The basics matter. Clean Basics is a phrase coined by Arvin “the people’s friend” Goods, a company taking a new and cleaner approach to apparel production. The people at the company chose Arvin Goods because it matches their mission to do what’s right for people and the planet.

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Arvin Goods had an idea to create a clothing company that would shatter the methods of the current pollution and waste-producing apparel world. So it started by making socks. Not just any socks, but footwear made from recycled and organic materials. With a sustainable manufacturing ‘footprint’ outlined by the sock product line, the company plans to move into other clothing basics. Hence the phrase “Clean Basics.” 

Related: Tentree rainwear is made from non-toxic recycled materials

“We decided to focus on making the world’s first really good socks. Socks that look and feel good to wear, definitely. But socks that also make it easy for more humans to do good and lessen their impact on a daily basis. Because your favorite socks shouldn’t be jerks to the environment — and your favorite socks shouldn’t take away from your desire to do good,” the company says.

It’s been a process of finding the right blend of materials to meet the needs of consumers who wear Arvin Goods socks for hiking, walking, sporting and lounging. That process begins with one of six primary materials or a blend of the same options.

Checkered brown socks

Recycled cotton

The average pair of socks using virgin materials requires around 50 gallons of water to produce. By skipping the growing, harvesting, transport and initial manufacturing of cotton, Arvin Goods is able to drop water consumption to nearly zero. That’s because they collect and reuse cotton textile scraps from select factories they partner with. Upcycling cotton waste means less transport to the landfill and fewer resources being used on cotton agriculture. The reused materials are reduced down to their basic fiber components and then combined with other materials to create different types of socks. 

Hemp Biofiber

Arvin Goods prides itself on being the first sock company to incorporate Agraloop Hemp BioFibre. This bio-based material is sourced from the hemp oil production process, where it is otherwise considered waste. Hemp fiber is the remaining material after hemp oil is extracted. The fibers are typically burned so diverting them into sock manufacturing means less air pollution.  

Organic cotton

If the sock recipe doesn’t call for recycled ingredients, Arvin Goods relies on GOTS-certified organic cotton, which is lighter on greenhouse gas emissions than conventional cotton and void of hazardous chemicals that leach into the air and water.

Sneakers paired with crew socks by Arvin Goods

Recycled polyester

Known as rPET, recycled polyester comes from a process of recycling used plastics. Common plastics, like single-use water bottles, are broken down into pellets and melted into threads that are then used in clothing production. In the case of Arvin socks, as well as most other brands, these synthetic fibers help socks keep their shape.

The company makes an important acknowledgment saying, “rPET produced fibers are a great solution — but it isn’t a perfect fix. Every time any piece of apparel with synthetic fiber is washed, it releases microplastics into the water via your washing machine. These microplastics will eventually pollute surrounding water sources, and harm the fauna that live within those waterways. Because of this, we highly recommend washing any and all of your synthetic apparel in a guppy bag. Guppy bags prevent the release of microplastics, and are really easy to use.” 

Recycled Nylon

Similarly, using recycled nylon also diverts waste from the landfill and makes use of existing materials rather than producing virgin materials. Much of the recycled nylon comes from fishing nets, carpets and other difficult-to-dispose-of post-consumer products. 

Recycled Wool

Clothing no longer suited for the resale market is sorted by color and material type and cleaned. The wool is then converted into yarn. The conversion process requires very little water and no dyes or chemicals. 

In addition to these materials, Arvin Goods also relies on thread made from post-consumer cotton waste and plant-based dyes for coloring. The company has taken a zero plastic pledge when it comes to packaging so all shipments are sent in recycled and recyclable card wraps and EcoEnclose Eco-X Mailer materials.

Beige crew socks by Arvin Goods

Arvin Goods sock review

The company provided four pairs of socks for review consideration. Three pairs are the Crew Sock Mini. The fourth pair is the casual sock. As promised, the packaging around the socks is FSC certified, meaning the wood to produce it came from a sustainably managed forest. 

The Crew Sock Mini is a soft, well-fitting sock. It’s made from a combination of 52% recycled cotton, 40% rPet, and 8% elastane. I like the ribbed effect around the ankle cuff and along the top of the sock. It helps provide a snug and cozy feel. These are not performance socks, nor are they intended to be. They’re breathable and soft socks that stay put in a variety of different shoe types.

The casual sock is just that. It’s a taller, everyday sock for moderate temperatures and a range of activities. It’s made primarily from a blend of recycled wool and polyester. This is a looser fitting sock, providing more wiggle room than the snugger Crew Sock design. 

The brand has partnered into several collaborations that include Carrots, Blotto, Samborghini and Wilco, so there are a wide variety of fun patterns, cuts and colors to choose from.

+ Arvin Goods

Images via Arvin Goods

Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.