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Bonfolk Collective Brings New Orleans Flavor To Social Enterprise

Meet Bonfolk Collective. A new sock social enterprise in New Orleans, LA. With every pair sold through Bonfolk Collective, a pair will be donated to a local shelter or individual in need in New Orleans, LA.  It’s easy for most of us to forget how important socks are to our health since most Americans have easy access to a clean pair daily. At times we can forget about the many Americans who live without this luxury. Clean socks are essential to disease prevention, foot pain, warmth, & overall quality of life. When purchasing a pair Bonfolk Collective socks, you’re not only supporting a small business, but you are also helping the less fortunate in the local community.

 

The socks that are donated are not the same socks that you will purchase. The donated  socks are specifically created for the needs of those less fortunate.  The socks that are donated are a high quality sports sock made using premium cotton that wicks moisture. They are anti-bacterial & solid black in color to show less visible wear.

 

Founder, Janna Hart, spent time at Fashion School in L.A. While on the West Coast she lived near the infamous skid row in Los Angeles, which opened up her eyes a bit more to the homeless issue in the United States. According to the National Alliance to end Homelessness: On a single night in the United States, over 500,000 people are experiencing homelessness. Many of these individuals are without warm, healthy, and comfortable socks everyday.

 

 

 

Below is a quick Q&A with Janna Hart, founder of The Bonfolk Collective.

 

Living in L.A. and being close to Skid Row seemed to have a big influence on starting Kinfolk. What did you see and learn from that experience that you wanted to bring back to New Orleans?

 

 
Living near Skid Row was a HUGE eye opener for me on poverty in the United States. I saw hundreds of people a day sleeping on the streets, some in tents, some just on the dirty sidewalk. Most had no shoes on and socks with holes in them. Such a horrible sight to see, especially here in the U.S. where we have so many resources to make a change. This experience really made me want to do something about it and help make a change. I talked to some of the individuals about what they need the most as far as clothing, came to find out it was socks!!!

 

 
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Why not start Bonfolk in L.A.? What was it about NOLA that brought you back to the city to start your social enterprise?

 

Born and raised in NOLA, its where my heart is. I wanted to start the company in the city that I love. I came home to NOLA to visit with my family and saw that there was a huge need for socks for the less fortunate here too, so I thought how can I use my design degree/skills to help make a difference… Socks that give socks back, that’s it!

 

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When you found out that socks are the number one requested items in homeless shelters across the country, what was your reaction, were you a bit shocked by that? 

 

 
Honestly, I was not very shocked as it isn’t very hygienic to give your old socks away. Most people just throw them away when they get old and funky, where as T-shirts, pants, and jackets are donated and very readily available.  I was more shocked by the number of homeless people we have in the U.S., such a heartbreaking thing!

 

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The New Orleans Mission will be the first recipients of the donated socks. Do you plan on getting other homeless shelters involved in the future?

 
 

 

I did the first donation at the New Orleans mission, that was so wonderful. Really confirmed the need for socks in the city. The people there were so happy about having a new, clean pair of socks.

 

This week we will be donating at the Ozanam Inn in the CDB of NOLA. We will be handing out between 200-250 pairs of socks during the lunch service. I am very much looking forward to it!
 

You have six awesome pairs in the collection right now. What is your favorite pair?

 

 

Currently my favorite is the Voodoo sock. Love the color combo on that one.  I will be launching Spring/Summer socks in Mid April,  and have a few collaboration socks with local stockists in the works. Very excited about that! 

 

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As your brand starts to grow, have you thought about the bigger picture yet? If so what do you think that looks like for Bonfolk collective?

 

 
Yes, I want to take Kinfolk all over the USA. I want to take this same concept city to city, and to be able to employ other Americans. 😀 Make socks that represent all of what the city is about, and give socks back in that city.

 

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