Smartwool announced its goal to make 100 percent of the products it manufactures circular by 2030.

The Smartwool “Second Cut Project” is designed to give products a second cut at life and help create a more circular supply chain that extends the life of raw materials, presents a new sourcing stream and reduces environmental impact. 

The project represents one pillar of the brand’s newly defined 10-year social impact goals and will launch with its Earth Day-timed take-back sock event.

A recent survey conducted by Smartwool found that while more than 80 percent of respondents recycle their used clothing, they don’t engage the same way when it comes to socks, with 46 percent of respondents unaware of how to recycle them, which results in 91 percent throwing away more than one pair per year. Smartwool developed a way to move the needle towards a more circular economy, starting with socks.

“Through our research, we realized that consumers want to be more sustainable and recycle their socks but don’t currently have the resources to be a part of the solution,” said Alicia Chin, senior manager of sustainability and social impact at Smartwool. “We are deeply invested in providing consumers with simple recycling solutions that make a difference towards a happier, healthier planet. While our goal is to reach total circularity across our product portfolio, there is an urgent need for a recycling solution in the sock category, which is where we’re focusing our initial efforts.”

Smartwool is partnering with Material Return, a platform for custom circularity, on its Second Cut Project sock take-back event. Starting on April 21, Smartwool will collect used socks from any brand at specialty retailers nationwide and online. These initial donations will be re-purposed into a filling for dog beds, which Smartwool will sell on its website during the 2021 holiday season. 

“We’re excited to work with a brand like Smartwool that exemplifies the same environmental values as we do,” said Molly Hemstreet, co-executive director, Material Return. “We also want to thank all our manufacturing partners who helped make it possible, especially the Carolina Textile District and Diamond Brand Gear.”

To learn more, go here.