Would you buy stylish socks to support a good cause? Here’s a quick review of Conscious Step, a social enterprise that promotes fair trade and whose work contributes to social good. (They also sell stylish socks for men and women.)
Recently, I had a chance to visit a fair trade market in Raleigh, North Carolina. One of the vendors, Durham-based Bull City Fair Trade, brought baskets-full of good-looking socks from Conscious Step.
While there are many great companies that sell colorful socks online, Conscious Step combines nice-looking and well-made socks with missions to support workers and social outcomes.
Prashant Mehta founded Conscious Step way back in 2013 with friends and fellow University of New South Wales (NSW) graduates Hassan Ahmed and Adam Long to help improve outcomes in developing countries.
The company launched via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign from Australia and sport several important features:
- Their socks are made from an organic cotton blend of 75% Organic Cotton, 23% Polyamide, 2% Spandex. The cotton is grown to the Global Organic Textile Standard;
- Conscious Step socks are Fairtrade certified;
- The socks are manufactured to the Confidence in Textiles standard to minimize the presence of harmful substances.
The company began by supporting the eight UN Millennium Development Goals. Today, it has expanded to focus on more than a dozen causes (and has moved its operations to New York).
Their socks help rescue animals, prevent breast cancer, conserve rain-forests, assist disaster relief, educate kids, fight poverty, malaria and hunger, plant trees, protect elephants, oceans and sharks.
Conscious Step does a terrific job connecting the style of the socks to the cause it supports, and crisply explains the issue on the limited packaging. (For more details, you can go to their website.)
At about $15 per pair, the socks are in the ballpark of most other high-quality brands out there that don’t use organic cotton or certify to the same standards.
I’ve always thought that gifts mean more when they have a great story behind them. As Christmas rolls around, Conscious Step is a stellar example of a brand that mixes fashion with several good causes, supporting the workers and social causes at the same time. (For more ideas, check out my guide to unique gifts for guys.)
The company makes it easy to support these good causes by purchasing directly on its website or in person via boutiques like Bull City Free Trade and free trade fairs like the one I attended. Conscious Step Socks are also readily available via Amazon.com. They sell individual pairs, snazzy gift boxes and monthly subscriptions.
So back to where I began: Would you buy socks to support a good cause?
About JakeJake is an expert on men’s style and fashion based in Washington, DC. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs and innovative clothing and lifestyle brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. He has published hundreds of articles on style and apparel, and regularly interviews small business CEOs and startup founders about industry trends. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine.
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