On the lookout for ethical socks and tights? Good news, I’ve got you covered with this handy guide, updated for 2021.
Socks and tights are as much of an autumn and winter staple as cups of tea, blankets, and cosy jumpers. I’m never without a pair of socks. So, as a wardrobe essential, I’ve been hunting down ethical socks for men and women to feature here. I’ve also thrown in some ethical tights for good measure too.
And not only ethical but affordable too. In my hunt, I’ve come across ethical socks that are £20+ a pair. And even some at an eye-watering £40! I don’t know about you, but I personally would never dream of spending even £20 on one pair of socks. As such, here are my top affordable yet ethical picks:
Guide to Ethical Socks & Tights
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Bam: Bamboo* sells soft socks from sustainably sourced bamboo. Packs of four cost around £18. What’s more, if you buy any 3 selected mix and match garments from Bam Bamboo – these don’t have to be socks – you will receive 20% off.
Are you overwhelmed by choice and just want plain black socks? Then try Boody*. Here you’ll find ethically made plain black socks in every style under the sun. From everyday socks to sports ankle socks, to even ballet pump liner socks – they’re plain, and they’re only available in black. Prices start from £4.95 and take 10% off your first order when you sign up to their mailing list.
Heist* sells lightweight pop socks for £7 that despite their thinness, are designed to last, with reinforced toes and heels. Their stay-up ankle band means no digging or your socks rolling down. This is great because I always have this problem with this particular type of sock, and there is nothing more annoying! What’s more, Heist has a strong commitment to sustainability. From measures such as lowering the amount of water used in the manufacturing of their products, to eliminating the use of virgin fossil fuels in our products and packaging, Heist is on it.
Jollies sell colourful organic cotton socks that are made in England. What’s more, for every pair sold, one pair of Jollies socks is donated to local homeless shelters. So far thousands of pairs of socks have been donated to over 50 shelters nationwide. Prices start from £9.
Leiho’s* sustainably sourced and vegan-friendly bamboo socks are not only fun but charitable too. For every pair of socks sold, a pair is donated to homeless shelters. Prices are around £12 per pair.
Danish-based Organic Basics* sell soft and durable socks ethically and sustainably made in Turkey and Portugal from organic cotton or recycled denim or recycled wool. Prices start at £12 for a pack of two and take 10% off your order with discount code WENDYOBC at the checkout. True to the name, Organic Basics, you won’t find any fancy prints or colours – but you will find ankle socks, trainer liners, sheer socks, tennis socks, and more – catering for all of your sock-based needs.
Ethical stalwarts People Tree* sell super soft organic cotton socks in a wide range of colours, prints, and designs. Their ethical socks start from £7 per pair.
Thought* has a great selection of men’s and women’s ethical socks, like the beautiful ones pictured above. Made from organic cotton, and super soft bamboo or hemp, and in a wide selection of funky prints and patterns, there’s a pair of socks to suit everyone. The prices are around £6.95 a pair.
The market for ethical tights is small, but I have found some gems for you:
Heist’s* speciality is their Italian-made tights. From their range of nude tights in seven representative shades; to their thicker 80 denier tights; to fishnets made from sustainable pre-consumer recycled waste – all of their tights come in inclusive sizes from a UK size 4 to a UK size 22.
Swedish Stockings* sustainable hosiery range is made from pre-and post-consumer nylon waste that is non-biodegradable. They recycle this waste nylon to create their range of tights, socks, and leggings, reducing water consumption and energy. They also run a great tights recycling scheme, where you can recycle your old tights.
Another option in autumn and winter, if you’re wearing boots, is to wear leggings with socks. Ok, it’s not so attractive when you take off your boots, but I like wearing leggings as they are nice and cosy and don’t snag or run like tights do, making them much more durable. I don’t mind spending a bit more on something that I know is going to last and are as versatile as leggings. Here’s my full guide to ethical leggings in case you are looking for some recommendations.
PS: while you are here, you might find this post on ethical underwear useful too!