Funky socks are like the pocket squares of the digital era: a subtle, but important, sartorial detail that signals membership to a certain culture. So, it would only make sense for startup guys to buy said socks from a startup intent on disrupting the sock-shopping space.
Nice Laundry is a newly launched company that sells six-packs of stylish socks for $40. Do the math, and that’s a little over $6 per pair, putting them somewhere between Uniqlo’s basic basics, and Paul Smith’s smartly patterned, $30-a-pair socks. That said, Nice Laundry doesn’t offer single pairs of socks for purchase.
"That’s just not practical," says cofounder Ricky Choi. "We’ve found that people want a whole drawer of socks at one time, rather than little by little." Indeed, buying socks is like getting toilet paper: why not just stock up while you’re thinking about it? "The focus is on practicality with us, not novelty."
Nice Laundry is riding the coattails of a growing cadre of startups that want to rethink how people shop. There’s Warby Parker, of course, who disrupted the Luxottica Group's manufacturing monopoly on eyewear by giving shoppers good-looking frames for a more reasonable $95. While Nice Laundry echoes Warby Parker's early e-commerce strategy, the sock company is really more akin to Everlane, because, as the Nice Laundry team says, instead of buying already knit fabric, they’re sourcing the raw cotton themselves, and overseeing the knitting process in their proprietary factory. Their designs even go through an extreme pre-shrinking before shipping out. The perks to this kind of meticulousness are, Choi says, longer lasting, better fitting socks.
Since buying new socks hopefully means purging of old tattered gym socks, Nice Laundry also facilitates recycling them, either as donations to places in need, or to be scrapped and turned into fibers for home insulation.
Check them out, here.