‘Life’s too short for matching socks’ was the idea behind the brand that is known as Solmate. In 2000, textile artist Marianne Wakerlin started her business in the confines of a small room in her house and from there Solmate was born. She had always had an eye for design and believed there was a market for mismatched socks in America. Not just any socks though. With vibrant colours and intricate patterns and designs, these mismatched socks reflected the natural surroundings in the Pacific Northwest. Not only that, these socks were eco-friendly and produced using recycled cotton yarn. This yarn was made of remnants of old t-shirts collected together which was then ground down and re-spun. This was material that would otherwise have headed to a landfill. Who would have thought that an old t-shirt could be turned into a new pair of funky socks!
From a small room, to three offices in the UK and US, the business continued to grow and not only sold mismatched socks, but mittens, hats and scarves. It was obviously becoming a success. In 2015, Marianne retired from the business and handed it down to her son, Randy and daughter-in-law, Lisa. The family tradition was carried on and continues to this very day. Solmate socks are still produced in the same family-owned mill in America where it once all began. They continue to produce such beautiful, bold socks which they ‘carefully mismatch’.
In 2008, Solmate came up with the idea of using their leftover socks to create other things and they started to produce ‘Think Caps’. In one year, they managed to make 4,000 hats! The socks were cut up and sewn together by local sewing artists.
Solmate strives to continue to reduce the amount of cotton that is sent to landfills. There are many ways in which they avoid sending material to landfills, one of them being their partnership with Portland Garment Factory which assists them in remaining a zero-waste company. Also, the yarns they use reduce the number of herbicides, pesticides, land and water used to grow cotton fibres.
Any socks with defects or quality issues were used to make all sorts of things from boot cuff accessories to cup cosies. The ideas were endless!
Solmate continue to spread their love all over by donating scraps and castoff fabrics to an organization in North Carolina called Endless Possibilities. Student weavers and volunteers use this material and turn it into hand-woven creations and any proceeds go towards aiding domestic and sexual violence survivor services and programs.
As if they needed to do anymore, Solmate work with artist, Suzanne Moulton who, inspired by real-life endangered species, makes sock animals from socks which are unable to be sold. Imagine, you could have the vibrant patterns and colours of Solmate socks in every room in your house!
Finally, any tiny little scraps of material, which maybe we would have thought would be thrown away is recycled through GemText Recycling.
Socks which are fun for your feet and great for the environment. Brilliant to wear out and about exploring the wilderness or tucked up at home in front of the fire, these beautifully designed and eco-friendly Solmate socks will keep big and little feet alike nice and toasty! Perfect as an everyday sock, or as a gift for a friend, there is always a good time to buy a pair of Solmate socks.
Here at Happy Little Soles, we love Solmate socks. How many times do you find an odd sock in the washing machine? Well, worry no longer, that’s what Solmate socks are here for. Perfectly mismatched (and with a spare) there’s more chance that you will find a pair to wear.
They are so unique and colourful that the sight of them alone makes you smile. And you can’t help but want to purchase the smallest size. They are just so cute! Just the feel and look of them makes you feel warm and cosy and want to put them on straight away. With names, such as Cuddle Bug, Honeybee and Dragonfly, who wouldn’t love them! They allow you to feel like you are being extravagant combining so many colours, yet they are not too vibrant to make you feel like you want to hide them away. Mostly, we just want to show them off! Why not team them with a pair of wellies to keep your feet warm, whilst splashing in the puddles or wear them without shoes around the house. The possibilities are endless. So, look at our range. From new-borns to 12-year olds, there is something for everyone!