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Lockdown SockCycling: Part III

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Welcome to the third and final instalment of our Lockdown SockCycling mini-series, with weird and wonderful uses for old socks (well, anything’s better than landfill).

In Part I we offered up easy sock craft projects for you, for the kids and for the pets. In Part II we had useful uses for a DIYer and a more in-depth project for the crafters. And here in Part III we have something for the sporties and one for the insta beauty addicts. So just like our fun and funky ranges of bamboo and organic cotton socks, we think we have something now for all the family!

Let’s crack on sock lovers.

For the Fitness Fanatics

We know you guys are super excited to be back in the gym this month, after months of zoom classes, using random household objects as make-do fitness equipment and punishing lonely runs in the freezing weather outside. But let’s not romanticize this – exercise = sweat = rotten smelly shoes. Banish the stink from your trainers with a home-made shoe deodoriser. Pop a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into your old (clean) sock, tie up the end and leave overnight in the offending footwear to absorb the pong. Proper job.

For the Insta beauty addicts

Let’s face it these lockdowns have given us ample time to master all sorts of tricks we just never got round to before, from contouring to French plait hair designs (that’s if you managed to tear yourself away from another lengthy box set or jigsaw puzzle). But did you know a sock can be used to create an impressive yet casual up-do? Presenting the sock bun. This may require some practice but we think it’ll go well with the contouring techniques you’ve also been working on whilst stuck at home! We’ll have to refer you to youtube here to get it from the pros.

Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed our little SockCycling series, and maybe even had a go at some of the ideas. As long as you’re not putting your old socks in the bin we’re happy! (Psst – many councils now collect textiles with kerbside recycling). If you’ve tried any of these projects send us a photo!

And now with all those old socks used up there’s only one thing for it – get some new ones!

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Lockdown Sockcycling – Part II

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As Lockdown in the UK starts to ease we hope you’re looking forward to getting out and about a bit more and enjoying browsing in actual shops again! Time to give your scroll-down finger a rest. Remember that your local independent retailers will need your support to get back on their feet after such challenging times and will be delighted to see you.

But perhaps you’re still looking for some activities to fill those evening hours until you can meet in the comfort of the pub again? (Let’s be honest those drinks and BBQs in the garden aren’t quite so appealing in current temperatures!) Well, look no further sock lovers, here we are with Part II of our Lockdown Sockcycling blog! Thank goodness.

In this instalment we have a sock craft each for you crafters and DIYers.

For the crafters

Choose a selection of brightly coloured and prettily patterned socks to make a draft excluder. Cut the feet off and sew together into a long tube and fill with stuffing and rice to keep the winter chills from your door. Functional, and undeniably funky.

For the DIYers

Old socks are quite handy for protecting your shoes, door knobs and other small bits and bobs from paint splashes when you redecorate. A simple trick but pretty useful so stick a few in the toolkit ready for next time.

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Lockdown Sockcycling – Part II 6

If these weren’t for you, fear not. Why not check out Part I of our Lockdown Sockcycling mini series for some fun recycling ideas for you, the pets and the kids. And look out for Part III coming soon which will cater for the fitness fans and beauty addicts.

But above all remember that textiles don’t belong in landfill – even if you don’t feel inspired to try our re-use ideas, just be sure to pop your old socks into proper textile recycling (many councils offer it as part of regular kerbside collections).

And if you do have a go at any of these, we would LOVE to see a photo of the results! Happy Recycling!

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Lockdown SockCycling: Part 1

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Well here we are in UK Lockdown 2. Perhaps you’re wondering what to do with yourself, perhaps you’re wondering where you can find enough hours in the day. So why not ditch the boring zoom meetings and homeschool headaches for a day, and lighten up with one of these easy sock craft projects instead with our new mini series of Lockdown SockCycling! Besides, your sock drawer will get a good clear out ready to accommodate the lush new D&Ds you got for Christmas – it’s a win-win.

First up it’s You, The Kids and The Pets.

