In an era of ultra-casual office dress codes, socks are the new tie for many men– an easy way to personalize slacks and a shirt. Unsurprisingly, a barrage of mid- to high-end sock companies have sprung up in the past few years to feed the demand for stylish socks.
But sock startup Nice Laundry isn’t just interested in selling new socks–they want to help customers get rid of their old ones. “Prepaid shipping labels come with every order,” says Co-Founder Phil Moldavski. “Send us your old socks and we’ll recycle them.” Some of those textiles will be repurposed into new socks; others will be recycled through a professional textile recycling company.
The founders point out that the U.S. wastes 21 billion pounds worth of textiles annually. Moldavski adds, “We want to do our part to help get that number to zero.”
The socks come in the wide range of colors and patterns you’d expect to find at any menswear store that’s attempted to stay relevant the past half-decade– but at a fraction of the price. “We work with the same factories as top brands like J. Crew,” says co-founder Ricky Choi. But a pack of six socks sells for $39, unlike fancier brands which sell for $12 to $40 per pair.
Nice Laundry claims to have modeled their sock design on a $38 design from a department store. The socks will be produced in South Korea, and are currently being pre-sold on Kickstarter.