Students’ eco-socks a hit
It began as a school project, and now the hard work of a group of dedicated young Christchurch students is paying off.
Nearly 20 retailers nationwide will stock the Sock Exchange’s eco-friendly repreve socks, the only socks in the country to be made from the environmentallyfriendly fabric.
The students had only a few stores lined up to stock their socks in July. Now, two months later, the new company has signed more than a dozen retailers nationwide to stock their one-of-a-kind socks.
The Sock Exchange, run by year 13 St Andrew’s College students Liam Rassie, James Young, Jaymin Stirling and Mackenzie Cox, was started as a business studies class project for the Lion Foundation’s Young Enterprise Scheme in February.
The socks, made from repreve fibres, were created from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles. One pair of socks was made from five plastic bottles, team leader Liam Rassie said.
Earlier this year the socks, which feature merino soles and colourful prints, were picked up by Kiwi clothing manufacturer Norsewear, based in Norsewood in the Tararua district.
Since then, the group have been busy contacting businesses nationwide and exhibiting their product at local markets and recently at the Spring Gift and Craft Fair Craft Expo in Auckland.
‘‘The aim was to get into one store, now we have 17,’’ Rassie said.
‘‘We’ve got to the stage we are in back orders. We’ve sold out of our original stock.’’
Businesses who have signed with the Sock Exchange included tourist gift stores, clothing stores and hotels, spanning the whole country, in addition to their online shop on the Sock Exchange website.
Used for different clothing items by Kathmandu, Adidas or Roxy brands, Rassie said his team were the first in the country to use repreve fibres to manufacture socks.
‘‘It’s pretty cool to say we’re nationwide now,’’ Rassie said.
‘‘We’re stoked. We’re happy.’’
Not yet seeing the profits come in, he said it was about getting in the stores on board first. so
‘‘It’s never really been about the money, it’s the experience.’’
Norsewear general manager Steve Culevski said he was ‘‘blown away’’ by the students’ ‘‘ingenuity and creativity’’.
‘‘They could be the next Ice Breaker boys, who knows?’’
Both Rassie and Young said they were keen to continue in the business sector, either studying or as business owners, dependent on the future of the Sock Exchange.
The next stage of the students’ Young Enterprise Scheme is to attend the Canterbury Regional Finals.
St Andrews College students James Young, 17, and Liam Rassie, 17, with their socks made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles.