Donate Your Old Socks to One Company to Have Them Turned Into Dog Beds

We all have various motivations for keeping clothes. Perhaps we feel guilty for tossing away clothing, including socks with holes. Perhaps we believe that mending them would allow us to use them for some more time. If you don’t know what you do with old clothes, the best strategy is to donate them.

Donating jeans and old shirts is something many people do, but did you know you can also donate old socks instead of throwing them away? Smartwool, a European clothing store, encourages people to donate their old socks to turn them into cozy dog beds.

So, if you are cleaning out and decluttering your closet, you now know what to do with old socks. The company accepts all kinds of clean socks from different brands, regardless of their condition.

Although it is unknown how many pairs of socks wind up in landfills annually, they significantly contribute to the ongoing textile waste issue. According to the EPA, 11.3 million tons of textile waste were dumped in landfills in the United States alone in 2018, while 3.2 million tons were burnt.

According to a recent poll by Smartwool, even though socks may make up a small fraction of that waste, customers are still searching for alternatives to tossing away their used socks.

Bring your used socks to a designated drop-off site in your state until May 2 to participate. With each purchase of SmartWool, you will receive a free mailer if you don’t have a nearby drop-off site.

You can stuff your socks in the mailer and send them across so they can be turned into comfortable dog beds. The mail-in program will run indefinitely, unlike the in-person drop-offs.

Although the dog beds will only be manufactured in limited quantities, Smartwool claims this is just the beginning of what socks can be turned into.

This program is the initial phase of the company’s Second Cut Project, which will give items a “second chance at life.” Moreover, the company’s larger objective is to make all of its products circular by 2030.

We are all aware that the clothing and garment industries have a significant adverse impact on the planet regarding waste production and climate change. Therefore, circularity is a crucial component in extending the life of our raw materials. 

In the future, Smartwool hopes to make its take-back service available for other items, not just socks, and incorporate circularity into product design.

The company is focused on reducing pre-consumer waste, or waste generated during the manufacturing cycle. For example, it turns scraps into insulation. Besides making dog beds, they also plan to convert the socks back into yarn and make other items out of them.

The Second Cut Project covers both pre-and post-consumer waste. The company claims that its ultimate objective is to have zero material waste.

To achieve its objective of 100 circularity by 2030, Smartwool aims to continue developing missions and programs like these.