Last updated on June 9th, 2018 at 12:43 pm
With trends pushing towards sustainable clothing, Kind Socks is making its way into a niche that people tend to forget, but put on every morning: socks. Kind Socks is an organic sock wear brand with one aim: to develop fun and beautiful socks in sustainable materials.
Stephen Steele, founder of Kind Socks, started the company about a year ago after working for several years on digital communications. “I decided it was time to stop doing what I was doing at that moment, and start working on fulfilling my creative needs” says Stephen. “I talked about starting a sock company several times before, but it always stayed at the idea stage, never really moving any further than that.” After Stephen and his wife moved to Stockholm (Sweden), he decided to take the jump.
Kind Socks started in summer of 2017, when Steele had the idea to create a sustainable brand and well-designed socks using sustainable materials. The simplicity of ‘kind to your feet and kind to the planet and people that make them’, was what really triggered Stephen to keep going. His “obsession with socks” didn’t hurt either. “It’s a boring, everyday essential that easily can be forgotten”, Steele says.
Taking an idea to production phase is hard. Making production sustainable is even harder, as Stephen found out: “The production process can be very complex because once you have a design to give to the manufacturer the general process to the final product would normally involve yarn preparation, knitting socks and linking and sewing and pair and labelling and that’s just for a prototype. All this needs reviewing by before I give the okay for final production.”
Kind Socks also follows (GOTs) Global Organic Textile Standards. The manufacturer has to follow high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria.
Production means costs, which can vary depending on the number of socks; designs and type materials being used i.e. bamboo, cotton, and wool. In addition as Kind Socks uses GOTs certified cotton, the prices are higher to make sure the workers are paid a fair wage. To make sure this can happen, Kind Socks is currently on Kickstarter, trying to raise a bit over $5000.
When it comes to design, it’s clear Stephens personality shows in his product. Currently, half the collection of his socks are designed by Berlin-based Illustrator Queenbe Moneyi. Keeping up with trends is something Steele is very aware of. “We survey our supporters on social media, look at the latest trends in the fashion and creative industries. These give us a clear idea what will sell and not.” In an ideal world Kind Socks would be collaborating with a broad range of designers, Steele says. “The idea is to collaborate with as many designers and brands as possible moving forward that are inline with our values of being a sustainable brand. In the future Kind Socks goal is to be a transparent company right through the supply chain to the consumer.”
When asked where the market of sustainable clothing is heading, it’s clear Stephen is a firm believer in sustainable materials, education, awareness and transparency. “Transparency is needed from companies so the consumer can know who made their clothes. Buying habits need to change. People need to think more long-term when they purchase clothes. They should be thinking could I get these jeans repaired; I am going to wear this dress more than 30 times. These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.”
You can support and buy a pair of beautiful sustainable socks from Kind Socks on Kickstarter.