For you

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Soothe away the stresses of the day or muscle aches with a homemade heat pack. Half fill your sock with rice, tie a knot in the end, and job’s a good’un. Pop in the microwave for 30 seconds and r e l a x …

If you’re feeling more ambitious you could nicely sew it shut and sprinkle with your favourite aromatherapy oil.

For The Pets

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Fun and games for your furry friends! For dogs, tie a few socks tightly together to make a tug-of-war toy. For cats slide in a toilet roll tube and fill with some stuffing (no, not the paxo type) and a pinch of catnip. Make sure to supervise your fur babies with your creations.

For the kids

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Get creative with the kids with a classic sock puppet! Give them funny faces with buttons, googly eyes, pipecleaners, pom poms or whatever else you can find. Why not make a box theatre and film your sock people in crazy conversation? Points awarded for the number of sock puns you can shoehorn in.

Next time we’ll have some fun uses for old socks for the crafters and DIYers among you! Don’t forget to send us your photos!

And if you’re more of the green-fingered type we think you might be interested in this article by sustainability heroes Yuzu Magazine on composting clothing – yes that’s right some old clothes can actually go in the compost pile! We were shocked too ?

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Meet… Elastane

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And so we have arrived at the final instalment of our materials mini-series with a blog about Elastane. This is the smallest element of our super-soft sock recipe at a midgey 3% but don’t let that fool you – it’s a mighty little ingredient with a vital part to play!

Missed our earlier blogs in this series? Catch up here:

You’re probably aware of Elastane, and if you’re not it’s likely because you know it under one of its aliases – Lycra or (for our American friends) Spandex. They’re all the same thing.

(Fascinating fact: The name Spandex was chosen because of its being an anagram of “expands”.)

Elastane is a man-made fibre, invented in 1937, but not hitting the mass markets really until the 1960s. We’re not scientists so let’s keep this brief – it’s made through a series of chemical reactions, then spun into lightweight  fibres which can be used with a whole host of other materials, in our case bamboo, organic cotton and recycled polyester.

Its appeal comes from its super stretchability – it has such incredible elasticity it can be stretched to 7 times its original length and still ping back unharmed (anyone else picturing Mrs Incredible?). These stretchy properties make it ideal for any body-hugging garments – knickers, sportswear and you guessed it – socks. And because unlike other materials it can keep its shape after stretching again and again it keeps your Doris & Dude socks fitting like a glove (we should see about changing that saying)! ?

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Have you seen our Easy Fit range? It contains less elastane at just 2%, making socks with a looser fit and gentler grip, ideal for larger calves, oedema or diabetes patients or swollen feet.

Read more about Easy Fit on our blog.

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Meet… Recycled Polyester

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In number 3 of our mini series exploring the Doris & Dude sock formula, we look at recycled polyester, which makes up 17% of our fabric blend, after bamboo and organic cotton at 40% each.

Want to check out our previous materials blogs? Here they are: Bamboo and Organic Cotton.

Now we’ve all heard of polyester. It is one of the most common textiles used in clothing manufacture, accounting for around 65% of all fibres used in the textile industry. Have a quick look at a label in whatever you’re wearing now. My beloved favourite hoodie says 70% cotton, 30% polyester. Polyester has a multitude of industrial uses too. It’s a manmade fabric, with some impressive properties. It’s durable and long-lasting, lightweight and quick-drying, blends well with other fabrics and is resistant to stretch or shrinkage. It’s made from petrochemical products. Yep, that’s crude oil, the fossil fuel. Its production uses vast amounts of water and energy. It’s raw materials and by-products are toxic to air, land and sea. Feeling uncomfortable yet? So were we.

We wanted the benefits but not the massive carbon footprint, so we found our balance using recycled polyester. Recycled poly is made from PET. That’s plastic bottles when it’s at home. Recycled bottles are chipped, melted down, and spun into fibres which retain all the properties of virgin polyester. (Fascinating fact – 5 plastic bottles are enough to make one t-shirt). The production of recycled polyester uses up to 59% less energy, and produces up to 75% less CO2 emissions than its counterpart.

