Socks present one of those design conundrums. It's hard to attain pure technical or environmental nirvana with socks, because to do their job well, they need to be durable. No-one appreciates holey socks.Yet robustness normally requires the judicious blending of some petrochemical nylon.
It's the same hoop that new sockwear brand Zkano have had to jump through. They make a hosiery line using 100% certified organic, ring-spun cotton, grown without the use of pesticides, chemicals or toxins. They even eschew the use of heavy metal dyes and sweatshop labour. They knit the socks in a family factory in Alabama, USA. But 87% organic cotton is still the maximum content they can achieve, with nylon and Lycra making up the difference to provide stretch and longevity. Zkano, is said to be derived from a Native American word "kano," for "a state of being good." The range was conceived by Gina Locklear, whose parents own the Emi-G sock mill in Fort Payne, Alabama, which once laid claim to the moniker of "sock capital of the world," until 'free trade' happened along. Anyhow, as an article from Alabama Live explains, Gina needed to reconsider her real estate agent career path when the US housing industry went in to freefall.
What does one do in the middle of a recession? Pull up your organic cotton socks, it seems. The range, which took about 18 months to develop, includes shorty tennis style socks right up to calf length numbers. Currently the coolection is only available through Zkano's online store, but retail distribution is planned for later in 2010.
Gina Locklear's goals for Zkano, according to the Alabama Live piece, "are to create awareness of why people should support U.S. manufacturing, while hopefully making consumers aware of the many benefits of organically grown over conventionally grown cotton."
More on Greener Socks
• Teko Continues to Pull their Socks Up
• Bridgedale Adds Bamboo Socks And Reduces Global Warming
• Shocking Socks: Electrifying Changes Come to Wool Production
• Keen To Make Green Soxy