S.O.S. (Save Old Socks!)

Stop! I want you to think twice about throwing out socks just because there’s a slight defect with them.

I’ve been having this (not very serious) dilemma with my socks recently.

Everyday Wear and Tear

A lot of my daily sock usage goes down to being on my feet all day at my workplace. It might be that they get more wear than most people’s average pair of socks, but I think they’re on the same kind of inevitable path as the rest.

I estimate that I do around 10,000 to 20,000 footsteps a day, at the very least. With that many steps, my socks are bound to suffer. And they really do. In the past few months, the majority of my socks for work have started wearing and becoming visibly damaged.

Your socks probably tolerate the most physical pressure than any other piece of clothing in your wardrobe. Your feet are bearing the weight of your body, so it’s bound to get damages.


This is going to be the most common problem. And this is the one I’ve been suffering with.

My daily wash and wear of my socks have caused them to start developing holes in the big toe area! This is such a pain, because if I don’t have time to fix it, I end up wearing it to work anyway! And at the end of a 10 hour shift, I come home with a sore and dry toe.

But just because that’s the case, doesn’t mean your socks are ruined forever!

Ruining Your Pretty Socks

I’m a sucker for socks with cute patterns on them. And sadly, I wear these to work when I’m out of choice. So damaging these socks can be such a bummer.

But one again, just because there’s a hole in the toe or a rip at the top, don’t throw them out just yet!

Sew Them Up

I’ve started to do this very recently now to save my socks. And you have two options when repairing them.

The first is just a quick hand sewing project on the hole or rip. I’ve mainly done this for my ugly or plain work socks where I don’t really care how they look. The advantage is it’s actually really quick and easy to do. You save your socks and save your feet from rubbing against your shoe.

The second option is to sew along the entire seam of the bottom of the sock. You can do these easily with a sewing machine (a sewing machine is very handy to have!) too. The advantage of this is repairing your sock and making it look nicer and more uniform in appearance again. This could be better for your pretty occasion socks that you spent a little extra money for.

When doing either methods, I always turn my socks inside-out first.

Benefits To Saving Your Socks

Like any other item of clothing in need of repair, fixing your old socks has a lot of advantages too. They include:

  • Less Waste – This is very good for the environment. The last thing you want to do is throw something away without trying to salvage it first. Imagine the environmental impact of throwing every sock away as soon as it develops a hole! (I was guilty of this a while ago)
  • Saves Money – Imagine not having to keep buying new socks all the time! Once you throw those old socks away, you’ll constantly be buying a brand new pair! But if your repaired your old socks, they’ll be no need to spend any money!

When In Doubt, Remember the 3 R’s

There might come a time when your old socks are so old and worn, that it’s really time to say goodbye. If that sad day has come, then consider these very last things. You can:

  • Reduce – If you can, don’t immediately put it in the waste. You have other options especially since it’s a textile product.
  • Reuse – Sock fabric can be turned into an armband, it can hold your phone in your arm, or reused as a sock puppet! (just getting creative!) Think about something else you could re purpose the fabric for.
  • Recycle – If you really can’t see yourself doing anything else with it, then it should still be recyclable. You should be able to search it up online for your nearest textile recycling point.

To Conclude

I know socks are the easiest thing to think about throwing away. They can seem dispensable and not always as special as other items of clothing. But think again. Any item of clothing can be given another lease of life (apart from underwear!). I wouldn’t necessarily reuse other people’s old socks, but repairing my own feels like the way to go.

Instead of throwing away any damaged sock in the name of minimalism or decluttering, try to save it from being wasted in the world!

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