Bamboo is a versatile plant that can be used to make everything from flooring to paper to clothing. It’s also naturally anti-bacterial, thermo-regulating, and moisture wicking, which helps to keep feet fresh, cool and dry (in comparison, cotton can cause odors when it gets wet). In fact, many eco-friendly socks are made from bamboo fabric as it’s naturally soft, breathable and more durable than traditional wool or cotton-based socks.
However, the sustainability of a men’s bamboo sock depends on how it is processed and what percentage of bamboo fabric is used. For example, some brands may blend their bamboo viscose with organic or recycled cotton, elastane or polyamide for stretch, and/or other performance-enhancing materials. This can affect the final product and how sustainable it is, as each material has its own unique properties that will impact how your sock feels, performs and looks.
Thankfully, there are brands out there who are able to use 100% bamboo fabrics in their socks. These companies are able to control every aspect of their supply chain from the seed to the finished sock, ensuring that they are doing the right thing for the planet and their workers. These brands offer a wide variety of colors and styles for you to choose from, including everyday crew socks and sets as well as knee-high athletic and no-show socks.
Another brand that uses only 100% bamboo is Doris & Dude, a couple from Utah who started their company because they wanted to bring “socks back as an art form.” This is why they have such an extensive line of patterned and solid men’s and men’s bamboo sock. Their collection also includes a range of knee-high athletic and no-show socks with heel tabs for staying put.
Lastly, there’s Boody, an ethically-sourced sustainable basics brand that offers an assortment of organic bamboo dress and crew socks in a range of bold colors. These socks are woven using a fine 200 needle gauge and feature a no-pill finish. They use a closed-loop process to recycle their water and solvents, which is good news for the environment as well as the workers. Each pair of their socks is OEKO-TEX and Ecocert certified as well, which guarantees that the dyes they use are not releasing harmful chemicals into our waterways.
Movesgood is another sustainable sock brand that uses only bamboo viscose in their products and only works with manufacturers who adhere to their strict environmental policy for labor standards, factory discharges and energy conservation. They are a member of Common Objective and the Ethical Trading Initiative, so you can rest assured that your purchases are supporting safe working conditions. They also donate any unsold or returned products to charity.