From April 11th through the 24th, donate used (clean) socks at your nearest EMS and be a part of circular retail in action. Timed around Earth Day and in the spirit of sustainability, Smartwool’s donation program known as The Second Cut Project aims to lessen waste impact on one of the most discarded pieces of apparel in the industry. Now in it’s second year, the initiative has already collected over 246,000 socks, keeping 40,000 pounds of material out of landfills and turning 100% of it into recycled sock filling. So, how is it done?

For the duration of the program, every EMS store will have a clearly marked collection box. Simply drop any unwanted socks of any brand, color, or size (but clean, please) into the bin (preferably loose/without bags, rubber bands, or rolled) and voila! Out with the old and in with the new. Material Return takes care of the rest, a circularity platform that collects and deconstructs hard-to-recycle socks and turns them into new products (last year, the 75,000 socks collected were ground up and made into dog beds).

Impressed? So are we. “We’re excited to be among the retailers joining in on this and hope it is the first year of many we do so,” says Kerry Murrichio, Vice President of Merchandising at EMS. “2022 is a big year for us in terms of sustainability initiatives and examining our corporate impact, so this project with Smartwool is a fitting partnership.” The goal, according to Smartwool, is “to make a product and also build a system to keep it out of the landfill” and “begin building systems and experiments that lead us toward our goal of 100% circularity by 2030.” Read the full press release here.

To find an EMS near you, visit Find a full list of participating retailers here.