Smartwool claims to be one of the first brands to commit to a focus on sock circularity.

Smartwool is working with a circularity manufacturing facility, based in North Carolina, US called Material Return to develop and refine the process.

The company explains its repurposed yarn is blended with responsibly sourced Merino wool and is designed with an elasticized arch and seamless toe for comfort.

“Smartwool’s partnership with Material Return has ultimately led to a closed-loop model that goes beyond recycling,” says John Ramsey, director of product development at Smartwool.

He continues: “We were able to accomplish this through new and innovative technology, team collaboration, and consumer participation. Investing in this process has enabled Smartwool to take leaps forward toward our goal of shifting towards a more circular business model.

After several years of experimentation and thousands of consumer donations, the company has re-spun old socks into new yarn. The Second Cut sock highlights Smartwool’s shift towards a circular business model, which involves collecting and repurposing materials for deconstruction and reuse

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 14% of textiles are recycled and socks are one of the most discarded pieces of apparel.

In April 2021, Smartwool launched its Second Cut sock take-back programme and collected more than 725,000 socks and diverted more than 54,200 pounds of socks from landfill.

Last year, Smartwool joined the “first 100% regenerative wool platform” in a bid to help tackle the environmental impact of the global fashion industry.