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Looking for affordable yet ethical socks and tights?

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 ethical socks for men and women to feature here.  I’ve also thrown in some women’s 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 – 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 yet ethical picks:

Ethical Socks

thought clothing ethical socks

Thought* have a great selection of men’s and women’s ethical socks, like the beautiful 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 Silverstick socks for £12.

Ethical Tights

When it comes to tights the ethical market is quite small.  I found pairs of ethical opaque tights online for, umm, £24.  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 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, 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.  You can pick up some ethical leggings at People Tree*  or Thought*.

Another alternative is to buy British made tights.  Pretty Polly, Aristoc, and Elbeo are all UK made, as are Jonathan Aston tights.  

Have I missed out any affordable ethical socks or tights?  Let me know and I’ll add them here!

PS: you might find this post on ethical underwear useful too!

PPS: I have found a service where you can recycle your old tights.


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