Tag Archives: inclusivity

Best Foot Forward for 2020!

A new year is typically heralded by optimism: and for good reason. It’s a fresh start, a clean slate. New years are ready for new ideas, ambitious plans, and big dreams of things that could be. We can’t think of a better time to talk about why we believe so strongly in being optimistic, and why we believe wholeheartedly that 2020 is going to be amazing.

Optimism isn’t a naïve look at the flip of the calendar. Here at Sock It to Me, we know that it’s a particular way of looking at the world: instead of thinking about how things should be, it’s imagining and believing how things could be. It’s hope, and it’s at the heart of making amazing things happen. And since this is not just the start of a new year, but a new decade: you can take that feeling and multiply it by ten.

We know that same hope lies at the root of the amazing contributions by women in Rachel Ignotofsky’s bestselling book Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World. This inspiring book tells the stories of brilliant women who changed the world in incalculable ways, and we were inspired to partner with Rachel to create our newest artist collaboration! Read the book, then collect the socks, and you can help ensure the future of science is female. Not just by spreading even more inspiration around, but because we’ll be donating a portion of all sales of Women in Science socks to Girls Who Code.

Another way we, as a woman-owned and led business, are inspiring hope and empowering women in 2020 is through our new suffragette socks. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the suffragette movement, so we are releasing a line of socks that honors and encourages brave women everywhere. Here in the US, it’s an election year, too, so make sure your voice is heard–and help spread awareness with our new voting socks!

Hope drives our actions to make the world better: and we believe in building a more inclusive world. That’s why this year, our product line will be more inclusive than ever. We continue to proudly offer STRETCH-IT™, the stretchiest and most comfortable wide calf sock on the market, with more than a dozen fun designs available: we’re releasing more STRETCH-IT™ this year than ever before. We’ve also redesigned our men’s and women’s underwear for extended sizing options (up to 3X in Men’s and 6X in Women’s) and a better fit for everyone. We’re also getting ready to unveil brand new Pride socks to add to our already extensive collection, and for the first time ever, we’ll be offering Trans Pride socks. These may be small steps, but they’re steps in the right direction, and we’re going to work hard this year to keep making them.

We’re putting our best foot forward in 2020: how about you? What do you think 2020 could bring? Does it feel different? It’s understandable if you don’t feel anything yet–it’s not like you’re going to be suddenly transformed. But this is a different time and time does change everything–including you. Change can mean adjusting a belief that doesn’t serve you anymore, tweaking your style to reflect your ongoing evolution, or something completely different. Whatever it means to you, be patient with yourself this year. Be open-minded. Be willing to listen to yourself and give yourself the self-care you need to be the very best you. Believe in yourself, hold onto the optimism that the new year brings. If you do, there’s no doubt that 2020 will be a fantastic start to the decade!

The Apparel Industry Is Getting Better at Inclusivity, but There’s Still Work to Do

STRETCH-IT stretches to an industry-best 21″

When Sock It to Me first started, our goal was to make confidence-inspiring socks to sell to as many people as possible. As more and more people started noticing our socks, we realized there was a problem. Not everyone who wanted our socks could wear them because they didn’t fit. Since then, we’ve taken steps to address the problem. Five years ago, for example, we started offering STRETCH-IT socks–the best socks in the industry for wide calves. This year, we started offering Women’s Hipster underwear in sizes to 3X–and more sizes for men and women are coming early next year. We’re proud of these steps toward making our products more inclusive, and aware there are more steps to take still.

Inclusivity is a huge word, packed with meaning and implication. It’s a realization that certain parts of the world are inherently biased against certain groups, coupled with a conscious movement to correct those biases.

When we talk about inclusivity in the apparel industry, we often talk about initiatives like offering additional size ranges. And it’s so great that more companies are realizing the importance of this kind of inclusivity. But it’s only the most visible example of where we need to do better. Inclusivity also means serving groups–like people with a rare or unique disability–who are less visible.

The good news is that people are starting to recognize this is a problem. Last October, PBS Newshour ran a segment about designing accessible fashion for people with disabilities. It’s a really inspiring story that’s well worth ten minutes of your time, and we strongly encourage you to watch the whole thing.

In it, we meet a woman named Christina Mallon, a self-described “fashionista,” who for eight years has dealt with a degenerative motor-neuron disease that’s caused her to become paralyzed in her arms and shoulders. “Fashion is a way to express your soul, and your personality. So, and me being a fashionista since I was a child, it was very difficult that I couldn’t wear my remaining clothing because I felt like a part of my identity was dying.”

It’s not just that clothes no longer fit. For Christina and people like her, inclusivity is also about things like buttons and zippers.

Cut buttons out of inclusive fashion. For many people, they’re difficult to use.

For many people, a button or zipper on a garment means dressing yourself in the morning is almost impossible.

Christina looked at options for accessible clothing, but didn’t like what she found. “It was these really bold colors that I would never wear. A lot of fleeces, nothing fitted, a lot of Velcro. And that just wasn’t me.”

Christina believed she was out of luck, doomed by circumstance from ever being able to find fashionable clothes to wear, but then she met somebody who could help. Grace Jun leads a non-profit called the Open Style Lab with a summer program that trains students to make fashion more accessible and inclusive. They made an entire personalized collection for Christina, including a stylish fitted coat, a shirt with  a silky inside that slips easily over the head, and a dress with a strap on the bottom so she can use her foot to pull down the hem.

Mallon says, “Being able to put a coat on by myself was the difference between me having enough confidence to go to work and things like that have such a big impact that people don’t understand.”

For apparel to be inclusive, it needs to be inclusive for all people.

It’s awesome that this made such a significant impact on her confidence, and we totally understand why. Looking how you want, expressing yourself authentically, wearing clothes you want to wear, are things that most of us take for granted. But they form a basic foundation toward feeling confident. We understand this is just one solution for one person, yet it’s an encouraging start.

The apparel industry has made decent progress being more inclusive to certain groups, but there are many more groups that require more work. To the individuals doing this amazing work, we salute you, and say thank you.