You might think that Smartwool is just a fantastic company that makes everything from baseball caps and leggings to sweaters and socks, so many socks. However, they’re now becoming famed for their brand new initiative: Smartwool will recycle your old socks – no matter the brand. That’s right!
Terrible Survey Results
Colorado-based company Smartwool has become famous around the world for their high-quality clothing, specifically their socks. However, while Smartwool uses nearly all recycled materials in their products, the company recently discovered a worrying statistic: most people don’t recycle their socks.
In fact, only 20% of socks end up recycled or in the second chance market. After a survey, the company discovered that 46% of consumers have no idea how to recycle that type of clothing, and 91% just throw them straight into the trash. That means 11.3 tons of socks end up in landfills or the ocean every year. How terrible! Thankfully, the survey also revealed the 97% want to recycle their socks and would if it was easier. So Smartwool decided to make it easier! Through May 2, at least.
Smartwool Gives Socks A Second Chance
“Through our research, we realized that consumers want to be more sustainable and recycle their socks, but don’t currently have the resources to be a part of the solution,” said Alicia Chin, senior manager of sustainability and social impact at Smartwool. “We are deeply invested in providing consumers with simple recycling solutions that make a difference towards a happier, healthier planet. While our goal is to reach total circularity across our product portfolio, there is obviously an urgent need for a recycling solution in the sock category, which is where we’re focusing our initial efforts.”
Does this sound like you? Would you love to recycle your old socks? Well, get them all in a bag and head to your closest Al’s Sporting Goods, Fleet Feet, Moosejaw, or one of many other participating stores in 42 states that are partnering with Smartwool to collect the socks through May 2.
Recycling For Environmental Sustainability
What will happen to the socks you donate? Well, Smartwool says they’ll be recycled into dog beds! So not only are you recycling by donating, you’re helping dogs as well. Does it get any better than that?
“We’re excited to work with a brand like Smartwool that exemplifies the same environmental values as we do,” said Molly Hemstreet, Co-Executive Director at Material Return. “We also want to thank all our manufacturing partners who helped make it possible—especially the Carolina Textile District and Diamond Brand Gear. Through the Smartwool Second Cut Project sock take back event, we’re giving consumers an opportunity to support both environmental sustainability and innovative labor practices.”
Smartwool itself has a plan to become 100% circularity-based by 2030. “Circularity. What an idea,” said the brand in a statement. “To make a product and also build a system to keep it out of the landfill after its first use is no small feat. But it’s the right thing to do.”