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    Why we don't make our socks in Canada

    Why we don't make our socks in Canada

    We didn’t always make our socks in Italy. In fact, our very first production in 2014 was in China (we went through three different manufacturers during the next year). By spring 2016 we decided to move our manufacturing and elevate our brand as a premium product in the process. We weren’t getting what we needed from the factories we were using and something had to give.

    So, how did we find a new manufacturer? It’s really just like the old saying, “you have to have a lot of ideas to have a good one.” The same rings true for finding a good manufacturer. We went through a lot of different options before we found a small factory in Italy who could make our product and become a long-term partner for us. We initially launched a premium “Made in Italy” collection to test the waters, and thankfully our customers responded positively to this new direction. Fast forward and we have made hundreds of designs and have gone on a number of factory tours. We now have very strong relationships with four different factories in Italy.

    But, you could make your own socks, right?

    I have gone to a number of factory visits and have seen the specialization, generational talent, and infrastructure needed to make a product like ours first-hand. Not to mention that we use four different types of machines (needle count). It would take an incredible amount of investment to build a factory that could handle our current production volume. We would also still have to import all the yarn which doesn’t even build a case for it being better for the environment. 

    Why don't you make your socks somewhere in Canada?

    We actually tried. Back in 2016 we had reached out and recieved quotes from a factory in Quebec. The cost was far too high and the machines simply didn’t make the quality of product we were looking for. They also would not give us access to the yarns we wanted to use. I would have to have made a lower quality product and charge our customers double for it... There was no business case to do this.

    There’s another part of this answer that I’ll use an analogy for. (note: this is a quick analogy I whipped up and is only to highlight my point). Let’s say you lived in South Africa and let’s also say you tried Maple Syrup for the first time. If you only had access to maple syrup in large quantities, you could start a business! So, would you buy seeds to grow trees? Or, would you go to where it’s been made for over 100 years. A place that had a reputation for making the very best maple syrup in the world. If it made business sense, sure, that’s a different story. In our case though, we can get the absolute best product by working with and supporting small factories in Italy who have been making socks for generations.

    How does our decision to make socks offshore impact your local economy?

    It impacts our local economy in an incredibly positive way. We have 4 employees, give back to charitable causes in our community (and beyond), and most importantly - we’re able to scale our company to a size that will continue to allow us to grow and contribute.

    How does it impact the environment?

    Another analogy. This time you own a Pyjama (PJ) company in Vancouver, and your PJ's are made in Toronto. Great, the PJ’s are made in Canada, but the fabric will most certainly be imported (let’s say from Asia). So, fabric goes on a journey from Asia to Toronto, the PJ's are made and get sent to you in Vancouver. Two trips. In our case, our manufacturers are super close to the materials used in production. When our product is made it is sent directly to us. One trip. There are so many scenarios, but just because a product is made in Canada it doesn’t mean it is any better for the environment. Sometimes it is, sometimes it actually isn’t. Note: There are a lot of different scenarios. This is only to highlight a perception.

    In Closing

    I have to be honest here... Even if we could make our product in Canada, we probably still wouldn’t. We have gotten to know the people who make our socks. They are small business owners. They have families and employees to support and you know what? They make incredible socks. Why would we stop supporting them?

    We get it. As a consumer it’s important to know where your clothing is coming from. It’s important to know that sustainable/quality material is being used, and that the people who make the products are being treated ethically. You should also consider the environment impact as part of your buying decision. We fully support this thinking and wish everyone had the same considerations. We just thought it was important to let you know why we do what we do, and why it makes sense for us.

     

    Love is Love

    Love is Love

    Have you ever seen our ‘Love is Love’ socks? If you haven’t - there is more to it than a mismatched pattern and fun colours. Beyond the design, this sock was created with the intent to support the LGBTQ community.

    We started our research into finding an organization who was doing to real-deal work and happily found the Rainbow Railroad. By working with the *Canadian Government, and front-line supporters around the world - Rainbow Railroad is using legal means to “help facilitate the safe passage of persecuted individuals” to flee from often, life or death situations. It is crazy to think that people are being marginalized (and even punished…) for loving who they love. We had to help.

    In 2018, Rainbow Railroad received over 1300 requests for help with that number expected to more than double in 2019. Living in Canada - we are lucky. Being able to run a business that can also give back - lucky. We’ve made our donation already this year from a portion of the sales of our Love is Love socks. So...love you who want to love. Friday Sock Co supports you.

    If you would like to hear more about the work that Rainbow Railroad is doing - visit their website HERE 

    *Rainbow Railroad is not funded by the Canadian Government

    Calgary Underground Film Festival x Friday Sock Co.

    Calgary Underground Film Festival x Friday Sock Co.

