Ethical Socks Guide: The Best UK Brands For Cosy Toes

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On the lookout for ethical socks? I’ve got you covered with this handy guide to the best sustainable and ethical socks in the UK to keep your toes cosy, updated for 2023.

I write lots of ethical guides. From ethical underwear to ethical pyjamas, right the way through to UK-based ethical clothing brands. And today I wanted to turn my attention to socks.

As a permanently cold-footed person, 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 more 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 upwards of £20 on one pair of socks. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to stretch to that price for a pair of ethical socks. There are heaps of ethical options out there that won’t stretch your bank balance. As such, here are my top more affordable yet ethical picks.

The Best Ethical Socks In The UK For Cosy Toes

Socks on a wooden background, with a blue text box that says the best ethical socks for cosy toes this autumn.

I’ve got something for almost every preference. From plain to patterned. From socks made from bamboo to organic cotton and hemp. And I’ve even found socks made from recycled materials, such as recycled wool.

Use the quick links below to navigate to each brand, or keep scrolling for the full post:


⭐ Best choice for ethical bamboo socks

BAM ethical bamboo socks in green
  • Made from bamboo
  • Caters for men and women
  • Made In Turkey, Portugal and China
  • Prices start from £10

BAM – the sustainable activewear specialist – sells ethically made socks from sustainably sourced bamboo. 

On a mission to reduce its carbon footprint to the absolute minimum by 2030, on the journey to that BAM is addressing every impact it has on the planet.

BAM says it is ensuring every person in its supply chain – right the way back to the growers – is paid fairly and treated with dignity. It has also set ambitious goals for zero waste to landfill, zero pollution and zero wasted water – all by 2030. This applies to every single process. From the growing of the bamboo to the manufacture of its clothing and socks, right through to the way they are recycled.

Find classic socks, as well as trainer, walking, running and ski socks – all in a variety of colours and patterns.

To make these socks go the distance, BAM reinforces the toe and heel areas with a looped terry knit. This makes them stronger and brings a touch of extra cushioning to these key areas.

Most of BAM’s socks are vegan-friendly. However, some socks in its range are blended with mulesing-free merino wool. So if you are looking for vegan-friendly socks, do check the description carefully.

Find individual socks for around £10. Or, for better value, find packs of four socks for around £19.50.

Sign up for the BAM mailing list and get 10% off your first order.


⭐ Best budget-friendly ethical socks

Boody sustainable bamboo socks in black
  • Made from FSC-certified bamboo
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Caters for men, women and children
  • Made in China and Vietnam
  • Prices start from £4.45

Are you overwhelmed by choice and just want plain black socks? Then try Boody – a certified B-Corp that specialises in sustainable basics.

Here you’ll find ethically made plain black socks for men and women 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.

These super soft socks are comfy, light, moisture-wicking, and breathable.

In terms of sustainability, its socks are made from bamboo that has been FSC-certified. This means the bamboo yarn is sourced only from sustainably managed plantations which promote biodiversity, whilst benefiting the lives of local people and workers. 

Boody then transforms this bamboo yarn into socks at its factories in China and Vietnam. Ethical production is key. Boody is WRAP-certified, which independently certifies that its workers are treated responsibly. Plus it is B Corp certified, which encompasses social responsibility standards.

Prices start from £4.45. Boody also offers multipack savings – purchase a 3-pack of socks for a 15% saving, or purchase a 5-pack for a 20% saving. 

Take 10% off your first order when you sign up for Boody’s mailing list.

Peper Harow

⭐ Best choice for ethical socks made in the UK

Peper Harow eco-friendly socks made from recycled cotton
  • Recycled cotton and organic cotton options
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Caters for men and women
  • Made in the UK
  • Prices range from £12 – £17

Are you looking for recycled cotton or organic cotton socks made right here in the UK? Look no further than Peper Harow

Peper Harow ethically and responsibly makes the highest quality socks for both men and women, in unique and fashionable designs you’ll want to show off – with many styles made from GOTS-Certified organic cotton or Global Recycled Standard (GRS) recycled cotton.

Each pair of Peper Harow socks is made without a toe seam – that annoying thick seam at the end of the socks that can rub on your toes. This gives you the most comfortable fit, regardless of the type of shoe you are wearing or the activity you are taking part in. And this move isn’t just about comfort – removing the toe seam also cleverly improves the lifespan of the socks. 

With a one-year guarantee, you can be sure you won’t be wearing these ethical socks out any time soon.

Take 20% off your order when you use the exclusive code MORALLYSTYLISH at the checkout.

Colorful Standard

⭐ Best choice for ethical socks made from recycled wool

Colorful standard
  • Made from a blend of recycled Merino wool and organic cotton
  • Catters for men and women
  • Made in Portugal
  • £14 per pair

Colorful Standard, as the name suggests, makes colourful socks as standard for both men and women.

These cosy and chunky ankle socks are ethically made in Portugal from recycled merino wool. The wool is then blended with organic cotton and elastane for stretch, before being dyed with environmentally friendly and Oeko-Tex®certified dyes for a low-impact pair of socks.

