Verdict: Environmentally Friendly, Made in America, Ethical, High Quality
Farm to Feet is a company selling 100% American Made Socks. All ingredients and labour are American.
What they sell: Men’s Socks, Women’s Socks
Transparency: Very Transparent. They have detailed explanations on every item, as well as details about where the Sheep are from, where the Nylon is from, where the wool is spun, etc.
What They Are Doing Great:
- 100% Made in the U.S.A means support for local economies as well as fair and ethical treatment of workers.
- Wool is processed and made into socks within 300 miles of the farms it comes from, reducing the carbon impact of shipping.
- Extremely high quality socks are built to last a lifetime – and have a lifetime guarantee to prove it.
- Sheep that supply the merino wool for the socks are raised and handled responsibly, as per the Responsible Wool Standard.
- They are careful about packaging pollution and are researching plant-based mailing bag option.
- The track electricity, natural gas, and hydro usage at their factory and set goals for improvement.
Room for Improvement:
- Although the Merino Wool in the socks is combined with Nylon and Spandex, this is one of those areas that is not necessarily an area for improvement, so much as discussion. Adding Nylon likely extends the life of these socks many times over. Merino Wool is soft and warm but known to pill and wear through when not mixed with Nylon. Does the extended life of each sock balance out the environmental cost of nylon production?
Questions & Answers:
Emailed Dec 4 2015, and here are the questions and replies (and these have been reflected in the information above, as well):
As you are using Merino Wool, are you taking measures to ensure fair treatment of the animals? What standards do you have for treatment of sheep on the ranches you purchase wool from?
Yes, we are taking measures to ensure that the sheep on the farms that we purchase from are treated humanely. This is done partially just by purchasing from the U.S. supply chain, where mulesing, a common practice in the sheep industry is not performed. Essentially, mulesing is a very gruesome process that is done to prevent flystrike, which is an infection that sheep often get from blowfly maggots. However, the blowfly is not native to this region of the world so mulesing is not done here. We are also very involved with industry organizations that are working to implement more humane animal welfare practices in the sheep industry, such as the Outdoor Industry Association’s Animal Welfare Task Force and the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). I highly recommend checking out the RWS website to view the drafts that are currently being piloted on farms throughout the world. In the upcoming year we plan to implement the RWS with our U.S. wool supply chain. http://responsiblewool.org/
Do you take measures to reduce packaging or reduce the amount of packaging you use to ship and market your socks?
We do take packaging into account when thinking about the environmental impact of our socks. We always try to use the appropriate size box in order to maximize space and eliminate waste. For small direct-to-consumer orders we use Eco Enclose recycled mailers. We are also researching plant-based bag options in hopes of eliminating the poly bags that we currently use to ship our socks in.
Do you take measures to reduce electricity and fossil fuels consumption in your factories and work places?
We not only track our electricity usage, but also our natural gas and water consumption every month. We continually set goals for our factory and look for ways we can reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. We are involved with the Carbon Disclosure Project, Bluesign Technologies and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index, which are great industry resources that help us determine where we stand in terms of our environmental impact, what improvements can be made, and how we can go about solving these issues.