Monday, 18 February 2019

Interview With Stephen Steele, Founder Of Organic Brand Kind Socks

When working towards an ethical and sustainable wardrobe, it's easy to forget to make sustainable choices regarding the smallest parts of our wardrobe such as socks, but the effects of picking organic or non-organic socks has the same impact on the environment as any other piece of clothing. 
Kind Socks is a new brand based in Sweden, launched this February, producing fun, colourful and organic socks. When my Kind Socks arrived in the post I was pleasantly surprised with how soft and comfy they were compared to other socks I own. 
Most organic socks I see in shops compromise on design, but the Kind Socks' designs have pops of colour and cute patterns (the Bumble Bee socks are a personal favourite). I spoke to the founder and designer Stephen Steele, about how what you wear affects your mood and the planet.

1. Who makes and designs the socks for Kind Socks?

It's mainly me who designs the socks. However I do love working and collaborating with other people and artists. I would love to collaborate with Lucy and Yak - they are such a fun brand. But our first collection had 3 of our socks designed by a designer in Berlin called Queenbe. After I've designed the socks they are manufactured by a GOTs (Global Organic Textiles Standard) manufacturer in New Delhi, India.

2. You say on your website that your idea of creating a sock brand stayed for a while in the 'idea stage'. What made you finally make the move and start the brand?

I think it was a mixture of things including the fact that I could only find boring organic cotton, bamboo or hemp socks. Also I was in between projects at that time and I wanted something to fix my personality. With a background in digital communication, I knew that to develop some would meet a need in the market currently. I also wanted to make a difference in the world but never realised we could possibly do it through fashion.

3. Why was it so important to you that the socks should be organic?

I think it's important that we all take responsibility for how we use the resources on our planet and be as kind as possible. Depleting the earth's natural resources isn't beneficial to supporting long term ecological balance. Currently, Kind Socks uses organic cotton which is fairtrade and GOTs.


5. Kind Socks is very much a brand with a focus on positivity as well as sustainability. Do you think what you wear can effect your mood?

Definitely, I believe strongly that bright colours can lift your mood. It's like your mood lifts as soon as you see the sun and it's the same for bright colours to me. It's also a great way to show off your personality. In addition I read a study on psychology behind the relationship between clothing and impressions; it found that it only takes three seconds of scanning someone's clothing to create an assessment of that person. What usually stands out most is the brightest and most unique features and often colours are what catch our eye at first glance. Bright colours, like the colour orange, are considered energetic colours. So it's no wonder when you wear, or see someone else wearing colourful socks with funky patterns, your first impression is, "I want to get to know you!"

6. Which is your favourite pair of socks from your collection?

To be honest they're all my favourites as they all tell a story to me.

7. What inspires your designs?

My life inspires my designs, for example, the watermelon socks idea came from seeing my friend's young daughter enjoy her first watermelon. Each design tells a story to me from a conversation with someone. Or even just being on the underground will provide me with inspiration for design.

8. What do you hope for the future of ethical/sustainable fashion and your brand?

My hope is that ethical/sustainable fashion becomes the norm and it has a focus not just on the brand but also the consumer. Kind Socks is currently looking at how it can be more conscious about the natural resources it uses. For example, we are exploring the idea of 100% compostable packaging for deliveries. So being a small business I believe we have the ability to make these options and quickly.

Thank you Stephen for answering my questions! I love your socks, and your aim to produce 100% compostible packaging.

Check out Kind Socks' Spring/Summer colourful collection of organic socks!

                                                                                Beccy x

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