Prices are a flat £14 per pair of socks, and come in more colours than you could shake a stick at! I counted 27 different colours.

This includes classic colours such as black, white and grey. But as well as those, you’ll also find a host of cheeky colours to add a real pop to your feet. From bubblegum pink to scarlet red and Pacific blue, there’s a wealth of fun colours to choose from.


⭐ Best choice for socks that give back to charity

Person wearing a pair of red Leiho's
  • Made from bamboo
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Caters for men, women and children
  • Made in Turkey
  • Priced around £12 per pair

Leiho’s sustainably sourced and vegan-friendly bamboo socks – available from Social Supermarket – are not only fun but charitable too. 

For every pair of funky socks sold, 5% goes towards purchasing essentials for the homeless community. This could be socks, underwear, thermals or even a hot meal for someone in need – depending on what Leiho’s partner charities and organisations say is needed the most.

Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for Social Supermarket’s newsletter.


⭐ Best choice for ethical socks made from British sourced-wool

Silverstick's made in the UK socks.
  • Made from organic cotton or natural wool
  • Caters for men and women
  • Made in the UK
  • Prices start at £12 per pair

Silverstick’s cosy socks – available at Ethical Superstore – are made in Britain by craftsmen using traditional methods and natural wool yarns of the highest standard.

The wool – sourced from sheep that graze on the Pennines – is dyed using azo and chlorine-free clothing dye, under Oeko-Tex Standards that ensure the socks contain no harmful substances.

This ensures your socks tread lightly on the planet, whilst keeping your feet warm.

Its organic cotton socks, meanwhile, are also made in Britain using the highest quality GOTS-certified organic cotton yarns.


⭐ Best choice for ethical socks made from hemp

Thought Clothing ethical socks in blue
  • Made from organic cotton, bamboo or hemp
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Caters for men, women and children
  • Made in China
  • Priced from £6.95 a pair

Thought (available at John Lewis) has a great selection of men’s, women’s and children’s sustainable and ethical socks.

Ethically made from organic cotton, recycled polyester and super soft bamboo or hemp, and in a wide selection of funky prints and patterns, there’s a pair of vegan-friendly socks to suit everyone.

From crew socks to ankle and trainer socks, to no-show socks, there’s a range of styles too.

Thought is committed to achieving the best for its workers. High social standards are a priority. As such Thought’s garments are increasingly GOTS and Fairtrade Certified.


⭐ Best choice for socks that support endangered animals

Person wearing sloth print bamboo socks.
  • Made from a blend of bamboo and cotton
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Caters for men, women and children
  • Made in Turkey
  • Priced from £9.95 a pair.

Are you specifically looking for socks printed with your favourite endangered animal? It might be a very niche market, but Barekind has you covered!

With over 40 animal designs to choose from – from sloths to polar bears, and pangolins to red pandas – there’s a sock to match your favourite animal.

As well as looking good, Barekind socks do good. It donates 10% of the profits from every pair to save the animal on the socks. Each design is linked with a charity partner who is doing incredible work to help save the animal featured on the socks. So your toes stay cosy whilst helping to protect endangered animals.

All Barekind socks are made ethically in Turkey from a blend of bamboo and cotton. The bamboo is processed in a factory that deploys a closed-loop system to reduce chemical waste.

Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for the Barekind newsletter.


⭐ Best choice for fully recyclable socks

A pair of blue organic cotton socks from Rapanui
  • Made from organic cotton
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Caters for men and women
  • Made in Turkey
  • Priced from £7 a pair

Rapanui, the Isle of Wight-based ethical clothing brand, has branched out into ethical socks made from organic cotton.

Naturally moisture-wicking, comfy and breathable, these socks are available in a range of fun patterns.

What we particularly love about Rapanui is its products are designed from the start to be sent back when it is worn out. Once your socks reach the end of their life, send them back to Rapanui. Rapanui covers the postage, and it will recover and remanufacture the material into new products. Rapanui will also reward you with a coupon that you can use to save money on your next purchase. Circularity in action!

What About Tights?

The market for ethical tights is oh-so small, but I have found some gems for you. One of my favourites is Swedish Stockings sustainable hosiery range (available from Content Beauty). This is made from pre- and post-consumer nylon waste that is non-biodegradable.

For more tights recommendations, do check out my guide to sustainable tights.

Other Alternatives

Another option for tights in autumn and winter, if you’re wearing boots, is to wear leggings with socks. Admittedly, it’s not so attractive when you take off your boots. However, I like wearing leggings in colder weather as they keep your legs cosy and don’t snag or run, as tights do. This makes them a much more durable option.

I personally don’t mind spending a bit more on something that I know is going to last and is as versatile as leggings. Here’s my full guide to ethical leggings if you are looking for my top recommendations.

I hope you’ve been able to find what you’re looking for. Here’s to sustainably cosy toes! And once your socks come to the end of their life, here are my top tips on what to do with your old socks.

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