Fascinated by the unsustainable nature of the fashion industry—the 2nd largest polluter in the world behind the oil and gas industry—I designed the circular sock service SwapSocks. A service designed for millennials offering single socks that are 100% recyclable.
As a deep dive into the fashion industry, I visited the Ivory Garments factory in Jordan and spoke with fashion experts and millennials—a generation that soon counts as the largest consumer generation in history. Insights from the research were translated into six opportunity areas, demonstrating the changing mindset of the consumer and presenting opportunities for innovation within the fashion industry.
The research also revealed a problem that many millennial consumers experienced with their socks. This fast-fashion item was not sustainable, broke down easily, or even disappeared! Therefore, I designed a collection of 40 single socks with different patterns. All socks can be mixed & matched and are made from 100% recyclable Econyl, allowing them to be recycled forever.
In order for the socks to be recycled, a closed-loop regeneration cycle was set up with Swapsocks production partners and consumers. The swapping of socks was encouraged by offering a 'swap discount' and extra attention was paid to the packaging to make the swap experience easy and fun.
Prof. Conny Bakker, Sustainability expert
Research direction: Conny Bakker & Ruth Mugge