    The Calgary Underground Film Festival has been contributing to the arts community for 15 years - and we think that’s pretty freakin awesome. Film enthusiasts and creatives alike get to explore international independent cinema through the twice-a-year event.


    We thought - how can we support C.U.F.F in doing their thang? So, we created a pair of purposely mismatched socks (obviously). Friday Sock Co is proud to say that over the past year, 10% of the profits of the movie camera & popcorn sock sales have gone to contribute to this incredible non-profit organization. You can also pick up these socks directly from Calgary Underground Film to help show your support.

     

    C.U.F.F runs this year April 22-28 with special event screenings sprinkled throughout the year and the International Documentary Festival in November.


    To get these super special mismatched socks you can visit our shop here https://www.fridaysocks.com/products/movie-camera-popcorn-mens or head to the Globe Cinema (in YYC) during the festival and pick up a pair directly from C.U.F.F. (and see a movie too). We might just see you there.

     






    Goodbye Plastic

    Goodbye Plastic

    As this year began, Friday Sock Co made it a priority to expand on its mission to be as Earth Friendly as possible. We were already green - but we wanted to even greener.

    Our socks are ethically made with continual shifts to reduce waste while considering our carbon footprint.

    We did some research on where to focus our efforts, and we found that the plastic hooks we use has such a negative impact on our planet (land, air & water) and our animal/marine friends. We had to do something to help.

    According to statistics from GreenPeace, “the equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the oceans every minute”. Not good. This is affecting our climate, our economy, our food; everything. One hundred percent of plastic created still exists (marineinsight.com) and yes we can recycle it, but it isn’t biodegrading so…what do we do?

    One thing we knew we could do would be to eliminate the plastic hangers off of our sock packages completely, and replace them with 100% recyclable cardboard tags.

    Does it increase our cost? Yes. Does it cost more for you? No.

    Why?

    Because we feel like it’s our responsibility to take care of the earth without increasing our pricing.

    At the heart of Friday Sock Co, we believe that business can have a positive impact on our world. And it is worth it for us to invest in these initiatives.

    What does this mean for you?

    You will see our new tags being rolled out in the next few months. 

    The actual socks will remain the same. They will still be made with OEKO-TEX® cotton (high-quality standard), still be totally unique and mismatched, they’ll just be a bit greener.

     

    Opening a new “chapter" of collaborations!

    Opening a new “chapter" of collaborations!

     

    What do you get when you mix the Calgary Public Library with mismatched socks? You get a collaboration that is “one for the books!” When you write a blog about it, you get a “real page turner.” I’ve got a million of these... but this isn’t about crafty/brilliant/hilarious puns, it’s about our newest mismatched collaboration!

    “Calgarians are so excited about the New Central Library, and to celebrate the fact that we’re one year away from its opening (in November 2018), we wanted to create something that incorporated its most distinctive feature—the exterior pattern,” Says Daniel Lombardi (Social Enterprise & Impact Giving Manager). “We’ve sold socks and other library related clothing, materials, and books in the past, but working with Friday Sock Co allowed us to create something truly unique. how many people can say that they have socks in the pattern of a building?”

    For this project we partnered up on not one, but two designs! We asked Dan to give us his take on intention behind both designs. “One design represents the unique exterior curtain wall of the Library and the other is a pattern design inspired by houses, which emphasizes community and connectedness—the role the library plays in our community. In addition to be a great addition to your wardrobe, we wanted the socks to create awareness about this new, exciting library and provide a unique opportunity for Calgarians to support the Library.”

    The New Central Library, located adjacent to City Hall, will open in November 2018 in the burgeoning community of East Village. The greatest civic project since the 1988 Olympics. The New Central Library will enhance the public’s experience and reflect changes and upgrades to collections, programming and services across the entire library system. To learn about the new building click HERE.

    Working closely with their team, it was a question of getting both the design and colour combination just right. We tried a lot of variations to pull it off and couldn’t be happier with the result. From our standpoint at Friday Sock Co., we were excited to have a pattern that would mismatch in a subtle way. The end product comes off as a bit of an optical illusion, which we love. We also really enjoyed designing the matching pair (which is exclusively available at the library store), as we had to translate the eye catching facade of the new building into a fashionable sock pattern. There’s a first time for everything!

    Both designs are currently available at the Library Store, as well as their online shop. You can find the Friday Sock Co. Collaboration sock HERE, and the exclusive building pattern sock HERE. 100% of the funds go back into the Library when you buy from them directly. The mismatched collaboration pair will be also available on the Friday Sock Co. website HERE.

     

    Calgary Library Promotional Socks

    Above photo: Calgary Library Socks exclusively available at the

    Calgary Library Store. 

     

    Mismatched Socks Collaboration - Library

    Above photo: Both the collaboration socks (pictured Right),

    and the promotional socks (pictured left), with custom tags.