Recycling these existing PET products reduces our dependence on petroleum products – polyester accounts for around 60% of global PET production, a lot more than plastic bottles – and reduces our impact on the planet by reclaiming waste that could have ended up in landfill or the world’s oceans. And that’s why we use it in our funky, super soft socks.

And remember you can do your bit too. It’ not just your plastic bottles that belong in the recycling, it’s your old textiles too. Don’t break the circle by chucking your recycled polyester straight in the bin when it gets a hole in it. Check out our blog on textile recycling to see why it’s important and what you can do.

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Meet… Organic Cotton

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Our second blog in this mini series devoted to explaining our material choices is organic cotton, making up 40% of the Doris & Dude sock formula (the same amount as bamboo. Check out our Meet Bamboo blog if you haven’t read it yet).

Cotton is without doubt one of the most popular and useful textiles on the plant – people have been using it for over 4,000 years. It’s light and breathable, and easy to work with, so no wonder we all love it so much.

However, standard cotton production is not kind to the planet. Conventional cotton production involves a LOT of irrigation. Farmers often need to extract ground water to raise their crops – at the expense of local communities already living with scarcity. Then there’s the fertilisers and insecticides, which are harmful to the environment and the people that work with them. Did you know 16% of all insecticides sold worldwide are for use in cotton production? Eye opener? .

So we choose to use organic cotton in our super soft sock formula, which is produced very differently.

Organic cotton is produced in areas where it can rely predominantly on rain water to quench its thirst. Water shortages across the globe are likely to become increasingly common in the future, and choosing organic over standard cotton is a step towards making a difference. Did you know an organic cotton t-shirt will save nearly 120 days of drinking water compared to its conventional equivalent?

Organic cotton production also avoids the use of genetically modified plants, reducing the power held by big GMO corporations over farmers, and without any toxic chemicals it is kinder to the local ecosystems and people working in the industry. The soil stays healthier, as well as the waterways and local food sources. Organic farmers grow food crops alongside their cotton that will benefit their own communities, and on a global scale, the natural methods they employ emit up to 46% less greenhouse gases than standard production.

So, if you can choose organic cotton, like we have, please do!

Next up in this series – Recycled polyester.

Don’t forget you can follow us on facebook, instagram and twitter for all the latest news from Doris & Dude or join our mailing list (just scroll all the way down to find the sign up form) to get it all straight to your inbox.

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Meet Bamboo

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Welcome to the first in a little series of blogs to enlighten you on the mysteries of our super soft sock formula of bamboo, organic cotton, recycled polyester and elastane.

First up: Bamboo at 40%

Bamboo is our superstar magic ingredient that gives Doris & Dude socks their unbeatable softness and comfort.

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Now if you’re anything like us before we began our sock making adventure, you hear bamboo, you think panda food.

Well, definitely that is correct, but bamboo is a surprisingly versatile plant that can be turned into all manner of fantastic products with a pinch of creativity and a generous helping of science. In fact, a search of our home kitchen reveals some very useful bamboo products, from a soap dish to baby bowls. It can replace products made from plastic, metal, oil and others. But fabrics?? Turning green, crunchy, woody panda food into smooth, cushiony softness? Here goes…

Ina nutshell – squash it, soak it, spin it. Natural enzymes can turn crushed bamboo into fibres. And fibres can be spun to make threads, and there you have it. Ta-dah! Now, despite the recent weeks of home schooling, we are not science teachers, so that’s as far as we’ll go down that road, but hopefully you can see the process now!

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Bamboo Fibre

So, why bamboo?

Well, if you’ve got a pair of our socks you know it makes super soft fabric that feels fab next to the skin, plus it’s nice and stretchy, and has natural wicking properties (bye bye sweaty feet) – a winning combination for socks you see.

