things. We buy them for cheap, wear them ‘til they’re worn out, and then, more often than not, toss them in the trash.
It’s something most of us have done; one survey found that 91% of people throw away more than one pair of socks a year. That makes landfills the usual destination for hole-ridden and lone-soldier socks, contributing to the more than 11 million tons of textile waste added to U.S. landfills annually.
We thought that was worth changing — which is why Diamond Brand Gear partnered with Colorado-based sock and apparel company Smartwool on their Second Cut Project. To date, the project has found a new use for more than 900,000 worn-out, mismatched socks in the form of (super cute) dog beds.
Stuffed with filling made from used socks and fashioned with recycled-fabric covers that were designed and sewn by Diamond Brand Gear, these beds are available for Fidos of all sizes. And so far, they’ve seen a pretty incredible amount of community support. Since Smartwool invited folks to send in their used socks — either by mailing them to Smartwool directly or dropping them off at participating U.S. retailers — we’ve been able to help keep 7,000 pounds (and counting) of socks out of landfills.
“Through our dedicated mission to eliminate fabric waste in our own production and our partnership with Carolina Textile Districts’ commitment with circularity projects, we knew we had an opportunity and need in our community to save this waste,” Lauren Rash, COO of Diamond Brand Gear, said. “We will take the opportunity anytime we can to partner with brands who have shared values and commitment. These joint ventures are what builds community and creates real sustainability.”
We always say that, for us at Diamond Brand Gear, sustainability is more than a buzzword — it’s baked into everything we do and stand for as a company. That’s why we’re always eager to find ways to breathe new life into post-production and post-consumer waste, whether that’s turning used socks into dog beds or creating one-of-a-kind bags out of the fabric scraps of tents sewn at our North Carolina factory.
We also accept 100% of everything we’ve ever made back for refurbishing, as a big part of sustainability means helping our customers extend the lifespan of the heirloom-ready products they already own. And, in the spirit of community, we’ve dedicated half of our current production to sewing goods for like-minded, sustainable companies like Smartwool, too.
“It’s a no-brainer for us to partner with other brands, like Smartwool, who want to create circularity and sustainability within their products,” Rash said. “If we can be of assistance in sewing or helping to reduce post-consumer waste, then we want to jump in with these folks to help our communities.”
Want to put your own socks toward a sustainable cause? Add a Second Cut Project mail-in bag (prepaid shipping label included!) to your cart when making any purchase at Smartwool, and send back your (clean, of any brand) socks for a cuter, greener next chapter.