In June 2023, TVCR started collecting unwanted socks through the TerraCycle Sock Recycling program funded by Gold Toe socks. TVCR collects clean socks at our standard TerraCycle collection locations: the Geo Center (Driggs) and General Laundry (Victor). With the help of General Laundry’s Deb Grove, we quickly learned that the local thrift stores are largely unable to sell used socks in spite of good quality, sometimes brand new, socks being donated. Rather than shipping these usable socks off to the recycler, TVCR researched possible options for local reuse, with the aim to keep usable socks in circulation, and more importantly, to put those socks on the feet of people in need.
Throughout the US, homeless shelters often cite clean, warm socks as a critical need for the populations that they serve. Since Teton Valley does not have a homeless shelter and TVCR wanted to keep these socks local, we connected with the Food Pantry and with the Community Resource Center of Teton Valley. To date, we’ve been able to donate more than 1000 pairs of clean, usable socks of all sizes to those in need. While the Food Pantry doesn’t typically provide clothing, the socks are flying off the shelves and on to people’s feet when they stop by to pick up weekly food provisions for their family. We’re very happy to have found this mutually beneficial partnership with our fellow non-profits. There are no requirements to receive free socks. The boxes full of socks are available to all during open hours at the Food Pantry.
Wool socks, cotton socks, polyester socks, sport socks, cute socks, fuzzy socks, practical socks, work socks, play socks, whimsical socks, holiday socks, ankle socks, knee socks, medical socks, and more. Every size, color and shape you can imagine, all in new or gently used condition. Free – for anyone. Thousands of socks are kept in use in our community through this collaborative effort.
As we sort through the clean socks, TVCR sends any socks with holes, rips, stains, and of course, solo socks to the TerraCycle recycling facility. Fortunately, only about 25% of the total socks that we’ve collected have had to go to the recycler, the rest are being reused locally!
TVCR continues to seek options for textile recycling, which currently isn’t available in our area. We encourage you to only buy items that you plan to use. Repair or darn clothing items that can be fixed. Donate usable clothing and textiles to the local thrift stores if they are accepting them – or sell/donate on-line through the very active local Facebook market, Teton Valley Free Swap Site.