The Smartwool brand wants to reduce textile waste, which currently adds up to over 11 million tons in landfills each year.

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Everything from gently used blankets to your old clothes can have a new life if you donate them to resources in your local community and beyond. Smartwool, a Colorado-based brand that makes wool socks, accessories, and more, is accepting any old socks that you have—no matter their make—for a special reason. According to Good News Network, the company is aiming to collect socks and upcycle them into dog beds. "There is obviously an urgent need for a recycling solution in the sock category, which is where we're focusing our initial efforts," Alicia Chin, the senior manager sustainability and social impact at Smartwool, shared in a statement.

pile of smartwool socks
Credit: Courtesy of Smartwool

According to a Smartwool survey, the brand found that socks are thrown away the most out of all clothes. They learned that while 80 percent of people recycle their used clothes, a whopping 91 percent of respondents throw away more than one pair of socks each year. In turn, this creates over 11 million tons of textile waste in landfills on an annual basis.

To combat this waste, you can drop off your used socks in collection bins at select retailers in 42 different states from now until May 2. If you would rather mail sock donations to Smartwool, you'll need to buy one of their products on their website, and then you can get a free mailer bag when you are prompted to place your order. The socks will fill dog beds, and the brand notes that these will be for sale around Christmas this year.

Smartwool wants to create missions and initiatives like these to contribute to the company's goal of 100 percent circularity by 2030. "Circularity. What an idea," the brand said in a statement. "To make a product and also build a system to keep it out of the landfill after its first use is no small feat. But it's the right thing to do."

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