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Socks and tights are as much of an autumn and winter staple as cups of tea, blankets, and nice woolly jumpers. I’m never without a pair of socks, so as a wardrobe essential I’ve been hunting down some ethical socks for men and women, and women’s ethical tights to feature here. And not only ethical but affordable too – in my hunt I’ve come across ethical socks that are £20+ a pair (some even at £40!). I don’t know about you but I personally would never dream of spending £20 on one pair of socks, so here are my top affordable ethical picks:
Braintree Clothing* have a great selection of men’s and women’s ethical socks*, like the ones pictured above. Made from organic cotton, and supersoft bamboo or hemp and in a wide selection of funky prints and patterns, there’s a pair of socks to suit everyone. Prices are around £4 a pair.
Other ethical sock retailers include Ethical Wares, with prices from £6.95. The Natural Store also sell four packs of ethical men’s socks for £18.50 and three packs of ladies socks for £12.
When it comes to tights the ethical market is quite small. I found pairs of ethical opaque tights on Fashion Conscience and Greenfibres for, umm, £24 (you can see them here and here if you want to see what a £24 pair of tights looks like). I don’t know about you but I’m a bit loathe (and cash poor!) to spend £24 on one pair of tights, especially when tights have a tendency to rip when you even so much as look at anything sharper than a butter knife.
What’s a girl to do? I tend to buy wool tights as I find they don’t rip like nylon does – I have some pairs from Marks & Spencer that have lasted for five years plus, and a third of M&S’s tights are UK made which is reassuring. Another option in autumn and winter, if you’re wearing boots, is to wear leggings with socks. Ok, not so sexy 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. You can pick up some ethical leggings at People Tree* for £26 (take 10% off with code FIBRES10) or Braintree Clothing for £22*.
Another alternative is to buy British made tights. Pretty Polly, Aristoc, Elbeo & House of Holland are all UK made, as are Jonathan Aston tights. Sock Shop have also handily put together a hosiery page showcasing the best of British made tights.
Have I missed out any affordable ethical socks or tights? Let me know and I’ll add them here!
All images c/o Braintree Clothing