100 Mile Closet

I just spent a couple of days with Eric Henry from T.S. Designs and I have discovered a source for local socks.

A bunch of us drove up the mountain to spend a couple of days teaching and speaking at Warren Wilson College. It was awesome. Bright kids. Enlightened professors. They are feeding themselves from their own farm, housing themselves from materials from their land. It’s an inspirational place where the students do the work and push their ideas up the hill.

sockI always learn a lot on these junkets. When Eric is along I generally get upstaged on the sustainable textiles front. Whenever I’m on stage with Eric I wear my Raleigh Denim jeans, my Lumina dress shirt, and tonight I ordered a couple of pairs of Farm to Feet socks out of Mt. Airy.

They take merino wool, raised

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in the United States, and like T.S. Designs they boast of a completely transparent supply chain with everything made in America.

Once these socks arrive I can pull on my Redwing steel toes, and go out on

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stage with Eric with only my boxer shorts being made far away. Eric tells me there is a great “reshoring” of the American textile industry going on right now. There is a new “cut and sew” operation opening in one of the abandoned mills in Burlington.

As I was ordering my socks an email came in from Jay Golden at Duke. I sit on his Task Force for Sustainability and Commerce. He’s done a bunch of work on the HIGG 2 Index that was launched by Nike and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and he’s a proponent of transparent supply chain management. They just ran a story on his work in the Guardian.

I’m not sure why sustainable textiles keep tugging at me. I suppose I like the challenge. When Planet Money came out with their million mile t-shirt, I wrote a response. And today when I look at the labels in my closet they are global and come mostly from

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I’m going to stop being a sustainability poser and change out my wardrobe for a 100 Mile Closet.

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2 Responses to 100 Mile Closet

  1. Tarus says:

    Man, I looked long at hard at trying to find jeans made in America and I just can bring myself to shell out nearly $300 for Raleigh Denim.

    Yes, I understand the “unpaid” costs of buying overseas, but still – that is nearly 10 times what I pay for my Levis.

    At least the socks look a little more reasonable.

    On a side note, I do wear Camber T-shirts. Wish they had a purple one, though.

  2. hurrah … i needed farm-2-feet solutions ;-) … now i can get some local socks.

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