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Smartwool Wants to Turn Old Socks Into Dog Beds

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If you have been to a thrift shop, you might have noticed that you can’t find any socks there. It is because socks experience a higher level of wear and tear. Therefore socks end up in landfills and are part of the 11.3 million tons of textiles tossed into landfills every year.

Smartwool is a large sock maker that is dedicated to reducing this wastage. So they have come up with an initiative called the Second Cut Project to make all apparel circular by 2030. They also want to keep good materials away from landfills. 

People can drop off old clean socks of any type at collection bins and retailers placed worldwide. Citizens are even allowed to mail their socks to Smartwool. When the period is over, people can recycle their socks throughout the year when purchasing by choosing to receive a pre-paid bag through the mail.

Then the socks are given to a company named Material Return in North Carolina. They deconstruct these socks and transform them into new goods. 

Firstly the fibers are sorted and then ground into ‘shoddy’. Using a machine, these fibers are transformed into yarn. The yarn can be woven or knitted depending on the method it was produced. Most of the shoddy fibers are down-cycled into fiberfill, insulation, and acoustic material. 

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This process is used to produce dog beds. Their main aim is to use upcycled material in additional ways. The only hope of Smartwool is to design products with total circularity in mind and take back all of their clothing one day. Their collection and recycling system is an excellent

example to other companies in the fashion industry that act wastefully. 

Smartwool’s framework is very innovative because it gives the opportunity to innovate throughout the entire product creation process.

Smartwool, an American company founded by New England ski instructors Peter and Patty Duke in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in 1994. In 2005 The Timberland Company acquired Smartwool, and in 2011 Smartwool became a subsidiary of VF Corporation upon VF Corporation’s acquisition of The Timberland Company.  

Did you know?

When it’s cold, your feet will be nice and warm in your wool socks. Wool can absorbs more moisture than cotton. Wool holds a third of its weight in moisture before it starts to feel “wet.” Wool keeps its insulating properties while wet, which makes it perfect for sweaty feet.

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