(In case you missed this introduction last month…)
BRANDL♡VE is a new monthly feature, where we collaborate with sustainable, USA-made apparel + accessory brands to create awareness, community, and support around our shared mission.
Each month, we’ll share the story of a new brand, and showcase some of their products alongside our own. Enjoy!
This month’s story starts with my mom. I’m unbelievably lucky — she supports my wild dreams, encourages me to be my best, and is certainly the root of my beliefs in sustainability and kindness. For infinite reasons, I’m a lucky daughter. But this Christmas I got extra lucky: in addition to funding a second-hand shopping spree, she bought me socks.
Colorful, organic, cotton socks, made in Fort Payne Alabama by this month’s BRANDL♡VE feature: Zkano.
Around 15 years ago, Fort Payne (a town of ~15,000) was known as the sock capitol of the world. There were over 300 mills there, employing nearly half of the town’s population. But, with cheaper labor overseas, companies began to close.
Today, there are about seven mills still in operation — including Zkano. Everything happens in-house (including the knitting, seaming, and shipping), using organic cotton yarn produced in North Carolina.
From a sustainability standpoint, Zkano has incredibly low waste — 2% — all of which is recycled (check out their mOM Doll Project + recycling info). (Industry standard for waste is upwards of 15%.) They use low-impact dyes, and minimal packaging, all generated and printed locally.
I’m so-in-love with what Gina Locklear (CEO) is doing — you can see why in this video:
I got three pairs of Zkano socks, and they’re always the first ones I pull out of the laundry to wear again (that says a lot). So I was thrilled when I reached out to Gina, and started planning a Zkano + Seamly.co photo shoot.
Here are a few snaps of our model, Mackenzie, her puppy St. Bernard, Eloise, and my favorite pairs of Zkanos. Mackenzie is also rocking the Basic Tee in cream (as I do most days).
Have suggestions for the next BRANDL♡VE feature? Leave a comment below – I’m always on the lookout for amazing USA-made, responsible companies.
Did you miss the January edition featuring Sword & Plough? Check it out here.