Introducing New York-based start-up, Gorilla Socks! This incredible sock brand and social enterprise is producing bamboo socks, one of the most eco-friendly fibres in the world, to help support gorilla conservation in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Co-founders Gianluca and Gavin started their entrepreneurial journey while out on a bike ride around the Hudson River. They saw creating colourful, fun and high-quality eco-friendly socks as the perfect opportunity to do something good. With every purchase, 10% is donated to their charitable partner, The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
See below a Q & A with Gorilla Socks co-founder, Gianluca De Stafano
Both Gav and I always loved socks, we especially loved colorful socks. That was the emotional side of the startup.
From a business perspective we believed that socks were a good way to start a business as lean as possible. We wanted to test the market with our idea before moving to bigger investments
Tell us about the bamboo fiber used in your socks!
We use bamboo because it has properties which are superior to cotton in many ways. These are some:
- Bamboo is softer than cotton
- Bamboo does not fade as quickly at cotton after a wash
- It has properties that allow you to wear them in the summer and in the winter
- It is more eco-friendly than cotton when it comes to its production. Meaning, bamboo grows naturally with little water and no pesticides
Tell us about your partnership with The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
We wanted to support gorilla conservation. We researched a lot of the organisation in this space and found that the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund was one of the oldest and most reputable NGOs – Dian Fossey its founder is probably one of, or the most important personality when it comes to gorilla conservation. Today we donate to the fund at least 10% of all our sales (we are hoping to increase that as we grow). We are also part of their adoption package, whoever adopts a gorilla gets 35% off our socks.
What does your sock production process look like?
At the moment all our socks are designed in NYC and produced in China. The main reason is that bamboo can be found easier in that side of the world. Also after some research, we discovered that US producers which had capabilities to produce bamboo, could only make very simple styles. We are hoping at some point to find a US producer who can make what we are looking for.
Why do you personally think socks are such a staple, especially in men’s fashion?
There are different reasons for this, today more than ever men are becoming more interested in their accessories, making sure that they are paired correctly with their attire. In the last ten years, men have realised that socks don’t have to be plain and boring. On the contrary, the type of socks you wear can say a lot about you. There have been studies proving that the type of color you wear will tell a lot about your personality. Today if walk around Manhattan you see man showing off their colorful socks in every angles of the city. I guess it has become a way for to make a statement.
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Founder of Causeartist + Social Entrepreneur + Partner at Charity Charge.