You probably already know it’s the fastest growing plant in the world (a whopping 15cm per DAY!), but perhaps you didn’t know it can be grown in almost any climate. You can grow a lot of bamboo in a relatively small space, and it’s much more productive than other plants, plus it doesn’t need pesticides or chemical fertilizers, amongst its many benefits, so now you start to see why it puts less pressure on our planet.

Just time for one last fascinating fact: Bamboo absorbs more carbon dioxide than a tree, and produces 35% more oxygen!

Beautiful bamboo – it truly is amazing stuff and we love it.

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New Product! Introducing…Easy Fit

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Following hot on the heels of 2019’s fabulous new product Toast super thick socks, Doris & Dude are delighted to present another brand new product to the range for 2020. Allow us to introduce… Easy Fit!

Easy Fit socks are gently elasticated and designed to have a looser fit and more gentle grip at the top than our standard socks (they have less elastane – just 2% rather than our usual 3%), meaning your socks stay up but with less pressure and no restriction of blood flow to the foot or around the calf. They also feature a conical, rather than tubular shape. This makes them perfect for those with larger calves or with conditions such as diabetes, oedema and other medical issues causing swollen legs, ankles or feet and poor circulation, who may find that standard socks leave them with indentations and discomfort.

Check out this comparison between standard D&Ds and our new Easy Fit – note the extra width and difference in the cuff:

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New Product! Introducing…Easy Fit 21

Like all Doris & Dude products, Easy Fit socks are super soft – made with sustainable bamboo, the fastest growing plant on Earth, they have natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties for extra hygiene, and organic cotton, so they are kind to the planet as well as your feet! Easy Fit socks come in a range of bright funky designs just like our standard socks, and in UK sizes 3-7 and 7-11.

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New Product! Introducing…Easy Fit 22

We hope you love them, and we welcome your feedback.

And don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest news:

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Old Sock, New Tricks

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January, with its resolutions and pledges, heralds a time of clearing out for many of us.

If you were lucky enough to receive some fantastic Doris & Dude socks, made with bamboo, organic cotton, and recycled polyester, the sock drawer is an excellent place to start your clear out. Make a nice big pile of anything that has gone thin, holey or is just plain boring (unlike your fabulous new D&D pairs) and let’s begin…

Firstly, the bin is not an option. In the UK we dump approximately 350,000 tonnes of textiles into landfill every year and it’s just not necessary.

You can do better than that.

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Any textile, no matter how worn out or ugly, can be recycled. Just put it through the washing machine first – textiles for recycling should be given clean and dry. Then pop it in your nearest textile recycling bank or in your kerbside collection (depending on where you live), where it will end up as padding for things like car seats, sound proofing, industrial blankets and many other such useful items.

Use this handy link to find your nearest bank: Find Textile Recycling Near Me

Some of you may be feeling a bit more creative. The options for sock creativity you can find online will blow your mind. There is literally no end. Just type in “sock crafts” or “things to do with old socks” and your journey begins. From the surprisingly useful, to the super cute, to just plain weird, there is a sock upcycle idea for you out there.  Here are a few of our faves:

  • Sticky bottle sock. Put your olive oil bottle in a sock – stops those icky sticky patches in your cupboard.
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  • Drywipe board eraser. No need for nasty plastic or polystyrene here. Either fill your old sock with something (more old socks?) or just slip it over your hand and wipe.
  • Keep tiny things safe. Perhaps you have children? Perhaps they have a MILLION tiny pieces of who knows what for their games/toys/extremely essential things that MUST NOT BE LOST. Chuck it in a sock – no more missing pieces from the games cupboard.
  • Sock platypus. Just because you can. Find out how HERE.
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  • Make bean bags – these are a great tool for boosting kids’ hand-eye coordination and relatively low likelihood of serious damage to your property.
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  • Weaving – this is not for the faint hearted but my goodness it looks AWESOME. Pick up a loom (Hobbycraft has them for around the £15 mark) cut up your old socks into strips and off you go! Here’s a handy video tutorial we found to help you out:

Now, go forth, and clear out that sock drawer!

And don’t forget to share your old socks’ new tricks on social media!