How sustainable are we really?
A question we need to ask ourselves regularly. We work hard to make the finest socks for our customers, with a conscious eye for our people and the planet. Together with our customers, we have focused in recent years on sustainable production from start to finish. We’d like to tell you more about how Sokkies does sustainable business.
For this, we have highlighted points:
- Our materials have been checked (OEKO-TEX 100 certificate)
- Environmentally and socially responsible production (GOTS certification)
- Additional verification of sustainable working conditions (BSCI certification)
- Reducing plastic
- Sustainable transportation options
- The most sustainable socks for your business (bamboo socks)
1. Our materials have been inspected (OEKO-TEX 100 certificate)
The materials we use for our socks are certified under the international standard of OEKO-TEX Standard 100. What exactly does this mean? Quite simply, all our materials used contain no harmful substances that can be bad for your health. From our cotton to the elastane; we offer the guarantee that these contain no chemicals, pesticides or residues of heavy metals. Also included are criteria for the colorfastness and washability of our socks.
Certificate issued by OEKO-TEX® Association in Zurich, Switzerland.
2. Environmentally and socially responsible production (GOTS certification)
Using healthy materials is obviously step one, but we like to go a step further. Thus, we have had our production reviewed in terms of environmental friendliness of the materials used. How organic are these? What about the personnel who manufacture the products?
A GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certificate guarantees that production is done in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. This looks at three aspects: environmental, socially responsible production and quality.
GOTS certification means that our organic materials (including cotton, bamboo) are grown organically.
Within GOTS certification, two labels are issued in the area of environment:
GOTS certification: the products consist of more than 95% organic textile fibers.
GOTS (x%) label : the products consist of 70% to 95% organic textile fibers.
Sokkies is proud to announce that 90% of our production is GOTS certified. The remaining 10% have a GOTS (x%) label.
Socially responsible production
The GOTS certificate is (in part) a social label. Control regarding working conditions takes place in our production warehouse. Consideration is then given to prohibition of forced labor, trade union freedom and right to collective bargaining, safe and hygienic working conditions, prohibition of child labor, discrimination, physical abuse or other forms of harassment. Wages and number of working hours at least meet national legal requirements.
Also included in the GOTS certificate are criteria for shrink resistance to washing and drying and for color fastness to perspiration, washing, wet and dry rubbing and exposure to light. These criteria are based on ISO (International Standards Organization) standards.
Certificate issued by Control Union Certifications B.V. of Zwolle, The Netherlands.
3. Additional verification of sustainable working conditions (BSCI certification).
To do a comprehensive check for our regular supplier, we had them extensively checked for working conditions. So one step further than the GOTS certificate.
The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) system is an initiative of companies committed to better working conditions. What does this mean in the case of the production of our socks?
Careful research has been done at our supplier. These included working hours, wage levels, exclusion of child labor, health and safety measures and the overall working atmosphere within the company.
This audit looks very critically at all the aspects previously mentioned. These are reflected in a score between A and E. In 9 out of 13 points, our production scores an A (the highest score). At two points a B and at two points a D. A nearly perfect score, with an eye for improvement based on the feedback given.
Certification and audit done by Amfori on site, China.
4. Reducing plastic
Thus, our socks are made of organic material that does not carry any harmful substances. The labels are also made (mostly) of recyclable cardboard. To bundle these socks, we used to use two plastic containers. The socks were packaged individually in a plastic “pouch” and then in a large bag per 10 pairs.
The large bag for 10 pairs ensures that the socks are protected from dirt during transport and makes them handy for our customers.
The small packaging looks nice, but after feedback from a number of customers, we asked ourselves, “What added value does this small packaging bring?” The added value is minimal and does not outweigh the amount of plastic thrown in the trash per shipment. Of course it is recyclable, but leaving it out is even more environmentally friendly. No weight with transportation, no extra handling with unpacking and the socks are still protected by the large bag.
As of 2023, we have therefore decided to abandon small packaging. A large pile of unnecessary plastic is thus saved. In addition, for the large bag, we have the option of biodegradable bio-plastic.
5. Sustainable transportation options
Our beautiful socks, like almost all textiles, are largely made at in Asia. The global textile industry is mainly in China, Turkey, Bangladesh and India. As soon as our beautiful socks are ready, they will go on transport to Holland. This can be done in several ways; plane, boat, truck or train.
We offer our customers the option to choose more environmentally friendly options that have lower emissions. These are often boat or train. To encourage our customers to take advantage of this, we always offer a discount when an environmentally friendly option is chosen.
6. The most sustainable socks for your business (bamboo socks)
In recent years, bamboo socks have been one of the most sustainable trends within the sock industry. An ecologically sound option that can compete qualitatively with the cotton market standard. Bamboo socks are incredibly soft and offer comfort benefits in addition to sustainable benefits.
They are made from bamboo yarn, made from the bamboo plant. This plant grows naturally in China, where our production is (mostly) located. The official name for this bamboo yarn is bamboo viscose, but it is popularly called bamboo. These socks can also be made with fun print, logo or icons.
We list some of the (sustainability) benefits of bamboo socks:
- The bamboo plant grows incredibly fast and undergoes a simple production process (low water and power consumption).
- Bamboo plant absorbs 35% more CO2 other plants
Antibacterial; bamboo socks absorb moisture, so no unpleasant sweat odors
- Longer lifespan than cotton socks
- Temperature regulating: warm in winter, cooling in summer
The production of bamboo socks is relatively new within the industry; it is still in its infancy. In recent years we have invested in this production with our supplier, trying to get the production cost per pair of bamboo socks toward that of cotton socks.
To encourage our customers to choose bamboo socks, they are offered at the same price as cotton socks.
We tried to answer our own question, “How sustainable is Sokkies?”
- With the audits and certifications (OEKO-TEX Standard 100, GOTS and BSCI), we try to ensure that our products are produced properly. Both environmental, human and social.
- By reducing plastic and offering more environmentally friendly transportation, we hope to do our part to reduce emissions on our planet.
- Finally, we have made investments within our product range to offer even greener products.
Do you have any more specific questions or would you like more information regarding Sokkies’ certifications, audits or overall practices? Please feel free to contact us.
2000+ organizations around the world.
What do customers say about us?
We like our socks, but what do our customers think?
“Had socks designed for teachers as a gift at the start of the course year. Excellent service: from design to shipping. Very satisfied!”
“Super! Very happy with it, thank you for the nice cooperation.”
“Everyone is mega happy with it. Thanks again for all the help!”
“A corporate gift for our staff for Christmas. Made entirely to our liking by Sokkies. Staff loved it!”
“Our cycling socks were delivered in plenty of time. Compliments!”
“Good and fast communication! Flexible and thoughtful – good service!”