Introducing The Second Cut™ Project


Circularity. What an idea. 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.

Which is why we're launching our Second Cut™ Project to do just that—to begin building systems and experiments that lead us toward our goal of 100% circularity by 2030. With only 12% of clothing materials ending up being recycled, it’s time for us all to come together to make a change. To protect what we love. We're pursuing this project because it has the potential to disrupt how we make product, how our supply chains operate, and how the outdoor industry functions.

It's big and scary and bold and awesome.

The Second Cut™ Project is the first step to making all our apparel circular and the first step to keeping our good materials out of landfills. We are starting by investing heavily in our sock recycling program because we believe it’s the future of our industry. It’s a sustainable shift we can make now to be closer to our environmental and climate change goals tomorrow.

We are one of the first brands to plant our flag in the ground and be committed to sock circularity, but we don’t want to be the last. Our Second Cut™ Project is the start of something special for all adventurers, planet-protectors, and sock-lovers alike. We are in this for the long run.

Because that’s the only way to do it right.

Socks are one of the most discarded pieces of apparel—eventually finding a forever home at landfills and contributing to the 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases that textile production releases into the atmosphere every year. Being that socks are the heart and soul of Smartwool and our entire origin story, we could not sit idly by as our favorite pieces of gear are piling up at landfills all over our precious planet.

We had to act.

We realized that by investing in recycling solutions for all socks (not just Smartwool® socks), we can help to extend the life of raw materials, present a new sourcing stream for other products, and reduce our collective impact on the environment. And with your help (and your socks), we can revolutionize how we view our gear and how we dispose of it. For good.


We're giving each and every sock a second chance at life beyond the landfill.

And, now, old socks don’t need to get thrown away anymore.

Spring 2023 takeback coming soon.

  • How does it work ?

    1. Send us your old (but clean) socks by downloading a pre-paid shipping label.

    2. Fill an enveloppe or a used shipping bag with any unwanted socks. Please avoid boxes.

    3. Attach the pre-paid shipping label and drop it off at any FedEx location. We'll grind up the socks and use them in new products to keep good materials out of landfills.


  • What goes in the bag?

    • Clean socks only, please (please, please)

    • All brands, colors, sizes, and materials welcome (we're not picky)

    • No rolled or paired socks, bags, rubber bands, paper clips (just single socks)

    • Most sustainable individual amount of socks to ship would be between 30 to 100 pairs of socks, in a recycled or previously used shipping bag.

    • Do not use this label to return your purchase orders. This label is to return unwanted socks only. If you have a warranty issue or a return order, please reach customer service.

  • Then what happens ?

    Socks are collected and shipped to Material Return™ a circularity platform that works to deconstruct hard-to-recycle socks.

    We use shredded socks to turn them into new goods like dog beds-helping us reach our big sustainability and circularity goals and keep materials out of landfills.

  • 246k

    socks collected
    and counting.

  • 20k

    lbs. of material
    out of landfills.

  • 100%

    recycled sock filling.

Thanks to the people who make it possible.

We couldn’t make the circularity initiative we’re making today without you.

  • Mec inspires and enables everyone to lead active outdoor lifestyles. They do that by selling outdoor gear, clothing and services. But they offer more than products, they offer passion. MEC has been the first Canadian retail partner to collect unwanted socks in each of their store during the month of April 2022.

  • Material Return works with local manufacturers and national brands to transform textile waste into new products — all within 75 miles.

  • With many decades in the fashion industry, Recircled executives are working into building the infrastructure that would allow a fashion brand to offer this idea of Certified Preowned apparel. With their Canadian infrastructure, they are working with us to collect unwanted socks from Canadian consumers.

Keep it going.

ZQRX Regenerative Merino Wool