Fashion, Life & Style

Affordable and Ethical Socks and Tights

ethical socks

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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:

ethical socks for men and women

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

Children, Families

Cork Crafts for Kids

cork crafts for kids

cork crafts for kids

Is it half term where you are?  Looking for ways to entertain the kids?  To help I’ve put together a round-up of some great cork crafts for kids.

I’ve written all about why you should try and pick natural cork stoppered wine over screw-topped or plastic cork bottles so it’s a good way of putting your cork to good use.  Otherwise you can buy cork stoppers online (eBay is a good source) or you can always ask friends, family and at local restaurants and bars to save any cork for you, rather than drinking litres and litres of wine to gather your cork!

Here are my favourite cork crafts.  As with any kids crafts, adult supervision and help will be required:

cork crafts

These painted cork keyrings from El hada de papel are very cute – simply paint a cork and add a little eye hook (available from any diy store) and hey presto – a unique keyring!
eco friendly crafts for kids
Cork boats, such as these ones from Handmade Charlotte are really easy to make and great fun.  You could make a few and have a boat race!

natural crafts for kids

These cork mice, made from champagne corks by Russian blog All Together, are incredibly cute.  Make a whole family for added “awwww” factor!.

cork activities
These cork knights from Red Ted Art are the ultimate in reusing and recycling – not only do they use the cork, but also the wire cage and the metal lid too!  And they look pretty amazing to boot!
diy stamps

If you’re looking for an incredibly simple and easy craft then these cork stamps from Knobz fit the bill.  Simply glue wooden embellishments (available from craft shops) on to your corks, and you have an instant stamp set!  If you can’t find any embellishments then buttons or even bits of foam cut out in different shapes and glued on will also do the trick.

If you don’t have kids and are wondering what to do with your cork then you can compost it.  Cork doesn’t break down easily so don’t put the whole cork in – first chop it up into small pieces (or put it in your blender) and add it to your compost bin.  You can also add the small fragments of cork to soil when you’re potting plants to aid with water retention.  Alternatively, use the whole corks at the bottom of plant pots, when potting your plants, in place of styrofoam or rocks, to aid drainage.

Main image from here.