Tuesday 6 December 2011

A Greener Christmas Sock

Tis the season, Hail Santa. If you're a gentleman of a certain age, you quickly become accustomed to the fact that at least one of your Christmas parcels is going to contain socks. Personally, I have no problem with this. Socks are important items of apparel. And I go through 'em like a hot knife through butter. I think I must sweat acid down there or something, The darn things get holed in weeks.
Anyway. Once you come to the understanding that you're going to get socks at some point, you might as well try to make them the best a man can get. No, I'm not talking about cashmere or silk (although cashmere, when properly sourced and managed, is a very sustainable fabric). How about a sock that's 95% organic cotton (with a touch of elastene for shape), made in a wind-powered factory in Turkey?
PACT are an organic underwear company that are reinventing the humble sock. Their manufacturing base, Egedeniz Tekstil, is the first certified organic factory in Turkey. The workers are treated and paid fairly, and the head of the factory is a board member of the Organic Exchange. The cotton is grown and the clothes are made within a 100 mile transport radius, much like the SustainU model I talked about last week. The packaging is rapid-degradable, and the shipping bags can go straight onto the compost heap. Even the decision to add a little elastene to the mix was thought through; it means the sock keeps it's shape longer than a 100% cotton sock, which means it's less likely to go into landfill. With that in mind, PACT will even take your old socks back from you when they're more air-than-wear, and recycle them into new socks or insulation.
PACT are part of a new breed of clothing producers that are changing the way we look at the basics of what we wear. The base layers, the simple T-shirt, the lowly sock, all go through the same processes as high fashion pieces and flashy trainers. Those processes can be rethought and reworked for the modern era, making sure that the end product does no damage at any link in the chain.
So, with the Month of Conspicuous Consumption well and truly on us, it's worth looking at companies like PACT to help make Christmas and afterwards a happy, sustainable place.
Check out the PACT website for much more. They don't just make socks, by the way. There's something for everyone. But a blog post needs something to stand on, and a nice pair of socks is as good a start as any.

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