We are sometimes asked if we make recycled socks. And why not? It is easy to get hold of recycled yarn and yet our gorgeous alpaca everyday socks, mohair socks and bed socks are all made with alpaca wool and mohair wool direct from the animals. We source the alpaca wool from South America, Peru to be precise, where the animals are native. They are shawn at the start of the summer, suiting the rising temperatures. Likewise, our mohair wool comes from South Africa, where the Angora goats are native and thrive.
Angora goats (Image: SAMIL Natural Fibres via https://www.globalafricanetwork.com/)
I’m totally on board with recycling. I diligently wash the mustard jar, the yogurt pots and the margarine tub. And what a goodie goodie I feel re-using jam jars to preserve. I don’t yet have a recycled blanket, but there must be some joy from knowing your blanket has had a past life somewhere doing something. What is their story? Did he (or is a blanket she?) drive someone somewhere or were they part of an exceptionally good night out?
So socks….alpaca socks, mohair socks, bed socks….They need to take a lot of wear and tear. They carry us throughout our days; The good days and the bad. Climbing a mountain or meeting the friends in town. We wear our socks, day in and day out. And we love the moment we take off our mohair socks and put on our alpaca bed socks. It means the rhythm of the day has changed somehow.
So to make long lasting socks, they need long fibres. Only with long fibres will socks last the test of time and hold together and prevent a big toe or heel emerging. Angora goats produce very long fibres, which we use to make mohair socks. Mohair is known as the diamond fibre and is ultra hard wearing - beyond any other fibre which is used to make socks.
Recycled yarns are by definition short, which means the socks will quickly show the effects of wear and tear. We might gain some feel good factor from using the recycled yarn, but the yarn has to be manufactured, it then has to be transported to the mill, it then has to be mechanically knitted and then the toe seems hand finished. The socks then have to be packaged and transported to us for distribution and then when you make an order on the website, we send them to you. There is, or course, the unexpected joy of opening the package. But how would you then feel if they didn’t last? And how silly would we feel if the short yarns unraveled and came apart. I don’t think you would order again and what a waste of the earth’s resources to get them to you.
We fully support recycled yarn. It’s a great idea. But not yet for socks. Keep them for blankets which can hug you but don’t need to carry you.