Socks are one of those things we tend not to think about until something goes wrong. Holes in toes are irritating for an entire day, and losing a favoured sock can be a tragedy. Because socks are pretty cheap, we don’t tend to give their longevity a lot of thought.
But how long are socks supposed to last? And is it ever possible to have a pair of socks for life?
Unlike a favourite jacket or pair of boots, socks seem to be increasingly viewed as a semi-disposable necessity rather than a product worth caring for. Admittedly, socks are much easier to lose. But there’s a financial and environmental toll to the relationship we have with socks. The average Brit supposedly owns 17 pairs of socks, and loses 1.3 socks a month - costing each of us £2,528 over a lifetime.
The UK spends over £1 billion in socks a year, and sock longevity will also be contributing to our incredible turnover. Most people don’t expect their socks to last more than a year, but after reaching out to our Buy Me Once community - most of you are able to keep your socks for between 2-6 years. Nice going!
If you’re looking to have a more meaningful relationship with your possessions, and save yourself some money, then look no further than this guide we’ve put together with our community:
A sock that fits
Don’t underestimate a good fit when it comes to prolonging the life of your socks. A sock that’s too small will stretch over your foot, stressing the fabric and causing more holes - particularly on the toes. A sock that’s too big will bunch up and rub against your shoes where they shouldn’t. Shoes that fit you well are also a big factor, as they’ll minimise friction.
Keep them paired up.
Actively look for that second sock when you find yourself putting a solitary sock back in your drawer. If you don’t intervene now, it’s unlikely you’ll remember to find it later! Make sure each pair enters the washing machine together too. Our fans also had a good tip for sock storage - don’t roll them inside-out as it damages and stretches the elastic. A simple fold will do.
Keep your toenails clipped.
Hopefully this one is self explanatory!
Dry them inside, but not in the dryer!
We heard a lot of you saying the best way to prevent lost socks is to dry them on a clothes rack inside - this prevents any chance of discovering them when you’re digging the back corner of the garden several months later. Also, not putting them in the dryer prevents them from shrinking or damaging their elasticity.
Learn the lost art of darning
Learning how to repair socks is really worthwhile. Socks tend to be made of thin material and experience a lot of hardship, but that doesn’t have to mean a hole spells the end of their life. Instead of creating an uncomfortable sewn seam, darning creates a woven patch to repair a hole - and it's easier than it sounds.
Buy Me Once brand Socko create gorgeous socks made from high-quality waste merino wool - and they’re on a mission to empower people to learn how to darn. Included in each pair of socks are simple instructions on how to darn, a needle and a colour-matched yarn. Countless socks are thrown away when a 10 minute darning session would save them - give it a try!
Buy durable socks!
You knew we’d say it, but next time you’re in the market for a new pair of socks, do yourself a favour and get some that will last. You’re in for a better sock experience that will save you much more money in the long run. Our favourite sock brand Darn Tough make fantastically durable merino wool socks that are covered by a really outstanding lifetime guarantee. If your socks wear out, simply post them back for a free pair.
Not only are these socks made for life, they are also the most comfortable we’ve tried. Darn Toughs are made predominantly from non-itchy merino wool, which gives them their uncanny ability to keep your feet cool, dry and odour-free. They’re beautifully seamless, fit like a dream and made by a family-run company in Vermont who are sticklers for quality.
Darn Tough really epitomises what we look for in a Buy Me Once product. An everyday item - one that we would usually throw away without batting an eyelid - made exceptionally durable whilst delivering a great experience, with a guarantee to back it all up.
Shop the Darn Tough range of merino wool socks for hiking, running and everyday here.
Shop the Socko range of waste wool socks here.