On the lookout for ethical socks and tights?  Good news! I’ve got you covered with this handy guide to the best sustainable and ethical socks and tights out there, updated for 2022.

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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 and tights.

As a permanently cold-footed person, I’m never without a pair of socks or tights.  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 even £20 on one pair of socks.  As such, here are my top more affordable yet ethical picks.

The Best Ethical Socks For Cosy Toes

Image of 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 cotton. To socks made from recycled materials, such as recycled denim and wool, here are my top ethical and sustainable picks for cosy toes.

Bam: Bamboo

Bam: Bamboo* sells soft ethically made 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.

Boody

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.

What’s to love about Boody’s socks is that they are ethically made from sustainably produced bamboo. This means their socks are soft, comfy, light, moisture-wicking, and breathable.

Prices start from £4.95 and take 10% off your first order when you sign up to their mailing list.

Colorful Standard

Colorful standard

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 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 £12 per pair of socks, and come in more colours than you could shake a stick at! I counted 27 different colours.

Heist Ethical Socks

Heist* sells lightweight pop socks for £7 that despite their thinness, are designed to last, thanks to their reinforced toes and heels.  And 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 their products and packaging, Heist is on it. 

Leiho

Person wearing a pair of red Leiho's

Leiho’s* sustainably sourced and vegan-friendly bamboo socks are not only fun but charitable too.  For every pair of their hip socks sold, a pair is donated to homeless shelters.  Prices for Leiho socks come in at around £12 per pair.

People Tree

Ethical stalwarts People Tree* sell super soft GOTS certified and Soil Association certified organic cotton socks in a wide range of colours, prints, and designs.  Their ethical socks start from £7 per pair.

Silverstick Socks

Silverstick’s cosy socks* are made in Britain by craftsmen using traditional methods and natural wool yarns of the highest standard. The wool is dyed using azo and chlorine-free clothing dye, in accordance with Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and ISO 17050-1, to ensure your socks tread lightly on the planet. Find them at Ethical Superstore, from £12 per pair.

Thought’s Ethical Socks

thought clothing ethical socks

Thought* has a great selection of men’s and women’s ethical socks, like the beautiful ones pictured above.  Ethically 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.

Guide To Ethical Tights

The market for ethical tights is small, but I have found some gems for you:

ethical tights uk

Heist

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. What’s also to love is that all of their tights come in more inclusive sizes – from a UK size 4 to a UK size 22. 

Swedish Stockings

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 for tights 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. However, I like wearing leggings in colder weather as they keep your legs, cosy and don’t snag or run like tights do, making 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 are 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!

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